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SLV graduation averages top state numbers

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 30th, 2013

Courier staff writer

VALLEY — Colorado Department of Education (CDE) data released earlier this month shows most Valley school districts graduating more seniors than the state average.

Considering all 14 Valley school districts and their alternative programs, 80 percent of students bound for their diploma received it on time, according to the data. Combining all graduates with those completers who receive a certificate, a designation of high school completion or a GED certificate resulted in the 83 percent of area high school 2012 seniors.

The statewide on-time graduation rate for last year increased 1.5 percentage points to 75.4 percent as compared to last year, according to the data. The on-time graduation rate stood at 73.9 percent for the class of 2011, and the 2011-2012 completion rate was 78.2 percent, while the 2010-2011 completion rate was 76.8 percent.

Sargent School District had the highest graduation rate last year at 92.6 percent, 25 out of 27 students received a diploma, and a perfect 100 percent completion rate.

North Conejos School District came in with the second highest graduation rate, 90.9 percent, and Sierra Grande School District third, 90.5 percent. Both districts, however, did not have any additional students complete their high school studies.

Sanford School District, despite only graduating 86.4 percent of its 2012 seniors did manage to see 90.9 percent satisfy completion requirements. Similarly, Sangre de Cristo School District only graduated 87.5 percent last year and 91.7 percent eventually earned completion status.

On the other end of the scale, Monte Vista School District, Alamosa School District and Center Consolidated School District graduated 66.7 percent, 73 percent and 78 percent in 2012, respectively, according to the data. Monte Vista School District had 78.1 percent of its seniors complete their studies, while Alamosa School District had 75.5 percent complete. The Center Consolidated School District did not have any additional seniors complete their 2012 school year.

“We see great progress over the last two years in our system’s graduation and completion rates,” said Monte Vista School District Superintendent Rob Webb in an email. “... The steady improvement in the number of students who complete their high school education is a clear indication of the importance of not giving up on any student, including those whose life circumstances impact their regular high school attendance.”

Alamosa School District Superintendent Rob Alejo added via email, “We (Alamosa School District) continue to evaluate our overall programming and delivery of instruction in an effort to promote graduation rates. The district has dedicated administrators, staff and students working their tails off in an effort to raise Alamosa High School’s effectiveness as measured by annual graduation rates.”

In 2011, Monte Vista High School graduated 91.9 percent, Alamosa High School 86.5 percent and Center High School 90 percent of seniors. A year later, the high schools reported rates of 92.7 percent, 87.4 percent and 90.3 percent, respectively.

“Based on reviewing the data for Center Schools, I would have to say we are very pleased with our graduation rate of a little over 90 percent from Center High School,” said Center Consolidated School District Superintendent George Welsh in an email. “Additionally, our Hispanic graduation rate of 100 percent is fantastic, as this far outperforms the state average in this category.  When taken into account that our graduation rate in the spring of 1996 was only 33 percent, it is clear we have come a long way when it comes to engaging students in school and keeping them on the path to a diploma.”

The remaining Valley districts exceeded the state averages, according to the data. South Conejos School District graduated 81.8 percent of its 2012 seniors; Centennial School District 88.2 percent, up 35 percent from 2010; Creede School District 88.9 percent, breaking a three year 100 percent trend; Del Norte School District 86.5 percent; Mountain Valley School District 88.9 percent and Moffat School District 89.5 percent, down from last year’s perfect 100 percent.

“Our numbers dipped somewhat last year from the year before and our goal is to see those percentages go back up this year as teachers are working diligently to meet all students’ academic needs,” said Del Norte High School Principal Brian Herman in an email. “I also feel it is very important that academic standards and expectations are not compromised in an attempt to keep the graduation rates high. While the state average is around 80 percent, our goal is to have every student graduate.”

In 2011, Del Norte High School graduated 94.6 percent of its seniors, 82 percent in 2010 and 83.3 percent in 2009, according to reports.

A total of 120 or 65.6 percent of Colorado school districts achieved a four-year on-time graduation rate at or above the state’s expectation of at least 80 percent, according to the data.

District graduation rates by year/percent


2009 69.7, 2010 73.5, 2011 77.2, 2012 73


2009, 92.9, 2010 66.7, 2011 84.2, 2012 87.5


2009 81.3, 2010 80.8, 2011 90.5, 2012 90.9


2009 82.1, 2010 88.5, 2011 95.2, 2012 86.4


2009 88.9, 2010 89.2, 2011 88.5, 2012 81.8


2009 66.7, 2010 52.9, 2011 89.7, 2012 88.2


2009 61.9, 2010 83.3, 2011 80, 2012 90.5


2009 100, 2010 100, 2011 100, 2012 88.9


2009 83.3, 2010 82, 2011 94.6, 2012 86.5


2009 51.7, 2010 55.3, 2011 57.7, 2012 66.7


2009 96.3, 2010 90.3, 2011 97, 2012 92.6


2009 83.3, 2010 78.6, 2011 81.8, 2012 88.9


2009 88.9, 2010 90.9, 2011 100, 2012 89.5


2009 68.8, 2010 78.3, 2011 75, 2012 78

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