The high school dropout rate in Richmond County decreased for the 2012-2013 school year from the previous year.
The North Carolina Department of Instruction released a new report on grades nine through 13, students from Early Colleges were included, that was presented to the State Board of Education this week. According to the 2012 Consolidated Data Report, the county’s dropout rate fell from 3.59 percent to 2.47 percent.The rate came from both public and charter schools.
There were a total of 2,143 students enrolled at Richmond Senior High School, the Ninth Grade Academy and Richmond Early College in 2011-2012. There were 2,138 students enrolled in 2012-2013. A total of 60 high school students dropped out in the 2012-2013 school year. That is 28 fewer students than the previous 2011-2012 school year, or a 31.8 percent drop in the number of students in a year-to-year comparison. That is the lowest the number has been in the last five years. In the 2008-2009 school year the dropout percentage was at 3.28 percent.
Superintendent George Norris credited the improvement to the “hard work by Richmond County educators.”
“All of our teachers, elementary, middle, and high school, have worked diligently to improve classroom instruction and increase student engagement,” Norris said in a statement emailed to The Daily Journal
According to the report, Richmond County is right there with the state numbers. The state reported a 2.45 percent dropout rate. This is an 18.6 percent decrease from the previous year’s rate at 3.01 percent. A total of 13,488 students dropped out in the 2011-2012 school year. That number is down to 11,049 for the 2012-2013 school year. This is an extreme drop from the 20,035 students that dropped-out in the 2003-2004 school year.
“We feel that the decrease is the result of many initiatives including Richmond Early College, the Ninth Grade Academy, increased Career and Technical course offerings, our ever-growing partnership with Richmond Community College, Leak Street High School, the credit recovery program at Richmond Senior High School and others,” Norris said.
Dropout rates decreased 77.4 percent in the state’s public school systems or in 89 of the state’s 115 systems. According to the report, in 2012-2013, students dropped out most frequently at grade 10, 29.3 percent, followed by grade 9, 27.7 percent, grade 11, 24.3 percent, and grade 12, 16.9 percent.
The report said that all ethnic groups contributed to the decrease in the number and that rates for all ethnic groups declined. Males made up the majority, or 61.5 percent, of those that dropped out in the 2012-2013 school year. In Richmond County, males made up 57 percent of dropouts. A total of 30 white, 11 African American, eight American Indian and nine Hispanics in the county dropped out in 2012-2013.
“Although we are pleased with our progress, there is much work to be done to ensure all students graduate career and college-ready,” Norris said.
According to the report, the main cause for dropouts is attendance. A total of 45.9 percent of students dropped out due to attendance. Attendance is defined as students who dropout due to excessive absences. The percentage of those students dropping out due to this is up by 4.4 percent. The other two main causes for dropouts is enrolling in a community college, 17.6 percent, and for unknown reasons, 5.2 percent.