Local School Districts Below Drop Out, Above Graduation Rates

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

More students in Kentucky are graduating high school, but more students are also dropping out too.

That's according to numbers released yesterday from the Kentucky Department of Education.

The state drop-out rate rose to 3.3% and the state's graduation rate jumped to 84.5%, both up slightly from the year before.

And while both districts here are below the average drop-out rate and above Kentucky's graduation rate, local school officials say there's always room for improvement.

"There are so many things that are involved with staying in school," said Dr. Winnie Cohron, an instructional supervisor with the Warren County School District.

Dr. Cohron wants every Warren County student to become a graduate.

"We want them to be productive members of society and dropping out is not going to lead to that," said Dr. Cohron.

According to the Kentucky Department of Education from 2007-to-2008, 20 more students dropped out of school across the Warren County District.

That's an increase of .4%.

"Is it a red light to us? Absolutely," Dr. Cohron said. "We have to look at our current intervention programs, and what our current courses offered to students."

Dr. Cohron says the school strives to keep kids in the classroom, furthering their chances at success later in life.

"If you choose to drop out of high school, then those options are severely limited," Dr. Cohron said.

"You try to put that in perspective that without a high school diploma, being successful is going to be very difficult," added Gary Fields, principal at Bowling Green High School.

Fields say it's oftentimes a connection a student makes with an adult in the school that keeps them from dropping out.

"We're trying to put plans in place to increase the rigor in the classroom, to build relationships with kids," he said.

At Bowling Green Independent from 2007-to-2008, 22 less students dropped out in the district.

That's a difference of 2%.

"Kids get discouraged," Fields said. "Research shows if a kid gets behind their cohort of classmates, they're so much more less likely to graduate."

And that's a fact both schools say they take seriously, trying to ensure all students receive diplomas on graduation day.

"We have to find ways to show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Fields said.

"It's more than economic. It's the quality of life. It's being an involved and informed citizen," Dr. Cohron said.

Both school districts' graduation rates were also well above the state average.

Principal Fields says Bowling Green Independent sits right at 90%, while Dr. Cohron says Warren County's is right at 91%

Of all high schools individually, Greenwood had the highest graduation rate at 96%.

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