In 2011, 73.3 percent of county students eligible for graduation walked across the stage to “Pomp and Circumstance,” a figure that soared by 2.2 percentage points last year to 75.5 percent.
Additionally, a total of 3,271 graduation-eligible students earned their high school diplomas last year, of whom 2,471 earned their diplomas in four years.
The 75.5 percent graduation rate surpasses the state average of 69.7 percent.
Aaryn Schmuhl, assistant superintendent for learning and leadership services, said the increase represents a victory for the school system.
“We are very excited to see our focused work on improving the graduation rate working for our students at a consistent pace across the district,” he said. “There were either significant gains for our schools or a maintaining of averages well above the state average.”
School superintendent Ethan Hildreth, Ph.D., said despite the gains, there is still work to be done.
“We will not be satisfied with anything less than continuing an increase in this measure of student success,” he said in a statement. “Our success over the past two years is due to the hard work of students, teachers, parents and community members. Thanks are due to the Henry County community for supporting student achievement.”
“We are moving in the right direction towards the goal of 100 percent of our students graduating,” he said. “Our teachers and administrators deserve a lot of the credit for these improvements.”
Besides the district improvement, individual schools racked up gains consistent with the county’s rate and then some.
Patrick Henry and Stockbridge high schools led the pack with the biggest spikes of 11.26 percent and 8.95 percentage points, respectively.
Patrick Henry’s rate of graduation was 23.5 percent in 2011 and accelerated to 34.8 percent in 2012.
Patrick Henry is an alternative school.
Stockbridge High was at 65.6 percent in 2011 and rose to 74.4 last year. Of the ten schools, only three — Locust Grove, Ola and Union Grove — saw slight decreases in their graduation rates.
Woodland High saw neither improvement nor decrease, as their rate of graduation in 2012 remained the same as it was in 2011, at 84.6 percent.