The number of dropouts and the dropout rate at Watauga High School fell to the lowest levels on record for 2013-14.
The dropout rate declined to 2.13 percent, below the state average of 2.28 percent, and the number of dropouts fell to 30 students. The dropout rate at Watauga High School has fallen 27 percent and the number of dropouts has plunged 30 percent over the last two years.
“This is wonderful news and I want to congratulate the students, faculty, and leadership at Watauga High School for their hard work and this excellent progress,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott. “Reducing dropouts and increasing the graduation rate is one of our most important objectives as a school system. Every additional student that completes high school is another student with much better prospects for higher education, for employment, and for good wages and continued advancement throughout their career. We will continue to focus on reducing dropouts and increasing the graduation rate as one of our very highest priorities in this school system.”
Elliott noted that although dropout and graduation figures are based on data from the high school, they actually reflect the results of work that begins in kindergarten, or even pre-kindergarten in some cases.
“Continuing to strengthen instruction and support services in our K-8 schools is critical to creating a foundation for success in high school. We are grateful for the contributions of our elementary and middle school personnel, and for the support of our parents and many community partners, in helping prepare our students to succeed at the high school,” Elliott said.
The dropout rate and the graduation rate are related, but they are not measured in the same way. The dropout rate only calculates the percentage of students who leave school without graduating during a given school year. The graduation rate is a “cohort” rate, based on the percentage of students that start high school in the same year and graduate from high school in four years or less. Students who leave high school and obtain a GED are not counted in the graduation rate.
The graduation rate at Watauga High School for 2013-14 was 87.4 percent compared to the statewide rate of 83.9 percent. Students at Watauga High School also outperform students in most NC school districts on other performance measures, including the second highest SAT scores and the fourth highest ACT scores out of the state’s 115 school districts in 2013-14.