Windsor High School once again exceeded the state’s expectations regarding the on-time graduation by graduating 88 percent of its students in 2012.
The Colorado Department of Education released graduation rate numbers Wednesday, and the expectation rate in the state is 80 percent. A total of 75.4 percent of the Colorado seniors graduated on time in 2012.
Windsor’s 2012 numbers surpassed its class of 2011 numbers of 86.3 percent grads, the class of 2010 numbers of 86 percent and 86.2 percent for the class of 2009.
According to the Department of Education, 120 (65.6 percent) of Colorado’s schools districts achieved a four-year on-time graduation rate at or above the state’s expectation of at least 80 percent.
“We are proud to be one of the 120 districts in the state to be above the state expectation of 80 percent; however, we always know that improvements can be made,” said Amy Heinsma, Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District assessment coordinator.
“Our graduation requirements are high in comparison to our regional counterparts, so sometimes it is difficult for students to meet those requirements, especially for students who are struggling. Windsor High School has a goal to address how to schedule and support struggling students more effectively as part of their school improvement plan.”
Windsor High School principal Michelle Scallon said she’s proud of the numbers, but the ultimate goal is to graduate everybody.
“That’s always going to be one of our top priorities is to give the kids a good education, and keep that graduation rate up,” Scallon said. “We’d love to have 100 percent. That’s every educator’s goal. We’re just going to keep working every year, and keep that a priority.”
Scallon said the high school has several programs or ways to make sure students are on target to graduate.
“We have the 10-day absent policy where if a student misses more than 10 days, they have to go through an appeals process to the administration,” Scallon said. “Our truancy rate is very low, and I think that’s due to the policy adopted. The kids are in school, and they can’t miss more than the 10 days excused or unexcused or they’ll get put on a no-credit status.”
Scallon said it takes 28 credits to graduate from the high school.
“It’s a full load for kids for four years,” Scallon said. “If you look at our regional counterparts, we’re actually a little higher than anybody in this area. It’s four full years of classes to meet that requirement.”
Scallon said freshmen are indoctrinated into the importance of graduating. The school does a program with Jostens, the class ring and yearbook company, called “Commitment to Graduate.”
“We have the presentation given by a gentleman from Jostens, and we talk about the importance of doing well in the next four years,” Scallon said. “I show the kids a signed diploma, we actually have them sign a commitment to graduate banner that we display in the commons area. This is the second year we’ve done it.”
Scallon also said there is a piece on the importance of graduation in the freshmen Wizard 101 class that all ninth-graders are required to take.
“The kids actually get to take a picture of themselves in a cap and gown, and they write a letter to themselves reminding them of the importance of education and staying in school,” Scallon said. “They get that letter back when they’re a senior and are ready to graduate.”