Beaufort County School District works to lower dropout rate
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -
The Beaufort County School District is seeing a slight increase in their high school dropout rates and school administrators are trying to find ways to reverse that trend.
The district plans to help that rate decrease by offering more digital learning opportunities, earlier childhood education and more vocational career options.
"I think a lot of kids don't know what their options are and may not see viable options, career options in the community," said Battery Creek High School Assistant Principal Senfronia Smith.
Smith is a former biology and engineering teacher. She said student support needs to extend beyond the school and the family.
"It's the lady next door. It's the church, everyone in the community that stands behind, not just a child but every child in the community to give them a goal in life and to make them feel important," Smith said.
Data show that 134 of Beaufort County's high school students dropped out during the 2011-2012 school year compared to 122 students the year before. Five years ago, the district had 113 dropouts.
The school district does provide programs such as Parent Universities to help families see the value of an education.
Prinicipal Edmond Burns said they're also working to provide mentors to students who are struggling in school.
"Anytime the dropout percentage is anything one or greater, that is disappointing," Burns said. "It's about having a career pathway that will allow those students to become productive citizens."
The Beaufort County School District's annual dropout rate was the same last year as South Carolina's average at 2.5 percent.