The attrition rate refers to the percentage of students who leave a particular school or school district from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next. Last we looked at the 2013-14 attrition rate for the Salem Public School district; now let's look at Lynn.
In 2013-14, the Lynn public school district's overall attrition rate (excluding charter schools) was 6.3%, up from 5.4% in the previous year. This means that 6.3% of the students enrolled in an LPS school during 2012-13 were not enrolled within the district this school year. At KIPP Academy Lynn, the attrition rate was 4.6%, down from 5.4%.
The attrition rate varied at the grade level with the highest attrition after the 4th and 8th grades in LPS. KIPP had a generally stable attrition rate from the 6th - 9th grade and much lower rates at the 5th and 10th grades.
*KIPP currently only enrolls students in grades 5 - 11.
Over the last few years, the attrition rate in LPS has been much higher in the 4th and 8th grades than the district's average.
The DESE also calculates the attrition rate at the individual school level. This is slightly different in the sense that this just refers to the percentage of students who leave a particular school but not necessarily the district. Some of the students who leave one school may have transferred to another public school within LPS.
At the elementary level, Drewicz had the highest attrition rate (18.2%); Breed had the highest attrition by a slight margin at the middle school level (8.9%) and Fecteau-Leary at the high school level (12%).
A few things about the numbers listed here:
- The attrition rates at the individual school level are higher than the district average indicating that many students may be transferring within the district as opposed to leaving LPS altogether.
- The attrition rate simply notes the percentage of students that left a particular school or district but not the reason why. Some families may a school or the district due to concerns about the quality of education while other may be leaving for job opportunities or more affordable housing, to be closer to family, etc.
- This information does not account for district level decisions to relocate programs such as special education classes.
- One should consider the affect of attrition rates on standardized test scores. At Cobbet, for example, 15.7% of students left the school after 2012-13 yet the population from last school year to the current one was only -2.2% meaning that the school saw an influx of new students at all grade levels even when accounting for the new kindergarten class. The constantly changing student roster has implications as far as a school's ability to show progress with students over time.
- This information is just a snapshot. Enrollment and attrition information is reported as of October 1st and is fluid particularly if one considers that students can transfer in and out of schools any time of the school year.
All data taken from: www.doe.mass.edu