, Salem, MA


March 29, 2013

Column: Is Salem High School on the right track?


Over the past five years, we have moved our four-year graduation rate from 68.3 percent (2008) to 78 percent (2012). During that same time frame, our four-year adjusted graduation rate has gone from 71 percent to 86 percent. The five-year graduation rate has gone from 70.8 percent (2008) to 86.9 percent (2011). The five-year adjusted graduation rate has gone from 74.1 percent to 88.9 percent (2011).

The Class of 2012 five-year graduation rates will not be available until next year.

Dropout rate

The dropout cohort rate is calculated in a manner similar to the graduation rate. The 2008 dropout rate includes those students whose cohort were first-time grade-nine students in 2004-2005. The four-year dropout rate went from 18.9 percent (2008) to 8.8 percent (2012). The four-year adjusted dropout rate went from 17.2 percent (2008) to 5.5 percent (2012). The five-year dropout rate went from 18.2 percent (2008) to 6.1 percent ( 2011). The adjusted five-year dropout rate went from 16.5 percent to 6.1 percent (2011).

The percentage of Salem High School students reporting attending postsecondary institutions of learning since 2008 has fluctuated 87 percent to 91 percent. Prior to 2008, Salem High School students’ postsecondary plans were in the 84-to-85 percent range.

We at Salem High School believe we are on the right track to meeting the needs of all our students. We are committed to continuing to improve our graduation rate and decreasing the dropout rate.

The following are some of the initiatives and programs instituted at Salem High School:

Development of intervention programs, such as creating Salem Prep in 2007.

Revising/revamping the after-school alternate high school, Bridge Academy, which is now part of the regular school day.

The creation of a summer school credit recovery program located at Salem High School in 2006. Prior to 2006, students who failed one or more courses would need to travel to other area cities. The reality was that very few students did this and would fall behind in their ability to graduate and become more at risk for dropping out.

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