Though 2,900 students were listed as withdrawals from the Newton County School System last year, the numbers are deceiving, according to a report given to the Newton County Board of Education Tuesday.
Between October 2011 and October 2012, NCSS had a loss of 70 students. According to the presentation, while the student withdrawal reports at the end of the 2011-12 school year show exactly 2,912 students withdrawing from the NCSS, it does not show any student enrollments or re-enrollments.
The school system is required to track students with certain codes when they leave a school. These codes include: expelled, graduation, attending home study, transferred out of country, transferred to private school, adult education/post secondary, transferred to another Georgia public school, transferred within the county and unknown.
Withdrawal codes are reported to the Georgia Department of Education at the end of each school year. Specific documentation is required to present to the GaDOE, which will determine the withdrawal code used. In 2010-11, the GaDOE changed what specific documentation required when enrolling or withdrawing a student.
Prior to those changes, any elementary student would not be reported with a dropout code, even if parents did not provide any documentation or notice of the child leaving their school. Since the changes, any elementary student who withdraws but does not enroll in another state school is coded as "unknown," which is considered by the GaDOE as being a dropout, hence the increase by 9 percent of dropout numbers in the NCSS last year.
Currently, there are 19,142 students enrolled in Newton County schools.