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RCSD Announces Increase in August Graduation Rate

The district announced August 2019 graduation rates. File photo

The Rochester City School District’s four-year graduation rate was 63% in August, a 3.7 percentage point increase from the previous year, according to data from the state Education Department for the 2019 graduating class and released by the district.

Data showed that RCSD has again achieved its highest graduation rate in consecutive years for more than a decade, according to a statement from the district.

The district highlighted what it called noteworthy trends in the rates:

  • 15.9% increase for English Language Learners, from 26.7% to 42.6%.
  • 7.6% increase for Hispanic students, from 55.0% to 62.6%.
  • 5.3% increase for Students with Disabilities, from 41.7% to 47.0%.
  • 2.9% increase for Black students, from 59.7% to 62.6%.
  • 1.5% decrease in dropouts, from 18.3% to 16.8%.

“These numbers are a testament to the hard work our RCSD family has done over the last year,” Superintendent Terry Dade said in the district’s news release. “We are clearly taking big steps towards assuring all of our students graduate. However, much work is still to be done during very difficult times. I am convinced that we can achieve great accomplishments working together for the benefit of our students.”

Since August, the district announced a budget shortfall that could reach $64.8 million if steps are not taken. To address the gap, Dade implemented several measures, including staff reductions.

School board president Van White said that efforts at increasing the graduation rate are like a journey. “This most recent data reveal that with each graduating cohort, we come closer to our obligation and commitment to make this district what it needs to be for the children and families of our city,” according to the district news release. “The members of the Board of Education wish to thank every staff member and family member who assisted each and every graduate in their journey across that stage in 2019.”