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Ogdensburg graduation rates dip from 2011 to 2012

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The Ogdensburg City School District’s graduation rate declined by 5 percent from 2011 to 2012 according to figures released by the state Department of Education.

The Department of Education calculates the graduation rates by following a “cohort” of students as they enter high school and tracking their success by the time they graduate.

The 2008 cohort, which graduated in 2012 and was 142 students strong, saw a 70.4 percent graduation rate compared to a 75.5 percent graduation rate for the 2007 cohort which graduated in 2011.

Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said that variation isn’t particularly significant and could be explained by any number of factors.

“I wouldn’t say that’s a huge variation,” Mr. Vernsey said of the 5 percent fluctuation between 2011 and 2012.

Between any two years the graduation rate will fluctuate, on average, between two to three percent, he added.

“Our goal is to continually strive to graduate 100 percent,” Mr. Vernsey said, noting that the state hopes to see every school district reach at least and 80 percent graduation rate.

Likewise Mr. Vernsey said the dropout rate for the 2008 cohort, which stood at 13.4 percent, could have been impacted by host of issues.

Mr. Vernsey highlighted the impact of the mental health of students in that cohort or the social difficulties they faced as possible reasons for the dropout rate.

In the 2008 cohort 17.6 percent of boys dropped out while 8.8 percent of girls dropped out.

Mr. Vernsey said the gender difference isn’t studied enough for him to speak about the subject.

According to a press release by the Department of Education, the statewide graduation rate was 74 percent.

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