New study shows high school dropout rate lower but problem remai - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New study shows high school dropout rate lower but problem remains

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The U.S. Department of Education released a study Tuesday showing a decreasing number of high school students is dropping out.  But there is a new problem students are not getting their degrees on time.

The study indicates the percentage of high school students who got their diplomas in four years was 75 percent for Arkansas in 2009-10, compared to 78 percent nationally.

Nettleton High School has not had to worry about their dropout rate. Amanda Waln, Senior Counselor at Nettleton High School, says their dropout rate is generally not a concern. The school has implemented a new program this year that allows students who have fallen behind a chance to make up those missed classes.

The school also gives students an advisory period in the middle of the day to meet and talk with their teachers. Senior English teacher Kristi Harvey has been teaching at Nettleton for 20 years and says she has certainly noticed a difference.

"If a school only offers a very limited path to graduation," Harvey said. "Then a lot of kids are not going to have that opportunity to take that path."

Harvey said she uses the curriculum to keep her student's attention and to keep them motivated.

"A lot of times we can take out curriculum," Harvey said. "And take those things that we know in the past kids have found very interesting and we can kind of move our curriculum around and put those things after Spring break."

Veronica Smith talks to one Region 8 school who shares   Region 8's Veronica Smith spoke to one Region 8 high school who shared what they are doing to help their students graduate on time on Region 8 News at 6 and 10.

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