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Fluvanna Dropout Rates 6th Lowest in VA - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fluvanna Dropout Rates 6th Lowest in VA

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Despite some tough challenges this year, Fluvanna County Public Schools are celebrating a major achievement. The county has one of the lowest dropout rates in Virginia.

Fluvanna ranks sixth out of 131 school divisions for the lowest dropout rate, and administrators say this is exactly the kind of momentum the school system wants to build upon.

"We're really excited about it and I think it shows the hard work that the staff has been putting in," said Brenda Gilliam, director of secondary instruction for Fluvanna County Schools.

For the last several weeks, Fluvanna's school system made headlines over a heated budget battle, but now they're standing out for a different reason.

"And I know that it is something that is recognized at the high school level with graduation, but it's really a K through 12 effort. It really starts as soon as they enter our doors," Gilliam said.

The dropout rate in Fluvanna is 1.4 percent, which is down more than 2 percent from last year and the lowest rate on record for the county since the state started tracking the data four years ago.

Gilliam says giving students more options, including alternative education and career training, has influenced the results.

"One of the programs that we've had the last few years is called Commonwealth Scholars, where we have businesspeople come into the classrooms and speak to students starting in eighth grade about what they need in order to be successful in the career of their choice," Gilliam said.

Even though it is proud of having the lowest dropout rate of all the surrounding counties, the administration says its work isn't done.

"It's such a cool outcome to have after everybody's hard work that they've put into this. To know that we're really being successful with what we're trying to do, but even one dropout is too many for us, so we would certainly like to have that number down to zero," Gilliam said.

During its joint meeting with supervisors on Wednesday, the school board will talk about expanding the facilities for career and technology programs.

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