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In The News

Newport News' Graduation Rate Increases
More student earning diplomas

(09/29/2016) - More students in Newport News Public Schools are graduating on-time. The NNPS graduation rate reached an all-time high with the class of 2016 according to data released on September 29, 2016 by the Virginia Department of Education.

Newport News Public Schools' 2016 on-time graduation rate is 92.1%, up from 72.9% in 2008. During the same period, the dropout rate decreased from 12% to 2.4% for the class of 2016. NNPS' dropout rate is lower than the state average of 5.3%. The overall student completion rate, which includes students who have earned a diploma or a GED in four years, is 95.1%. The NNPS class of 2016 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.

2 Graphs: NNPS On-time Graduation Rate and NNPS Dropout Rate

"Graduation from high school is one of many milestones that our students will celebrate. I am proud of our students' success," said Dr. Ashby Kilgore, superintendent of Newport News Public Schools. "We are working collaboratively with our families and staff to create success plans for all of our students."

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 2016 on-time graduation and dropout rates monitored the 2016 graduate class, who entered ninth-grade in the 2012-2013 school year. Two percent 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 2016-2017 school year.

More NNPS students are graduating in four years

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 12%; that same year, the school division established a national award-winning dropout prevention and recovery program. Newport News Public Schools has an array of programs and services to help students graduate on time including online courses; summer learning opportunities; community-based education; graduation coaches who identify, mentor and develop academic success plans for students; and an evening high school program. In addition, NNPS offers students more options to meet graduation requirements including online and college credit courses.

Graduation rates at all Newport News high schools increased

  • Achievable Dream High School's graduation rate is 100%, up from 96.3% in 2015.
  • Denbigh High School's graduation rate is 89.3%, up from 88% in 2015 and 69.5% in 2008.
  • Heritage High School's 2016 graduation rate is 88.2%, up from 83.5% in 2015 and an increase of nearly 10 percentage points when compared to 2008 (73.7%).
  • Menchville High School's graduation rate is 90.7%, up from 88.8% in 2015, and 73% in 2008.
  • Warwick High School's graduation rate is 91.5%, up nearly three percentage points from last year (88.6%), and 64.6% in 2008.
  • Woodside High School's graduation rate is 96.4%, a two percentage point increase when compared to 94.4% in 2015, and up over 13 percentage points when compared to 2008 (83%).

Dropout rates show steady decline

  • Denbigh High School's dropout rate remained steady at 3.4% in 2016.
  • Menchville High School's dropout rate is 1.3% in 2016, down from 2.3% in 2015.
  • The dropout rate for Warwick High School decreased to 3.1% from 3.6% two years ago.
  • Woodside High School's dropout rate is .4%, a decline from 1.7% in 2015.

Chart: 2016 NNPS Graduation and Completion Data

District Highlights:

  • NNPS' efforts to increase graduation rates resulted in averages higher than the state in numerous student subgroups (Black students, Hispanic students, Students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, English learners and homeless students).

  • The dropout rates for all NNPS student subgroups were lower than the state's average dropout rates for the same subgroups.

  • NNPS graduation rates continue to increase as students meet more rigorous state standards.

Chart: 2016 NNPS Student Subgroup Graduation, Completion and Dropout Rates

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.