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Leominster High dropout rate on incline
Colleges use their own systems for determining students' ranks, Bolger said. State universities do not include electives. Private schools might value things differently.
By Anne O'ConnorBrowne and Paula Bolger, the chair of the Guidance Department, broke the numbers down for the committee. The dropout rate rose from 0.8 percent in 2010 2011 to 1.4 percent last year. At the same time, the graduation rate dropped from 90.6 percent to 88.7 percent.
"Some of these are very good students, A's and B's in their country," Bolger said, but "they have a hard battle ahead of them as far as just passing Prada Double Bag Review MCAS."
Browne said English language learners "is the population we should be focusing on."
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"It's a very transient population," Bolger said.
Four ELL students completed the graduation requirements but did not pass the MCAS in 2010 2011. Thirty nongraduates dropped out, went into state custody or never enrolled in another district. Another 16 students who were retained, including six life skills students who may never graduate, were counted by the state when it determined the graduation rate.
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Other schools are looking at similar changes, Browne said.
During the 2010 2011 school year, 169 new students enrolled, and 168 students withdrew.
"I think it will be a better result for our students," he added.
The high school provides a tutor for those students, and a science teacher is working on a special certification.
Browne and Bolger also proposed changes to the way students are ranked in the class.
was based only on students who had gone through the system, Leominster's rate would be more than 90 percent, Browne said.
Many of the ELL students are Hispanic and the school is seeing more people from Africa, Browne said. Some of the students were present only a short time before taking exams.
Those are students who have transferred into the system, often from another country and speak little if any English, he said.
"It gives them a point of reference as to where they compare," she said.
To graduate, a student must meet local graduation requirements and pass the state mandated MCAS math and English exams. Students who fail to pass the tests can remain in high school for another year, but even if they pass the test later, the achievement by a fifth year student will not be reflected in the school's graduation rates, Browne said.
if a student enrolled in Leominster for only the final month or two of school, he is counted in the graduation rate, no matter what system or school he came from.
The change is intended to allow students to know where they stand in relation to their classmates.
of the MCAS exams, but the English and science sections are difficult because of the language barrier.
"A lot even came midyear," he said.
"Every high school is taking a look," Browne said. "It's somewhat archaic."
LHS is looking to simplify the system by calculating a weighted score based on all the classes a student takes, Bolger said. Instead of giving students a number, students will be placed in a decile, for example, in the top 10 percent.
Students who entered a high school in the fall of 2008 and were enrolled in Leominster in the spring of 2011 were counted. Of the 444 students at the high school who fell into that category, 394 graduated.
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