This year our graduation rates rose more than 3 percentage points to an all-time high of 82 percent. When I see those numbers, I think about the people that made them happen.
I think about the hundreds of students who crossed the stage and received their diplomas as part of the Class of 2018. I think about the 2,000 plus staff members who helped them get to that spot. And I think about the family members who helped support, love and guide these students.
Together - we are making a difference.
Our graduation rate increase — up 14 percentage points in 7 years — did not happen by chance. We put systems and people in place to keep all students on track to graduation — from grad coaches to new options at the high school level and on and on. The key to all of these initiatives, however, is personal connection. It's the connections staff members create with students that makes all the difference. We want every student to be known by name, strengths and needs and to graduate ready for the future they choose.
Today, I want to celebrate these graduation rates and the people behind the numbers. I'm proud that every one of our high schools has something to celebrate:
We also want to showcase major increases for our traditionally underserved populations. The grad rate among Hispanic students surged 10 percentage points and we saw increases for black students, economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, linguistically diverse students and more.
While I want us to celebrate — I also recognize that we aren't done yet.
We won't be satisfied until all of our students graduate prepared for the futures they choose.
I know that - with all of us working together - we can continue to reach out to all of our students and help them feel connected to school.
I thank you for your partnership in this and in all things.
Shay Mikalson, Superintendent