Massena Central overall graduation rates declining, but getting better for some specific groups of students
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 10:30 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA — The overall graduation rate at Massena Central has gone down in the last three years, director of Curriculum Stephanie Allen told the Board of Education on Thursday night.

She gave a presenation that shows the graduation rate was 82.5 percent last year, down from 84.1 percent in 2015-16 and 85.2 percent in 2014-15.

She also showed rates for subgroups of students, some of which showed improvement over the same time period.

Allen’s presentation said Native Americans graduated at a rate of 81.3 percent last year, up from 75 percent in 2015-16 and 79.4 percent in 2014-15.

General education students graduated last year at a rate of 86.1 percent, 91.2 percent in 2015-16 and 89.2 percent in 2014-15, Allen said.

Last year, 61.3 percent of students with disabilities graduated, compared to 50 percent the previous two school years.

“Students with disabilities, to have them increase a good 10 pecent, those are great things,” she told the board.

Economically disadvantaged students, which is defined as those receiving free or reduced lunch, graduated at a rate of 72.8 percent last year, 75.2 percent in 2015-16 and 71.9 percent in 2014-15.

Superintendent Patrick Brady said the number of dropouts went up last year by three students from the year before. He said 21 students, or 10 percent, dropped out in 2016-17 and 19, or 8.6 percent dropped out in 2015-16.

Allen said the figures are based on what they call a cohort, which means the group of students that started ninth grade at the same time and would have graduated together. She said the grad figures do not take into account students who didn’t graduate on time but will get their degree after a fifth year of school.

“This is not a high school issue. This is a K-12 issue. You have to prepare them all the way up through,” Brady said about the graduation rates.

“We believe our attendance stategies we’re working on in all of the buildings will help with that,” Allen said.