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Bladens' graduation rate and dropout rate see big changes

posted Jan 27, 2017, 6:59 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Jan 27, 2017, 7:00 AM ]
The N.C. Department of Public Instruction has announced the 2015-2016 graduation rates and the 2015-2016 dropout rates for public school districts across the state. Bladen County Schools saw significant improvement over previous years in both areas.

With a four-year cohort graduation rate of 86.5 percent for the class of 2016, Bladen County high schools did better than the state percentage of four-year cohort graduates. This is a record high for Bladen County over the past five years. The class of 2015 had a four-year cohort graduation rate of 77.3 percent in Bladen County. North Carolina reported a four-year cohort graduation rate for the class of 2016 of 85.9 percent, a record high for the state.

Bladen County School's dropout rate for the 2015-2016 school year continues to improve as it has for the past five years. The dropout rate for the school system is 1.48 percent for the 2015-2016 school year, which is a 62.7 percent decrease from the 2014-2015 school year rate of 3.97 percent. This is a record low for Bladen County over the past five years and is also lower than the state percentage of dropouts. North Carolina reported a dropout rate for the 2015-2016 school year of 2.29 percent. In 2010-2011, the Bladen County School’s dropout rate was 3.63 percent.

Improving the graduation rate and preventing dropouts are top priorities for Bladen.  It is an ongoing and focused effort for the school attendance committees, guidance counselors and school social workers to monitor students’ attendance and academic performance.  Strategies and plans are made to assist and extra support given as needed.

Additionally, Bladen is currently offering students more opportunities for credit recovery such as online and afterschool programs.  According to Kimbrie Esters, district Dropout Prevention Coordinator, there are many factors that put a student at risk of being a dropout.  Some of the risks may be poor academic performance, lack of parental involvement, economic needs that may force the student to work instead of going to school, lack of motivation, pregnancy, or other life factors.  

“Keeping these potential dropouts in school can happen, but requires personal attention from the teachers and a strong effort from the student,” says Esters. District and school committees meet at least monthly to discuss dropout prevention issues and review graduation data. The committees work to develop strategies and action plans to help individual students who need extra support.