Graduation rates up at three schools

Published 1:01 am Friday, July 22, 2011

The rate of students graduating from Beaufort County’s public schools improved in 2011 over the previous school year in three of the county’s four high schools, according to preliminary figures released Thursday.
“The graduation rate is a marker of success that points to the ultimate goal for our students, completion of our learning program,” said Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Don Phipps in a press release announcing the results. “Graduation rates are impacted by many factors, and we, as a system, have worked hard to address each of them. We will strive to get the rate even higher while at the same time decreasing the dropout rate.”
Northside High School had the highest graduation rate in the 2010-2011 school year, while the Beaufort County Ed Tech Center saw the greatest increase, according to the preliminary report.
The Beaufort County Ed Tech Center ended the 2010-2011 school year with a 65-percent graduation rate, up from 36 percent in 2009-2010, according to the report.
Northside High School’s graduation rate increased to 85.59 percent from 81.94 percent, according to the report.
Washington High School’s 2010-2011 graduation rate of 76.54 percent was nearly 7 percent above the 2009-2010 graduation rate, according to the report.
Southside High School was the county’s only public high school to see a decrease in its graduation rate in the 2010-2011 school year when compared to the previous school year. Its graduation rate dropped slightly from 81.94 percent in 2009-2010 to 81.02 percent in 2010-2011.
Beaufort County Schools has seen a consistent increase since 2009 in the graduation rate in the county’s public schools.
The system’s graduation rate has risen from 62.25 percent in 2009 to 75.74 percent in 2011, according to the report.
Statewide, 74.2 percent of high-school students graduated in four years in 2010, up from 2009 when 71.8 percent of high-school students graduated in four years, according to the report. The state rate for 2011 has not yet been released.
The national graduation rate has most recently been calculated at 71.7 percent according to the 2011 Diplomas County report issued in June by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center.
Since 2002, local school districts have been accounting for each ninth-grade student as he or she moves through high school. This record-keeping effort provides the state with an accurate count of how many students graduate with diplomas in four years. Because some students may need a fifth year to earn their high-school diploma, a five-year rate also is recorded.
A fifth high school, Beaufort County Early College High School, a learn-and-earn school based at Beaufort County Community College, is in its fourth year of operation and was not included in the report. Students at that school are expected to earn a high-school diploma and an associate’s degree from BCCC in five years.