Graduation rate reaches historic level
Rise in graduation rate ushers in Destination Graduation
Posted on 10/30/2014
grad photo
The graduation rate in Floyd County Schools has reached its highest level in the history of the system as the community ushers in the system's push for every child to reach graduation day.  The Georgia Department of Education today released the latest graduation rate and Floyd County Schools jumped five percentage points to 83 percent for the graduating class of 2014.  That was more than 10 percent above the state average of 72.5 percent.  The new standard for the county was also an 11.5 percent rise for the school system over the last three years.  "This is great news to begin our efforts with Destination Graduation for every child," stated superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaniel. "We are in the very early stages of our focus on graduation in this community and this shows that our work in the last year just to identify issues keeping students from reaching graduation day and setting our sights on change is making a difference."  

Not only was the system above 80 percent graduating for 2014 but all four high schools also were above the mark. Model High posted the highest graduation rate at 85.5.  Model was followed closely by Armuchee High at 83.8, Coosa High at 83.1 and Pepperell High at 82.1 percent. All four high schools increased their graduation rate for 2014.  Coosa High saw the largest increase at 7.8 percent but was followed closely by Pepperell High at 7.5 percent.  One of the most impressive figures in the 2014 report was the number of drop-outs reported over the last two years. Floyd County Schools had 112 students listed as dropping out in 2013 but that number had plummeted to just 39 in 2014. 

"This is a time to celebrate an accomplishment in our schools," Dr. McDaniel said. "This shows that our parents, students, teachers and the community have taken ownership of Destination Graduation for every child and each person is looking to make a difference in their area of influence."  Destination Graduation ... for every child, began a little over a year ago as a concept to focus on one goal in the community and school system.  Dr. McDaniel and the board of education set graduation rate as the system mission and goal.  A community team of teachers, parents, administrators and community leaders set to work on identifying challenges that were keeping children from graduation.  Working with educators in each school, the Local School Governance Teams, parent groups, and business leaders, the committee named the effort Destination Graduation and outlined a framework of objectives to help the system reach the ultimate goal.

The challenges were listed as:

1. Building relationships with parents, business leaders and the community to support the        concept of high school graduation for all children.
2. Ensuring children are meeting grade level standards for all children
3. Reducing the impact of retention
4. Making school and courses relevant to children
5. Providing pathways to graduation that are relevant to 21st century learners.

"This shows what a community can do when we identify a problem and we come together to find solutions." McDaniel said. "The real positive that I see from these gains is that the system had not been able to put into place any of the initiatives planned at this point - this growth was from awareness and taking personal ownership."  McDaniel added, "This is just the beginning for our system as we look to continue our progression as a school system and community to Destination Graduation - for every child!"