CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) released the state’s and each school district’s graduation rates for the 2019-2020 school year Tuesday morning.
The state’s overall four-year graduation rate increased just slightly from 82.1 percent in the 2018-2019 school year to 82.3 percent in the 2019-2020 school year. Of 6,896 expected cohort of graduates, 5,673 students actually graduated in 2019-2020.
According to a press release from the WDE, this is the seventh consecutive year of improvement the state has seen beginning with the class of 2013, where 77.6 percent of students graduated.
Locally, Sweetwater County School District No. 1 (SCSD No. 1) saw a 4 percent increase in its graduation rate from the 2018-2019 school year. Sweetwater County School District No. 2 (SCSD No. 2) saw a 3.5 percent decrease in its graduation rate, but remained at 90 percent. SCSD No. 2 joined 17 other districts with a graduation rate of 90 percent of higher.
Sweetwater County School District No. 1
SCSD No. 1 saw a 4 percent increase in its four-year graduation rate from the 2018-2019 school year to 2019-2020. In 2018-2019, SCSD No. 1 had a graduation rate of 72.7 percent. This past school year, the district had a 76.7 percent graduation rate.
“Our staff, students, and parents have transformed teaching and learning in many ways,” said SCSD No. 1 Superintendent Kelly McGovern said. “We’ve taken care of our students and focused on both the social and emotional needs of students the best we can.”
“In strengthening the culture and surrounding support, we also increased the academic achievement of kids,” McGovern added.
Of the 374 expected cohort of graduates, 287 students graduated in 2019-2020.
Farson-Eden High School graduated 100 percent of its students over the past two years, while Rock Springs High School (RSHS) saw an increase from 72.2 percent in 2018-2019 to 76.7 in 2019-2020. Black Butte High School (BBHS) graduated 63.3 percent of its students in 2018-2019, and 65.4 percent in 2019-2020.
BBHS Principal Bryant Blake says one reason the schools saw a higher graduation rate last year was the hiring of a “graduation coach.”
“Having a person whose role is dedicated to monitoring student progress specifically toward graduation has helped earlier identify students needing extra support and has provided students with continued support throughout the school year toward staying on track,” Blake said.
Both RSHS and BBHS also began developing individualized student plans in October 2019 through May 2020. These plans contained both a curriculum plan and support plan for the student. This included one-on-one virtual conferencing with the student, supported study time, or modified schedules to allow for other responsibilities.
Sweetwater County School District No. 2
From the 2018-2019 school year to the 2019-2020 school year, SCSD No. 2 saw a 3.5 percent decrease in its four-year graduation rate. In 2019-2020, the graduation rate sits at 90 percent, whereas in the previous school year the district had a 93.5 percent graduation rate.
Of the 209 students expected to graduate in 2019-2020, 188 successfully graduated.
“We are happy that our graduation rates remain as some of the highest in the state,” SCSD No. 2 Superintendent Craig Barringer said. “There are many factors that go into graduation rates. The dip in our graduation rates could be to students that move out of the district and we do not receive notification of their re-enrollment. It could be that we simply have a few more kids that did not meet the graduation requirements at the time of reporting.”
Green River High School had a graduation rate of 95.7 percent in 2018-2019. This number fell to 91.5 percent in the 2019-2020 school year.
Expedition Academy High School had a graduation rate of 80 percent in 2018-2019, and a rate of 75 percent in 2019-2020.
“Our quest for graduation begins when a student enters our doors in kindergarten. We offer many programs to ensure that all kids can graduate. Building good habits early on is important to the success of the student when it comes time to graduate,” Barringer said. “If a student’s attendance is sporadic when they are younger, it is likely that habit will follow them into high school. Most educators and employers will tell you attendance is the biggest roadblock that most often leads to lack of success.”
The graduation rates broken down by statewide, district, and school rates can be found here.