Johnston County Schools saw a decrease in the dropout rate last year, the fifth consecutive year fewer students have left school.
The countywide dropout rate fell from 1.99 percent in 2014-15 to 1.67 percent in 2015-16. That is below the statewide average last school year of 2.29 percent and lower than drop out numbers in Durham (3.06%), Orange (2.21%), and Wake (1.69%) County. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District had one of the lowest dropout rates in the region at 0.84%.
Last year, 179 students left school in Johnston County. The largest number of drop outs were at Smithfield Selma High (56), followed by Corinth Holders (25), Clayton High (23), North Johnston (16), Cleveland High (14) West Johnston (13), South Johnston (12) and South Campus (11). Princeton High had 9 students to quit.
Ray Stott, Senior Executive Director of Student Services, told members of the Johnston County School Board the majority of students quit because they wanted or needed to work. Other top reasons were due to academics, lack of engagement, discipline, moving, an unstable home, child care, attendance, substance abuse, incarceration, pregnancy, runaway, and psychological.
121 of the students were male, 58 were female.
Based on grade level, 55 of the students were in the 9th grade, 55th in the 10th grade, 35 in the 11th grade, and 34 in the 12th grade.
White students made up for 61 of the students who left school, 54 African American, and 51 Hispanic.
Scott said the lower drop out rate was good news but not great news. “Great news would be zero drop outs.”
SSS High, which had the highest number of students to leave school last year is working to lower the numbers this year. As of Monday, 22 students had dropped out this school year, compared to 35 at the same time last year.