The Cherokee County School District’s graduation rate continues to exceed State averages with 87% of the Class of 2019 earning a diploma within four years of entering high school.
CCSD’s performance tops the State’s rate of 82% -- an all-time high since the State began using a new formula required by Federal law. Georgia’s rate has increased by 12 percentage points since 2012, while CCSD has climbed nearly 15 points.
The graduation rate rises to 90% for CCSD when students who take five years to complete high school are included in the total. In addition to exceeding the overall State rate, CCSD’s special needs students, English Learners and economically disadvantaged students also graduated at higher four-year rates than their peers statewide.
“Graduation is the culmination of our students’ lifetime of learning and celebrates the hard work of students, teachers, families, volunteers and partners to achieve this milestone,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’re proud of our success together, and have set the bar higher through our new Blueprint strategic plan, which targets specific graduation rate increases over the next five years.”
Dr. Hightower said he believes new CCSD programs to assist students, such as immediately helping high school students retake failed units before an entire class is failed, are making a positive difference in graduation rates. CCSD also will begin partnering this summer with Mountain Education Charter High School to offer a high school credit recovery program that’s coupled with additional supports including one-on-one coaching and mentoring.
State School Superintendent Richard Woods said he’s proud of Georgia’s teachers and students for their “on-the-ground work” to increase graduation rates.
“Moving forward,” he said, “we must continue to focus on offering a relevant education and preparing every child for their future – not a one-size-fits-all system that sends every student in the same direction, but a tailored and personalized pathway based on a student’s academic and career interests and future goals.”