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East Ventura County Focus

OAK PARK : District Dropout Rate Expected to Stay Low

June 11, 1993|DOUG McCLELLAN

The Oak Park Unified School District may not be able to repeat last year's enviable record of having no dropouts, school officials said.

Still, the district will probably maintain its position as having Ventura County's lowest percentage of drop-outs.

Principals of Oak Park High School and Oak View High School, the district's alternative school, said this week that as many as four students could be classified as dropouts when the district does its annual survey in October.

"The problems of dropouts are usually not related to school," Oak View Principal Larry Misel said.

Under state regulations, students are classified as dropouts if they fail to attend classes for 45 straight days or if they move and the district never receives a request for transcripts from another school district, Misel said.

Misel, whose school was recently recognized as one of 12 model continuation schools in California, said two of his students left school for family reasons and have not re-enrolled elsewhere.

He said the teachers and administrators work diligently to keep the school's 50 students motivated. "If students aren't in school, I go and get them," he said.

Oak Park High School Principal Jeff Chancer, whose school has had one dropout in five years, said as many as two may be classified as dropouts this year.

One student stopped taking classes and instead took the test for a General Equivalency Diploma, Chancer said.

If he passes he will not be considered a dropout. Another student is pregnant and has not been in school, but Chancer said officials are working with her family to help her return.

Because Oak Park High is so small, with 530 students, he said it is easier to notice students who are in trouble.

"But it becomes more and more difficult as you get more and more students," Chancer said.

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