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Posted Saturday, May 3, 2014
Pittsboro, NC - For the fifth year in a row, Chatham County Schools saw a decline in the dropout rate. In a new report from the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) presented to State Board of Education members at their monthly meeting, the 2012-2013 Consolidated Data Report demonstrated that dropout rates across the state fell to record lows. The state dropout rate for 2012-2013 was 2.45%, with Chatham County Schools coming in even lower at 2.23%. This demonstrates a reduction of 1.59% from the previous year. Some surrounding district rates were: Lee County Schools 3.14%; Orange County Schools 2.28%; Durham County Schools 3.21%; Randolph County Schools 2.41%.
The annual dropout rate identifies the number and percentage of students who drop out during one year’s time. The Strategic Plan for Chatham County Schools states the elimination of any dropout rate as a priority. The school district has enacted several initiatives to keep students engaged and enrolled in public school. The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program is present in the traditional high schools and serves as a means of academic and social support for participating students. SAGE Academy offers a 22-credit diploma for students. Additionally, high schools have added supplementary time to the school day to provide opportunities for academic tutoring and extracurricular participation.
According to Superintendent Jordan, “The declining dropout rate for Chatham County Schools effectively demonstrates the efforts of our teachers and staff to encourage each student to find meaningful engagement with the curriculum. We recognize that education must be personalized so that we can nurture and expect high achievement from all students in the district. Our schools provide a wealth of opportunity to explore career and academic interests tailored to maximize student success. I am proud of our students and our employees for their combined efforts to live our mission statement to ‘graduate globally competitive, well-rounded students by providing a rigorous and relevant curriculum in an effective, safe, and nurturing learning environment”.
Key findings of the 2012-13 Consolidated Data Report show that:
· The annual high school dropout rate decreased from 3.01 percent to 2.45 percent for 2012-13 (18.6 % decrease).
· A total of 11,049 high school students dropped out in 2012-13 as compared to 13,488 in 2011-12 (18.1 % decrease).
· Both the number of high school dropouts and the high school dropout rate have been cut in half over the last five years. There were 22,434 North Carolina high school dropouts reported in 2007-08 compared to 11,049 in 2012-13. Also, in 2007-08, the high school dropout rate was 4.97 % compared to 2.45 % in 2012-13.
· There were dropout count decreases in 77.4 % (89 of 115) of school districts, which represents a 9 % improvement from 2011-12 when 81 of 115 school districts reported dropout count decreases.
· The number of high school students dropping out decreased at all grade levels and for all ethnic groups.
· Males accounted for 61.5 % of reported dropouts, which was up from the 60.3 % reported last year.
· Attendance issues were again the reason most often cited for dropping out, accounting for 45.9 % of all dropouts. For the third year in a row, there was a decrease in the number of students reporting “Enrollment in a Community College” as the reason for dropping out.
The report also details declining rates of school crime and violence throughout the state. The full report can be found at www.ncpublicschools.org.