Hickory Public Schools' Dropout Rate Decreases 3/7/2011 6:25:24 AM
The number of students who dropped out of school in 2009-10 was at a record low for Hickory Public Schools, according to reports released last week by the State Board of Education.
The Hickory Public Schools dropout rate decreased from 8.65 percent in 2007-2008 to 5.23 percent for 2009-2010. Superintendent Dr. Lillie Cox cites the implementation of new programs, changes in policies and procedures, and increased professional development for staff as factors in the decreasing dropout rate.
In 2007-08, Hickory Public Schools had the highest dropout rate in the state. At that point, HPS classroom teachers and district leaders immediately began to implement new methods to engage students. In addition, the district worked closely with social workers from the Department of Social Services to help locate and work with potential dropouts.
In the last two years, Hickory Public Schools has initiated staff development programs including “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” and “Literacy First.” HPS also received grant funding to transform Catawba Valley High School, the former alternative school, into the new Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School (HCAM), which today provides smaller classes and career-accelerated programs in a non-traditional, technology and arts-centered environment.
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