Two years ago, the Salem public schools opened Salem Community Charter School for 50 students who have dropped out or are at risk of leaving school. It is too early to see the impact of this new school on dropout or graduation rates, Quist said, but he expects it will have a significant impact in future years.
Even with the improvements, however, the school’s dropout and graduation rates are still slightly below state averages.
As its focuses on at-risk students, Angeramo stressed that Salem High is also trying to improve its program for high-performing students. As evidence, he noted that many more students are taking and receiving college credit for Advanced Placement courses. The number of qualifying scores in the AP test almost tripled in the past four years, he said.
But faced with a high dropout rate and relatively low graduation rates, Salem High has focused a lot of time and attention on turning those numbers around.
“We’re trying to meet students’ needs by being creative and offering different alternatives,” Angeramo said. “However, there are still standards students need to meet.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SALEM HIGH DROPOUT RATE 2008 17.2% 2009 12.2% 2019 8.6% 2011 5.7% 2012 5.5% * This is the adjusted four-year rate, which tracks students starting at Salem High in ninth grade and going through the senior year. It does not include students who transferred into or out of the system at other points during the four years. Source: Salem High School