Bellevue class of 2010 with perfect graduation rate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bellevue class of 2010 with perfect graduation rate

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BELLEVUE (KWWL) -

BELLEVUE (KWWL) Iowa high schoolers are sticking it out when it comes to graduating. A new study from the Iowa Department of Education shows that Iowa's class of 2010 saw an increase in graduation rates over previous years.

All but one subgroup saw an increase, with significant increases for English language learners and Hispanic students. Dozens of schools even had a perfect graduation rate including the Bellevue School District.

Last year all 62 seniors in the class of 2010 graduated, giving the school a 100 percent rate.

Principal Tom Meyer credits that kind of success to two things: technology and a new approach to teaching.

"Not having to worry about when am I gonna be able to print this off, who's friends house am I gonna go over to work on this project," Bellevue High School senior Cassie Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen and classmate, Marissa Herrig are a few months away from becoming a growing statistic.

"I'm gonna go to University of Wisconsin-Platteville and studying forensics," Herrig said.

"I'm going to UNI for health promotions," Jorgensen said.

They're about to graduate from high school, following a class of 2010, that saw a 100 percent graduation rate.

"We have a lot of different people coming in with a lot of different interests," Principal Meyer said.

Meyer attributes the high graduation rate to a new approach to teaching.

"One thing we really emphasize is rigger and relevance. Having the rigger for kids, you have to work hard to learn something but also the relevance. What is it that I am learning and how is it valuable," Meyer said.

Meyer credits success to resources like the schools 1-to-1 laptop program, which equips each junior and senior student with their own personal computer.

"I use it to take notes in class because it's a lot easier to write them down and then you have them with you all the time and to take home with you. I also use it to e-mail my teachers and to see what I'm missing," Herrig said.

"I'm taking an online class and I can talk to my professors whenever I want and I can also talk to my teachers here in school," Jorgensen said.

Teachers are also appointed to serve as mentors for students.

"To assist them with their classes, kind of keep them on track with where they are going, to monitor their grades along the way. I think that's a big part of our students success," Meyer said.

And it's success that's showing across the state. From 2009 to 2010 graduation rates increased 1.5 percent. It's a rise that comes from giving students access to more tools of success.

"That's what it's about, applying their learning in their own words. Anyone can take a textbook and copy word for word but you have to be able to apply that," Meyer said.

And Bellevue is not alone. There were 40 Iowa schools with a perfect graduation rate last year.

Eight right here in Eastern Iowa, including Denver, Edgewood-Colesburg, Keota, Tri-County, Tripoli, Turkey Valley and Wapsie Valley school districts.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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