Georgia graduation rate holds steady; SCCPSS beats state average


2021 Jenkins High School graduation ceremony (WSAV)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – There was no significant change to Georgia’s high school graduation rate from 2020 to 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

The 2021 rate is 83.7% compared to 83.8% in 2020.

More than 100 school districts in Georgia saw graduation rates at or above 90%, including the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS).

“Given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to see Georgia’s graduation rate holding steady,” stated State School Superintendent Richard Woods said.

“Of course, there is still work to do — we will continue our efforts to ensure every student sees the relevance of their high-school education and receives a diploma that directly prepares them for their future,” he added.

How the graduation rate is calculated

According to the Department of Education, Georgia calculates a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, as is required by federal law.

The state takes the total number of students who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma and divides it by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class.

2012 to 2021

The state’s graduation rate has increased by 14 percentage points since 2012:

  • 2021: 83.7%
  • 2020: 83.8%
  • 2019: 82.0%
  • 2018: 81.6%
  • 2017: 80.6%
  • 2016: 79.4%
  • 2015: 79.0%
  • 2014: 72.6%
  • 2013: 71.8%
  • 2012: 69.7%

A closer look at SCCPSS

The district’s rate for 2021 is at 90.1%, according to the state, meaning 2,036 of 2,259 students graduated.

According to SCCPSS, the 2021 rate is a new record high for the district. It’s also the seventh year in a row that the district has surpassed the state rate.

“I could not be prouder of our students and staff who work hard every day in pursuit of this significant indicator of success,” stated Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett. “The fact that the district was able to achieve our highest graduation rate ever during a global pandemic with every aspect of teaching and learning impacted last year is a tribute to the efforts of all.”

Woodville-Tompkins and Savannah Early College high schools both held a 100% graduation rate. According to SCCPSS, it’s the sixth year in a row at 100% for Savannah Early College and the fifth year in a row for Woodville-Tompkins.

Just two schools in the district fell below Georgia’s average: Beach High School at 73.5% and Groves High School at 73.8%.

District officials said eight of eleven SCCPSS high schools either improved their rate over the previous year or stayed the same. The biggest increase was seen at the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High, according to the district, with a seven-point increase over 2020 numbers.

All Georgia schools

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