SAVANNAH, Ga. For the fifth year in a row, Savannah Chatham County Public School Service has outperformed the national average for the high school dropout rate.
According to Executive Director for High Schools, Aretha Rhone-Bush, the dropout rate for SCCPSS stands at 2.6 percent. The national average stands at 7 percent and the 2015 average for the state of Georgia was 3.5. The 2016 data for the state of Georgia hasn’t been released yet.
This is the third consecutive year that the dropout rate has decreased for SCCPSS. Rhone-Bush credits the progress with hyper-increased personal focus on education that works for each student’s need.
“It’s accountability on steroids,” she said.
Rhone-Bust says the accountability stems from the realization that “traditional school” doesn’t work for every student.
“Now students have the opportunity to take courses both in more of a one on one direct instruction classroom environment where we typically think of what school looks like. We also have opportunities through the Georgia Virtual school and, more importantly, our district level through our virtual program called Twilight School,” she said.
The Twilight School offers classes to students looking to get ahead or make up from a past academic record.
The ultimate goal with all the added programming is to have students perform and plan for life after they leave the SCCPSS.
“Everybody has to be accounted for and making sure that every student we serve has some sort of career pathway beyond high school,” she said.
With more than 38,000 students enrolled in the SCCPSS, Rhone-Bush isn’t settling until the dropout rate is zero. In order to do so, she says, she needs help.
“If there’s one thing that the school district is in desperate need of is parent support and making sure that parents partner with the school district,” she said.