Adams 12 Five Star School District saw a bump in overall graduation rates in 2022.
“It's nice to see that we are climbing back up there. We know we need to work in a few areas, But we're …
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“It's nice to see that we are climbing back up there. We know we need to work in a few areas, But we're just gonna keep doing the very best we can to educate our kids,” said District President Lori Goldstein.
The district saw numbers go from 80.5% in 2021 to 82.8% in 2022. However, Goldstein noted the numbers still aren’t at the same level as they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, they were 84.3%, in 2019, they were 83.3% and in 2020 they were 84%. Goldstein sees the recent increase as an indicator the schools are getting back on track, but not normal.
“We have a new normal now,” Goldstein said.
Citing online opportunities for students, schools have found a way to provide for their pupils in a variety of ways, she said, through either hybrid and virtual spaces.
“As far as meeting the needs of our kids, I think our kids are rebounding to a certain extent,” she said. “But we still have work to do.”
Lee Peters, executive director of Adams 12, emphasized that students are working hard.
“Students have stepped up and stayed on pace for graduation,” he said.
Peters said graduation rates increased as a result of students staying on pace or catching up on classes they fell behind in. He noted during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only did seniors fall behind in credits, but so did younger students, resulting in lower graduation rates.
The increase, he said, is an indicator that students are back on track.
“2022 saw an increase and that's the result of students who struggled in particular during COVID and maybe failed a class or two, having more time to get caught up,” he said.
Peters wants to surpass levels seen prior to the pandemic. To do so, he said the district will focus more on the micro level of keeping students on pace.
For students who do fall behind, they plan to provide different options, too.
“Some students are not going to be able to do that, and when that occurs, then we do have other options within our big comprehensive high schools for some credit recovery options,” he said.
As a measure of success, Peters said graduation rates are important. He said it’s a student’s first academic milestone which sets them up for their next step in life.
It’s also an element with kids moving onto college, trade schools or other professions.
“We're certainly not done, we have some work to do,” Goldstein said.
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