|Updated: 8/14/2012 9:39 pm
||Published: 8/14/2012 8:05 pm
The bell will ring at McLain in less than a week. By then, teachers hope plenty of classrooms will fill with students.
But numbers show not every student is enthusiastic about being in school.
"Our attendance last year was at 76 percent,” said principal Darius Kirk. “Most high schools are at 96.”
Kirk is in his first year as principal at McLain. He wants to change how McLain compares to the other high schools in Tulsa Public Schools.
"One of the things I want to do is get more parental engagement,” said Kirk.
He also wants his staff be more involved by going to students.
"I'm willing to do whatever it takes,” said Kirk.
McLain's report card: On a scale that goes to 100 in subjects like biology, history, and geometry, students scored near the bottom. They scored under 50 percent in several subjects. In Algebra Two, only 27 percent of students passed the state Core Curriculum test last year.
Kirk believes student input could fix the problem.
"This is their school,” said Kirk. “We want to get their input on what their school should look like."
He’s giving them their say through something new: Speak-Out Sessions.
"I like the fact that we get to speak out and express our feelings," said student Shaa McFayden.
McFayden will be a senior next week.
"If we get to say what we want to do and we actually get to do it, it's going to make us actually want to do it," said Mcayden.
"If they actually have ownership, they will actually have a vested interest in the school," said Kirk.
They’ll also have interest in themselves. That's the lesson Kirk really hopes they learn.
The Speak-Out Session will take place at McLain on Friday Aug. 17, and the public is invited. It will run from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.
McLain's principal said the graduation rate was 95 percent last school year, and 83 percent of students went on to college.