Montrose, Olathe Saw Dropout Declines Over Last Year
MONTROSE – The 2012-13 student dropout rate in the Montrose County School District, according to the Colorado Department of Education, was 3.1 percent. Dropouts were highest in the 12th grade, but district officials say they are working to lower that rate – and keep students coming back. "We have been staying pretty consistent with state rates, and we are seeing a decline in the number of dropouts," said RE-1J Communications and Special Projects Coordinator Mindy Baumgardner.
The Montrose rate is a compilation of all district schools, including non-traditional and alternative schools.
According to CDE data, approximately 98 of the 3,192 students enrolled in Montrose district schools dropped out over the course of the 2012-13 school year. Male students left school at twice the rate of female students (67 versus 31).
Forty-nine Hispanic students (4.6 percent of the population) have dropped out of district schools. Districtwide, Hispanic students appear to be leaving school at about twice the rate of Caucasians. Fifteen Hispanic females dropped out (at a rate of 2.8 percent), with 15 white females dropping out (1.6 percent). According to CDE data, 6.4 percent of hispanic males dropped out (34), and 31 white males dropped out (3.0 percent).
At Montrose High School, the dropout rate has fallen from 1.5 to 1.3 percent, according to CDE data. Of 1,530 students attending MHS, just 20 dropped out.
According to CDE data, 12th graders at MHS lead the way in the total number of dropouts in 2012-2013 with nine males, or 2.8 percent of the class. The average number of dropouts over the past six years is 22, according to information provided by the school district. There were 20 reported dropouts in the 2012-2013 school year at MHS, lower than the 2011-2012 number of 24. One-third of dropouts at MHS chose the month of August to end their schooling.
Olathe High School dropout rates fell significantly, from a rate of 1.4 in 2011-2012 to .5 in 2012-2013, according to CDE data. However, according to district data, fluctuation seems to be the trend: since 2008-2009 the rate has bounced each year, from 1.4 and 1.2 to .3 and .5.
Of the 40 students attending Passage Charter School in the 2012-2013 year, two dropped out.
Peak Virtual Academy had 113 students enrolled in 2012-2013; four dropped out, a rate of 3.5 percent. At Vista Charter School, 69 of the school's 257 students dropped out, for a very high rate of 26.8 percent. Approximately 22 of those who left were female and 47 male, according to the CDE report. Centennial Middle School was the only middle school in the district with one dropout.
Over the past couple of years, the district has prepared and implemented a program designed to keep students on campus as long as possible. Their philosophy: the longer kids stay in school each day, the more they will keep coming back to school and keep performing better. At MHS, the cafeteria was remodeled to resemble a college-style space. It was outfitted with large televisions and seating designed to allow students to study, visit and do school work while on campus after hours.
"We are always working at ways to keep kids in schools and keep them coming back," Baumgardner said.
To view the data by district, school, race, ethnicity and gender, visit: www.cde.state.co.us/cdereval/dropoutcurrent
State of Colorado / Grand Totals:
• 2012-13 Dropout Rate:
2.5% (10,664 dropouts reported)
• 2011-12 Dropout Rate:
2.9% (12,256 dropouts reported)
• 2010-11 Dropout Rate:
3.0% (12,744 dropouts reported)
(* Source: Colorado Department of Education)
Montrose County RE-1J
West End RE-2