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Department of Education releases 2018 graduation rates

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

As local students are heading back to school this week, the Indiana Department of Education has released the 2018 state graduation rates.

Henry County schools performed close to or better than the state average.

Hagerstown Jr/Sr High School, which accepts students from part of Liberty Township in Henry County, had the highest local graduation rate for the second year in a row.

According to the IDOE report, Hagerstown graduated 59 of 60 seniors last summer, for a rate of 98.33 percent.

Although Hagerstown had a smaller senior class in 2018 compare to the year prior (60 vs. 84), the school increased its overall graduation rate.

Knightstown High School had a slightly lower graduation rate this year, with 94.62 percent of the senior class graduating.

Knightstown stood out among all Henry County schools last year, however, because its senior class increased by 15 students over the 2017 numbers.

Due to that increase, Knightstown High School was the only school serving Henry County students to graduate more students in 2018 than it did the year before.

Tri Junior-Senior High School graduate 69 students in both 2017 and 2018. The senior class grew by two last year, so Tri High’s 2018 graduation rate of 94.52 percent was actually a drop from 2017.

Shenandoah High School increased its rate to 91.30 percent by graduating 84 of 92 seniors in 2018. That’s up from 85.05 percent the previous year.

New Castle High School lost several percentage points with 90.75 percent of senior Trojans (206 of 227) graduating last May. New Castle came in at 95.80 percent in 2017.

Blue River Valley Jr-Sr High School graduated 43 of their 49 seniors in 2018, down from 94.23 percent in 2017.

IDOE allows high schools to request graduation waivers for some students who can’t pass the state’s English and Algebra End of Course Assessments (ECAs) or ISTEP+ assessments.

With “evidence-based” or “work-readiness” waivers, those students can graduate with their classmates.

Not taking waivers into account, Tri High had the highest local graduation rate with 91.78 percent.

Hagerstown High School had a 91.67 non-waiver graduation rate. That is the only rate to increase among local schools.

Knightstown High School had a non-waiver graduation rate of 88.17 percent.

BRV High School saw 41 of 49 students (83.67 percent) graduate within four years without a waiver.

Shenandoah’s non-waiver graduation rate was 82.61 percent.

New Castle High School had a non-waiver graduation rate of 80.62 percent, with 183 of 227 students graduating in four years.

Indiana’s waiver graduation rate was 88.1 percent in 2018, and the non-waiver rate was 80.78 percent.

Both rates increased over 2017’s graduation rates of 87.19 percent with waivers, and 80.10 percent with no waivers.

“With the increase to Indiana’s graduation rate, it is evident our schools are committed to the academic success of our students,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “While there is still work to be done, we will continue to partner with local districts to ensure every student graduates prepared for life beyond high school.”

Due to differences between federal and state accountability equations and standards, IDOE also released 2018 federal graduation rates. In 2018, Indiana’s federal graduation rate was 87.23 percent, and the federal non-waiver rate was 79.97 percent.

With the previous exclusion of the general diploma due to the Every Student Success Act, Indiana’s 2018 federal graduation rate is not comparable to prior years, IDOE said.

To view a spreadsheet with statewide, corporation, and school level data, visit www.doe.in.gov/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports.