Windsor High School surpassed the state’s expectations regarding the on-time graduation rate by graduating 92.1 percent of its students in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012.
The Colorado Department of Education released graduation rate numbers Thursday, and the expectation rate in the state is 80 percent.
Windsor’s 2013 numbers not only exceeded last year’s 88 percent rate, but also 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. Windsor had 256 students in its graduating class in 2013, up from 235 students in 2012.
Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District Superintendent Karen Trusler was extremely pleased when she saw the numbers.
“I congratulate all students on this achievement. I am also grateful for the staff members, parents and community members who support our students in their successes,” Trusler said.
Trusler praised the efforts of second-year Principal Michelle Scallon.
“Under the leadership of Principal Michelle Scallon, she has led her staff, parents and the community to focus on what is best for high school students to prepare them to be successful in whatever they choose to do following graduation,” Trusler said. “Ms. Scallon’s focus on student success, her knowledge of high school students, her support of teachers, her understanding of the community and her visibility at Windsor High School all contribute to this success. In turn, parents and our community place a high value on quality education and support our students and staff in whatever ways they can. This partnership matters to every single student, whether the student is in kindergarten or in 12th grade.”
Scallon said Windsor High School is focused on academic achievement, and helping its students move on to the next stages of their career.
“The numbers speak to the fact that we have an awesome student body and awesome staff here at Windsor High School,” Scallon said. “When I look at that graduation improvement, I think our attendance policy has played a big part in that. Mr. (Kevin) Copher (dean of students) has done an awesome job with monitoring that and enforcing that. Another thing is we’ve expanded our online credit recovery program. Four days a week we offer that PLATO program after school. We have a lot of parent and community support. We have a staff that’s very attuned to our kids. We have a good thing going here at Windsor High School.”
According to the CDE, the on-time graduation rate for the class of 2013 in Colorado increased 1.5 percentage points to 76.9 percent, as compared to last year. There were 877 more graduates in the class of 2013 than in the class of 2012 throughout the state. The on-time graduation rate stood at 75.4 percent for the class of 2012.
The on-time graduation rate reflects the percentage of students from a given graduation class who receive a diploma within four years of completing 8th grade.
Scallon also pointed out that 100 percent of WHS students who participated in athletics graduated in 2013.
“It just proves that if you are involved, it makes a difference,” Scallon said.
Amy Heinsma, Re-4 director of instruction, said the staff and students at WHS were focused and worked hard to hit those numbers.
“We are proud of Windsor High School staff and students and their hard work over the past few years to increase student achievement,” Heinsma said. “Their focused, deliberate effort has everyone moving in the same direction, and consistency in that message has certainly paid off. The whole team at Windsor High School has done a fantastic job in helping students succeed and showing what they know. We believe that the continuing efforts of staff to reflect and get better at their craft will show in increasing scores and graduation rates in the future.”
The 92.1 percent graduation rate at WHS comes off the news earlier in the school year that the ninth- and 10th-grade students who took the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program tests last spring saw double-digit gains in five of its seven testing categories compared with 2012.
Scallon pointed out that the goal is to have a 100 percent graduation rate.
“Every educator’s goal is to have 100 percent of your kids graduate and move onto that post-secondary college and career readiness,” Scallon said. “Every year we’ll push and strive ... 100 percent is our goal.”
Other Area Schools’ Grad Rates
Greeley-Evans District 6 — 79.9 percent
Valley Re-1 — 83 percent
Eaton Re-2 — 89.1 percent
Keenesburg Re-3J — 84.5 percent
Johnstown-Milliken Re-5J — 80.2 percent
Platte Valley Re-7 — 92.6 percent
Fort Lupton Re-8 — 74.5 percent
Ault-Highland Re-9 — 82.3 percent
Poudre R-1 — 84 percent
Thompson R2-J — 77.7 percent