Glynn County Schools’ overall graduation rate rose nearly five percentage points this year and exceeded the state average.

The Georgia Department of Education released this year’s statewide graduation rates Wednesday. The report showed that Glynn County Schools’ overall rate rose from 90.9 percent in 2017 to 95.1 percent this year.

“We are incredibly proud of this news and the continued improvement of our graduation rate,” said Virgil Cole, superintendent of Glynn County Schools, in a press release Wednesday. “This is a testimony to a lot of hard work, not only by both our high schools and their staff, but also of the collective efforts of our entire system.”

But the school system will continue to strive to do better, he said.

“Our goal is to see all of our students reach this important milestone and prepare them for their career or college,” Cole said.

High school graduation rates rose statewide to 81.6 percent in 2018. That statewide rate in 2017 was 80.6 percent. This is an all-time high for Georgia’s graduation rate since the state began using the adjusted cohort calculation now required by federal law.

In Georgia, 74 school districts recorded 2018 graduation rates at or above 90 percent.

The state attributes the overall growth to the increased opportunities in Career, Technical and Agriculture Education (CTAE), dual enrollment, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs and workforce development and training.

“These results are a true testament to the hard work and dedication that our students, teachers and school administrators put in day in and day out,” said Valerie Whitehead, executive director of strategy and innovation for Glynn County Schools. “Through our concerted effort to meet regularly with school leadership and pinpoint areas of improvement, we strive to help them identify and secure the necessary resources to support teachers in preparing students for successful and confident transitions to postsecondary education and employment.”

Brunswick High School’s graduation rate rose from 87.5 percent in 2017 to 96 percent in 2018. Glynn Academy’s rate dropped slightly from 94.9 percent last school year to 94.6 percent this year.

“These increased graduation rates are the collective efforts of all our stakeholders — students, teachers, parents, guidance counselors, registrar, secretaries and administration,” said Scott Spence, principal at Brunswick High School. “Everyone worked hard to increase these rates,and we are certainly proud of it in our Pirate family.”

Glynn Academy principal Matthew Blackstone said the high rate embodies what the school’s administrators and educators strive for every day.

“We are proud of our Red Terrors and look forward to an even higher graduation rate in 2019,” he said.

The state calculates a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. This rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma, divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class.

From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is adjusted by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out.

Every state sets its own requirements to earn a regular high school diploma, and Georgia has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma.

“Georgia’s graduation rate continues to rise because our public-school students have access to more opportunities than ever before,” said Richard Woods, state school superintendent.

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