October 25, 2021 Partners Advancing Student Success (PASS) recently released its end of year report for the 2020-2021 school year. Despite the continued impact of COVID-19, the organization continued to serve students at the highest level possible, with a 98 percent graduation rate among served students.
Originally founded in 2012 as Communities in Schools of Carroll County, PASS is a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving student success by providing support and services to high school students. The organization aims to increase graduation rates and keep students on track to finish high school. PASS advocates. within the schools, work to ensure students have access to needed support and services.
During the 2020-2021 school year, PASS served 215 students in the Carroll County and Carrollton City school systems on a case level basis that includes providing support and services catered to the individual student’s specific needs. Of those students, the promotion rate was 77.6% and the graduation rate for seniors was 98%.
Alongside these case level services, PASS also supported local students through more than 11,000 Tier I services, which include care closets, mock interview days, behavior and attendance reward programs, industry tours and more. 490 students were served through Tier II services, which include mentoring, counseling and empowerment groups, tutoring and more. In addition, PASS served more than 2,600 parents through direct and indirect services.
“I am proud of the numbers we saw in the 2020-2021 report, but, even more so, the progress and the stories of the students that lie behind these numbers,” said Cynthia Langley, executive director for PASS. “Measuring our efforts allows us to identify areas for continued improvement and growth while celebrating our successes. PASS is doing meaningful work, and we are incredibly thankful for the support of those who make our efforts possible.”
“Our efforts as an organization are far-reaching, but one of the most powerful stories that stands out to me from last year is a student that we supported by providing new clothes,” said Anna Haas, PASS advocate. “Most of the clothes in our clothing closet were too small for her, but because of the support from the community, we were able to give her and three other students the opportunity to shop for new clothes that were their size. The major confidence and self-esteem boost that this small act of service provided went a long way for those individuals, and I am so proud that we were able to share that moment with them.”
Local school system leaders also remarked on the value of their partnership with PASS and the impact the work of the organization has on the lives of students. “We have a large population of students with support needs beyond the classroom which, we know, ultimately impact their academic success,” said Dr. Mark Albertus, Carrollton City Schools superintendent. “The challenge is these needs are varied and wide, making it difficult for our guidance counselors and other district support personnel to adequately address them to fidelity. That is where PASS comes in – this additional support specifically focused on the social and personal challenges our students face alleviates a lot of pressure, allowing them to thrive and push forward to a brighter future.”
“The dedicated advocates from PASS support our district’s commitment to positively changing lives in countless ways,” said Dr. Jessica Ainsworth, Carroll County Schools assistant superintendent for school performance. “Our partnership equips our students with valuable resources that in-turn enable our students to focus on their academic goals for a successful future.”
The work of PASS is made possible by grants and the support of community partners. Since 2019, PASS has hosted Ladies Night Out as its signature event to raise awareness and funds for the organization and to provide a night of fashion and fun for the west Georgia area. The event typically features a fashion show from local boutiques, auction items, an opportunity to sip-and-shop, red carpet photos and much more. The 2021 event was held in June and marked a record year, with nearly $80,000 raised in support of the organization’s efforts.
To learn more about PASS and its mission to serve local students, visit passwestga.org or follow Partners Advancing Student Success on Facebook and Instagram. For more information about how to donate and further the mission of PASS, visit passwestga.org/donate.