WASHINGTON — Washington Community High School administrators have tracked the number of student dropouts since the 1995-1996 school year.
Monday's annual report on dropouts to the School Board was historic. The report showed no students dropped out in 2016-2017, the first time that's happened since records were kept.
"Zero. That's the number you want to see each year," said Superintendent Kyle Freeman. "In a perfect world, that should be possible each year. But with as many students as we have in our school, you're going to get a dropout or two."
Enrollment at the high school at the end of the 2016-2017 school year was 1,282, not including mid-year graduates.
The number of dropouts at the high school peaked in the years that immediately followed the start of the list.
There were 38 dropouts in 1997-1998 and 36 dropouts in 1998-1999. Since then, the highest number was 27 dropouts in 2004-2005.
There were 14 dropouts in 2011-2012. Since then, the dropout number has been in single digits. There were eight in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, nine in 2014-2015 and four in 2015-2016.
"Credit goes to our deans and counselors and the programs we've put in place to help students who are in danger of dropping out," Freeman said.
One program is IMPACT, an acronym for Inspire, Motivate, Pride, Achieve, Commit and Trust.
IMPACT was launched in 2014 by Nick Pacelli, chairman of the high school's special education department. It helps students who are struggling academically and socially and gives them opportunities to organize, plan and participate in community service projects.
Also at Monday's monthly meeting, board members:
* Approved a four-year agreement with low bidder Midwest Transit of Kankakee to lease two 77-passenger school buses for $10,946 per bus per year. The buses will replace two older buses in the high school's fleet.
* Approved Peoria Disposal Company's low bid of $5,988 for trash removal and recycling at the high school for the 2017-2018 school year. PDC did that work until about five years ago. Waste Management of East Peoria has done the job since then. Waste Management bid $6,850 for 2017-2018.
* Approved Brunk's Sports Center of Washington's bid of $14.25 for high school physical education uniforms for the 2017-2018 school year. Brunk's was the lone bidder. The student price for a P.E. uniform will continue to be $15.
Steve Stein can be reached at 686-3114 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.