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Graduation rates dip for area schools

Graduation rates for the 2013-14 school year fell for Rowan-Salisbury and Kannapolis City school districts after four years of continuous improvement by both school systems.
Rowan-Salisbury’s graduation rate was 80.3 percent, nearly a percentage point lower than the 2012-13 school year’s rate of 81.1 percent.
Of the district’s traditional high schools, Carson and West Rowan’s graduation rates were highest, at 90.2 and 90.1, respectively.
Salisbury High School had the lowest graduation rate of the traditional high schools, at 72.3 percent.
East Rowan’s graduation rate was at 83.5 percent, North’s was 79.3 percent and South’s was at 75.9 percent.
Henderson Independent High School’s graduation rate was 37.5, a decrease of 7.7 percentage points from the 2012-13 school year, but an increase of more than 10 percentage points from the year before that.
Rowan County Early College’s graduation rate remained steady at more than 95 percent.
Carson and West Rowan were also the only two traditional high schools that saw increases in their graduation rates between the 2012-13 school year. Carson’s graduation rate increased 1.3 percentage points, while West Rowan’s graduation rate increased .3 percentage points.
Rowan-Salisbury students who took five years to graduate had a higher percentage of graduating than their peers who completed high school in only four years at all schools except Carson and West Rowan.
Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody said she wasn’t surprised by last year’s statistics in a press release distributed by the school system.
“Last year was a big transitional year for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools from leadership changes to creating a new direction for student success,” she said.
“This is basically because there has not been time to implement our new strategic plan – which is the direction we want our district to move towards. Instruction and how instruction is delivered in the classroom basically remained consistent and flowed as it has in past years.”
A.L. Brown High School’s graduation rate dropped from 84.9 percent in the 2012-13 school year to 83.3 percent.
Kannapolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain said she believes one reason for the drop is because of the district’s “transient population.”
It’s “harder to know where students are” in order to help and mentor them, she said.
Cain said the district plans to continue working with students and mentoring them one-on-one to know where students were, find out why they’re dropping out and figure out how to get them back.
“The bottom line for me is whether our students are learning what they need in order to become successful, happy, healthy, and productive citizens. That will continue to be our goal in Kannapolis City Schools,” Cain also said in a press release.

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