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Chatham County schools' drop out rate increased slightly last year

Posted Saturday, February 5, 2005

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The North Carolina Department of Instruction (NCDPI) released annual high school dropout rate data for North Carolina the first week of February. The statistics are from the 2003-04 school year. State numbers show that 3.29 percent of students in grades seven through twelve and 4.86 percent in grades nine through twelve dropped out of school in that year.

These rates represent slight increases over the data for 2002-03 when the dropout rate was 3.23 percent for grades seven through twelve and 4.78 percent for grades nine through twelve. The overall trendline since 1988-89 has been positive with a smaller percentage of students dropping out over time. In 1988-89, the first year of an actual counted dropout rate rather than an estimated one, the rate was 4.85 percent for grades seven through twelve and 6.66 percent for grades nine through twelve. The 2003-04 dropout rates represent 20,817 instances of students' dropping out in grades seven through twelve. The number for grades nine through twelve was 20,035.

In Chatham County Schools the 2003-2004 dropout rate for students in grades nine through twelve was 5.25. The rate followed the state trend for the year of slightly increasing. In the previous three school years the rate had declined.

In Chatham, 126 students dropped out, up from 107 in 2002-03.

“Each year every effort is made to impress upon our students the importance of staying in school. Our building level administrators, teachers, counselors, and social workers work diligently at employing creative ideas for providing student success in the classroom which is important in keeping students connected and realizing the importance of getting a quality education. Chatham County Schools realizes that working at dropout prevention is an ongoing effort and that keeping students with us is everyone's job”, said Mary Harris, who coordinates dropout prevention in Chatham County Schools.

 
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