Scottsbluff Public Schools is proud to report a 91.51% four year cohort graduation rate for 2018, according to a report released by the State Department of Education Friday. This is the third consecutive year that Scottsbluff Public Schools has had a four year graduation rate above 90%. The Nebraska Department of Education also released statewide graduation data and Scottsbluff has again exceeded the state average of 89%. This is a dramatic positive increase for Scottsbluff Public Schools, who just seven years ago had a 73.85% four year cohort graduation rate.
“With this third consecutive graduation rate over 90%, we feel like we’ve reached a milestone that has now become a dependable expectation in Scottsbluff Schools.” said Rick Myles, Scottsbluff Public Schools Superintendent, “Even more importantly, we are increasingly confident that that diploma is meaningful – our PK-12 academic programming and learning opportunities, top to bottom, are now of such remarkably high quality. Now, as I know our staff believes, we want this for 100% of our kids. We want to get even better and the hard work continues.”
This increase in graduation rate is even more impressive given the new methodology that the Nebraska Department of Education is using to calculate them. By identifying cohort groups in the ninth grade and tracking each student clear through his or her entire high school career, the final computation of an “on-time” graduation rate has become increasingly precise.
“This is a testament to the hard work of our students, their families, and our teachers in the SBPS system that have helped these students to become college and career ready, on time, in their four year cohort,” said Mike Halley, Scottsbluff High School Principal.
Some of the systemic strategies that Scottsbluff Public Schools has focused on to help increase the graduation rate include aligned Learning Guides that help support teachers’ efforts in helping students master Nebraska State Standards at every grade level; re-teaching and re-assessing material to ensure student progress; high academic expectations of all students; progressively effective instructional strategies; added professional development/work time for staff; additional high level, engaging course work; the leadership role of Content Area Specialists and instructional coaches; more inclusive student support services; a focus on high student engagement; alternative pathways to graduation such as CHOICES and ReConnect; increased focus on Career and Technical Education; increased integration of technology; improved parent communications; and the development of the Career Academy Model.