Credit: Credit: Albemarle County Public Schools

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The on-time graduation rate for Albemarle County Public Schools seniors again has exceeded the statewide averages for all 50 states according to the latest report by the Virginia Department of Education. That report, released today, said Albemarle County’s on-time graduation rate is 94.3 percent, favorably comparing to the Virginia statewide average of 90.5 percent. The school division’s 2.3 percent drop-out rate also was better than the statewide average of 5.2 percent.

Among all graduates, 69 percent of Albemarle County students earned an Advanced Studies Diploma in 2015. This was more than 30 percent better than the 51.5 percent of all Virginia graduates who earned the same diploma.

While the overall on-time graduation and drop-out rates for Albemarle County students were relatively unchanged, there were significant improvements by students in two demographic groups. The drop-out rate for African American students declined by more than 60 percent, and, at 1.9 percent, is now better than the drop-out rate for all students in the division. Similarly, the drop-out rate for Hispanic students was cut in half and now is 5.3 percent.

On-time graduation rates for African American students in Albemarle County was 88 percent, compared to a statewide average for African American students of 86 percent. For Hispanic students in Albemarle public schools, the on-time graduation rate was 91 percent, seven percentage points above the statewide average of 84 percent.

“The one strategic goal our division has is to prepare all students for college and career readiness and for lifelong success as citizens,” said Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Matt Haas. “The ultimate standard for how well we are preparing students for their future is our on-time graduation rate,” he said.

“Our strong numbers in Albemarle County demonstrate the enthusiasm our students have for learning; how well our teachers are engaging students with innovative classroom practices; and the strong support of parents for an instructional model that emphasizes not only what students know, but how they are applying their knowledge,” Dr. Haas said.

As noted by Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Steven Staples, “The students who graduated in May and June began high school just as the commonwealth was introducing challenging, new assessments in mathematics, English and science. That we’ve seen another rise in the graduation rate despite a significant increase in the expectations for high school students indicates the hard work and professional expertise of teachers, principals and other educators in the commonwealth’s high schools are making a real difference.”

Among the highlights for individual schools was a 100 percent on-time graduation rate for Asian students at Albemarle High School and a gain from 66.7 percent to 87.5 percent in the rate for students with limited English proficiency; Monticello’s on-time graduation rate of 96.7 percent for African American students with a zero drop-out rate; and Western Albemarle’s 96.8 percent on-time graduation rate for all students.