County’s graduation rate exceeds state’s |

County’s graduation rate exceeds state’s

by Amy Alonzo

Douglas County School District’s 2016 adjusted cohort graduation rate is nearly 20 points higher than the state average, despite dipping slightly from 2015.

The district’s adjusted graduation rate for 2016 was 88.5 percent, down from 90.6 percent in 2015. It is the second-highest adjusted graduation rate for the district in the past six years. Of the 479 students in 2016’s cohort, 424 graduated.

The adjusted cohort graduation rate measures the percentage of first-time ninth-graders who graduate four years later.

“We’ve been relatively consistent in our graduation rate over the past few years,” Brian Frazier, director of accountability, grants and progress monitoring, told school board trustees at their Tuesday meeting.

The district’s adjusted graduation rate was 87.7 percent for 2014, 85 percent for 2013, 81.9 percent for 2012 and 83.6 percent for 2011.

Statewide, the numbers are much lower. The statewide adjusted graduation rate was 70.8 percent for 2016, 70 percent for 2015, 70.6 percent for 2014, 63 percent for 2013 and 62 percent for 2012.

Of the 424 Douglas County students who graduated in 2016, 173 (41 percent) received advanced diplomas; 238 (56 percent) received standard diplomas; and 13 (3 percent) received adult diplomas.

Of the 55 students who did not graduate, 27 (49 percent) dropped out, 10 (18.2 percent) are still enrolled as fifth-year seniors and 18 (33 percent) are categorized as “completers.”

Completers are students who earn either an adjusted diploma or obtain their high school equivalency. For the 18 completers in 2016, 16 (89 percent) earned an adjusted diploma and 2 (11 percent) earned their high school equivalency.

Of the 27 students who dropped out, 1 (3.7 percent) withdrew to a vocational program; 1 (3.7 percent) was expelled; three (11 percent) left to attend a high school equivalency program; and 22 (81.5 percent) were identified as “whereabouts unknown.”

Frazier said future goals for the division include encouraging students seeking high school equivalencies to instead earn adult diplomas, increasing the overall graduation rate and increasing tracking for the students categorized as “whereabouts unknown.”