Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Armuchee High, Rome High see graduation rates soar; all area high schools top state rate in a graduation report released Tuesday

Armuchee High, Rome High see graduation rates soar; all area high schools top state rate in a graduation report released Tuesday

by Jeremy Stewart, staff writer Rn T.Com

Rome and Floyd County schools all recorded graduation rates for 2012 above the state average, and most saw an increase from 2011, according to figures provided Tuesday by the Georgia Department of Education.

The statewide graduation rate rose to 69.72 percent in 2012 from 67.44 percent in 2011.

Armuchee High School saw its rate jump to 86.36 percent in 2012 from 73.42 percent in 2011. Rome High?s graduation rate increased by nearly 9 percentage points to 85.25 percent from 76.52 percent.

?Obviously we are extremely pleased. Our No. 1 priority is to get kids to graduate and we work hard in making that happen,? said James Burris, principal at Armuchee High School. ?Our teachers are good about coming in early and staying late to work with kids. I?ve been at a lot of schools but I?ve never seen a faculty put in as much time with kids as this faculty does.?

Rome High School principal Tygar Evans said Rome?s graduation rate is the school?s highest in years.

?That says to us that the teachers are doing a great job at the school, along with the parents,? Evans said. ?We?ve been aiming for that for a long time. This confirms that the hard work is paying off for our teachers and especially our students, and we?re very excited for that.?

The lowest graduation rate in Floyd County is Pepperell at 72.34 percent ? a decrease from 2011?s rate of 75.83.

State School Superintendent John Barge, who lives in Floyd County, said Georgia schools are moving in the right direction overall, although there is still work to be done. ?In order to encourage more students to stay in school, we must make high school more relevant,? he said.

This marks the second year Georgia has calculated the graduation rate using a new formula ? known as the adjusted cohort rate ? as required by the U.S. Department of Education.

The rate is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers.

Georgia?s former graduation rate calculation included all students who graduated from a specific school, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate.

Model High?s rate went to 77.42 percent from 69.64 percent and Coosa High?s graduation rate increased to 72.43 percent from 67.39 percent.

Both Burris and Evans also credited their school system?s alternative learning centers ? Performance Learning Center at the Floyd County Education Center and the Phoenix Learning Center for Rome City Schools ? for helping all high schools make sure students graduate on time.

Pepperell High School principal Phil Ray said that while he is disappointed with the rate, he is glad to see it is still above the state average.

Pepperell had the highest graduation rate of all county high schools in 2011.


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