According to a report released Monday night by Oklahoma City Public Schools, there was a significant decline in high school dropouts in the state's largest school district.
District officials called the big drop in student dropouts a huge win for teachers and principals district wide, but they said there's still work to be done.
“We're definitely heading in the right direction,” said OKCPS associate superintendent, Aurora Lora.
Every district in Oklahoma has to do an annual school dropout report, and for the largest district in the state, these reports have not always been in its favor.
“Of course it's a big deal,” said OKCPS Chief Information Officer, George Kimball.
Kimball has been tracking these numbers for years, and he said he's never seen the dropout rate fall quite like this.
“Not this big a drop, no. We were seeing some drops before, and then occasionally we would see a spike where it would go back up,” said Kimball.
In fact, last school year, the districts dropout rate doubled. School officials said students are considered a dropout even if the administrators don't know if they've enrolled in another district.
“That data gave us just a real wake up call to making sure we were doing everything possible, and that work is definitely paying off,” said Lora.
Lora, who spent time in the Dallas Independent School District, said much of this success is because of improved strategies.
“This year we really worked hard to track down students, figure out why they're dropping out, making sure they knew about innovate options,” said Lora.
The report reveals during the 2012-2013 school year, there were 688 high school drops outs for grades seven through 12.
That number was more than cut in half during the 2013-2014 school year.
There were 342 drops outs across the district.
“We still want to work hard to reach out to every kid out there to make sure they know we want you in OKCPS, we want you back, and we want you to be successful,” said Lora.
District officials said homeschoolers also played a huge role in adding to last year's drop out number.