The numbers here do not include the rates for students who had to repeat a grade in the 2006-2007 school year because nonacademic data always lags a year behind, said Beth Sumner, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum. She said she just submitted that information to the Kentucky Department of Education last week for approval, she said.
These numbers also were all compiled before the elementary school was split into primary and intermediate. This means that at the time, the fifth grade was still included in the middle school. The elementary school data seen here only reflects the fourth grade. This is because the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act allowed students to be in public schools for four years (including kindergarten) before being held back counted as a retention. This was because the law intended to recognize that young children can sometimes develop at much different paces, Sumner said.
In three out of these five years, students at the elementary level were retained the least. But in 2002 and 2006, the first and last years of the five-year sample, the elementary school’s was higher. In 2006, the elementary retention rate was 1.97 percent, while the middle school’s was 0.3 percent. Although that might seem like a large difference, the elementary school had only one more student retained. That year, the middle school had a total student population of 658, while the elementary school had 152.
In 2002, the elementary school retained 1.31 percent of its students, while the middle school retained only one percent. However, a total of seven out of 699 students were retained at the middle school, while only two out of 153 were retained at the elementary school.
No students at the elementary school were retained in 2003 or 2004. Two out 145 were retained in 2005, for a rate of 1.38 percent.
The middle school retained two out of 667 students in 2003, for a rate of 0.3 percent. Three out of 690 students were retained in 2004, for a rate of 0.43 percent. The biggest retention jump came in 2005, when 13 out of 720 students were retained, making the rate 1.81 percent.
Sumner said that when the middle school had funding for Extended School Services (ESS), students had the option of making up credit during the summer to avoid repeating a grade. She said it was likely that in years with higher numbers, such as 2005, the school did not have those funds available.
For the full story on retention rates in Trigg County, read the new edition of The Cadiz Record.