• Community name:  Pascagoula School District
  • Website:  http://www.psd.ms/
  • Population:  42,359
  • Graduation rate76.0%
  • Youth poverty rate:  77.0%

Overview

Pascagoula School District, a third-time 100 Best winner, was recognized again for its commitment to youth through educational programs, family engagement and healthy living resources. The district’s focus on education includes the award-winning Destination Graduation! program that focuses on ensuring more students graduate on-time by providing access to more resources like tutoring, wellness and alternative education pathways. The district’s teen pregnancy program, Early Beginnings, which is part of Destination Graduation!, addresses the dropout crisis for pregnant high school girls with a program that rewards their involvement in parenting classes with baby supplies, including diapers and toys. The program’s success is evident in the 100 percent graduation rate for its participants. For young children, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library targets reading skills by giving every child up to age five a free book every month. Additionally, to help encourage family engagement, the Family Interactive Center provides a place for parents and children to participate in hands-on activities where they learn and play together. The Pascagoula community addresses healthy living through programs like Volunteers in Medicine which provide free medical care to low income families. In addition, every local school requires students to participate in 150 minutes of exercise each week.

Community Programs

  • Volunteers in Medicine is a group of retired doctors who help families needing medical attention free of charge.
  • Destination Graduation! is a dropout prevention plan that provides tutoring and guidance for all students to support on-time graduation.
  • GEAR UP is a program that provides tutoring and mentoring to entire grades of students to help them prepare for college and stay on track for graduation.
  • The Family Interactive Center is a collaboration between the school district, non-profit organizations, government agencies and businesses that provides hands-on learning for children and their families.
  • The Dolly Parton Imagination Library provides a free book each month to every child up to age five to help expand their vocabulary and build literacy skills.

Youth Voices

“Growing up in this school district has helped mold me into the young adult that I am today. Exploding with cultural diversity, motivation, and an undeniable educational experience, the Pascagoula School District offers an extremely valuable opportunity to each and every student.”

– Sydney

“Opportunities abound at Pascagoula High School, and I have been blessed to take part in many of them. These opportunities have coalesced to form a rewarding high school experience.”

– Samantha