"Alternative times, for instance some students maybe they would be able to complete if they had school from 3 to 5:30 in the evening, and that would eliminate some of the discipline issues perhaps that student might be having," Shafer said. "There's a wide latitude in how students might reach graduation instead of dropping out."
Tupper Lake School Superintendent Seth McGowan said the graduation rate isn't measured by the number of kids in their senior year that graduate.
"You start with the incoming freshman class," he said. "The goal is to see how many of those students make it through high school to graduation."
McGowan also stressed the importance of community involvement as it pertains to the Graduation Rate Initiative. More than 65 community agencies and organizations in the area have committed to the program.
"It really does coincide nicely with our mission for our district which is that the district is in partnership with the community and home to help each student achieve academic and personal excellence," he said.
Districts participating with BOCES in the initiative include Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Long Lake, Malone, St. Regis Falls and Salmon River.