A new report shows one in four high school students across the nation never graduate. Kentucky education officials say the Commonwealth's dropout rate is slightly better, but they say there is always room for improvement.
When it comes to high school dropout rates, Kentucky sits in the middle.
“If you were to rank every state's dropout rate from high to low, we're about 25th out of 50 states reporting,” said Lisa Gross with the Kentucky Department of Education.
Officials with the Kentucky Department of Education say the state is making active strides to improve that ranking. Dwight Creech is involved in one of those initiatives. He is the principal at Cordia High School in Knott County and says this year the school started a new truancy diversion program.
“I think that everybody needs some support and some supervision. That's what this is about, is offering a support network,” said Creech.
He says the school, along with the local courts, works with students having attendance problems.
“The student will be monitored, attendance and grades, every week for, I believe, it's a ten week period of time,” he said.
He says working one on one with students will help prepare them for the future.
“And when they get through school, if they get a job, their employers are going to expect them to be there everyday. They're going to expect them to be there on time. So I think it helps them on down the road in life too,” he said.
“And we know that an educated population makes for a strong economic system and that's what we want here. We want kids to stay in school,” said Gross.
It is something Creech, along with other state educators, say they will continue to work on.
Creech says compared to this time last year, the new program has improved the school's attendance numbers by about four percent.