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Hall schools' graduation rate jumps 5 percentage points in 2017
West Hall posts system's highest rate; Gainesville grad rates steady
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West Hall High School seniors applaud on Friday, May 25, 2018, during West Hall's commencement ceremony at Free Chapel. - photo by David Barnes

Hall County Schools’ graduation rate rose significantly in 2018 to 88.2 percent from 83.8 percent in 2017.

“Quite honestly, I can’t remember a better piece of data I’ve looked at in the 14 years I’ve been here,” Superintendent Will Schofield said.

Graduation rates

Statewide: 81.6% (2018); 80.6%

Gainesville City Schools: 87.9% (2018); 87.8%

Hall County Schools: 88.2%  (2018); 83.8%

Forsyth County Schools: 94.2% (2018); 94.4%

Buford City Schools: 93.2%  (2018); 93.1%

Dawson County Schools: 94.7%  (2018); 96.7%

Source: Georgia Department of Education

The figures were released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education. The statewide graduation rate increased in 2018 to an all-time high of 81.6 percent from 80.6 percent in 2017.

West Hall High had the highest graduation rate among the county’s seven traditional high schools at 96.4 percent.

The graduation rate for Hall County Schools has now risen 16 percent in the last 10 years, with 1,920 students finishing their high school curriculum last year.  

“We are very proud that a number of those graduates (about 90) who are not counted in that 88.2 percent were fifth-, sixth- and seventh-year seniors,” Schofield said. “In spite of the fact that nobody gets any credit for those from a state perspective, we are just proud of the fact that our students are sticking with it, that our teachers are sticking with our students and that this community is supporting our young people.”

Meanwhile, Gainesville City Schools’ graduation rate ticked up to 87.9 percent from 87.8 percent in 2017.

Superintendent Jeremy Williams said that “block scheduling” allows Gainesville High students the opportunity to make up credits needed for graduation during their four years, providing flexibility for each individual learner while keeping them on pace to graduate.

“It’s a testament to the work our staff does,” Williams said, as well as to the students who overcome challenges and achieve their academic dreams.

Georgia calculates a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law.

“This 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,” according to the Georgia Department of Education. “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.”

Seventy-four Georgia school districts recorded 2018 graduation rates at or above 90 percent.

“Georgia’s graduation rate continues to rise because our public school students have access to more opportunities than ever before,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in a press release. “From Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education to dual enrollment to the fine arts, there is an unprecedented emphasis on supporting the whole child and making sure every single student understands the relevance of what they’re learning. I’m confident we’ll continue to see these gains as long as we’re still expanding opportunities that keep students invested in their education.”

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