Springfield dropout rates fall 50 percent in 2 years - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield dropout rates fall 50 percent in 2 years

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Daniel J. Warwick Daniel J. Warwick

The Springfield School District's dropout numbers have significantly improved over the past two years.

Springfield Public School Superintendent Daniel Warwick held a press conference Monday to discuss the school district's dropout rates.

"Huge gains for the city of Springfield," said Warwick.  

The dropout and graduation numbers were released Monday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Springfield has seen a 35 percent decrease in the district's dropout rate.

In 2012, that number sat at 10 percent.

Fast forward to 2013, the number was at 6 1/2 percent.

Warwick said that new number ranks Springfield Public above other urban-setting schools in the state.

"We're mentioned in the governor's release as one of the top five schools to make significant progress" said Warwick.  

Warwick said targeting a certain age group has helped keep Springfield's dropout rates on the decline.

"I think with the dropout rate, the youngsters we lose in a given year is the most important metric in the school system," explained Warwick.

The dropout rates aren't the only numbers that have changed.

The system has also seen a 4 1/2 percent jump in its graduation rates - something Warwick said is a result of the entire public school system working together.

"It's really a concerted effort on dropout prevention initiatives and to really see it take hold this year the one-year dropout statistic is noteworthy," said Warwick.  

So what is the school doing to make sure these numbers keep improving?

Warwick said there is a plan in place.

"Really the best practices that have been cited through the Rennie Center by the Commonwealth. So we're going to follow those best practices, use data and try to keep getting better," said Warwick.

Programs introduced in recent years have been designed to direct students toward receiving a cap and gown from as early as elementary school, he said.

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