CARROLLTON, GA Carrollton High School continues to post a high school graduation rate well above Georgia as a whole and increased its rate by 2.5 percentage points with 89.4 percent of the Class of 2018 earning a high school diploma.
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, but we are also proud to see what our graduates are doing after they leave the halls of CHS, he said.
Of the 371 CHS graduates, 70 percent planned to attend a four-year college or university, 14 percent planned to attend a two-year institution, and 4 percent had committed to join the military, resulting in 87 percent of the class moving on to the next level, according to data collected by CHS counselors.
CHS Principal David Brooks also noted Carrolltons rate is impressive despite the fact that students have to earn more credits to get a CHS diploma than what the state requires.
I cannot express enough how proud I am of our students and teachers in maintaining such high expectations, he said. 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.
One program that has helped increase the graduation rate is the Performance Learning Center, which was launched the 2013-2014 school year, said Brooks. Students who signed up for the program had the opportunity to attend classes in a supportive, flexible learning environment. Brooks said the customized approach in this design has been beneficial in helping these students achieve what may have seemed out of reach a high school diploma. Since inception, the PLC has produced 110 graduates who likely would have become dropouts without the program.
However, Albertus pointed out there are times when doing what is right for students can have a negative effect on a schools graduation rate. Even though the latest rate is higher than the previous year, Albertus said a development that impacted the 2017 calculation was the implementation of Project SEARCH, an internship program at the University of West Georgia that adds another year of high school to otherwise graduating-eligible students who participate in it. This year, seven students who could have graduated last May stayed on the CHS student roster, lowering the number of graduates in that cohort and negatively impacting the graduation rate by 2 percentage points.
Project SEARCH is a great program and were proud to be a part of it, said Albertus. Through our partnership with UWG, these internships help our students develop the life skills necessary for a successful entry into the workforce. This is just another example of our commitment for lifelong preparedness after high school.
Project SEARCH and the PLC are just two of many strategically-designed supports to encourage students to graduation. Whether it is a focus on visual or performing arts, participation in one of the many athletic teams, or engaging in world-class academic studies, every experience is structured to maintain student interest in participating and graduating from high school, said Albertus, who also served as principal for CHS for eight years.
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 the continuous increase in our graduation rate is evidence of this commitment.
In releasing the latest scores, the Georgia Department of Education noted the state average rate for the Class of 2018 was an all-time high of 81.6 percent which is based on an adjusted cohort rate as required by federal law to determine each schools graduation rate. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently adjusted by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years, and subtracting any students who transfer out.