More Tooele County students are finishing high school with a diploma than the statewide average, new graduation statistics show.
Tooele County School District’s 2013 graduation rate was 92 percent, compared to 81 percent statewide. The county’s graduation rate is up 2 percent from 2012.
The high graduation rate is the result of years of intentional effort, according to Scott Rogers, Tooele County School District superintendent.
“Our board, district administrators, principals, and staff members at all schools, have made this a priority in the last few years,” he said. “Four or so years ago, the graduation rate was around 79 percent. That just wasn’t good enough. This is an example of excellent work by our high school teams in focusing on kids—not just numbers and statistics.”
To compare graduation rates for 2013 among Utah high schools, the Utah State Office of Education uses a three-year rate that shows the percentage of students who started high school in the tenth-grade, completed graduation requirements, and received a regular high school diploma by Sept. 30, 2013.
The three-year rate is used because half of Utah’s high schools are three-year high schools.
When the graduation rate is calculated on a four-year basis, using the number of students that started in ninth grade, the graduation rate for Tooele County high schools drops by two points to 90 percent.
The four-year rate is used in school grading reports and the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System (UCAS) calculations.
Only seven of the state’s 41 school districts had a graduation rate higher than 92 percent. The highest was the Daggett School District, which graduated 14 out of 14 students for 100 percent.
Grantsville lead the way in the district with a 95 percent graduation rate, followed closely by Stansbury and Dugway High Schools at 94 percent.
Tooele High School had a graduation rate of 92 percent for 2013; Wendover High school had 88 percent; and Blue Peak High School had 62 percent.
Rogers said a variety of factors contribute to the district’s high graduation rate.
“Being able to offer a wider variety of career and technical education classes, concurrent enrollment, advanced placement, and elective classes has helped keep students on track and interested in school,” he said. “It has also been a result of a concerted effort to S.O.S.—Save One Student—which was a program that Superintendent Linares instituted.”
The new Community Learning Center has also contributed to the growth in graduation rates with more students able to attend Blue Peak High School and all schools being able to take advantage of the wide range of classes offered at the CLC, Rogers added.
The superintendent also noted that the 2013 graduating class was the first group of seniors that benefited from the efforts of professional learning communities throughout their entire secondary education experience.
“It is hard to put your finger on just one thing,” said Rogers. “There are many ingredients in the recipe. The hard work and efforts of our employees, parents, patrons, and communities has really made the difference.”