Calhoun County High School has failed to meet the graduation rate standards of the federal No Child Left Behind criteria.

The drop-out rate fell below the mandated 80% of students who entered 9th grade.

Director of Curriculum Greg Cartwright said the rate fell "into the low 70s," which translated to a few students short.

Last year the school barely met the standard by one or two, in the tightly regulated statistic.

Superintendent of Schools Ron Blankenship said Calhoun Middle-High School, Arnoldsburg and Pleasant Hill Elementary met all other Average Yearly Progress (AYP) standards.

Blankenship said schools with small enrollment face critical problems meeting the standards.

"The statistic doesn't allow for students who return to school later and graduate in five years or get a GED," he said.

Blankenship said the school system has instituted several measures to improve the graduation rate, including the grant program "Gear Up."

"The newly implemented "Respect and Protect" program is expected not only to improve discipline problems but help with students staying in school." he said.

Other area schools that did not meet the AYP standard in one or more areas, include Spencer and Clay Middle Schools.

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