This year's Kids Matter! report reflects the culmination of the work performed by a board committee to make this report more meaningful and to include the indicators determined to have more relevance in capturing the current condition of children and youth in our community. These indicators are organized in the following manner:
In the Healthy Children section, the data are reported in a six-year window period for all of the indicators except for teen violent deaths and sexually transmitted diseases. Teen births and repeat teen pregnancies are reported for girls (ages 15-19), and teen pregnancies are reported for girls (ages 15-17). Teen violent deaths and sexually transmitted diseases are reported for youth (ages 13-19).
It should be noted that the health data graphs only reflect the Black, White, and Hispanic populations, while the data tables reflect these same race/ethnic groups plus an other category for the other race/ethnic groups. The total rates and percentages reflect all of the race/ethnic groups.
Additionally, the rates and percentages reported for the Hispanic population will be disproportionately higher when compared to the Black and White populations, due to there being fewer Hispanics in our community.
Data in the Children Ready for and Succeeding in School section is reported for the previous three academic school years. Grades 3, 5, and 9 were determined to be more appropriate when looking at over age students.
Out of school suspensions are reported both system-wide and for grades 5, 7, and 9. Truancy, dropouts, and high school graduation data are reported system-wide. The out of school suspensions reflect an unduplicated count of students receiving suspensions. The enrollment is a rolling enrollment throughout the school year. Data for the 2008-2009 academic school year is preliminary.
High school graduates who pursue post-secondary and technical/vocational education, enlist in the military, or become employed was determined to be a better indicator of students preparedness for further education or employment. We were unable to get information on the number of graduates who enlist in the military or become employed, since this data are not currently tracked at the local school level.
System wide data reported reflects all the race/ethnic groups enrolled in the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. Over age is defined as students who are two or more years behind in grade. Truancy is defined as having 5 or more unexcused absences during the academic school year. Dropouts are students who drop completely out of school.
Please note that percentages for Asian, American Indian, Hispanic, and Multi-racial students will be disproportionately higher when compared to the Black and White students due to there being fewer of them enrolled in the public school system.
Indicators relevant to child abuse and neglect, out of home placements, and juvenile delinquency are concentrated in the Strong Families and Neighborhoods section. Juvenile delinquency data are reported for the previous three calendar years. Due to a change in their information system, the Chatham County Juvenile Court data now reports on referrals and delinquent charges. In previous Profile reports we have reported on delinquent offenses. The juvenile arrests data reflect juveniles (ages 16 and under).
The Self-Sufficient Families section continues to focus on children and families in poverty. Newer estimates are provided to allow some comparison to the 2000 Census information. A new addition to this section is a self-sufficiency standard, which we hope you will find equally enlightening.
Each tab page (which precedes each data section) has a revised format that now includes some best practices, innovative approaches, and public awareness information for many of the indicators reported. Additionally, you will find hyperlinks to other data and resources that relate to the indicators.
As was mentioned in the introduction, this new Kids Matter! report is a work in transition, and we will continue to make adjustments to ensure this status report helps you to better understand the nature and scope of the problems that confront children, youth, and families. Please enjoy!