Adams 12 graduation rates continue to increase

Staff report
Posted

Adams 12 Five Star Schools graduation rate jumped 5.1 percent for the class of 2012, surpassing last year’s rate, as well as the state average.

“We meet individually with our students during both their junior and senior year to be certain they are on track for graduation,” said Horizon High Principal Pam Smiley, whose school had the highest overall graduation rate, 90.8 percent.

“If we determine they are not on track during either year we immediately get them into our ‘Jump Start Junior Program,” she said.

The district’s plans are working. The class of 2012 graduation rate of 79 percent beat the Colorado rate of 75.4 percent.

The U.S. Department of Education’s “on time” formula has been used for calculating graduation rates starting with the class of 2010.

Charter school numbers are not included.

“We believe this improvement is a result of our collective efforts to take a more individualized approach to helping our students graduate on time and prepare for post-secondary opportunities,” said Superintendent Chris Gdowski.

Thornton High’s graduation rate recorded the district’s highest annual percentage increase, 8.8 percent, to 77.7 percent.

“We’ve personalized the learning experience for our students,” said Thornton Principal Johnny Terrell. “We focus on small learning communities and we also provide academic and social interventions, we extend the learning one class period per day and we use research-based discipline protocol that places a value on building relationships with students.”

To further boost the graduation rate, the district began implementing an Early Warning System that provides real-time data allowing teachers and school counselors to proactively address dropout risk factors.

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