ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The graduation rate of all four high schools in the Dougherty Co. School System rose during the 2014-2015 school year, according to new data released by the Georgia Department of Education.
In a release, the school system says that Albany, Dougherty, Monroe, and Westover each saw the percentage of graduating seniors who entered as freshmen increase, with three out of the four climbing above the state average.
"We're pleased to see that our high school graduation rates are increasing," Dr. David Mosely, superintendent of schools for the DCSS, said. "Some of our schools have come a long way in just a few years and, frankly, some of them still have a ways to go before we'll consider ourselves satisfied with their progress, but I think this shows that things are headed in the right direction."
Albany High's graduation rate increased to 79%, a 2.4 percentage point increase over last year; Dougherty's graduation rate increased to 70.9%, which is up 20.76 percentage points from last year's number. Monroe's rate hit 84.1% which is an uptick of 21.9 percentage points and Westover's rate jumped the highest to 92.5% which was an increase of 23.75 percentage points.
"It is heartening to see that a variety of steps and initiatives taken three years ago and ongoing, are yielding desired outcomes. Treating the issues of high drop-outs, poor student record keeping/coding and a better job tracking students, as priorities, the district put in place protocols and procedures to guide our high schools with a step by step process on the coding and monitoring of student information and progress," said Dr. Ufot Inyang, associate superintendent for Academic Services.
DCSS says there are four main reason for the improvement-
Increased oversight of the student record-keeping process, which has limited the number of students who leave the system without the proper follow-up; a trend that is believed to have been artificially deflating the system's graduation rates.
Increased emphasis by high school principals and teachers on students to meet the academic requirements for graduation.
Fewer high school dropouts.
The end of the graduation test as a hurdle for graduation.
The graduation rate as measured by the state tracks the number of graduating seniors that met state requirements for a diploma within a four-year window. Students who leave the district but enroll at another school are not counted against their high school's graduation rates, however, students who drop out without enrolling in another institution do count against their high school's cohort graduation rate.
The state average, according to GaDOE officials, is 78.7 percent for the 2014-2015 school year, which is up from 72.7 percent the previous year.