Liberal High School Principal Keith Adams is looking for more. After his students made Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) numbers last year in math and reading, he is setting his sights on graduation, not just from high school, but from college. He says it starts with a motto. "Graduation matters," Adams said. "It has a lot of meaning. We turned that into a class assignment last year. Some students did some research and began to see for themselves based on their own research that graduation truly does matter, not just in simple terms but in long term dollars."
The data shows things are headed in the right direction and programs like AVID, Capturing Kids Hearts, Teen Leadership, and Literacy First are working. Consider Liberal High School's math AYP score was 20.9 in 2005 and 55.1 two years ago. Last year the score was 78.1 and exceeded the target. The reading score at LHS was 61.2 two years ago and 75.2 last year. The gradation rate soared to 84.2 percent which was an increase of 12 percent from the year before. Several programs geared toward putting the student first continue. Capturing Kids Hearts, a program designed for instructors to take a more active role in the lives of the students is in its fourth year. AVID, a program geared toward helping students graduate from college is also in year four. This is the second year of Literacy First in the district in which each school has an instructional coach for teachers to aid in the execution of these and other teaching techniques.