Last weekend nearly 1,600 students picked up their diplomas from Columbia County schools. While the 2013 school year hasn't been measured yet, some say there should be more graduates. The Department of Education has released its annual tally of seniors who walked away with a high school diploma in all state schools. Columbia County placed a 74% and if that was on a report card, it would be a C.
Courtney Elledge reporting, "To put the graduation rate into perspective, this bag of M&M's represent Greenbrier High school. In one year, they dropped by 16 points. That's a 13 percent decrease from 2011."
School board members say the decrease is due to a new grading system called the adjusted cohort graduation rate. Here is how it's different from years past: The cohort graduation rate is calculated by the number of students who take four years to complete their requirements. In Greenbrier's case, the state didn't factor in the zoning change that affected both Greenbrier and the new Grovetown High School.
Regina Buccafusco with Columbia County School Board "Three years ago we open up and divided Grovetown High school, and took half of the students from Greenbrier. This inflated the graduation rate at Greenbrier."
The School board admits regardless of the rate, their goal is to achieve high standards. Scoring in the 70's is something they want to correct.
Buccafusco explains, "We've done this remediation where students can re mediate while they're taking a course.. And that will allow our students to graduate in four years. Some students do have a tough time getting through all of the requirements in four years."
Students who may struggle with the 4 math requirements or other courses there's an outlet for them. The Columbia County Community Connection offers tutoring, for those who need extra help outside the classroom.
Columbia County Community Connections Director Julie Miller says, "Really we just want to make sure kids are successful, and that's our main goal."
Columbia County still scored above the state's 69.7%. To learn about the new grading scale and see where your school placed click here. http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/Pages/Home.aspx
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