2010 drop out rate goes down

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

The dropout rate at two Suffolk Public Schools has gone down since preliminary reports released earlier this summer.

According to reports issued last week from the Virginia Department of Education, the on-time completion rate for Suffolk Public Schools in 2009-10 is 83.76. The dropout rate has been adjusted to 12.07 percent. This includes students whose completion has been unconfirmed.

September records reported that nearly 13 percent of Suffolk students who were freshmen in the 2006-07 school year were dropouts and that the school’s on-time completion rate was 82.99 percent.

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School administrators were able to confirm that five students from King’s Fork High School and four students from Nansemond River High School actually graduated, received GEDs or certificates of completion. The nine were previously labeled as dropouts. All unconfirmed graduations are counted as dropouts unless their graduation is verified.

“Because we live in such a transient area and have such a high military population, students are often pulled from school and records aren’t all properly filed,” said Kevin Alston, assistant superintendent for Suffolk Public Schools.

Administrators have even gotten creative to find the whereabouts and status of students.

For example, Alston located one student’s parents by using Facebook. He discovered the military family had moved to Naples, Italy, and the student had completed high school there.

There is one student whose GED has been verified but was not reported in time to be counted in the November update.

Ten students are still “in limbo,” according to Alston.

The dropout rate at King’s Fork High School was adjusted to 16.88 percent and Nansemond River High School’s drop out rate was adjusted to 6.82 percent. Lakeland High Schools remained constant at 11.44 percent.