Focus on At-Risk students created jump in graduation rates

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas told the daily newspaper that the district’s focus on its at-risk students was one of the factors that contributed to the district’s phenomenal jump in graduation rates in 2015 – moving from 66.1 percent in 2014 to 72.7 in 2015.

The Escambia County School District has always lagged behind the state graduation rates for its at-risk and economically-disadvantaged students. However, since the 2010-11 school year, the graduation rates for at-risk student have improved by 15 percentage points and for economically-disadvantaged students by 11 points.

Also all of the improvement happened in the 2014-15 school year with at-risk improving 9.4 points in one year and economically-disadvantaged 7.8 points.

In 2010-11, one-third of our economically-disadvantaged students graduated. Last year, the percentage increased to 41.8 percent, while the state rate is 52 percent.

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