GCS Dropout Rate Decreases to New Low

More students are staying in Guilford County Schools than in years past, one more step to reaching the dream of graduation and success after their time with GCS.

Thanks to the students’ hard work and support of GCS educators, the number of GCS students dropping out decreased by more than four percent in the 2013-14 school year, according to a new report released today by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

The data shows GCS dropout rate as 1.97 percent, down from 2.07 in 2012-13. The district also continued to maintain a dropout rate below the state average of 2.28 percent for the 2013-14 school year.

GCS has reduced its dropout rate each year since Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green came to the district. The district's graduation rate has also increased each year, reaching 88.5 percent in 2013-14, the highest four-year cohort graduation rate ever achieved by GCS.

Dropout Rates – GCS vs. State

School   Year

GCS   Dropout Rate

N.C.   Dropout Rate

GCS   Dropout Count

N.C.   Dropout Count



1.97   percent

2.07   percent

2.28   percent

2.45   percent






2.15   percent

3.01   percent




2.71   percent

3.43   percent




2.81   percent

3.75   percent




3.13   percent

4.27   percent




3.31   percent

4.97   percent




According to the state data, GCS had the lowest dropout rate of the state’s largest school districts in 2013-14.

2013-14 Dropout Rates of North Carolina’s Largest School Districts

Guilford County Schools


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools


Cumberland County Schools


Wake County Schools


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools


“We still have work to do to reduce our dropout rate to zero, but we celebrate the fact that for the seventh consecutive year, we are headed in the right direction,” says Charlos Smith Banks, executive director of student service and character development. “Our high schools have done a tremendous job establishing comprehensive teams, taking a whole child development approach to ensure our students are graduating career, college and life ready.”

Banks credits the decreasing dropout rate to the teams of educators at schools for building relationships with students to help overcome barriers to graduation, as well as district-wide initiatives such as character development, promoting literacy and the African American Male Initiative.

“We also have tremendous support from our parents and community,” adds Banks. “Parents have played an active role in working with school staff to assist students with overcoming academic and social challenges, and our community partners provide both financial and human support for our initiatives.”

The state also released data today on reportable offenses, short-term suspensions and long-term suspensions. Both state data and GCS data showed a decrease in these numbers in 2013-14. However, the data is not comparable due to complications at the state level with the student reporting system, PowerSchool.

The number of incidents listed in the current and past state reports are duplicated in terms of students. That means one student may be responsible for multiple incidents. A report by GCS staff earlier this year found that reported violations at the beginning of the current school year were committed by less than five percent of all students, and more than 95 percent of students did not violate any rules within the code of conduct.

The dropout rate numbers were not determined through PowerSchool.