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DCSS Graduation Rate Hits Highest Level In District History

ALBANY, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Education released the graduation rates for Georgia high schools Thursday, showing that the Dougherty County School System’s district-wide Graduation Rate increased for the third consecutive year and topped the state average for the second year in a row. 

The district’s average rate, 87.1%, bested the state’s average of 84.1%. At the local level, Westover Comprehensive High School’s graduation rate was the highest at 93.3% with Dougherty Comprehensive High School at 83.9% and Monroe Comprehensive High School at 83.1%. 

Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said that, while the numbers reflect the success of many of the district’s academic programs, the district’s priorities go beyond numbers and statistics, instead focus on providing both academically rigorous coursework and educational experiences that are relevant to students who are venturing out into a dynamic global economy. 

“These numbers show that the work our teachers, administrators and support staff are putting in is making a difference in the lives of the students we’ve been called to serve. They are also indicative of our students’ desire for and commitment to a successful future.” Dyer said. “But we know that merely graduating students is not enough. We have to continue working with our partners in higher education and the business community to provide our students with the relevant skills necessary for them to find success in an ever-changing, 21st century workforce.”

It’s that focus on relevant educational opportunities that is driving increasing numbers of students to participate in programs like the district’s Work-Based Learning program, Youth Apprenticeships, Dual Enrollment and Internship programs. Additionally, in the coming weeks, the district is rolling out its ConnectEd2Careers program that seeks to provide opportunities for students to learn a technical skill in a high-demand career field while still in high school. 

After reviewing the data, Cheryl J Smith, the district’s Associate Superintendent for Academic Services said that while the numbers show that the district is graduating more students than the state average, district officials are honing in on some of the challenges our high school students face.

“We have a lot of really innovative things happening across our schools as well as some amazing administrators and teachers who are connecting with our students,” Smith said. “As we continue to analyze our graduation data, we’ll also continue to work alongside our school leaders to provide the best support possible to our educators so they can help all of our students, regardless of their zip code, find similar levels of success.”