Scotland schools exceed state graduation rate

By: Katelin Gandee - Staff writer

LAURINBURG — Scotland County Schools is at an all-time high for graduation rates, beating the state average for the first time.

The Department of Public Instruction released the report for the 2017-18 school year this week, putting the four-year rate for the district at an 87.1 percent graduation rate, beating the state average by .8 percent.

In neighboring county school districts, Robeson had an average of 86.46 percent graduation rate for its six schools; Hoke had 79.5 percent rate; Moore County had an 89.93 percent graduation rate for its three schools; and Richmond had an 82.1 percent rate.

‘With graduation being the hallmark of a successful academic career, one data point that we are extremely proud of is our district graduation rate,” said Scotland County Public Information Officer Meredith Bounds. “It continues to grow higher every year. This year we reached an all-time high of 87.1 percent besting the state rate for the first time ever. We are also proud to celebrate SEarCH, who had a 100-percent graduation rate for 2017-18.”

Along with its 100-percent graduation rate, SEarCH was the only school in the county to receive an A on the state’s overall grading scale.

Laurel Hill Elementary School was the one school to receive a B, while Wagram Elementary, Carver Middle, Spring Hill Middle and Scotland High School all received a C.

Covington Street Elementary, I. Ellis Johnson Elementary, North Laurinburg Elementary, South Scotland Elementary and Sycamore Lane Elementary all received a D.

The state gives the ratings to schools based on a 100-point scale. Most of the grades come from the percentage of students who pass the exams while year-to-year progress contributes to around 20-percent of the rating. This allows schools to have credit for helping students make gains even if the students fall short of the grade level. Another factor into the grades of high schools is the graduation rates.

The official dropout data will not be released until October but school officials note that the district is on track for the rate to continue to decline.

During the mid-year review in April, the Board of Education learned that 22 students had dropped out of the school system so far during the year.

Several of the students were withdrawn by parents while some moved out of state. Others quit because of work, not wishing to return, and behavior problems but didn’t want to attend alternative programs.

The dropout rate hit a 10-year high in 2010-11 when 108 students dropped out and has been decreasing since then with the 2016-17 year having 28 dropouts.

Bounds said that the reports can be confusing and has a lot of data about the district and a full report will be gone over during the upcoming Board of Education meeting.

“While the report contains a great deal of data about our district, schools, and students, the information is not necessarily new to our teachers or administrators,” Bounds said. “We are a data-driven district and during the academic year, we continuously monitor the progress of our students. Throughout the year, we celebrate our achievements but are also are keenly aware of those areas that need improvement and we work hard to grow our students.”

Local school officials said they planned to comment on the report next week during the regular Board of Education meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

Dropout rate is on track tocontinue its steady decline

Katelin Gandee

Staff writer

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]