ALBANY, GA (WALB) - More students in Dougherty County Schools are earning diplomas. New numbers show fewer high school students are dropping out. "We did go up from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent and that is down from 7.5 percent in 2002 for just grades 9th through 12th. So we're really proud of that," said Superintendent, Dr. Sally Whatley.
This year's graduation rate should also be higher. Right now, it's at 61 percent which was the same as last year. "So we know that we have more students that could potentially graduate either after summer school or after successfully completing another high school graduation test," said Dr. Whatley.
The number of students with 15 absences or fewer is also higher, going from 93 to 95 percent. "When you have the kind of mobility that we have had in the past than that is a huge deal. And in order for them to achieve as students they have to attend school," said Dr. Whatley.
The number of students being held back is also down. It went from 20 percent in 2006 to 9.7 percent in 2007. School leaders say the improvements wouldn't be possible without hard work from a lot of people.
"I am very, very proud of the progress that our children are making. And it just speaks to the hard work that our teachers, support staff and parents are doing in our schools, as well as the hard work and diligent effort of the administration of our schools," said Dr. Whatley.
And they'll continue to work to keep the numbers going in the right direction. A change in policy that allows kids to remain in the same school all year, even if they move, is also helping. The mobility rate has dropped from 42 percent to 14 percent.