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Wausau School District – Wausau Freshstart Partnership 3/2/10 – Graduation Summit.

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Wausau School District enhanced the relationship between an at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomafor students successfully completing an HSED through a school-sponsored program.

  • Benefits:

    • Provides unique incentive

    • Coupled with monies and GI Bill like education stipend, this diploma provides access to future options that may otherwise be impossible like certain branches of the military, certain employment opportunities, and future educational pursuits including four year degrees

    • Provides accurate data for DPI concerning high school completions

    • Since April 2004 policy change, 38 out of 39 district students have graduated from Wausau Freshstart, 23 were minority students and 7 were students with disabilities. [Side note: The one that didn’t graduate I insured completed a GED while incarcerated. He returned after his stint in jail and we still talk occasionally at the work site or new graduation ceremonies.]

    • Sense of accomplishment/achievement of a recognized school-sponsored program.

      • This is key! These students, while pursuing an educational path or making past bad choices we may not agree with personally, have achieved a lot and often have overcome great odds to earn and do what the school district has approved for them to be doing.


Operation freshstart graduates april 2004 present
OPERATION FRESHSTART GRADUATES at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaApril 2004-Present

  • 38 of the 39 students enrolled have graduated [97.4%]

  • 23 of the 39 students graduated since 2004 have been minority students [59%]

  • 7 of the 39 students enrolled have had a disability [18%]


Drop out rate wausau west students compared to prior years
DROP OUT RATE at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaWausau West Students Compared to Prior Years


Drop out rate wausau students compared to prior years
DROP OUT RATE at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaWausau Students Compared to Prior Years


2007 08 drop out rate wausau students compared to state summary
2007-08 DROP OUT RATE at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaWausau Students Compared to State Summary


High school completion rates regular diploma wausau west students compared to prior years
HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION RATES at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaREGULAR DIPLOMAWausau West Students Compared to Prior Years


High school completion rates regular diploma all wausau students compared to prior years
HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION RATES at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaREGULAR DIPLOMAAll Wausau Students Compared to Prior Years


2007-08 HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION RATES at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diplomaREGULAR DIPLOMAWausau West Students Compared to District/State High Schools


Wausau freshstart conclusion
Wausau Freshstart - Conclusion at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diploma

  • As good as Wausau Freshstart is (and they are great!) this type of continued success is only possible through the shared responsibility between multiple Wausau School District programs, the students/families, and school personnel like myself. [How bad do you want it? How much are you willing to do house-to-house if necessary to keep connections and relationships that could possibly be the difference between students being high school drop outs or not?]


Wausau freshstart conclusion1
Wausau Freshstart - Conclusion at-risk student population and Operation Freshstart by offering a high school diploma

  • With a 30 trial period at the out-set of a student’s 900 hour commitment to Wausau Freshstart, it is critical that someone [at Wausau West it’s me; at Wausau East it would be Associate Principal Jeff Lindell] be responsible for every single student who does and does not make it in this and all at-risk programs.

    • Our goal is zero dropouts! We haven’t achieved that in my almost seven years in the Wausau School District but going door-to-door when necessary and providing a myriad of educational choices – maybe Freshstart, maybe a straight HSED, maybe some work-related program but EVERY student at-risk of being a drop out must be accounted for, talked to, built relationships with ….


Wausau school district wausau freshstart partnership final comments
Wausau School District-Wausau Freshstart Partnership [Final Comments]

  • Every student at-risk according to the state definition is accounted for through a relationship-building developed over time by Freshstart staff, the family, and or school personnel like myself.

    • This is key to understanding that the majority of our at-risk students don’t graduate through Wausau Freshstart but a mix of other programs geared specifically for at-risk students. Not all students are going to succeed in a work environment where you build a house all year and get paid to do so but also focus on your school work on a daily basis. Those that can work in this environment find much success as the numbers indicate at Wausau Freshstart.

    • Superintendent Murley and the School Board should be congratulated for their continued financial support of Wausau Freshstart and the number of other programs available for those students specifically at-risk of being high school drop outs.


Contact information
Contact Information Comments]

David Muñoz

Associate Principal of Pupil Services

Wausau West High School

[email protected]

Phone 715–261-0862


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