Lake County Schools’ Graduation Rates Improve

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For the fifth consecutive year, Lake County Schools increased its graduation rate eclipsing its best-ever performance of 77 percent from the 2008-2009 school year by nearly four percentage points to 80.8 percent.

The Florida Department of Education released graduation rates today for the 2009-2010 school year and all seven high schools in Lake County Schools showed positive gains:

  • Lake County Schools district-wide — 80.82% (3.82% increase)
  • East Ridge High School — 85.28% (4.49% increase)
  • Eustis High School — 88.82% (4.67% increase)
  • Leesburg High School — 84.51% (5.96% increase)
  • Mount Dora High School — 84.06% (3.53% increase)
  • South Lake High School — 79.19% (.14% increase)
  • Tavares High School — 93.12% (3.74% increase)
  • Umatilla High School — 81.55% (4.39% increase)

“This is very good news and I am very excited about it,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “This is one of the elements that will factor into the grade for each high school and I anticipate the grades to be released by the state sometime in early December.”

Since 2005-2006, the graduation rate for Lake County Schools has improved by more than 13 percentage points. According to officials at Lake County Schools, they attribute the rising performance in graduation rates to a greater emphasis on mentoring and tutoring, increased push for more stringent academic standards and dedication from staff and the community to encourage students to graduate.

“The partnership between parents, staff, students and the entire community creates a supportive environment to encourage students to stay in school and remain motivated to work hard,” Moxley said. “We have very dedicated teachers and staff committed to working with students to provide instruction and support so they can be successful in their education.”

Tutoring, mentoring, educational credit recovery and online programs target the instructional needs of at-risk students. These programs afford numerous opportunities for Lake County students to successfully complete high school. More than ever before, Lake County students enrolled this summer in tutoring and credit recovery classes.

“Between our principals, guidance counselors, achievement liaisons and teachers, we have more eyes on those students that are at risk of not graduating on time,” said Nancy Velez, Chief Academic Officer for Lake County Schools. “We will continue to improve and develop programs to ensure every Lake County student is on track for graduation.”

In September 2009, the Florida State Board of Education (SBE) approved the state’s high school grading formula which incorporates graduation rates into the grading of high schools. The graduation rate approved by the SBE uses a formula recommended by the National Governors Association (NGA) which includes standard and special diplomas but excludes all GEDs. Two other graduation rates are sometimes used: the old Florida graduation rate which includes GEDs; and the No Child Left Behind graduation rate which includes regular diplomas and GEDs but not special diplomas.

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