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Graduation rates slip for Central Virginia school districts, data shows

Posted at 3:22 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 17:23:14-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Graduation rates were down across Central Virginia, including in the City of Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico Counties compared to numbers from 2018. Statewide data released by the Virginia Department of Education Tuesday showed 91.5% of the class of 2019 graduated on time, but some school districts locally fell below that mark.

In Chesterfield, 90.6% of students graduated on time in 2019, a slight decrease from 90.9% in 2018. However, 55% of students graduated with an advanced studies diploma, which is higher than the statewide average of 51.5.

In Henrico, 90.8% of students graduated on time in 2019, a 1.5% decrease from 92.3% in 2018. Similar to Chesterfield, more than half (52.7%) of Henrico seniors graduated with an advanced studies diploma.

Hanover seniors achieved a 95% graduation rate, a slight dip from the 95.1 previous year. While Hanover had significantly fewer graduating students than Henrico and Chesterfield, the county had an impressive 67% of students graduate with an advanced studies diploma.

Data in Richmond showed a 70.6% graduation rate in 2019, down from 75.4% in 2018. Of the students that didn’t graduate, 24.4 percent dropped out.

That is significantly larger than the statewide dropout rate of 5.6 percent.

In a statement Tuesday, Superintendent Jason Kamras called the graduation rates “deeply disappointed,” but something that they knew was possible.

“As we shared last spring, we knew a decline was possible – if not likely – as we stopped a number of inappropriate adult practices that were artificially inflating our rate,” Kamras wrote. “We've taken a number of steps to guard against these practices from returning, and have put a variety of supports in place to help our students graduate on time. We clearly have more work to do, but I'm confident we are now heading in the right direction.”

Kamras went on to say that he knows that Richmond students are every bit as capable as those in any other school division, but the adults need to give them every opportunity to succeed. He says that’s his goal with RPS strategic plan, Dreams4RPS.

If you would like to view the graduation rates for a particular school division, click here.