LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Fewer students are dropping out of school in the Lamar County School District.
Since the 2007-2008 school year, drop-out rates have decreased by over 80%. The graduating class of 2008 had 93 drop outs, but the class of 2013 had only 10.
"Probably the biggest measure of a school's success is how many students we are graduating," says Lamar County Superintendent Dr. Ben Burnett.
The school district has a drop-out prevention program in place and has focused on faculty and staff building relationships with students.
"Students, teachers, we have bus drivers involved, we have custodians involved, any adult at the school that works with children are a part of our program to help our kids stay in school," says program coordinator Jarrod Bohannon.
Purvis High School principal Billy Ellzey says that the prevention steps are taken from the moment students step on campus.
"We know some of those students… are the ones we need to make sure we're looking out for," says Ellzey. "Sometimes it's just getting them involved with a teacher or a cafeteria worker that they know. So it's somebody that they see every day, that they know, 'Hey, they want me to be here at school.'"
School officials say that although great progress has been made, the end goal is to have a 100% graduation rate.