The Georgia Department of Education has released SY 2019-20 graduation rates for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. SCCPSS improved its cohort graduation rate by nearly two percentage points over last year – rising from 87.8% to 89.7%. That number surpasses the state rate for the sixth year in a row. The state of Georgia's rate is 83.8% - an all-time high since the state began using the adjusted cohort calculation now required by federal law. The most recently published national rate is 85% from the 2017-18 School Year.
SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett says, “Our students continue to achieve at unprecedented levels, even during a year in which they faced unique challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown of schools and swift pivot to virtual learning for the final quarter of the school year. This success is attributable not only to the determination of our students, but also to the hard work and dedication of the talented teachers and staff in Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. They worked under difficult circumstances to continue to connect with and engage their students in quality learning experiences through the end of the 2019-20 school year."
Eight of eleven high schools in the District either improved their cohort graduation rate over the previous year or stayed the same. Of those who increased their rate, the biggest increase was seen at Beach High School with a 5.3 point increase over 2019 numbers. Islands High saw an increase of 4.4 points, Jenkins an increase of 4 points. The School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High and Windsor Forest High saw increases of 3.8% and 3.7% respectively. New Hampstead's rate rose to 94.5%.
Overall, SCCPSS 4-year cohort graduation rates range from 76.4% to 100%. SCCPSS can once again boast of two schools in the district out of less than twenty in the state of Georgia with a 100% graduation rate. It is the fifth year in a row that Savannah Early College High has met that goal and the fourth year in a row that Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School has done so.
Georgia calculates a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. This rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted" by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out. While all states use the same calculation, each state sets its own requirements for students to earn a regular high school diploma. Georgia has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma.