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In The News

NNPS graduation rate reaches all-time high
Overall completion rate climbs to 92.8%

(09/30/2015) - Newport News Public Schools' on-time graduation rate has reached an all-time high with the class of 2015. More students are graduating on-time and fewer students are dropping out of school according to data released September 29, 2015, by the Virginia Department of Education.

Newport News Public Schools' 2015 on-time graduation rate is 89.5%, up from 72.9% in 2008. During the same period, the dropout rate decreased from 14.3% to 2.8% for the class of 2015. NNPS' dropout rate is lower than the state average of 5.2%. The overall student completion rate, which includes students who have earned a diploma or a GED in four years, is 92.8%. The NNPS class of 2015 increased its graduation and rate while taking more rigorous Standards of Learning tests designed by the Virginia Department of Education to better prepare students to meet national and international benchmarks for college and career readiness.

NNPS On-time Graduation Rate

Dropout Rate and Completion Rate

The on-time graduation rate monitors a cohort of high school students entering ninth-grade and assesses the graduation and dropout rates of these students four years later. The 2015 on-time graduation and dropout rates monitored the 2015 graduate class, who entered ninth-grade in the 2011-2012 school year. Nearly 3.4% of the students in the 2011-2015 cohort are still enrolled in the school division, giving them an opportunity to compete graduation requirements during the 2015-2016 school year.

"Graduation from high school is an important milestone for students and families. We are very proud of our students' success during this time of increased standards," said Dr. Ashby Kilgore, superintendent of Newport News Public Schools. "Our focused efforts including individualized student success plans are making a difference and establishing a pattern of achievement for our students."

More NNPS students are graduating on-time, earning diplomas

By keeping the focus on college and career readiness, NNPS' graduation rate has steadily increased. In 2008, the on-time (four-year) graduation rate was 72.9% and the dropout rate was 14.3%; that same year, the school division established a national award-winning dropout prevention and recovery program. The program has an array of services to help students graduate on time including high school graduation coaches who identify, mentor and develop academic success plans for students at risk of not graduating; online classes and an evening high school program. Since the program's inception, over 1,100 students who had dropped out of school have returned to earn a high school diploma or GED.

School Highlights:

  • Denbigh High School's graduation rate is 88%, up from 85.2% in 2014 and 69.5% in 2008.
  • Heritage High School's 2015 graduation rate is 83.5% an increase of nearly 10 percentage points when compared to 2008 (73.7%).
  • Menchville High School's graduation rate is 88.8%, up from 86.5% in 2014, and 73% in 2008.
  • Warwick High School's graduation rate is 88.6, up nearly two percentage points from last year (84.8%) and 64.6% in 2008.
    • The dropout rate for Warwick dropped to 3.1% from 3.6% in 2014.
  • Woodside High School's graduation rate is 94.4%, up two percentage points (92.4%) when compared to 2014, and up over ten percentage points when compared to 2008 (83%).
2015 NNPS Graduation and Completion Data


Number of Students in Cohort Graduated with an Advanced Diploma Graduated With a Standard Diploma On-Time Graduation Rate Earned a GED Earned a Special Diploma Overall Completion Rate Dropouts & Unconfirmed
ALL STUDENTS 1,874 726 894 89.5% 58 51 92.8% 52 2.8%
Achievable Dream 54 35 17 96.3% 0 0 96.3% 0 0%
Denbigh 351 96 198 88% 13 14 92% 12 3.4%
Heritage 272 66 150 83.5% < 10 87.5% 13 4.8%
Menchville 392 161 172 88.8% 22 15 94.6% < 2.3%
Warwick 325 130 152 88.6% < < 90.8% < 3.1%
Woodside 480 238 205 94.4% 0 < 95.8% < 1.7%

"<" indicates a group below the state definition for personally identifiable results

District Highlights:

  • NNPS' efforts to increase graduation rates resulted in averages higher than the state in multiple student subgroups (Black students, Hispanic students, economically disadvantaged students, Limited English Proficient students and homeless students).
  • The dropout rates for all NNPS student subgroups were lower than the state's average dropout rates for the same subgroups.
2015 NNPS Student Subgroup Graduation, Completion and Dropout Rates


On-time Graduation Rate Completion Rate Dropout Rate
All Students 89.5% 90.5% 92.8% 92.1% 2.8% 5.2%
Black Students 88.3% 86.2% 90.4% 88.1% 3.4% 6.6%
White Students 91.1% 92.9% 96.6% 94.6% 1.2% 3.7%
Hispanic Students 87.9% 84% 91.3% 85.6% 4.6% 11.8%
Students with Disabilities 87.2% 88.4% 88.9% 94.6% 8.3% 9.1%
Economically Disadvantaged 91% 85% 92.3% 87.6% 1.2% 7.8%
Limited English Proficient 88% 68% 88% 70.5% 12% 26.6%
Homeless 83.9% 74.9% 83.9% 77.9% 6.5% 15.4%

Graduation Coaches Ensure Student Success

Graduation coaches are assigned to each high school to identify, assist, encourage, and connect students at risk of not graduating with the options and resources they need to be successful. In addition, graduation coaches work with ninth-grade students to ensure a smooth transition to high school. Every student has an individualized success plan for graduation.

Graduation coaches assist in the successful transition of all students in Newport News Public Schools and provide early intervention services to support endangered students by:

  • Identifying seniors who have passed fewer than six Standards of Learning Tests and are endangered through absenteeism or behavioral issues
  • Identifying freshmen who need additional support during the school year and providing resources to assist them
  • Developing positive working relationships with faculty, staff, parents and community partners involved in the student's success
  • Analyzing data from standardized tests to help in planning alternative courses for endangered students
  • Maintaining and supervising tutorial programs designed to assist with the passing of SOL tests

Through innovative teaching and learning, high expectations, rigorous content and persistent support, students in Newport News Public Schools are moving beyond the minimum standards and are graduating college, career and citizen-ready.