Windsor graduation rate higher than state rate

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2011

RICHMOND—The 2011 on-time graduation rate at two out of three Western Tidewater public high schools was lower than the state, which increased by 1 percent to 86.6 percent.

At the same time, Windsor High School saw its student dropout rate increase by 1 percent to 8.1 percent of its students, and Southampton and Franklin high schools both saw theirs fall by 7.2 percent to 7.8 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively. The statewide average for 2011 was 7.2 percent.

The Virginia Department of Education on Tuesday released its report for 2011 on-time graduation rates. These are students who were first-time ninth graders during the 2007-2008 school year and earned a Board of Education-approved diploma within four years. On-time graduation has increased by 4.5 points since 2008, the first year VDOE reported graduation rates for the state, school districts and high schools.

Windsor’s on-time graduation rate for 2011 was 87.9 percent, down from 90.8 percent one year earlier. Windsor’s rate was also above the state average and higher than Franklin’s 84.5 percent and Southampton High School’s 86.1 percent for 2011.

Franklin’s on-time graduation rate improved from 79.8 percent in 2010 and its dropout rate improved from 16.9 percent in 2010 to 9.7 percent. And at Southampton, the graduation rate improved from 80.4 in 2010 and its dropout rate fell from 15 percent in 2010 to 7.8 percent in 2011.

“We’ve worked very hard for it,” said Southampton High School Principal Allene Atkinson. “We anticipate success. Our whole goal has been to try to help our kids and give them a chance to be successful.”

The effort involved students, parents and teachers, she said.

“We had an incredible effort from the staff and the students have been extremely determined and the parents,” Atkinson added. “Everyone has worked together.”