Douglas dropout rate expected to decrease |

Douglas dropout rate expected to decrease

by Sharlene Irete

The number of dropouts in Douglas County is expected to decrease this year.

Principals Marty Swisher of Douglas High School and Janie Gray of Whittell High School presented the Douglas County School Board with the drop-out numbers for the 2004-2005 school year Tuesday. Swisher said that they expect 36 students to drop out from Douglas this year as compared to 45 drop-outs last year. Gray reported two students not finishing from Whittell this year.

Both schools expect higher graduation numbers this year compared to last year’s 94 percent rates. Except for some of the smaller counties in the state, Douglas has the highest graduation rates in Nevada.

“The numbers for both schools are outstanding,” said board member Keith Roman. “Congratulations for making these things happen,”

But to board member John Louritt, the numbers represented something else.

“It’s an acceptable number but we need to assist these 38,” Louritt said. “We’re doing a great job but I want those 38 to graduate.”

“We do a very thorough tracking so we know exactly where they are,” said Swisher. “We keep updated and accurate.”

Swisher explained the methods that schools use to keep track of students’ progress. Counselors meet with students each year and place them in classes to fulfill their individual needs for graduation.

Education plans include night school, zero-period class, correspondence classes, tutoring, Saturday school, spring break seminars and summer school. Late bus service is available on some school days.

“We don’t want it to happen,” Swisher said about counseling on the high school equivalency test option, “but sometimes you realize they aren’t going to finish in our system.”