Drops Reign Over Futures

Oxnard High School speaks out about an unfortunate truth


Juan Quero

Oxnard High School students are required to balance their academics to ensure graduation.

Aime Cano and Mayra Sanchez

“Young people often don’t make plans beyond tomorrow,” said Oxnard High School Migrant and Law education counselor Mr. Emigdio Cordova.

“As adults, it is our job to educate and enlighten our students to look at options beyond tomorrow and look at five years from now, what kind of career they want to have. They, as students, must take the initiative to find out how they can get there,” said Mr. Cordova.

Some students see going to school five days out of the week as an unwanted obligation. What sets some of them apart from others is that the ones still attending school have goals in mind, such as graduating.

OHS Advancement Via Individual Determination (A.V.I.D.) Coordinator Ms. Wendy Henchy said that she would like the dropout rate to “decrease…we’re getting better at systems that work to support our students.”

OHS principal Dr. Eric Riegert has been noticing great changes in students’ attitude towards school. He said, “It seems like kids are a little more engaged now. I think as teachers we are doing a good job in the classroom with our students. At the same time, we see students being very serious about school. If we look at our dropout rates, they have decreased in the last four or five years.”

It would be in the educator’s interest to understand the reason students drop out of high school. Sometimes the reasons are not always under the students’ control. “I think they lose hope, and they have so many life obstacles in their way. The lack of positive self-esteem is also a contributing factor to the dropout rate,” Ms. Henchy said. “I think they sometimes just don’t believe in themselves or they have so many other pressing responsibilities that an education is the least of their worries.”

Responsibility is a key factor for educational success. According to Dr. Riegert, “Kids need to take responsibility for their education. Sometimes they do have situations at home that get in the way of it, but every case is different, and there is never one solution. The biggest role goes out to the adults. As adults, we need to realize that a failure grade is unacceptable now. A kid must want to pass to get a grade, and the teacher also has to want that kid to pass.”