Dropout, school crime rates decline

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The dropout rate and number of reportable crimes for Wilson County Schools have declined.

In 2016-17, Wilson County Schools had 143 dropouts for a high school dropout rate of 3.6. In 2015-16, there were 154 dropouts for a rate of 3.83.

Statewide, in 2016-17, high schools reported 11,097 dropouts, which is a 1.9 percent increase over the 1,889 dropouts recorded in 2015-16.

The rate of dropouts in Wilson County Schools has generally declined from highs in the 2006-07 school year, when there were 311 dropouts for a rate of 7.98.

The dropout rate is the number of students in a particular grade span dropping out in one year, divided by a measure of the total students in that particular grade span, according to a recently released North Carolina Department of Public Instruction report.

A dropout is defined as “any student who leaves school for any reason before graduation or completion of a program of studies without transferring to another elementary or secondary school,” according to the report.

“We review these data and discuss with principals the entire year because of the relation to safety, behavior expectations and keeping students engaged and in our schools,” said Lane Mills, superintendent of Wilson County Schools. “We are pleased the dropout rate decreased, and it shows the hard work of our principals, counselors and teachers. However, we want all of our students to finish school, so we have more work to do.”


In 2016-17, Wilson County Schools had 37 reportable crimes from an average daily membership of 3,729 for a rate of 9.92 per 1,000 students in grades 9-12.

Across the state, the rate of reportable crimes decreased by 4 percent from 12.75 to 12.12 per 1,000 students.

The highest instances of crimes were possession of controlled substances, followed by possession of a weapon, assault on school personnel, possession of an alcoholic beverage and possession of a firearm or powerful explosive.

The crime rate in Wilson County Schools has declined over the three previous years, from 16.96 per 1000 students in 2013-14, 12.94 in 2014-15 to 11 in 2015-16.


For 2016-17, Wilson County Schools had a total of 2,269 short-term suspensions from an average daily membership of 3,729 for a rate of 60.85 for grades 9-12. In the past three years, the rate in Wilson County Schools was 62.10 in 2015-16, 35.13 in 2014-15, and 37.98 in 2013-14 in high school grades.

The WCS rate is among the highest in the state, behind Anson County with a rate of 77.36, Northampton County, with a rate of 73.65, and Halifax County, with a rate of 68.92.

Short-term suspensions include in-school and out-of-school suspensions of 10 or fewer days.

Suspensions in Wilson County Schools by gender showed that of 4,903 suspended students in the district, 1,455 or more were girls and 3,440 or more were boys.

The top three ethnic groups with suspensions were African-American with 3,766, Caucasian with 658 and Hispanic with 357.

There were no expulsions listed in Wilson County Schools for the 2016-17 school year.