January 11, 2019
Wakulla High School’s Class of 2018 exceeded Florida’s graduation rate according to statistics recently released by the Florida Department of Education.
WHS graduated 94.6 percent of its seniors within four years, as compared to the state rate of 86.1 percent.
Noted WHS Principal Mike Barwick, “At 94.6 percent, Wakulla High’s 2018 graduation rate improved on the 2017 WHS rate of 92.4 percent. The level of teacher creativity in finding ways to get through to every student is outstanding throughout the whole Wakulla system, K-12.”
The entire Wakulla School District 2018 graduation rate of 90.1 percent includes students in alternative programs such as Impact, Second Chance, and Virtual School. This 90.1 percent district rate improved over the 2017 Wakulla district rate of 86.7 percent graduating on time.
“Over the past five years, as a district we’ve gone from a 75.1 percent graduation rate to 90.1 percent using the Federal Graduation Rate model required of all public schools. To see Wakulla’s graduation rate steadily climbing speaks to the dedication of our teachers, students, and parents,” said Superintendent Bobby Pearce.
The graduation rate used by Florida is a uniform Federal Graduation Rate that counts only students who graduate with a standard diploma within four years of starting high school.
Federal graduation rates also dig into specific subgroup data as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
Breaking the whole into subgroups, Wakulla students did well in every category.
For example, Wakulla’s Black students earned a 2018 graduation rate of 92.6 percent, exceeding the state graduation rate for Black students of 80.9 percent.
Wakulla’s students with disabilities graduated at 81.3 percent compared to the state’s average of 77 percent.
The “at-risk” subgroup is defined by the USDOE as students whose standardized state test scores as they enter ninth grade are in the lowest performing 25 percent, or lowest quartile.
Students in the at-risk category are given additional academic help throughout their school years.
Wakulla’s at-risk 2018 graduation rate is 77.2 percent compared to Florida’s at-risk graduation rate of 72.7 percent.
Chief Academic Officer Sunny Chancy noted, “We have been building a whole system of support for struggling students with programs such as Impact, Wakulla’s Virtual School and performance-based options so that there is a place for every student to earn a standard high school diploma.”
Added Superintendent Pearce, “Of the 67 counties in Florida, Wakulla was in the top 12 districts for 2018 graduation rates. That is a big feat for a small district. I congratulate all of our 2018 graduates who worked hard to earn their diplomas, and the teachers and parents who supported them along the way.”