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DCSS Graduation Rates top State Average for third straight year

 

ALBANY, Ga. — The district-wide graduation rate for the Dougherty County School System bested the state average for the third straight year, according to the Georgia Department of Education.

For the 2017-2018 school year, the district rate of 86.1% eclipsed the state average of 81%. And, for the first time since the modern graduation rate has been calculated, all DCSS high schools beat the state average.

“This accomplishment is a testament to the commitment of our students and the work they’ve been doing in classrooms across the district, supported by our faculty, staff and leaders who have been working diligently to transform our schools into incubators for student success,” Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said. “Rest assured, however, that we will continue to work with our colleagues and partners to make sure all students  have the opportunities they need to succeed.”

GaDOE officials calculate the graduation rate based on a 4-year cohort of students. This formula measures the number of students who enter together in the 9th grade against the number who graduate high school four years later.

For the 2017-2018 school year, Westover Comprehensive High School has the highest rate in the district at 89.1%, Monroe Comprehensive High School came in second at 86.85% and Dougherty Comprehensive High ended the year at 85.25%.

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All three DCSS high schools are above the state-average for the first time since the modern calculation of the Georgia High School Graduation Rates.

All three high schools’ numbers were up from the previous year, with Dougherty showing the most improvement going from 75.9% for the 2016-2017 school year to 85% for 2017-2018.

Wednesday's numbers are a stark contrast from where two of the three high schools were just five years ago. For the 2012-2013 school year, the district-wide rate was just 56.7% with Westover’s rate at 74.2%, Monroe’s rate at 45.6% and Dougherty at 45.8%.

Dr. Ufot Inyang, associate superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, attributes the gains, among others, to a series of very deliberate moves by senior leaders, board members and the school level personnel aimed at improving student success.

“Since that time, we’ve put the focus back into cultivating high-quality teaching and learning in our classrooms,” Inyang said. “We’ve empowered our school leaders to take control of their buildings, put the right people in key positions across the district and have created a series of supports aimed at growing and empowering our teachers and leaders to meet the needs of our students.”

It’s important to note that the gains coincide with increasing numbers of high school students taking college courses. Last year, 550 students took college courses through the Dual Enrollment program with Albany State University and Albany Technical College. Of those, 21 graduated with an associates degree or professional certification at the same time they were graduating high school.