The sounds of applause rang through the air as a young man signed papers that would once again make him a high school student in the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District.

“It felt good to have everyone clapping for me, because I knew everyone was enthused about getting me to go back to school,” said Luis Caire, a re-entering high school student. “There is a change in my attitude and momentum. I’m ready to start school again and graduate.”

HCISD hosted its third annual Connect to Success Walk on Sept. 14. The purpose of the event was to encourage high school students, who did not return to school this year, to register back into the school system to get on track for a high school diploma.

“It’s just as it sounds, an opportunity to connect with our students with success,” said Dr. Alicia Noyola, principal at Vela Middle School. “Bringing students back into our school system provides them with the benefits that come with having an education.”

Teams were organized to visit the homes of each individual in order to discuss graduation strategy and inform the families about their options.

“We knock on their doors and try to convince them to comeback, because we have options for every student,” said Dr. Jose Luis Cavazos, director of parental involvement and dropout prevention. “ With the event today, we offer them support and a place where they can immediately register.”

The day saw multiple interactions between the young adults, parents and school district representatives. Students arrived shortly after their visits to enroll back into the district. Others can also re-register through the HCISD Intake Center, located at 905 E. Tyler Ave.

“Today went very well. We had a number of students come in to re-register,” said Dr. Cavazos. “Every student we get to come back to our campuses’ moves us closer to our goal to see all of our students graduate.”

HCISD community members were dedicated throughout the day to bringing individuals in to complete their high school education. Members even went so far as to offer their vehicle to provide cohorts transportation to and from enrollment.

The ultimate charge of the Connect to Success walk, and other related initiatives, is to provide students the opportunity to graduate. But getting students to that point is an ongoing process, said HCISD Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores.

“It’s about doing anything we can do help our students graduate,” said Dr. Flores. “We will continue to host initiatives like the Connect to Success walk, because we want every one of our students to complete their high school education. We want them to build a foundation for a successful future.”

In 2011, a total of 135 cohorts re-registered at HCISD after not returning to high school that year.

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