Partners Advancing Student Success (PASS) recently released its End of the Year Report for the 2019-2020 school year. The report shows that the organization managed to have continued success despite unprecedented obstacles related to COVID-19 precaution and response.
PASS served 375 local students on a case level basis that includes providing support and services catered to the individual student’s specific needs. Of those students, PASS showed a 99.2 percent promotion rate. The organization also had a 99 percent graduation rate among the senior students that were managed on an individual level.
Originally founded in 2012 as Communities in Schools of Carroll County, PASS is a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving student success by providing support and services to students. The organization aims to increase graduation rates and keep students on track to finish high school.
PASS Executive Director Cynthia Langley commented on the challenges facing students and schools during the final months of the school year.
“This past school year has been an exceptionally challenging one for our students, staff, and community,” said Langley. “I am always encouraged by the support of our community when challenging times occur. As it was announced early this year that schools would be closed our PASS Advocates rallied to ensure that our students were served and did not miss opportunities to complete their schoolwork and have a caring adult to reach out to when times got tough. As we observed the needs of our students we reached out to the community and they assisted in many ways to assist our students. It is my belief that we will continue to Rise Above the challenges that our students have and empower them to succeed.”
Dr. Jessica Ainsworth, Assistant Superintendent of School Performance for Carroll County Schools, noted the extensive accomplishments PASS Advocates are having within the local school system.
“The partnership we share with PASS directly connects to our district’s purpose of positively changing lives and provides our students with valuable resources and guidance to help them achieve academic success,” said Ainsworth. “With the support of PASS, Carroll County School System had a graduation rate of 93.4 percent for the 2019-2020 school year, continuing the district’s three-year record of graduation rates above 90 percent.”
Carrollton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Albertus also praised the organization’s efforts and proven results in helping at-risk students that previous statistics indicate to be more likely to drop out of school.
“Carrollton City Schools is grateful for the partnership with PASS in helping our marginal students overcome barriers that potentially could keep them from finishing school,” Albertus said. “Getting a high school diploma is critical to long-term personal success, and I applaud PASS for its diligent efforts to ensure this happens. The agency’s latest data report confirms it.”
The organization was able to continue working with students after schools suspended in-person learning during the statewide shelter in place order. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of West Georgia, PASS was able to assist with some students’ phone services and maintain contact with the students they had worked with throughout the school year.
PASS Advocates have gone above and beyond the call to help underprivileged local students. Hannah Yates is a PASS Student Advocate at Bowdon and Mt. Zion high schools and works closely with students who come from less fortunate circumstances that may result in a struggle with academic performance.
“We had a donor contact us recently about donating a free, used car to a student in need,” said Yates. “We linked a deserving student with this donor. This student is a senior who is in need of a job but is lacking transportation in order to get to and from a job.”
PASS sought to help the student by providing driving lessons through a professional driving instructor while also assisting the student’s family members with resources in order to obtain insurance and proper registration for the vehicle.
“This is also a very diligent, hardworking student who has maintained good grades though high school,” said Yates. “This student is so deserving of assistance and help.”
The organization served a total of nearly 34,000 local students through a variety of different methods including behavior and attendance reward programs, mock interviews, and other efforts. PASS was also able to give many students an in-person tour of some local industries’ workplaces to help them better understand opportunities beyond education.