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CCPS Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate 2017
CCPS Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate 2017
Posted on 09/28/2017
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Five high schools demonstrate an improvement from 2015-16 to 2016-17 


JONESBORO –The Georgia Department of Education today released four-year cohort graduation rates for the Class of 2017.  Overall, Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) continued a six-year improvement trend in the number of seniors graduating on time. Since 2011, when monitoring of four-year cohort graduation rates began, the district’s graduation rate has improved 18.1 percentage points. This represents a 35.15 percent increase in the district’s graduation rate over the six-year period. 

“Our improvement in four-year cohort graduation rate reflects a six-year improvement trend,” said Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, CCPS Superintendent of Schools. “It shows that our focus on continuous monitoring of high school student enrollment and withdrawal, the increased rigor of instruction in our high school classrooms and our efforts in assisting seniors to monitor and meet graduation requirements is paying dividends.”  

This is the first time since 2011 that all high schools in Clayton County have graduation rates above 60 percent. Five of the county's high schools showed an improvement in 2016-2017 graduation rates: Mount Zion High (57.8 to 71.7, +13.9 percentage points); Riverdale High (74.2 to 79.9, +5.7); Charles Drew High (59.8 to 62.2, +2.4); Jonesboro High (74.8 to 76.9, +2.1); and Morrow High (72.5 to 73.6, +1.1). Elite Scholars Academy reported a 100% four-year cohort graduation rate for the fourth consecutive year. Stilwell School of the Arts just missed a fourth consecutive perfect result, finishing at 99 percent. 

“The improvement of the Graduation Rate continues to be an area of focus for the district,” Beasley said. “We will consistently communicate our progress as we implement the following strategies: 
  • Monitoring/Management of 9th Graders to ensure successful completion with all credits
  • Ensuring timely Credit Recovery with plans to develop 2nd-semester mini-sessions for credit recovery
  • 9th Grade Transition Activities
  • Cohort Data Accuracy and Clean-up
  • Enrolling students in a Career Pathway since those in a Career Pathway have a 92.8% grad rate
  • Wrap-Around support for students identified as in need of such support (e.g., Communities In Schools, System of Care, etc.)
  • Embedded Academics with students possibly obtaining dual credit for both a Career Tech and Academic Course if the course standards are aligned and taught
  • Early Warning Indicators using a Data Dashboard for district leadership and school leadership to be more proactive versus reactive when addressing students at-risk or in need of support
  • High School Principals leading faculty conversations and efforts to reverse high failure rates of select courses
  • Assist and support students who are 16 or older and enrolled in the 9th grade and continue to experience a lack of success

In 2011, the Georgia Department of Education changed the way it calculates graduation rates, which has a significant impact on all Georgia high schools. “Under the federally defined cohort graduation rate formula, the number of students who transfer into and out of our system really affects our overall numbers,” Beasley said. 

“Since we have a better understanding of cohort graduation rates and an increased focus on improving the number of seniors who graduate on time, we have seen annual improvement,” said Dr. Michael Tappler, CCPS Interim Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, Assessment, and Accountability. “We are pleased with our years of progress. We will take what we learn from school leaders and implement best practices that will continue to improve our four-year cohort graduation rates.” 

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