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Graduation Rates Improve at Germantown Area High Schools


Seneca Valley_edited.jpg

By Kevin O’Rourke

The graduation rates at all Germantown area high schools have increased over the last three years, according to information released this week by Montgomery County Public Schools, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education this week.

Since the 2011-2012 school year the graduation rate at Seneca Valley High School improved 3.7 percent from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2013-2014 school year. The cohort graduation rate at Seneca Valley increased from, 79.5 percent in 2010-2011 to 83.2 percent in 2013-2014.Year-over-year, the cohort graduation rate improved from 82.1 percent in 2012-2013.

The cohort graduation rate represents number of students who graduate within four years of entering ninth grade.

Since the 2011-2012 school year the graduation rate at Clarksburg High School, which serves the northern portions of Germantown, improved 1.1 percent from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2013-2014 school year. The cohort graduation rate at Clarksburg increased from, 89.1 percent in 2010-2011 to 90.2 percent in 2013-2014.Year-over-year, the cohort graduation rate at Clarksburg dropped from 92.4 percent in 2012-2013.

While the percent change at Northwest High School is lower, the overall graduation rate continues to be the highest among Germantown area schools. Since the 2011-2012 school year the graduation rate at Northwest High School improved 0.3 percent from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2013-2014 school year. The cohort graduation rate at Northwest increased from, 92.5 percent in 2010-2011 to 92.8 percent in 2013-2014.Year-over-year, the cohort graduation rate at Northwest fell from 94.8 percent in 2012-2013.

The four-year graduation rate for all MCPS Class of 2014 was 89.7 percent, according to the Maryland State Department of Education. That is a 1.4 percentage point increase over 2013 and a 2.9 percentage point increase since 2011.

“Over the past three years, our graduation rate has risen steadily and significantly thanks to the hard work of our students, the commitment of our staff, and strong support from the community,” said MCPS superintendent Joshua Starr. “I am extremely pleased that we are seeing results in our efforts to narrow achievement gaps and prepare all students for their future.”

The graduation rate for all subgroups of students rose in 2014. For African American MCPS students, the graduation rate rose to 86.4 percent in 2014, a one-year increase of 2.5 percentage points. Over the past three years, the graduation rate for African American students has risen 5.1 percentage points, and the gap between African American and White students has narrowed by 3.8 points.

The graduation rate for Hispanic MCPS students jumped to 80 percent in 2014, also a one-year increase of 2.5 percentage points. Over the past three years, the graduation rate for Hispanic students has risen 4.7 percentage points, and the gap between Hispanic and White students has narrowed by 3.4 points.

“Over the past three years, we have been helping our schools focus on areas for improvement and how they can best foster the development of academic and creative problem solving skills in students, while also addressing their social emotional needs,” Starr said. “That work may not be the same in every school, but it is getting strong results across the district