SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 64
September 18, 1998
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Report of Dropouts, 1997-98 School Year|
In order for the Department of Education to meet Commonwealth legislative reporting requirements, the 1997-98 Report of Dropouts must be completed for certain schools in your division and is due in Richmond no later than Wednesday, November 4, 1998.Completed reports should be addressed to: Mona N. Mallory Management Information Systems Virginia Department of Education P. O. Box 2120 Richmond, Virginia, 23218-2120 The dropout report must be submitted by: 1. Schools that had membership in any of grades seven through twelve, and 2. Schools that had students age twelve or older (on January 1, 1998) in ungraded classrooms during the 1997-98 school year (e.g., self-contained special education classrooms or alternative education programs for which separate attendance registers were kept). The dropout report is not completed for vocational, technical, special education, or alternative education centers providing specialized instruction to students officially enrolled at other schools. The statistics on dropouts will be made available to the Virginia General Assembly and the information will be included in the School Performance Report Card in January 1999. Because of the short period of time we have in which to process and publish dropout statistics, any reports received before our stated due date will be sincerely appreciated. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Mona N. Mallory (804) 225-2099. PDS/dmb Enclosures: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments will be sent to the superintendent's office. Table of Contents INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE REPORT OF DROPOUTS . . . . . .1 Who Must File a 1997-98 Dropout Report? . . . . . . . . . .1 Who Does Not Need to File a 1997-98 Dropout Report? . . . .1 What is the Definition of a Dropout?. . . . . . . . . . . .2 INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORM SA.087 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 REMINDERS CONCERNING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ATTENDANCE REGULATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES AND HELPFUL HINTS. . . . . . . . . . . .6 INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE REPORT OF DROPOUTS 1997-98 School Year Through Summer 1998 Who Must File a 1997-98 Dropout Report? The 1997-98 Report of Dropouts is to be completed for each school that had membership in any of grades seven through 12. Each school that had students age 12 or older in membership in ungraded classrooms, (e.g., self-contained special education classroom, alternative education program, etc. for which separate attendance registers were kept) must also file a dropout report with the Department of Education. Who Does Not Need to File a 1997-98 Dropout Report? If the school had no membership in grades 7 through 12 and all students in ungraded classrooms were less than 12 years of age on January 1, 1998, the school does not have to file the report. Special and alternative education programs and centers which did not file a Fall Membership Report (for September 30, 1997) with the Department of Education SHOULD NOT file a dropout report. Dropout reporting for these students should parallel attendance and membership reporting. For example, if a 12th grade student is counted in membership in Alpha High School, attends Beta Alternative Education Center, and then drops out of school, he/she should be counted as a dropout from Alpha High School. How Do We File The Report? Please use Form SA.087 (for 1997-98 school year) to file the dropout report. These forms are preprinted with school names and numbers for those schools known to have students in grade 7 or above. One report form, not preprinted with school number/name has been provided (which you may duplicate) for use by those schools (with grades below 7-12 or schools operating solely on the ungraded grade level) having ungraded students age 12 and above in membership. What is the Definition of a Dropout? A dropout is a student who leaves school before graduation for any reason other than death and fails to transfer to another school (i.e., public schools including alternative education programs as defined in the Standards of Quality and the Regulations of the Board of Education, private schools, hospital education programs or approved home instruction programs) or institution (i.e., state schools for the deaf and blind, correctional institutions or mental health/mental retardation institutions). Students who are awarded certificates as described under Standard 4.E. of Standards of Quality for Public Schools in Virginia (SOQ) - July 1990, are considered to be graduates and consequently are not to be counted as dropouts. Regular term dropouts (W8s) who enroll in and complete summer school and return in the fall (by October 31) or graduate are not counted as dropouts. Such students who complete summer school will be subtracted from the regular term worksheet. Students who drop out during the regular term, complete summer school, but do not graduate and fail to return in the fall will be added to the summer dropout worksheet. Beginning in 1988-89, the reporting of dropouts was expanded to include pupils who are in membership on the last day of the regular school year but fail to return to school by October 31 of the following year for reasons other than transfer, death, or graduation. These pupils are to be reported in addition to regular term dropouts, as defined above. To identify pupils who drop out between the last day of the regular school year and October 31 of the following school year, it is recommended that the Ten Day Report to the Superintendent and the list of children not enrolled be used (see Sections 22. 1-260 and 22.1-261, Code of Virginia). Only those pupils who 1.) were in membership on the last day of school and did not return to school between the first day of school and October 31, or 2.) were dropouts on the last day of the regular term but completed summer school are to be considered as potential summer dropouts. If the summer withdrawal was for reasons other than transfer, death or graduation, the pupil is to be counted as a dropout from the school last attended and in the grade last attended. If a student was a dropout (W8) during the 1997-98 regular term, and did not complete summer school, but returned to school the following year, that student is to be reported as a dropout. If a student was in a GED program and failed the GED, but stayed in the program until the end of the school term, and fails to return to school the following year, that student is a summer dropout. (See Informational Superintendent's Memorandum No. 134, June 22, 1988.) If a student was in an alternative education program and did not graduate but stayed in the program until the end of the school term and fails to return to school the following year, that student is a summer dropout. If a regular term dropout completes summer school and consequently is subtracted from the number of regular term dropouts, then fails to return to school in the fall, that student should be counted as a summer dropout. Regardless of the circumstances, no student should be counted as a dropout more than once in any annual dropout reporting cycle. When a student is a W8 in the Fall and again in the Spring, the student is a dropout only once. When a dropout is in both graded and ungraded classes, the student should be recorded only once. INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORM SA.087 At the top of the form, check to make sure all pre-printed information (division and school name and number) is correct. Make corrections if necessary. If pre-printed information is not present, enter your 3-digit school division number, school division name, 4-digit school number and school name. Section 1., Lines 1-6 Report dropouts by grade, gender and race/ethnic category using the definitions provided below: American Indian or Alaskan Native - A person having origins (ancestry) in any of the original peoples of North America, who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition. Asian or Pacific Islander - A person having origins (ancestry) in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, or the Indian subcontinent. Included, for example, are peoples of China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, Samoa, and India. Black, not of Hispanic Origin - A person having origins (ancestry) in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Hispanic - A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin (ancestry), regardless of race. White, not of Hispanic Origin - A person having origins (ancestry) in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East. Section 2., Lines 1-8 Report dropouts by grade, sex and primary reason for dropping out using the definitions provided below. Individual students should be reported as a dropout only once. Achievement problems (low achievement, low motivation, low interest, etc.) Behavioral difficulties (suspension or expulsion, incarceration, runaway, truancy, poor relationships with peers or adults, etc.) Health problems (physical or mental illness, injury, substance abuse, etc.) Family (pregnancy, parenthood, marriage, needed at home, etc.) Financial hardship (extreme poverty, working to support self or family, etc.) Employment (took a job, joined armed forces, entered Job Corps or similar program, etc.) Moved (no longer resides in the area and current status is unknown after appropriate investigation by the attendance officer.) Section 3., Lines 1-6 For each ethnic category as listed, report the number of dropouts who were classified as ungraded students and were age 14 or above as of January 1, 1998. Section 4., Lines 1-6 On lines 1 through 4, report numbers of dropouts as appropriate. On line 5, report the end-of-year membership of all special education students in grades 7-12 including ungraded special education students ages 12 or older as of January 1, 1998. On line 6, report dropouts from the prior reporting year who return any time during the current reporting year. REMINDERS CONCERNING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ATTENDANCE REGULATIONS (VIRGINIA TEACHER'S REGISTER OR AN APPROVED AUTOMATED ATTENDANCE SYSTEM) Regular term dropouts are identified using the withdrawal code W8 from the Virginia Teacher's Register or an approved automated attendance system. Remember that W9 withdrawals who do not return to school by the end of the regular school year are to be recoded to W8s, if appropriate, and reported as dropouts. Note that W9s should be carefully examined to determine whether they should be recoded to a withdrawal code other than W8. A student enrolled in school who passes the GED and withdraws from school should be coded in the Virginia Teacher's Register or an approved automated attendance system as a W and is not considered a dropout. The W code is being used during the GED Pilot Program (See Informational Superintendent's Memorandum No. 134, June 22, 1988). The Virginia Teacher's Register or your approved automated attendance system must reflect a student's status on the last day of school. If the student's status on the Virginia Teacher's Register as of the last day of school is W8, that status is not affected by returning to summer school or by returning to school the following year. Only those events occurring prior to or on the last day of school may be used in determining the coding of the official regular term attendance record. Please note that special and alternative education students are to be reported by grades when grade designations are available and appropriate. The ungraded education category for dropouts should be used only when attendance for the dropout was reported in an ungraded rather than a graded classroom. SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES AND HELPFUL HINTS 1. REPORTS ARE DUE IN RICHMOND ON NOVEMBER 4, 1998 It is important that we adhere to this due date. Dropout data are needed by Department of Education staff and members of the Virginia General Assembly to plan and develop budgets and programs before the start of the legislative session in January. Dropout statistics will be reported on the School Performance Report Card in January 1999. The Department's short processing period for this report also coincides with the Thanksgiving holidays. We must receive, enter, edit, and verify dropout data before the start of the winter holidays. We expect to be able to publish these statistics in December. Please know that if you are able to file your reports in advance of our stated due date, this will be sincerely appreciated. 2. WHO MUST REPORT? The Report of Dropouts, 1997-98 School Year, must be completed for each of your schools that had membership in any of grades seven through twelve or had students age twelve or older (on January 1, 1998) in ungraded classrooms (e.g., self-contained special education classrooms or alternative education programs for which separate attendance registers were kept) during the 1997-98 school year. The form should not be completed for vocational/technical, special education, or alternative education centers that provide specialized instruction or training of students officially enrolled at other schools. We are providing you with pre-printed forms for each of your schools having a 7th or higher grade (according to our records). Return all of these forms, even if you had zero dropouts! Additional forms, not preprinted, are also enclosed for your use in reporting students age 12 or older, who may be enrolled in ungraded classrooms in schools not having a 7th or higher grade or schools operating solely on the ungraded grade level. 3. RE: END OF YEAR (EOY) MEMBERSHIP DATA End of year membership statistics are used to calculate school and division level dropout rates. These statistics are now reported to the Department of Education on Table 6 of the Annual School Report - Statistical Section. 4. MOST ERRORS WE DISCOVER ARE COMPUTATIONAL We check row and column addition, and when we find discrepancies, we must request you to review your original submission, and then resubmit one or more report forms. Otherwise, we have no way of knowing whether the column/row totals were incorrectly computed, or whether incorrect data were entered above or to the left of a correct total. Additionally, please note that for each dropout reported, you must report a reason. The relationship between these two sections of the report is such that each column total in Section 1. MUST EQUAL the corresponding column total in Section 2. The time taken to "proof" your school reports before they are submitted will be time well spent, and eliminate the need to review, resubmit and verify corrections. 5. SHOULD SCHOOLS MAIL THEIR REPORTS DIRECTLY TO THE DEPARTMENT? We would prefer they did not. All school level reports should be shipped together, in one package, to the Department of Education. The reports should be reviewed for completeness and accuracy prior to shipment, and a copy of each report should be maintained by the school division's dropout report contact person. Following these steps should significantly reduce the number of errors that are encountered, and speed the resolution of those that are discovered.