There is now a new senior class at Carrollton High School to follow with great anticipation, but the freshly pressed alumni from the Class of 2021 can hold their heads high for leaving with a strong legacy, including edging upward the graduation rate to 92 percent.
Although official state numbers likely won’t be released until November, the Carrollton City School District’s own calculation of the Class of 2021 shows a 1 percent increase in the graduation rate over the previous year, despite continued challenges caused by a global pandemic that greatly impacted the traditional school year.
And while it is important to acknowledge this increase as a metric indicating school improvement, it is also prudent to recognize the overall preparedness of the graduates and what their post-secondary plans entail, said Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent.
“We are extremely proud of each individual for achieving this important milestone and we are also proud to see what our graduates are doing after they leave the halls of CHS,” he said. “But this class, the largest in school history, continued to hold high standards and accomplish great things.”
Of the Class of 2021’s 424 graduates, 69 percent planned to attend a four-year college or university and 11 percent planned to attend a two-year school/program. Five percent of the remaining students joined the military and 15 percent had plans to enter the workforce. This is a big change from last year, when former CHS Principal David Brooks noted college numbers were down because students decided to wait to have a true college experience, not a virtual one, and postponed their secondary education until the pandemic was under control.
“I cannot express enough how proud I am of our students and teachers in maintaining such high expectations,” said Ian Lyle, who assumed the principalship this school year. “As our numbers have grown, we have remained true to our relentless pursuit of excellence, and this is demonstrated by the solid graduation rate performance each and every year.”
Lyle also noted the Class of 2021 earned $23 million in scholarship offers and more than half were honor graduates. The class also produced the largest number of Georgia Scholars at 17, far surpassing any other school, public or private, in the state. College admissions at the state’s two flagship public universities, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, also proved exceptional, with 100 percent of CHS applicants receiving early acceptance or deferral at UGA and 80 percent at Tech.
Dr. Albertus noted CHS offers many paths for students to succeed, no matter what their ultimate goal may be.
“Whether students need the academic rigor of our International Baccalaureate program and Advanced Placement courses, or require increased flexibility in their learning environment, Carrollton High School is able to provide the time, energy, and resources to meet their needs,” he said. “Graduation and success beyond high school are the ultimate goals we have for each and every student who is enrolled in our district. Our school board and community are passionate about providing the highest quality of education for our students, and our graduation rate and the post-secondary plans of our students, provide evidence of this commitment.”