CPS: Focus on freshmen improves grad rate

December 4, 2009 (CHICAGO) They revealed new information at Harper High School and talked with students as well.

The number of students on their way to graduating citywide is up 4 1/2 percentage points this year.

Officials say the improvement is even better at Harper. The principal credits students, teachers and other administrators for turning the school around.

"As a leader, if you come into a building and students know you care about them, that you're concerned about them and having conversations with them and you're visible and you're not sitting in your office, it's not hard to do," said Principal Kenyatta Stansberry-Butler.

Schools CEO Ron Huberman says a focus on freshmen continues. He believes if they have success in their first year of high school it improves their chances of graduating dramatically.

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