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Local high school dropout rates on the rise

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WILMINGTON -- Statewide numbers show dropout rates among high school students have been increasing every year since 2002. State education officials are meeting in Raleigh to determine how to fund a program dedicated to preventing future dropouts. Over the next two days a dropout prevention committee will decide how to distribute a $7 million grant to help public schools and community non-profits keep students on the path to graduation. In the 2005-2006 school year alone more than 22,000 dropouts were reported statewide -- that's a rate of 5.04 percent. School officials from New Hanover and Brunswick Counties have already applied for grant assistance to continue funding dropout prevention programs they have in place. Brunswick County Director of Education Deanne Medows says there are a number of reasons why teens choose to dropout. Medows said, "Most of your students that are dropping out they start to show some issues early on, even in elementary schools, with attendance issues they start to get a little discouraged about school or have some behavior issues so that's when we have to start looking for some ways to get them focused back on school." The unofficial 2006-2007 numbers New Hanover County recorded more than 400 students who dropped out. In Brunswick County there were more than 200, and there were more than 100 in Pender County. The official dropout rates for the 2006-2007 school year are expected to be released by next month, including how those numbers compare to previous years. If the committee does approve more funding for local dropout prevention programs, they could stand to gain around one hundred $50 each. That would pay for more supplies, buses and teachers.

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WHY WHY WHY??? Everything

WHY WHY WHY??? Everything for kids who could care less about school and nothing for my daughter who got an 1880 on her PSAT. My daughter is a straight-A kid, has no problems, is bored to death from being taught too slow so the other kids have time to catch up. I have not received one note or phone call offering any advice to give my child a chance to advance onto even harder courses, but if she were falling behind then I would have notes sent home and phone calls non-stop. She asked the Guidance Counselor to give her more math classes and was told that it would be hard to schedule it for her. And so that is what is wrong with America nowadays. Help all the ones falling behind and giving no advice to the ones who can get us ahead. Well, I will not take it sitting down and these schools have another thing coming when I enter the front doors for a conference. I can't wait for my Irish to let them know how I feel.

I feel your pain. My child

I feel your pain. My child scored a 1900 on SAT at beginning of 10th grade in a poor rural NC school system. If you're looking for opportunities for gifted students, you have to find them yourself. Summer camps, volunteer and leadership positions will make your child shine. My daughter is in her first year at NCSSM (The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics)and is finally being challenged academically. She now has so many wonderful opportunities and we are ecstatic, as I have recently lost a job and home (and, yes, I am using a relative's computer, before you ask how I can afford one--I can't--I don't even have a phone). Parents, your children must have the motivation to succeed, but you must fuel their motivation. My daughter tells me often that I am her inspiration.

advanced

If your kid is that far advanced, i would recommend doing partime classes at UNCW. Myself and a few fellow students left school at 11:00 am, after english and a couple of other required classes for graduation and then took our math and other electives at UNCW. Sounds like you would rather complain than take action. You can't leave the majority of the students behind for the benefit of the top five percent.

I'll take your

I'll take your recommendation for the partime classes at UNCW. You are the first to give this idea. I would not rather complain but it would be great if the schools would give me this choice and let us know what else is out there instead of us trying to find little needles in the haystack. What I am saying is that the schools do not give the really smart kids any advice for even harder courses than the advanced classes, but they bend over backwards for the kids who would rather drop out of school. It seems to me if you have great kids who keep the school's test score averages up, then the schools would try to do a little more for the smart kids than just ignoring them.

advanced

You have a good point. Some of the teachers, simply go through the motions. Throughout my years in school, out of the many teachers I had, only a handful pushed for more. Tragic. I would definitely check on the part-time schedule. I went to school in the early 90's and it was available then. Good luck!!