floydcountytimes.com

County graduation rates surge

Ralph B. DavisManaging Editor

August 8, 2012

FRANKFORT — Floyd County students are graduating at a significantly higher rate than their counterparts across the state, state figures released Wednesday show.


Overall, in 2011, Floyd County schools graduated 86.3 percent of the students that entered the system as freshmen, more than 8 points higher than the statewide average.


The 2011 graduation rate was also significantly higher, year over year. Students graduated at a 77.1 percent rate in 2010, which was down from 80 percent in 2009, but higher than the 2008 figure of 72.5 percent.


Statewide, the 2011 rate was also higher, but there has not been as much fluctuation in rates. Overall, Kentucky students graduated at rates of 76.7 percent in 2010, 75.1 percent in 2009, and 75 percent in 2008.


On Thursday, Superintendent Henry Webb said adminstrators are “very pleased” with the results.


“We’ve placed a lot of emphasis on the graduation rate, for obvious reasons,” Webb said. “We’re taking a systemic approach, and it appears to be paying off.”


Webb said the school system is taking a variety of approaches, but Webb said the different methods all have the same goal: “We’re trying to know where our kids are, building relationships with them, and trying to keep them in school.”


One program that appears to be having results is the system’s evening school program. Begun in the 2010-11 school year — the same year that district results began showing significant gains — the evening school program was an effort to reach out to students who had dropped out of school for a variety of reasons, and offer them a chance to return to class on an alternative schedule.


“We went to kids’ doors, knocked on doors, and got them got them back into school,” Webb said.


That first year, the evening school program was able to bring back about 40 students who otherwise would never have graduated.


Among individual high schools, South Floyd had the highest graduation rate, with nearly every student getting a diploma. Overall, 99.4 percent of South Floyd students graduated, followed by 95.3 percent at Betsy Layne, 86.7 percent at Allen Central and 85.5 percent at Prestonsburg.


South Floyd also had the greatest improvement over the past year, after posting a county-worst 64.2 percent graduation rate in 2010. Previous year rates for the remaining schools were 78 percent at Allen Central, 85.2 percent at Betsy Layne, and 79.7 percent at Prestonsburg.


Boys in the district graduated at a slightly higher rate than girls, 86.7 percent to 86.1 percent.