According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), in its latest report of dropout counts and rates, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has the lowest dropout rate among North Carolina’s 115 school districts.
The 2012-13 data shows that, at 0.4 percent, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools had its lowest rate ever. The total number of dropouts was 23. Among those, 19 were male students versus four female, and 13 were Hispanic while all other racial subgroups had less than five.
“We are very pleased that our dropout rate is the lowest in North Carolina,” said Dr. Magda Parvey, assistant superintendent of instructional services. “However, we still had 23 students drop out – and that’s 23 too many.”
The school district has made concentrated efforts not only to ensure students graduate, but to prepare students for all future endeavors. Programs like the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocates, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Institute for Learning, Career Academies, Responsiveness to Instruction (RtI) and the Youth Leadership Institute continue to support students and foster increased achievement.
“The key to a successful educational experience is quality classroom instruction,” said Superintendent Tom Forcella. “We have a long way to go, but we are encouraged by the progress noticed in our student success rates.”
Many in the community are concerned that continued progress may be challenged by the potential impact of a shortfall of state and local funding.
“Success comes at a price,” said Jamezetta Bedford, chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education. “We have full confidence in our elected officials to support the work of our schools and to stand up for our children and teachers at every opportunity.”
The NCDPI report contains data from the 2012-13 school year and reflects another record low for the state as well. Last school year, 2.45 percent of North Carolina high school students dropped out of school, which was an 18.6 percent decrease from the previous year’s record low of 3.01 percent.
Data from the State shows:
- the annual high school dropout rate decreased from 3.01 percent to 2.45 percent for 2012-13 (18.6percent decrease);
- a total of 11,049 high school students dropped out in 2012-13 as compared to 13,488 in 2011-12 (18.1 percent 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 percent compared to 2.45 percent in 2012-13;
- there were dropout count decreases in 77.4 percent (89 of 115) of school districts, which represents a 9 percent 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 percent of reported dropouts, which was up from the 60.3 percent reported last year; and
- attendance issues were again the reason most often cited for dropping out, accounting for 45.9 percent 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.
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