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Senior Success Programs Keep Students on Track to Graduate

May 27, 2021

Parma City School District is so proud of our recent graduates from our three high schools!

To get to that exciting graduation day, some students need extra support to make sure they earn the diploma they have been working toward for years.

All three high schools have mentorship and support programs for our seniors. 

Maria Gingo, Dean of Students at Parma Senior High School, took over the Senior Success Program to help those students get to commencement.

“I first participated in Valley Forge's Graduation Guardian program when I taught English at Valley Forge,” she shared. “I always enjoyed helping support programs for at-risk students.”

She explained that she met with administrators at both Valley Forge and Normandy to discuss their programs and hear about what has worked in the past for them. 

“Using a variety of data available to us and collaborating with the other administrators and counselors, I determined which students would be best for our program,” Gingo further described. “I then meet with every senior and tell them a little about the program and ask if they would like a mentor. Almost all seniors are receptive to his idea and acknowledge that any additional help is welcomed.” 

Students are then matched with teachers or staff members that they have made good connections and relationships. Mentors and seniors check-in and focus on attendance and grades. 

“The last few months of the student’s senior year is a crucial time where many get overwhelmed, frustrated or unfocused,” Gingo expressed. “Especially during the pandemic, students struggled with learning remotely, so when we went back full time, it was imperative that many students passed every single report card grade opportunity for the remainder of the year to be able to pass their classes.” 

The mentors provide another connection and relationship at the school that is positive and supportive, she said.

“Our staff members volunteer their time to continue to support students outside of their assigned caseload,” Gingo added. “Mentors meet with students as frequently as they determine necessary and communicate with the students' teachers, administrator, and counselor to monitor progress and adjust any interventions as necessary. It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes it takes a village to get them across the graduation stage, too.”