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CUSD Graduation, Dropout Rates Rise

Capo Unified is No. 2 in Orange County for its graduation rate. Its dropout rates paradoxically climb as well, but are still substantially lower than county or statewide dropout figures.

It may sound contradictory, but Capistrano Unified's high school graduation and dropout rates both rose for the class of 2011, according to state figures.

Of the freshmen who started their high school career in 2007, 96.5 percent graduated in 2011, according to figures provided by the state Department of Education. That's a slight increase from .

Meanwhile, CUSD's dropout rate was 1.8 percent last year, slightly higher than 2010’s 1.6 percent.

The remaining 1.7 percent of students were either still in school, non-diploma special-education students or elected to take the GED.

In Capo’s six comprehensive high schools, one continuation school and several charter schools, the dropout rate for the various ethnic backgrounds were:

  • 1.1 percent for white/Caucasian (up from 0.9 percent in 2010)
  • 4.3 percent for Hispanics (vs. 3.9 percent in 2010)
  • 4.2 percent for American Indian or Alaskan (no figures available for 2010)
  • 1.8 percent for Asian (vs. 0.9 percent in 2010)
  • 0.9 percent for two or more races (vs. 2.1 percent in 2010)

Capo had the second best graduation rate in Orange County, trailing Irvine Unified's 96.8 percent. Irvine also had a lower dropout rate, as did .

According to CUSD press release, the Class of 2011 began with 4,225 students. Of those, 4,076 graduated with a high school diploma and 43 received a special education certificate of completion.

There are 28 students still enrolled and working on completing the requirements for a high school diploma. There were 77 who left without completing their education.

Here’s how it breaks down school by school:

Aliso Niguel in Aliso Viejo

Aliso Niguel has a graduation rate of 98.5 percent and a dropout rate of 0.5 percent. It ranks No. 1 among CUSD schools. Among the school's Hispanic students, the dropout rate rises to 2.1 percent. Asian students have a dropout rate of 2.5 percent. This is an improvement over the Class of 2010, which had an overall graduation rate of 98.3 percent and a dropout rate of 0.8 percent.

Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo

Capo Valley’s overall graduation rate in 2011 was 97 percent, with a dropout rate of 2.1 percent. The dropout rate for Hispanics was 4.5 percent, 4.3 percent for Asians and 2.2 percent for students of mixed backgrounds. These numbers are better than the Class of 2010, which had an overall graduation rate of 96.5 percent and a dropout rate of 2.2 percent.

Dana Hills High School in Dana Point

The graduation rate was 96.9 percent with a dropout rate of 1.5 percent. The Hispanic dropout rate was 4 percent, the only minority with large enough numbers to measure. In comparison, 2010 had an overall graduation rate of 96 percent and dropout rate of 1.7 percent. However, Hispanics in the Class of 2010 fared better. Their dropout rate was 2.2 percent.

Junipero Serra High in San Juan Capistrano

As an alternative school, Serra’s numbers always lag behind the six major high schools. Last year, the school posted an overall graduation rate of 84.6 percent, down from 85.4 percent in 2010. The dropout rate in 2011 was 13.6 percent, much higher than the 9.5 percent for the year before. The number of Hispanic dropouts rose from 17.5 percent in 2010 to 23.2 percent in 2011. Caucasian students dropped out at rate of 7.1 percent in 2011, which was about double the percentage in 2010.

San Clemente High

San Clemente’s overall graduation numbers improved from 94.9 percent in 2010 to 96.1 percent in 2011, while the dropout rate remained the same at 1.3 percent. Hispanics improved their dropout rates year over year. In 2010, they left at a rate of 2.2 percent. By 2011, that number was down to 1.7 percent.

San Juan Hill High in San Juan Capistrano

Because 2011 was the first graduating class at San Juan Hills, the school has no previous data. Last year's graduation rate was 96.3 percent, and the dropout rate was 2.2 percent. Hispanic students, which make up one-third of the student population, graduated at a rate of 94.6 percent and had a dropout rate of 2.5 percent. Those of mixed races had a dropout rate of 3.7 percent.

Tesoro High School in Las Flores

Tesoro’s graduation rate was 97.1 percent in 2011, down from 2010’s 97.8 percent. The dropout rate increased from an almost nonexistent 0.1 percent in 2010 to 0.9 percent in 2011. Hispanic students had a 1.1 percent dropout rate in 2011. There were not enough numbers in 2010 for a comparison.

County and Statewide Statistics

Orange County’s graduation rate for 2011 was 85.7 percent, which is better than the statewide average of 76.3 percent.

The county’s dropout was 9.3 percent in 2011, while the state’s was 14.1 percent.

Penny Arévalo June 28, 2012 at 02:35 PM
It's bad news graduate rates are on the rise? The state does not keep tract of dropout rates of private schools.
Steve Behmerwohld June 28, 2012 at 04:03 PM
@ Steve Lortech, I brought up the Sensationalistic Journalism argument with Penny and Roy before, on more than one occasion. I got the same results as you. http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/seal-beach-salon-shootings-chaos-victims-begged-for-life#comments_list
Teacher June 28, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Why all the whining about the headline? News outlets routinely try to capture the attention of the reader with the headline so that we might actually read the article. I have no problem with the headline. That said, and this will get me in trouble..... I have no problem with high drop-out/failure rates. I'm tired of watching college athletes (obviously with high school diplomas) unable to speak or write intelligibly. We need to maintain high standards so that a HS diploma means something. If a kid wants to drop out, please know that we will be here when you are ready to come back and take care of your business. Enough with lowering standards so that everyone gets a diploma.
Penny Arévalo June 28, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Thanks, MT. This headline is the opposite of sensational. Sensational would be, "CUSD Dropout Rates Skyrocket!" ... Or, "Graduation Rate Soars" ;-)
bbq June 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
MT Agree, agree, agree!

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