School district graduation rates steadily rising, intervention programs key

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Washington County School District has issued a press release regarding high school graduation rates for the class of 2014. Collected data shows a steady increase in graduating seniors over the past four years.

“The overall graduation rate for seniors in the Washington County School District continues on the rise,” the press release stated, “marking the fourth consecutive year of graduation growth.”

The class of 2014 saw 1,679 out of 1,917 seniors graduating for an overall rate of 88 percent.

Graduation rates from 2011-2014

  • 2011 – 75 percent
  • 2012 – 80 percent
  • 2013 – 84 percent
  • 2014 – 88 percent

Results were based on a four-year cohort rate which included all students who entered 9th grade in the 2010-2011 school year or who transferred into a Washington County high school prior to their senior year but excluded those students who transferred to a high school in another county, according to the press release.

Additional data stated that a student in the cohort must have completed all the graduation requirements by Sept. 30 following the end of their senior year to be considered a “graduate.”

District administrators attribute the growing graduation rates to the ongoing attention high schools have placed on early intervention and tracking tools which identify students who may be at risk of not earning enough credits towards graduation, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools Richard Holmes said.

Programs in district high schools such as the online content recovery class, double block classes, rebound and built-in intervention time have allowed students the opportunity to get help early on with recovering credits and understanding difficult concepts, Holmes said.

The need for extra intervention time within the school day is the impetus behind the proposed five-by-five schedule that some schools may be adopting, Holmes said.

Additionally, Holmes credited administrators and teachers in the district high schools for their efforts in recognizing students in need of extra intervention or counseling as they select courses to meet their needs.

“We are really pleased with what the administrators and teachers are doing in these schools,” Holmes said. “As graduation rates increase that is just evidence that what we are doing in the schools is working.”

District officials are pleased with the growth in graduation rates, Holmes said, while adding that there is still room for improvement.

Holmes said they would ultimately like to see all of their students graduating and emphasized the importance of maintaining a high standard of learning.

Statewide graduation highlights

  • 83 percent is the statewide graduation rate for 2014
  • The graduation rate increased by 2 percent from 2013 to 2014
  • Since 2008, the graduation rate for the state has increased by 14 percent
  • 35,729 students graduated from Utah high schools in 2014


  • View the full report of graduations rates for all Utah high schools here

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1 Comment

  • changeforthesakeofchange December 19, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Graduation rates are up, but test scores are down. If obtaining credits to graduate is the goal, I question the very idea that true learning is the outcome. Is intervention no more than study hall for everyone? Is there evidence that these types of alternative schedules and interventions work? The article could have provided a bit more detail and offered a more critical view of these proposed changes.

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