The Henry County Schools district can boast its fourth straight year of increasing its average high school graduation rate and of beating the state average.

According to information released Sept. 19 by the Georgia Department of Education, the state rate is 81.6 percent while the county rate is 87.7.

They are up from 80.6 and 86.3 percent, respectively.

Department spokeswoman Meghan Frick said in a statement that 80.6 percent “is an all-time high for Georgia’s graduation rate” since the state began using the four-year adjusted cohort calculation now required by federal law.

“This rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class,” she said.

From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted,” Frick said, by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out.

“While all states use the same calculation, each state sets its own requirements for students to earn a regular high school diploma,” she said. “Georgia has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma.”

A higher percentage of students are earning diplomas, state Superintendent Richard Woods said, due to a wider range of options.

“Georgia’s graduation rate continues to rise because our public school students have access to more opportunities than ever before,” he said in a statement. “From career, technical, and agricultural education to dual enrollment to the fine arts, there is an unprecedented emphasis on supporting the whole child and making sure every single student understands the relevance of what they’re learning. I’m confident we’ll continue to see these gains as long as we’re still expanding opportunities that keep students invested in their education.”

Henry County’s graduation rate is also at its peak since the calculation began to be reported in 2012 and since the district started personalized learning cohorts in 2015.

It stacks up favorably against neighboring counties, beating Fulton County’s 86.8, Rockdale’s 81.8, DeKalb’s 75.0 and Clayton’s 71.7.

District spokesman J.D. Hardin said the class of 2018 had nearly 3,200 graduates, nearly 100 more than last year and the fifth largest number in the state.

“When stacked against all 10 of the largest systems in the state, Henry County Schools had the second highest rate behind Forsyth County Schools,” he said in a statement.

Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis gave credit to influence by classroom and administration professionals.

“Our graduation rate increasing is a positive sign of the impact we are having with students,” she said in a statement. “Our teachers, support staff and leaders do an incredible job of assisting students on every grade level to help them reach the ultimate end goal of graduating with a diploma from our school district.”

Below are the results for 11 public high schools and comparisons to 2017.

- Dutchtown High School, 89.4 percent, down from 90.8.

- Eagle’s Landing High School, 87.4 percent, down from 87.5.

- Excel Academy, 51.7 percent, down from 53.0.

- Hampton High School, 92.5 percent, up from 86.3.

- Henry County High School, 80.9 percent, down from 84.6.

- Locust Grove High School, 85.9 percent, down from 89.2.

- Luella High School, 90.8 percent, up from 83.6.

- Ola High School, 94.0 percent, up from 92.3.

- Stockbridge High School, 84.8 percent, up from 81.0.

- Union Grove High School, 92.5 percent, down from 93.7.

- Woodland High School, 88.5 percent, down from 91.5.



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