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County schools continue low dropout rate

Henderson County schools sustained their strong record of keeping students in school, reporting a 2013-14 dropout rate below the state average for a seventh straight year and approaching a rate of zero percent dropout, according to the 2013-14 Consolidated Data Report presented to the State Board of Education Thursday.

At 1.75 percent, HCPS' dropout rate was .53 percentage points below the state rate of 2.28 percent, and up slightly from the county's rate of 1.52 percent during the 2012-13 school year.

The 2013-14 state rate represents a 6.9 percent decrease from the previous year's record low of 2.45 percent, and HCPS' rate has decreased significantly over the past seven years. Since 2007-08, when HCPS had a dropout rate of 3.04 percent (compared to the state rate of 4.97 percent), the local rate has decreased by 1.29 percentage points.

"Our low dropout rate is the result of the dedication and hard work of our students and staff across all of our schools," said HCPS Superintendent David Jones.

The annual dropout rate represents the number and percentage of students who drop out during one year's time. Some of these students may return to school at some point and complete high school, while others may drop out multiple times.

The dropout rate is different from the four-year cohort graduation rate, which follows a group of ninth-graders through high school and reports the percentage of students who graduate in four years' time. A lower dropout rate does typically respond with a high graduation rate, according to the NCDPI.