School attendance rates slip after several months of gains

After several months of good news on the attendance front, the Chelsea schools saw some slippage in the month of April.

At last week’s school committee meeting, Deputy Superintendent Adam Deleidi presented the district’s monthly indicators of success. Those indicators include information on the graduation rates, drop-out rates, and mobility rates in addition to daily attendance averages.

“For our daily attendance rates, we’ve had some really good news for a few straight months,” said Deleidi. “We were bound to have a little bit of a drop off. Compared month to month, the only grades that increased from March to April were one, three, and pre-kindergarten; everyone else dropped a little bit, but that is after four consecutive months of improvement.”

Compared to last year’s attendance trajectory, Deleidi added that the district is on pace to top last year’s attendance rates in all grades except for six, nine, and 10.

“That is really good news, especially with a new attendance policy we have been negotiating,” said Deleidi.

There was a drop in the four-year graduation rate for the past full year over the previous year of 66.2 percent to 64.1 percent, Deleidi said. There was also a 3 percent drop in the most recent five-year graduation rate figures provided by the state, but Deleidi said that number is still an improvement over the most recent pre-Covid year.

This school year, Deleidi said the district is currently at 130 drop outs for a rate of 7.02 percent, which is higher than the 5.2 percent it was at this time last year.

“We did have 31 students withdraw this month,” he said. “We were able to set two up in our adult education program. We have three students where their locations are unknown, and we have 26 where their plans are unknown.”

For the failure rates, Deleidi said there was a rate of 50.3 percent of grade 9 students who were failing at least one class in the third quarter, and 46.3 percent of grade 10 students who were failing at least one class.

“One of the reasons why we track ninth grade (failure rates) is because we know as students get behind in credits in ninth grade, they are more susceptible to dropping out later on,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Almi Abeyta. “That’s when we can do credit recovery .. we really want to prevent dropping out for students at the ninth grade level.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *