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Albemarle County Public Schools Students Increase On-Time Graduation Rate to 94.8 Percent; Drop-Out Rate Falls Again

The on-time graduation rate for Albemarle County public high school students, already among the highest for all Virginia school divisions, increased for the fourth time in the past five years, reaching 94.8 percent in 2014. The school division’s drop-out rate, which was 40 percent better than the state average, declined again, by nearly half, and now is 2.3 percent.

Albemarle County’s on-time graduation rate placed its students within the top 10 percent of high school students in Virginia’s 131 school divisions, and they were among the top five in the state for those school divisions with a graduating class of 600 or more students.

According to a report released today by the Virginia Department of Education, the on-time graduation rate for all school divisions in the Commonwealth in 2014 was 89.9 percent. The statewide drop-out rate was 5.4 percent. On-time graduation means that a freshman entering high school must graduate within the next four years.

Albemarle County high school graduates also were among the state’s top performers in earning Advanced Studies diplomas, which requires 26 academic credits instead of the 22 credits needed to receive a standard diploma. Nearly two out of three graduates in 2014 received Advanced Studies diplomas from Albemarle County public high schools—65.8 percent, compared to a statewide average of 50.6 percent.

“These results are a tribute to the dedication of our students and their parents, who believe in taking the roof off of academic excellence. Our vision statement talks about students who excel and own their future. That’s not only made more possible, but also more likely when you graduate on time and take full advantage of the learning opportunities open to you,” said Debora Collins, executive director of pre-K through 12 education for the school division.

Collins also said the continuing improvement in the division’s drop-out rate reflected the efforts of “highly engaged high school staffs that begin supporting students from the moment they enter high school as freshmen.”

“Our goal is to understand the needs of each one of our students very early in their academic careers, even before they enter high school. Every child has the potential to learn at a very high level, and our staff and teachers are focused on providing the individual attention and support to ensure that happens,” she said.

Among the division’s three comprehensive high schools, Western Albemarle had the highest on-time graduation rate for its 257 graduates, 98 percent, and 100 percent of the school’s female students graduated on time. More than 80 percent of the school’s female graduates earned an Advanced Studies diploma. The school’s drop-out rate was 1.1 percent.

The on-time graduation rate for Albemarle High School’s 441 graduates was 94 percent, and it was 97 percent for female graduates. The school’s drop-out rate was 1.6 percent.

Monticello’s 278 graduates had an on-time graduation rate of 94 percent, and its rate for female graduates exceeded 96 percent. The school had a drop-out rate of 2.88 percent.

The division’s charter high school, Murray, graduated 26 students with an on-time graduation rate of 92 percent.

This is the second week in a row that a report from the Virginia Department of Education revealed that Albemarle County Public Schools students outperformed their peers across Virginia. Earlier this month, a report noted that the division’s students, grades 3 through 12, earned Standards of Learning (SOL) test results that exceeded the state average on 25 subject matter tests and equaled the average on two other tests. There were a total of 37 subject matter SOL tests administered to students in grades 3-12 in the 2013-14 school year.

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