DeKalb County Schools Superintendent R. Stephen Green is praising students, parents and educators for gains in DeKalb’s most recent high school graduation rates. Green said significant increases were made at several high schools and Arabia Mountain High stood out with a 99.2 percent graduation rate in 2016.
“Our students continue to make solid gains in graduation rates,” said Green. “There is much more that needs to be done but we have the right formula of motivating the students, involving parents, supporting teachers, and reaching out to the community.”
DeKalb’s work toward closing the gap between local and state graduation rates continues to persist, however. The district’s overall graduation rate was 70.3 percent for 2016, still lower than the state average of 79.2 percent but an increase from 72.5 to 78.7 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Education.
Other significant findings in the 2016 graduation rates report include:
- Cross Keys High School earned an 18-point increase in its graduation rate between 2015 and 2016.
- Four high schools have graduation rates of 90+ – DeKalb Early College Academy (96.5), Arabia Mountain (99.2), DeKalb School of the Arts (98.4), and Tucker (90.4).
- Four high schools have graduation rates of 80+ – Chamblee Charter (85.8), Druid Hills (81.2), Redan (80.9), and Southwest DeKalb (80.1). Redan, Southwest DeKalb, and Druid Hills are also Title I schools.
- Five schools have increases of 3 or more percentage points – Cross Keys (18.0), DeKalb Alternative (3.1), Southwest DeKalb (7.4), Stephenson (5.2), and Tucker (3.5).
- Nine high schools have rates above the state average – Arabia Mountain*, Chamblee Charter, DeKalb Early College Academy*, DeKalb School of the Arts, Druid Hills*, Dunwoody, Redan*, Southwest DeKalb*, and Tucker*. (* indicates Title I schools)
Several of DeKalb’s demographic student populations had notable percentage point increases in graduation rate between 2015 and 2016:
Hispanic students increased 6.4 points – from 60.5% to 66.9%
Students with disabilities increased 2.1 points – from 56.8% to 58.9%
English Learners increased 1.1 points – from 54.4% to 55.5%
Economically disadvantaged students increased nearly one point – from 65.7% to 66.5%
District Graduation Services
Schools begin working with students on a graduation plan when they enter the ninth grade. High school students are advised annually to ensure that they are earning the credits to move from one grade level to the next.
Each high school has individualized support programs for students. Post-secondary transition specialists are housed in eight of the lower-performing high schools to add an extra layer of support for students. These staff monitor students identified as at-risk to help them remain on schedule and in school. Some of the services include attendance monitoring, online academic credit support, post-secondary option exposure, and mentoring.
Students begin assessment to determine post-secondary options in the 8th, 10th, and 11th grades. They are given information regarding PSAT, ACT, ASVAB, and Industry Certification exams.
Seniors receive advisement at the beginning of the 12th grade and are closely monitored to ensure that they progress toward graduation at the end of the school year. If a student is failing a course that is needed for graduation, notification is sent to parents making them aware of the issue in time for remediation to occur.
If a student fails a course needed for graduation, options are given to the student for earning the credit. Options include the DeKalb Online Academy, Georgia Virtual School and local academic credit recovery programs.