Washoe County’s high school graduation rate improved in 2022 by 1.9 percentage points, helping the district to rebound to nearly pre-pandemic graduation levels. Washoe County School District joins many other Nevada school districts that also saw their graduation rates increase.
WCSD’s 2022 graduate rate rose to 84.4%, up 1.9 percentage points from 2021 and just .7 percentage points shy of the 2020 graduation rate. Of the diplomas awarded to students in the district, 48% were honors, advanced or college and career readiness diplomas.
“We are incredibly proud of our graduates and grateful to our families and staff who supported them in earning their diplomas,” said WCSD Superintendent Susan Enfield. “Whether it is college, career or military service, our goal in WCSD is to ensure that our students graduate prepared for whatever future they choose for themselves.”
Nevada’s statewide graduation rate for 2022 is 81.7%. Eureka County leads the state with a 100% graduation rate for its 22 students, followed by Pershing, Lincoln and Humboldt counties, which all have small student populations but saw graduation rates over 90%.
Six schools within WCSD saw graduation rates above 90%, including Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology which has a 100% graduation rate for the past three years. Other schools that recorded greater than 90% of students graduating included TMCC, Incline, Reno, Galena and McQueen high schools.
WCSD officials said the 2022 graduation rates reflect a new coding structure that aligns with how graduation rates are calculated at the federal level. It adjusts the way students who are expelled or transfer to adult schools are considered. The new coding structure positively affected the graduation rate by 2.8 percentage points.
The Nevada Department of Education, in celebrating the improved numbers, credited investments in education through coronavirus recovery funds for helping to speed up learning recovery following learning losses during the pandemic.
“These students have faced unprecedented challenges during their high school careers due to the pandemic. To see them rise above it all and graduate in higher numbers than in the previous year is so exciting,” said Jhone Ebert, state superintendent of public instruction.
The national average high school graduation rate pre-pandemic, for the 2018-2019 school year, was 86%. At that time, Nevada ranked 34th in the nation with an 84% graduation rate.
Washoe County saw graduation rates steadily increase from 2016 through 2019, reaching a district record 86% in 2019.
Statewide graduation data is available on a DOE report card for 2021-2022.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.