Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., New Hampshire’s Education Commissioner, today released dropout data for the 2011-2012 school year. New Hampshire’s dropout rate is currently 1.26 percent, up from 1.19 percent last year. Although the report shows a slight increase in the dropout rate, New Hampshire continues to have one of the lowest dropout rates in the nation.
With the slowing economy schools have been forced to reduce their budgets. Also state programs such, as Child in Need of Services (CHINS), have been cut. These programs have historically helped reduce the dropout rate.
“The data contained in this report shows the schools continue to make progress in ensuring more of our young people receive their diploma. It also shows our intensive efforts to identify and reach those most at-risk have been successful,” Commissioner Barry said. “This is clear evidence that our dropout prevention programs, put in place to complement the increase in the state’s compulsory attendance age are in fact working.”
The students with the highest risk of dropping out have a multitude of issues they are dealing with: some students are parents and need to work, some struggle with mental health issues, some struggle with substance abuse issues. A comprehensive approach including community and educational resources is necessary to keep these students in school.
The Department of Education, superintendents, school boards and educators across the state continue to focus on reducing the dropout rate and ensure that NH students are College and Career Ready prior to leaving school. In 2012, the Department received a three year Statewide Longitudinal Data System grant. One initiative of this grant is to develop tools as part of early warning and college readiness systems to help ensure students are successful in K-12 schools and prepared for college and career.
This year seven high schools, the Academy for Science and Design Charter, Cocheco Arts and Technology Charter Academy, Belmont, Gorham, Hopkinton, Pittsburg, and Windham, have reported zero dropouts for two consecutive years. Nine high schools have shown a decrease in the dropout rate for three consecutive years; Farmington, Hanover, Kennett, Laconia, Moultonborough Academy, Newfound Regional, Somersworth, Wilton-Lyndeboro, Woodsville. Great gains in decreasing the dropout rate were made by Dover, Londonderry, Mascoma Valley Regional, Pittsfield, and Bud Carlson Academy by reducing their dropout rate by 50% or more.
The annual dropout report continues to break out students into three subgroups: 1) students who receive GED’s; 2) non graduating students who are enrolled in college either part-time or full-time; and 3) students who have dropped out. The annual dropout rates include dropouts during the 2011-2012 school year.
The complete 2011-2012 Early Exit and Dropout Rates for Grades 9-12 includes rates for each New Hampshire high school, as well as definitions and calculation methods, can be found on the NH Department of Education Web site at www.education.nh.gov/data/dropouts.htm.
For more information about dropout prevention programs contact Paul Leather at (603) 271-3801 or Paul.Leather@doe.nh.gov. For information about the rate calculation contact Irene Koffink at
(603) 271-3865 or Irene.Koffink@doe.nh.gov.