Fifty-seven students dropped out of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools last year, according to a report released today by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. (Read the N&O story here.)
Those 57 students gave the district a 1.53 percent dropout rate, the lowest in the state.
The district's dropout rate did inch upward in 2007-08. In 2006-07, 41 students dropped out, and the rate was 1.12 percent, according to a city schools release. The 2007-2008 rate is similar to the district's results in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
The 57 students were divided among the three high schools and one middle school. Eleven of the 57 left Carrboro High, 14 left East Chapel Hill High and 31 left Chapel Hill High. Attendance problems and the desire to attend a community college program were the most common reasons students gave for dropping out.
In recent years, the district has begun a number of programs aimed at heightening student engagement and providing alternative paths toward graduation. Students may enroll in the Middle College program at Durham Tech to take high school and community college courses simultaneously. All three district high schools have opened themed academies that offer courses in core subjects with a focus on the arts, social justice or international studies.