Making It To Graduation

Nevada will soon spend a lot more money on public education thanks to Governor Sandoval's historic $1.1 billion tax plan. But for now, our graduation rate remains near the bottom of the national barrel at just 70 percent. 

As many area high schools prepare hold their commencement ceremonies, Reno Public Radio has shared the stories of students who are earning their degrees, despite adversities like being homeless, dealing with a drug addiction,  or not having enough family support at home. We also spoke to local experts about what interventions really work for kids facing a tough road to graduation.    

Never Too Late: Young Man Returns To Get Diploma

Jun 12, 2015

All week, KUNR has been exploring the challenges that young people face on their way to graduation. But some obstacles are often too hard to overcome. Reno Public Radio’s Esther Ciammachilli spoke to Ian Moline, who says transiency and a self-described “egregious drug addiction” held him back. 

We often hear Nevada’s high school graduation rate described as low, dismal, embarrassing. It sits at 70 percent while some states are approaching 90. Even though Nevada lags behind, there is a growing patchwork of programs and interventions that are working. For our series “Making It To Graduation,” Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss talks to some of the educators and mentors who are on the ground level trying to improve the graduation rate one kid at a time. 

Swimming Upstream: Student With Autism Pushes To Graduate

Jun 10, 2015

All week, KUNR has been looking at students who have excelled despite adversity. Some who have intellectual challenges like autism have a harder time finishing high school and in fact, only about a third in Washoe County actually do. Making it to graduation has been a struggle for one young man who suffers from this disorder, as Reno Public Radio’s Esther Ciammachilli explains.

A historic tax hike of more than a billion dollars will soon help reform K-12 education in Nevada. But how will that money be tracked to make sure it supports real improvement? And during such a severe teacher shortage, who will even be on the ground level to implement change?

To get the answers, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss talked to Dale Erquiaga, the state superintendent of public instruction. Their conversation is part of our series Making It To Graduation.

All this week, KUNR is exploring what it takes for Nevada’s high schoolers to make it to graduation. In our state,  English Language Learners have a dismal graduation rate—not even a third finish school. But there’s a senior from Hug High School in Reno, who has beat the odds, and has even won a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which will pay for college. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has more.

There are about 2,300 students in the Washoe County School District who are homeless and they’re at much greater risk for dropping out of school. But, there’s a McQueen High School senior determined to be the first in her family to go to college despite not having a permanent place to live. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has more.