September 22, 2021

County graduation rates above average

Last week, the Iowa Department of Education announced that, for the third consecutive year, graduation rates have increased statewide.

In 2013, 89.68 percent of students graduated high school in Iowa, which is a 0.42 percent increase from 2012. Locally, all five districts in Jasper County averaged a combined 96.95 percent graduation rate based on the official figures from IDE.

According to IDE, Lynnville-Sully High School graduated 39 out of 40 students in 2013, which gave them a 97.5 percent graduation rate. However, L-S Community School District Superintendent Shane Ehresman said the figure will be amended to reflect that L-S had a 100 percent rate.

“The one student who did not graduate from Lynnville-Sully in May 2013 has since completed the necessary coursework for a high school diploma,” Ehresman said. “As a result, next year’s Iowa Department of Education graduation five-year cohort graduation rate for the Class of 2013 will be 100 percent.”

Ehresman also talked about how his district has managed to maintain such higher than average graduation rates.

“Lynnville-Sully’s graduation rates are consistently above state averages,” he said. “In fact, we take great pride graduating 100 percent of our students in 2007, 2008, 2010 and now 2013.” The parents and staff at Lynnville-Sully collaborate to ensure everyone student has an opportunity to graduate.  When problems arise, we work together to support the students’ needs.”

The Baxter Community School District also graduated 100 percent of the 35 students who made up the class of 2013.

The Prairie City-Monroe Community School District discussed its 2013 figures during Monday’s board of education meeting.

“Our four-year cohort was (a) 96.97 percent graduation rate and state four year is 89.68 percent,” PCM High School principal Scott Bridges said. “In comparison to the state, are we where we want to be? No. I’d like to see those numbers much higher. We’ll keep working on it, but this is definitely a cause for celebration.”

Jasper County’s largest school district, the Newton Community School District, also had a very substantial graduation rate. Newton graduated 201 out of 213 students for a 94.37 percent graduation rate in 2013.

In the Colfax-Mingo Community School District, 47 out of 49 students graduated and the district had a 95.92 graduation rate.

IDE Director Brad Buck, in a release, said he is proud of the continued rise in graduation rates for Iowa’s student and said the next step would be to make sure that students are fully prepared for life after high school.

“As a former Iowa superintendent and high school principal, I know the hard work that goes into getting every student across the finish line to complete high school,” Buck said. “Iowa’s increasing graduation rate is a testament to the commitment of everyone across the state, from parents to teachers to administrators to policy makers.”

Senior staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.