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Back You are here: Home Features Events and Features Life on the Island New Hanover County Schools Lowers Drop Out Rate to Less than 3%

New Hanover County Schools Lowers Drop Out Rate to Less than 3%

New Hanover County Schools announced today the latest dropout rate is 2.26%, the lowest since the 2001-2002 academic year and lower than last year’s 3.83%. This information is based on data from the “Annual Report on Dropout Events and Rate” from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
NHCS has an 80.4% graduation rate – the highest rate since four-year cohort graduation rates were measured initially in academic year 2005-2006. The district continues on an upward trend with the graduation rate, improving from last year’s 73.9%. “The improvement in the district’s dropout rate is a direct result of the hard work and unified focus of all of our staffs to help students achieve success. All of our subgroups have demonstrated improvement and NHCS continues to trend upward in these critical areas. We will continue the positive momentum. In addition, the district will continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the support systems designed to prevent students from dropping out,” Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley said.
“My vision is to provide sound alternatives and options for students - such as virtual schools, expansion of the focus schools - the early colleges and Performance Learning Center, increase business and community partnerships, and retain the graduation coaches - so there are viable options and support for all students despite their individual circumstances. With that vision in place, it becomes possible for NHCS to have even fewer drop outs in the future. We are creating a model for success,” he said.
Under the leadership of the New Hanover County Board of Education, the superintendent has made improving the graduation rate one of the district’s top priorities across all grade levels from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Successful dropout prevention strategies in the district include:
• A new research-based curriculum that has been implemented to help students in the In-School Suspension program. In addition to class work, students learn to replace behaviors that got them suspended in the first place. Curriculums being used at the high schools are entitled, “Why Try?” and “School Connect.” Middle schools use “Mind Up.” Certified teachers have been trained to teach these curriculums while students are in the In-School Suspension program.
• Options are available for students seeking a non-traditional high school experience through the two early college high schools - Isaac Bear Early College High School and Wilmington Early College High School - and the Mosley Performance Learning Center. Plans for a virtual school are being developed.
• Flexible options for students with extenuating life circumstances who qualify to apply for consideration of the Reduced Elective Credit Diploma.
• Graduation coaches at each of the traditional high schools assist students who are at-risk for dropping out.