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Students are better helped while in school

High school dropout rates are like murder rates, no matter how low they may be or how improved they may be over time, a single one is too many.

For a number of years the Natchez-Adams School District has had a staggeringly high dropout rate — approximately 50 percent.

That massive rate is one reason why our community’s schools are considered failing.

But beyond the “F” marks that make citizens and civic leaders cringe with disappointment, the high dropout rate means busloads of students are failing to graduate with the most basic high school diploma.

To its credit, the district has begun rolling out new programs aimed at identifying dropout students, targeting them for re-enrollment in special programs and generally making those students realize they’re appreciated and loved by someone.

That’s a start.

Somehow teachers, administrators and parents must get to those students sooner, before they become dropout statistics.

Logically, getting a child reengaged in schoolwork is easier while he is still attending class than trying to coax a dropout to return to the classroom.

While the phrase has a negative connotation since the federal government created legislation by the same name, but didn’t provide funding for it, our community truly needs to take the attitude that no child will be left behind.