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Dropout Rates

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A new study says 36 percent of high school freshman are failing to graduate in four years. Some educators fear that most are dropping out, but others say it all depends on how you look at the numbers.

There are several reasons students give for wanting to dropout of school, but some Bryan students are giving school another try. They're enrolled in the ACE alternative education program and are now on the right track to graduate.

“They were not being academically successful at Bryan High School, but they have been academically successful here and only about three percent do not complete our program, said Sandra Petty with the ACE Program.

Bryan's school district as a whole has a dropout rate of 4.9 percent. But that number could be slightly skewed because the state and federal agencies count drop outs differently.

For instance, the state does not consider students pursuing a GED as dropouts, but the federal government does.

And if a student transfers, the state doesn't verify whether or not they've re-enrolled in another district.

Many ACE students say a traditional high school just wasn't working for them and they're grateful for alternatives.

"By coming to ACE, it's basically a one on one with the teacher if you need help. It's working at your own pace," said Amber Commander, an ACE student.

“The main thing we need to do is motivate the kids and we need to help them see that there is hope for them to succeed," said David Greenfield, an ACE instructor.

Most ACE students end up graduating on time, helping the district's drop out rates.

Bryan ISD has four different dropout prevention programs. School officials say the most important thing is that students graduate, even if it takes longer than four years.