Attendance, graduation rates improve in Carson City

More students are showing up to high school each day and graduating, according the annual Accountability Report presented at Tuesday's school board meeting.

Student attendance increased this year at Carson High School to 97.2 percent, up from 90.8 percent the year before.

"For kids to learn, they have to be here," said Principal Ron Beck. "We've really emphasized that, and it seems to be working."

The alternative high school, Pioneer, also made marked improvements. This year's report shows a 90.8 percent attendance rate compared to 78.8 percent the previous year.

Sue Keema, associate superintendent of educational services, announced the results of the annual report, released by the Nevada Department of Education, during Tuesday's school board meeting.

Graduation rates are also on the rise. The Carson City school district class of 2008 graduated 85 percent of its student body. At Carson High School, the rate was 88.1 percent, up from 86.8 percent the year before.

Pioneer High School's graduation rate was 51.1 percent, up from 45.9 percent the year before.

Keema said lower graduation rates are expected at the alternative school, but goals are in place to improve that rate in coming years.

The graduation rate for the state is 68.7 percent.

She said the transiency rate held steady at 22 percent.

A major focus over the past year, Keema said, was ensuring ninth-graders stay out of credit deficiency.

Part of the plan, Beck said, included mandatory study hall over the lunch break for freshmen who were flunking classes.

According to the report, 12.9 percent of last year's ninth-graders were credit deficient, compared to 15.6 percent the previous year and 17.6 percent the year before that.

Beck said the program is expanding to require study hall before and after school for students earning any F's.

"They stay on that program until all F's are off," he said. "That will be an incentive for kids to get their grades up."

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