Galena High School had the highest graduation rate among comprehensive high schools in Washoe County this past year, and graduation rates for the entire school district increased by 7 percentage points from the prior year, officials announced Wednesday.
Washoe County School District’s class of 2017 had an 84 percent graduation rate. It also closed achievement gaps among English language learners, special education students, and minorities.
Superintendent Traci Davis said the district is on its way to reaching a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.
“I’d like to thank the teachers, aides, and assistants,” Davis said. “I also want to thank the 8,000 employees who come to work every day, whether you’re driving a bus, whether you’re providing lunch, whether you’re picking up trash…All these things are important to the success of not only our children, but the success of the district.”
Graduation rates are defined for statistical purposes as the number of students who graduate in four years with standard, advanced, or honors diplomas. Those who repeat a year don’t count in graduation figures but also aren’t counted as dropping out because they remained in school.
She noted that each student who graduates from high school saves taxpayers about $127,000.
“Education is transformational,” Davis said. “It changes lives. Education has always been key to the American dream.”
Davis also noted the following:
- English language learners posted a 67 percent graduation rate, up 35 percentage points from the prior year;
- Special education students had a 59 percent graduate rate, up from 28 percent;
- The graduation rate for African American students was 75 percent, up 18 percentage points;
- Hispanic students posted an 80 percent graduation rate, up from 68 percent;
- American Indian students had a 71 percent graduation rate, up 5 percentage points;
- Children in poverty posted a 77 percent graduation rate, up 11 percentage points;
- Children in transition, or those without permanent homes, achieved a 53 percent graduation rate, up from 42 percent
The district also noted its alternative education options, which often suit students who don’t learn well in a traditional environment. Examples include online education, advanced programs with an option to work toward an associates degree, high school diplomas for adults, and Signature Academies.
Graduation rates for the class of 2017 are as follows:
Academy for Arts, Careers and Technology 100%
Damonte Ranch High School 93%
Galena High School 96%
Hug High School 82%
Incline High School 92%
Innovations High School 61%
McQueen High School 93%
North Star Online School 98%
North Valleys High School 88%
Reed High School 88%
Reno High School 93%
Spanish Springs High School 89%
Sparks High School 89%
Truckee Meadows Community College High School 98%
Wooster High School 84%
Ben Hayes, district chief accountability officer, said graduation rates from a state Department of Education’s website www.NevadaReportCard.com shows 2016 graduation rates but indicates they’re from 2017.
“We’ve told them that it’s confusing to people,” Hayes said. “They should label them by year. I’ll call them again today.”
Hayes said information from the district and state should match up in December.
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.