Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tops in the state

Congratulations, once again, to the students and teachers of Oconee County Schools!  While recent articles have celebrated and informed our community about obtaining the fourth-highest SAT scores in Georgia, two Title I Highest-Performing Rewards Schools, a Title I Reward District, and recognition of our two high schools as some of the nation’s best, the news we bring you today is even better—as it is a culmination of 13 years of work by our students and teachers.  Yes, today we praise our kids for leading the state in graduation rate!

Oconee County Schools has the number-one graduation rate in the state of Georgia for any school system with 4,000 or more students.   The recently released graduation rate stands at 91.9 percent and is an increase of .9 percent from 2013, and a 1.4 percent increase over 2012’s graduation rate.  Both North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School saw tremendous individual increases over last year’s graduation rate as well.  NOHS increased a full percentage point to 92.5 percent and OCHS increased 1.5 percent to 91.8 percent.

“This is something to celebrate,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “When we see the graduation rate consistently trending upward and when we see a greater percentage of our students graduating from our public high schools, we are talking about individual students and individual dreams. We’re talking about students whose options and futures expanded when they obtained a high-school diploma. So we are celebrating their victories, and turning toward the future, and the work necessary to make those dreams a reality for an even higher percentage of students.”

Georgia’s public high school graduation rate has increased for the third consecutive year, rising from 71.8 percent in 2013 to 72.5 percent in 2014, and rising a total of 5.1 percentage points since 2011.  This is the fourth year Georgia has calculated the graduation rate using a new formula – known as the adjusted cohort rate – now required by the U.S. Department of Education. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman; it is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. In contrast, Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate.

“While all states now calculate the graduation rate using the same formula, what each state requires to earn a diploma varies dramatically across the country,” Barge said. “Georgia has one of the highest sets of standards in the country for students.”

OCS students are meeting those high standards and charting a course for success.  By obtaining tremendous results in all academic measures, our kids are leading the state and demonstrating that dedication, hard work, and commitment pay off. 


But that is just the opinion of their proud superintendent! Let me know what you think of this tremendous accomplishment at jbranch@oconeeschools.org

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