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West Charlotte High School student says low performing schools don’t define student potential

Making the Grade: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has 42 low-performing schools with either a D or F performance summary, but one student says she’s not letting it stop her potential.
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 4:01 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has 42 low-performing schools with either a D or F performance summary, but one student says she’s not letting it stop her potential.

In August, we introduced you to West Charlotte High School sophomore Jani Hendon.

Last school year she didn’t do as well as she wanted to on her math EOC exams while learning remotely.

“COVID made a huge difference and my scores didn’t reflect the best I could’ve done,” she said.

Fast forward two months later, Hendon is in tutoring twice a week and is striving to maintain a high-grade point average.

“I’ve done well on two of the tests that I have for math and tutoring has helped me better perform and sense I have an EOC for Math 3 I need more practice,” she said.

West Charlotte High School is one of the more than 40 low-performing schools. WCHS received a D during the 2019-2020 school year. Hendon says students are not a reflection of the school’s performance average.

“I don’t think you can really judge how we are and how we perform. Some people aren’t good test takers and you never know someone’s struggle at home so I don’t think you can really base us off of our test scores or anything,” she said.

Last month CMS announced it would be devoting more than $50 million to provide extra teaching and support for the low-performing schools.

Hendon says she’s already in tutoring and thinks more mental health resources will help students both in and out of the classroom.

“Adding a lot of mental health things to our school would be helpful because a lot of kids don’t perform well because of their mental health,” Hendon said.

CMS does have time and staff devoted to social-emotional learning including school-based health centers at 130 schools.

Aside from her classes, Hendon wants to go to Clemson University to be a surgeon. She comes from a family of medical professionals and says she wants to continue the tradition while building her own legacy.

“I hope that I will inspire a lot more people that are like me, African Americans, to see more of us in that type of field,” she said.

Hendon is also involved in Meck Ed, an organization dedicated to helping students get internships and shadowing experience with medical companies. She is also involved in HOSA, a student organization dedicated to health care professions.

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