Dropout rate down

graduation rate up

November 17, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The dropout rate among students in Washington County Public Schools is at its lowest point ever, according to data recently released by the Maryland State Department of Education.

The percentage of students graduating from high school in the county also is the highest it has ever been.

During the 2007-08 school year, 1.67 percent of students dropped out of school - the fourth-lowest rate of the 24 school districts in Maryland. In the 2006-07 school year, that number was 2.54 percent, up from 2.18 percent the year before, according to state data.

During the 2007-08 school year, 91.41 percent of students graduated from high school - the sixth-highest rate in Maryland. In the 2006-07 school year, that number was 90.09 percent, down from 90.48 percent the previous year, according to state data.

"This hasn't happened by chance," Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction Donna Hanlin said.

Hanlin said Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan and the Washington County Board of Education have supported measures to meet the needs of every student and to help keep every student in school.


"We want every student to graduate," Hanlin said.

Director of Secondary Education Clyde Harrell said by offering different options for students - such as magnet and specialized programs, and opportunities at Washington County Technical High School - they become more interested and engaged in learning.

"We want to meet the needs of every student so they care about being in school," he said.

Carol Costello, supervisor of alternative programs and student services for Washington County Public Schools, said additional options are available. They include the family center, which helps about 25 pregnant or parenting teenagers stay in school, and Evening High School, which allows students to attend classes in the evening to meet graduation requirements.

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