School dropout rate drops – again

Published 1:39 pm Thursday, March 19, 2015

The high school dropout rate for Davie County Schools dropped in 2013-14 for the fourth year in a row.

The 2013-14 Consolidated Data Report, including data on dropouts and school violence and discipline, was presented to the NC State Boar1d of Education last week.

For Davie County Schools, the number of high school dropouts in the past four years has decreased 38 percent: from 81 in 2010-11 to 50 in 2013-14. Dropout rates across the entire state dropped.

The rate has a direct impact on the four-year cohort graduation rate, but is a different measure. The cohort graduation rate follows a group of students and reports the percentage that graduate in four years, whereas the dropout rate shows the number of students that drop out of school in any grade in one year’s time.

Davie County Schools had a 87.6 percent four-year cohort graduation rate in 2013-14.  Dropout reasons varied, with lack of student engagement and choosing to enroll in a GED or Adult High School program remaining the top two reasons in 2013-14.

More than half of the students who dropped out were in the 11th grade.

“Our staff continues to strive to reduce the number of dropouts, because one is too many,” said, Dr. Darrin Hartness, superintendent. “We have seen a positive trend over the past several years with fewer and fewer students choosing to drop out of school. It is encouraging to see this trend and an indication that the many opportunities offered and the quality of instruction is engaging students and preparing them for college or a career after graduation.

“Congratulations to our staff and community for providing the numerous supports that have resulted in a lower dropout rate.”

The Consolidated Data Report includes The Annual Report of School Crime and Violence and the Annual report of Suspensions and Expulsions.  The Annual Report of School Crime and Violence examines the 16 reportable criminal offenses as defined by law.

There were six schools in Davie County that reported no criminal offenses in 2013-14. The rate in Davie County Schools for grades 9-13 was 10.94 acts per 1,000 students.

Possession of alcohol or other illegal substances comprised the majority of criminal offenses reported both in the district and across the state.

The Annual Report of Suspensions and Expulsions reports on long-term suspensions, short-term suspensions, and expulsions. Short-term suspensions are 10 or fewer days in length. Long-term suspensions are from 11 days up to the remainder of the school year, and an expulsion is when a student cannot return to their home school or any other school in the district.

There were three long-term suspensions reported in Davie County Schools last year, and zero expulsions.

The number of short-term suspensions in all grades dropped from 284 to 241, a decrease of 15 percent. The state rate for short-term suspensions in grades 9-13 was 19.1 per 100 students, while in Davie County it was much lower at 5.52 per 100 students.

Erin Foil, director of accountability and student information said: “The dropout rate, school crime and violence, and suspension rates are often related. By examining these measures together, better conclusions can be reached and possible solutions presented.

“In particular, the increase in our cohort graduation rate is related to the decrease in the number of dropouts,” she said.