high school

These Immigrants Came For A Better Education. Now, They'll Never Graduate High School.

May 16, 2018
Lena Jackson

They come fleeing gang violence and repressive regimes. They come after hurricanes and earthquakes. They come in search of work and an education.

But in Miami-Dade County, a place built by the aspirations of newcomers, hundreds of immigrant teens will never graduate from high school.

MSD Prom
Courtesy of DJ Ivanco / WLRN

Juniors and seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School marked a high school milestone this weekend: Prom.

Everything for the students' night, like the ballroom at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, the flowers and the decorations, were provided by local businesses and Stoneman Douglas alumni for free or at cost. 

Mike Sipes Entertainment was one of the companies that reached out to help. The Pompano Beach business donated music and DJ services to the students to show support.

The week before winter break, snow is piled up around St. Louis Park High School, a low-slung, rambling brick complex in suburban Minneapolis. And more snow is falling.

This is a big, diverse school with proud roots. Alumni include Joel and Ethan Coen, who shot their semiautobiographical 2009 drama, A Serious Man, in this area, once a Jewish enclave, which today has immigrants from all over the world.

broward county sheriff's deputy
Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

Therapy horses and puppies, as well as law enforcement officers and members of the community, gathered around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday morning to welcome students on their first day back since the shooting that killed 17 students and faculty two weeks earlier.

“Welcome back. How are you feeling?” Deputy Bernard Hilson asked, as he hugged students before they crossed the street to enter the school.

Students responded that they felt better and thanked him for being there.

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

Student survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland organized a protest for gun reform outside the Biergarten Restaurant in Boca Raton Thursday morning. It was one of several demonstrations around the country targeting politicians who have accepted donations from the NRA.

On Tuesday, Florida House leaders proposed a higher-education budget that includes cuts prompting state universities and colleges to spend money from their reserve funds. WLRN’s education reporter, Jessica Bakeman, joined the program. She is in Tallahassee covering the legislative session.

Unlike other state agencies, colleges and universities do not need to send their leftover general revenue back to the state treasury each year. The House argues that schools keep those dollars and as a result funds have grown, explained Bakeman.

Nadege Green / WLRN

A group of students at Miami Norland Senior High in Miami Gardens spent part of their freshman year writing about their lives in poems and short stories.

The loss of a parent, struggling with low self-esteem, racism and homelessness are among the central themes in the narratives they penned about themselves.

Now sophomores, some of their works are collected in a new self-published book, “iRead, iThink, iWrite.”

When 18-year-old Hannah Vanderkooy feels extremely tired or anxious, she heads to a spacelike capsule for a nap — during school. Like many teens struggling to get good grades and maybe even a college scholarship, Vanderkooy doesn't get enough sleep.

And she's not alone. Various studies indicate that chronically sleepy and stressed-out teenagers might be the new normal among U.S. adolescents who are competing for grades, colleges and, eventually, jobs.

Priscila Serrano / WLRN

As many high schools seniors are busy preparing for college, five students from two South Florida schools are devoting their time to delivering a sensitive, yet important message.

The high school graduation rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 83 percent in the 2014-2015 school year, President Obama announced today, marking the fifth straight record-setting year.

Achievement gaps have narrowed even as all boats have risen. Graduation rates range from 90 percent for students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 64 percent for students with disabilities.

Sleepless In High School: Why Does The Bell Ring So Early?

Aug 21, 2016

  Anya Contreras’ ninth grade algebra class started first thing in the morning, right around 7:30. “I’m not a math person, and I’m not a morning person either,” Contreras says, so she had a little routine to get through class. When she heard the teacher’s voice getting muffled, “I knew he was facing toward the board,” Contreras says. So she would close her eyes, let her head rest against the wall…and get a few seconds of precious sleep.

I step up to the counter at Willy's Cafe at Willamette High School in Eugene, Ore., and order a latte.

There's a powerful scent of fresh coffee in the air, and a group of juniors and seniors hover over a large espresso machine.

Carrie Gilbert, 17, shows how it's done: "You're going to want to steam the milk first," she explains. "Then once you have the coffee, dump it in and use the rest of the milk to fill the cup."

She hands over my order. Not bad.

Mike Stocker

About 21 minutes into the documentary “Sweet Dillard,” the camera captures a moment of high drama in the band room of Fort Lauderdale’s Dillard High School. Christopher Dorsey, the school’s music teacher, checks his cell phone and says calmly, “We’ve been invited back to Ellington.”

A cheer goes up from the kids in the band. Because “Ellington” is the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, an annual high school jazz festival and competition that takes place at New York City’s Lincoln Center.

Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Studies a $1.45 million grant to fund a health clinic at Miami Northwestern Senior High (MNW).

The Liberty City-based campus will begin providing family and pediatric care services in November. These will include preventative care, vaccines, flu shots, physical therapy, speech therapy and athletic training.

Courtesy Kangie West

Seventeen-year-old Jade Gordon graduated from high school last week. But she’ll have another graduation of sorts.

Gordon, along with her longtime friends Nicole Zizi and Kangie West, will launch their new art collective’s first event, called #Conceptual.

The teenagers wanted to create a feminist space that empowers women artists. The collective’s name says it all: the Conceptual Vaginas.

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