New study shows high school dropout rate lower but problem remains

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

The study indicates the percentage of high schoolstudents who got their diplomas in four years was 75 percent for Arkansas in2009-10, compared to 78 percent nationally.

Nettleton High School has not had to worry about theirdropout rate. Amanda Waln, Senior Counselor at Nettleton High School, saystheir dropout rate is generally not a concern. The school has implemented a newprogram this year that allows students who have fallen behind a chance to makeup those missed classes.

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

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

Harvey said she uses the curriculum to keep her student'sattention 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 veryinteresting and we can kind of move our curriculum around and put those thingsafter Spring break."

Veronica Smith talks to one Region 8 school whoshares   Region 8's Veronica Smith spoketo one Region 8 high school who shared what they are doing to help theirstudents graduate on time on Region 8 News at 6 and 10.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.