The high school graduation rate for the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has improved significantly, based on recently released data from the Georgia Department of Education. The four-year graduation rate for DCSD’s Class of 2017 was 74 percent, a four-point increase from the 2016 graduation rate of 70 percent.
Between 2013 and 2017, the District graduation rate improved 14 percentage points. DCSD’s work toward closing the gap between district and state graduation rates continues to persist.
“We are pleased to see the growth in our graduation rate, as it reflects the efforts we’ve made to encourage good attendance, study habits and instruction,” said R. Stephen Green, Superintendent/CEO. “Combined with the positive SAT and ACT results in recent weeks, this shows DCSD is not only graduating more students, but that we’re also preparing them for college, a career and beyond.”
Several of DCSD’s student demographic groups displayed notable percentage point increases in graduation rate between 2016 and 2017:
- Black females increased five points – from 77 percent to 82 percent
- Black students overall increased three points – from 70 percent to 73 percent
- English learners increased three points – from 67 percent to 70 percent
- Special education students increased six points – from 41 percent to 47 percent
- Economically Disadvantaged students increased three points – from 67 percent to 70 percent
In addition, there were double-digit increases in graduation rate at two high schools:
- Cedar Grove – from 72 percent (2016) to 83 percent (2017) – an 11-point increase
- Clarkston – from 59 percent (2016) to 72 percent (2017) – an 13-point increase
Three DCSD high schools have graduation rates of 90 percent or more:
- Arabia Mountain (99 percent) – Title I School
- DeKalb Early College Academy (100 percent) – Title I School
- DeKalb School of the Arts (99 percent)
Seven high schools have graduation rates of 80 percent or more, three more compared to 2016:
- Cedar Grove (83 percent) – Title I School
- Chamblee Charter (82 percent)
- Dunwoody (86 percent)
- Lakeside (83 percent) – Title I School
- Redan (81 percent) – Title I School
- Stephenson (80 percent) – Title I School
- Tucker (85 percent) – Title I School
From 2016 to 2017, four high schools also increased graduation rates between 3-5 percentage points:
- Columbia – 3 points – Title I School
- Martin Luther King, Jr. – 4 points – Title I School
- Ronald E. McNair – 4 points – Title I School
- Stone Mountain – 6 points – Title I School
District Graduation Services
Schools begin working with students on a graduation plan when they enter the ninth grade. High school students are advised annually to ensure that they are earning the credits to move from one grade level to the next.
Each high school has individualized support programs for students. Post-secondary transition specialists are housed in eight of the lower-performing high schools to add an extra layer of support for students. These staff monitor students identified as at-risk to help them remain on schedule and in school. Some of the services include attendance monitoring, online academic credit support, post-secondary option exposure and mentoring.
Students begin assessment to determine post-secondary options in the 8th, 10th and 11th grades. They are given information regarding PSAT, ACT, ASVAB, and Industry Certification exams.
Seniors receive advisement at the beginning of the 12th grade and are closely monitored to ensure that they progress toward graduation at the end of the school year. If a student is failing a course that is needed for graduation, notification is sent to parents making them aware of the issue in time for remediation to occur.
If a student fails a course needed for graduation, options are given to the student for earning the credit. Options include the DeKalb Online Academy, Georgia Virtual School and local academic credit recovery programs.
Students not meeting graduation requirements by May are advised about options for recovering credit during summer months. Summer school options and requirements are shared with the respective parents and the student. A summer graduation ceremony is held in August to allow students the opportunity to celebrate their achievement.