The Cherokee County School District’s graduation rate has hit a new high, topping 90% for the first time in recent years with 90.3% of the Class of 2020 earning a diploma within four years of entering high school.
The CCSD graduation rate is an increase from 86.9% achieved by the Class of 2019, according to a new report from the Georgia Department of Education released today. All six CCSD high schools reported higher grad rates for the Class of 2020, with Creekview HS reporting the top rate of 96.2%.
The rate is the second highest among metro Atlanta counties and also continues to exceed the statewide average, topping the State’s Class of 2020 rate of 83.8%. Georgia, along with the rest of the United States, calculates graduation rates based upon a 4-year cohort methodology. CCSD has grown its graduation rate by 18 percentage points in the eight years since the State began its use of the cohort model.
“This news is yet another accomplishment our seniors achieved despite the challenges that 2020 put in their path,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “I’m so proud of each of them, and the teachers and staff and families who guided them and supported them throughout their educational journey.”
Dr. Hightower said he and his staff, with strong support from the School Board, continue to identify new ways to ensure that every student graduates on time and future ready, and have made increasing the graduation rate a priority in CCSD’s new Blueprint long-range strategic plan. This school year that has included partnering with Mountain Education Charter High School to offer an improved evening high school program in the community, with a greater focus on mentoring. Another initiative underway is the development of a permanent Virtual Academy choice in CCSD, which is being planned to launch next school year initially for Grades 9-12.
“We are dedicated to increasing our graduation rate to as close to 100 percent as possible,” he said, noting that students in some situations always will need a little more time than four years, such as when medical treatments or family emergencies temporarily halt their learning. “We are committed to the challenge of preparing our students for limitless success.”