PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Local public school districts are finishing up the school year with high school graduation Friday and Saturday.
The good news is there are more students who are walking across the stage now than in previous years.
Friday morning, J.H. Rose High School students in Greenville, practiced for their big day at Minges Coliseum.
It's a day students say they've been taught to strive for with the motto "Meet me at Minges", which is a way to let students know at a young age they're expected to graduate from high school.
More than 1,600 of them will turn their tassels.
In Pitt County Schools, from the 2014-2015 school year to the 2015-2016 school year, they had a 23-percent decrease in dropouts.
In the past three years, they've had the largest decrease in the dropout rate in the state.
"Our dropout cohort rate and our dropout rate are the best they've ever been for Pitt County Schools. We are thrilled to have that. We have so many of our students who are finishing with a high school diploma, it opens up so many more doors for them and the community benefits from that," says Travis Lewis with Pitt County Schools.
J.H. Rose's graduation is at 6 p.m. Friday and then graduations begin again Saturday at 9 a.m.