Abington: Targeting students sooner showing positive results

Abington High School Principal Teresa Sullivan reported that the preliminary dropout rate numbers for 2013 are down to 1.2% from a 3.7% rate in 2012.

“The preliminary data is the best it’s ever been that I know of on record,” Sullivan said, “I attribute that to a couple of things…I thank the [School] Committee because they had approved a credit recovery program last year…that was giving kids other opportunities to catch up.”

According to Sullivan, the online credit recovery program really helps students catch up on weeks of work due to being hospitalized, or other reasons. “They can do some of the coursework with an online tutor,” she said.

Sullivan stressed the importance of targeting the students sooner. “We’re trying to catch them sooner [and] provide remediation sooner,” she said.

Sullivan attributed the decreased drop-out rate to several other shifts to “sooner” actions. “We’re getting our MCAS scores earlier than we used to,” she said, “We’re getting them in September instead of November.”

Sullivan also recognized the School Committee’s support for providing tutoring supports early on for kids identified as “at risk” students.

Proposed revisions for the 2014-2015 High School Program of Studies include shortening the add/drop period to two weeks instead of four, another attempt to take action sooner, according to Sullivan.

“We had over 200 changes from elective students,” Sullivan said, “It was really maximizing our guidance counselors time and energy…We really want to minimize that and have them make their decisions early.”

According to Sullivan, students will register for their classes in March, and they have all summer and two weeks into September to change any classes.

About Samantha Tracey

Samantha Tracey graduated from Salem State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. She has been reporting on local issues in a variety of towns: Bridgewater, Abington, Carver, Weymouth, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Halifax, etc. She says growing up on the South Shore has made it interesting now to be covering news in such familiar places.