The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, January 16, 2021 1:00 am

Graduation rates rise in county

Area ahead of state average in unusual year

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Allen County school districts had reason to celebrate Friday with the release of the 2020 graduation rates.

Their districtwide rates ranged from 90.2% to 97.9%, besting the statewide rate of 87.7%, according to data released by the Indiana Department of Education.

The statewide rate previously was 87.3%.

“This modest improvement in Indiana's 2020 graduation rate is encouraging, especially as Hoosier students and educators have tackled unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic,” Katie Jenner, Indiana secretary of education, said in a statement.

The state graduation rate reflects the waiver of the graduation qualifying exam requirement for the 2020 cohort, which couldn't be administered due to the pandemic.

Of the four local school systems, Fort Wayne Community Schools saw the biggest gains from 2019, increasing from 85.8% to 92.3%.

The rate not only reflects increases at each of the five FWCS high schools, but it also is the highest since at least 2012, spokeswoman Krista Stockman said.

“Everyone knows the end of the year was challenging for the Class of 2020, but the work the students, parents and staff put in prior to the pandemic paid off,” Stockman said. “Our schools have become increasingly focused on making sure students are prepared for life after high school. When they are prepared for the next step, they are more likely to graduate.”

FWCS' overall graduation rate was particularly affected by gains at Northrop High School, which rose from 80.9% to 92.6%.

Northrop benefited from lessons learned in 2019 about new graduation pathways, Stockman said, explaining confusion in 2019 led to delays for some students.

East Allen County Schools' graduation rate, which reflects five schools, remained relatively unchanged at 90.2%; it was 90.3% in 2019.

Superintendent Marilyn Hissong noted “significant growth” at New Haven Junior-Senior High School, which increased from 84.3% to 89.5%.

“Overall, East Allen County Schools is pleased with the graduation rates considering that we did not finish the school year in a traditional manner due to the pandemic,” Hissong said in a statement. 

Both Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools have only one high school. Their graduation rates of 97.9% (NACS) and 96.3% (SACS) were slightly higher than their 2019 rates.

NACS Superintendent Chris Himsel said the district is proud of the students for their accomplishments and the employees who engaged, supported and challenged them throughout their K-12 education.

“A high school diploma does not denote the end of an educational journey, but it helps to create options for graduates to pursue their dreams while serving our country, continuing their educational journey, or employing their talents in meaningful careers,” Himsel said in a statement.

Park Ginder, Homestead High School principal, agreed that the graduation rate reflects more than a single year's worth of effort.

“From kindergarten to commencement,” he said in a statement, “these numbers are a testament to the tireless dedication and efforts of SACS students, families, teachers, guidance counselors and our community partners as we work together to prepare today's learners for tomorrow's opportunities, whatever they may be.”

asloboda@jg.net

AREA GRADUATION RATES (PERCENTAGE)

District School 2019 2020
Adams County
Adams Central Community Adams Central 99.0 100.0
North Adams Community Bellmont 92.5 94.1
South Adams South Adams 86.3 92.1
Allen County
East Allen East Allen University 100.0 96.9
East Allen Heritage 89.7 86.2
East Allen Leo 94.1 92.2
East Allen New Haven 84.3 89.5
East Allen Woodlan 91.8 89.4
Fort Wayne Community North Side 83.6 88.3
Fort Wayne Community Northrop 80.9 92.6
Fort Wayne Community Snider 91.7 95.5
Fort Wayne Community South Side 80.0 89.0
Fort Wayne Community Wayne 93.8 95.7
Southwest Allen Homestead 94.6 96.3
Northwest Allen Carroll 96.1 97.9
Private Bishop Dwenger 99.6 99.6
Private Bishop Luers 91.0 97.1
Private Blackhawk Christian 100.0 100.0
Private Concordia Lutheran 98.3 96.8
Private Cornerstone College Prep 90.0 10.0
Private Horizon Christian 80.0 58.3
DeKalb County
DeKalb Central DeKalb 85.5 90.8
DeKalb Eastern Eastside 96.7 88.4
Garrett-Keyser-Butler Garrett 93.4 95.2
Private Lakewood Park 100.0 100.0
Huntington County
Huntington Huntington North 94.6 90.6
Kosciusko County
Tippecanoe Valley Tippecanoe Valley 87.9 95.7
Warsaw Warsaw Community 95.5 91.9
Wawasee Wawasee 91.0 90.0
Whitko Whitko 88.9 87.5
Private Lakeland Christian 84.6 81.3
Private Pierceton Woods 21.4 45.5
Noble County
Central Noble Central Noble 90.1 88.5
East Noble East Noble 88.6 92.5
West Noble West Noble 91.5 89.6
Steuben County
Fremont Fremont 88.2 90.3
Hamilton Hamilton Community 100.0 84.6
Steuben County Angola 80.2 85.9
Wells County
Bluffton-Harrison Bluffton 98.1 98.1
Northern Wells Norwell 93.6 94.2
Southern Wells Southern Wells 97.0 96.2
Whitley County
Smith-Green Churubusco 94.3 97.8
Whitley County Columbia City 86.6 94.2

Source: Indiana Department of Education


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