Thursday, November 19, 2015

Graduation rate rises

Congratulations, once again, to the students, teachers, and parents of Oconee County Schools!  While recent articles have celebrated and informed the community about our students obtaining the 2nd highest SAT and ACT scores in Georgia, the news we bring you today is even better—as it is a culmination of 13 years of daily 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 two graduation rate in the state of Georgia for any system with 500 or more graduates.   The recently released graduation rate stands at 93.6 percent and is an increase of 1.7 percent from 2014, and a 3.1 percent increase over 2012’s graduation rate.  It also stands as the highest graduation rate in the history of Oconee County Schools!

Both Oconee County High School and North Oconee High School saw individual increases over last year’s graduation rate as well.  OCHS increased 2.6 percent to 94.4 percent and NOHS increased .4 percent to 92.9 percent. OCHS’ graduation rate ranks it as the 37th best in Georgia while NOHS earns a ranking of 64th out the 438 high schools that dot our state.   Both schools are to be commended for this outstanding accomplishment.

Georgia’s public high school graduation rate rose from 72.5 percent in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015. The national average also increased to 81 percent.

“In today’s highly competitive workforce, a high school diploma is necessary to succeed in a growing and changing economy,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “Our state benefits as more qualified Georgians graduate high school and have the opportunity to pursue postsecondary credentials and careers. While there is more work to be done, I am encouraged by our state’s progress as we continue to work together to provide Georgia’s students with a high-quality education.”

This is the fifth 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.

“The 2015 graduation rate shows that our schools are working harder and smarter than ever to ensure our students receive their diploma, something that affords them the opportunity to move on to postsecondary education, the military, or directly into a meaningful career,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said.

Oconee County Schools’ students are setting the pace for the state once again.  They are moving the needle farther and faster and are charting a course for success that others can follow.  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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