The Coweta County School System’s on-time graduation rate was approximately five and a half percent higher than the state of Georgia’s average, which rose to 79.2 percent in 2016 according to a report released by the Georgia Department of Education on Tuesday. The state’s graduation rate was 78.8 percent in 2015.
Georgia calculates high school graduation rates through a formula known as the four-year adjusted cohort rate – now required by the U.S. Department of Education. The rate follows the students who enter high school together as freshmen (the ‘cohort’) who then go on to earn a diploma within four years. The calculation of the rate adjusts for student transfers.
Students who don’t graduate in that cohort may still go on to meet graduation requirements with additional semesters of coursework.
All three Coweta County high schools had a four-year graduation rate higher than the state average, with East Coweta High School at 83.1 percent, Newnan High School at 84.6 percent, and Northgate High School at 88.4 percent in 2016.
The Georgia Department of Education reported that Georgia’s public high school graduation rate has increased for the fourth consecutive year, rising nearly 12 percentage points since 2011.
The Coweta County School System’s graduation rate has been rising overall for several years as well, and Coweta’s high school principals attribute rising graduation rates to a number of factors, including use of data and careful tracking student performance, working closely with students to advise them and identify their individual needs, and offering multiple opportunities for student support, remediation and advanced opportunities.
“We continue to focus on improving our graduation rate for all students,” said Superintendent Steve Barker.
“Our school system requires more of our students than many systems in the state,” Barker noted. “For a Coweta County student to graduate on time they must earn a total of 28 credits, compared to 23 in many school systems. We will continue to maintain those high standards while focusing at all levels on preparing students to meet rigorous coursework, and providing support for students to meet graduation requirements.”