Intervention and retention efforts show positive impacts on students
In data released today by the California Department of Education, the Sweetwater District has shown a decline in the number of students who drop out of high school. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Sweetwater had 9.6 percent dropout rate according to a new state measurement formula. Under the previous measurement formula, Sweetwater's dropout rate was 13.3 percent in the 2008-2009 school year.
Beginning in 2010, the State of California began to use a new, more accurate formula for measuring dropouts that tracks student cohorts beginning in the 9th grade. This year's data reflects students who enrolled in school during the 2006-2007 year and takes into account students who have transferred in and out of the district or who have left for other reasons.
The data shows that the overall dropout rate in the Sweetwater District is below the San Diego County average of 15.9 percent. In addition, Sweetwater dropout rates among Latinos, Asian, Pacific Islander, Filipino and African American students are also lower than the county averages.
"The staff in the Sweetwater District has worked very hard to ensure that all students are getting the best education possible," said Board President John McCann. "We are excited for these efforts to continue and we know that we will continue to see more students graduate in the future."
This decline is the result of increased prevention and intervention efforts for students at both the district and school levels. These efforts include close monitoring of attendance, regular reporting of absences, direct student interventions and discussion of educational options with students and their families.
Increased efforts have been made to ensure that students that have excessive absences are contacted via telephone calls, letters home, parent meetings, academic contracts, outside referrals and home visits.
In addition, efforts are made to ensure that the education setting is the best for the student's particular needs. Students have a wide range of educational options such as Independent Study High School, Palomar High School and several other specialized programs.