The Rochester School Department has reported a drop out rate to the State of New Hampshire that has been reduced significantly from the previous years. The overall rate for the2008-2009 school year for the District is 3.3%, and Spaulding High School is only 3%. The overall 4 year drop rate for Rochester will be close to 15% with some State data to be finalized. If Rochester continues with the 3% rate the cumulative four year rate will drop to nearly 10%. Any student that drops out of school is significant, but Rochester has made progress in the last year in reducing the drop out rate.
In 2007-08, over 100 students dropped out of SHS. In 2008-09, 53 students dropped out of Spaulding High School & Bud Carlson Academy combined. Of the 53 students that dropped out, four have now earned their GED. Three students of the 53 are enrolled in college at this time. These students, six different students, are still considered drop outs, but have a better chance of success based on their progress.
There are several reasons for the improvement last year – and the expectation of continued improvement this year (and beyond):
* The decision two years ago to establish Bud Carlson Academy as a separate alternative school rather than a program within the high school.
* The success last year of Bud Carlson Academy in its very first year. Sixty-one students graduated from BCA.
* The new state law (in effect as of this school year) raising the legal drop-out age to 18 years.
* The absolutely tenacious work of our assistant principals, deputy principal, guidance counselors, truant officer, Assistant Superintendent and our district court liaison tracking down students (and parents) and getting the students to school.
* Better data and more effective use of that data (due in large part to Infinite Campus).
* The ongoing work at Spaulding High School to provide students (particularly at-risk students) with better and more timely remediation (as needed), more opportunities to earn credits, and alternative
pathways to a high school diploma.
And for the students who don’t make it to graduation (earning either an SHS diploma or a BCA diploma), we are continuing to do our very best to create viable and multiple opportunities for students to at least earn their GED.