Hillsborough County Public Schools is proud to announce the district’s graduation rate has jumped to 82.9%, an all-time record for the district and higher than the state graduation rate.
The 3.8 percentage point increase over last year highlights the tremendous work by students, teachers and staff in Hillsborough County Public Schools. Because students with a high school diploma earn $380,000 more during their lifetimes compared to students who don’t graduate, this increase has a $255 million positive economic impact on our community.
The Florida Department of Education released high school graduation rates for 2016-2017 on Wednesday afternoon. The district’s 25,000 employees have worked together to create a culture where everyone becomes a “graduation champion” and personally takes part in supporting and guiding students toward graduation.
A few highlights include Armwood High School, which increased its graduation rate by 13.2 percentage points over last year, to an 85.7% graduation rate and Chamberlain High School which increased its graduation rate by 12.8 percentage points in one year to 85.3%.
Tampa Bay Tech High School now has the highest graduation rate in the district at 97.6%.
Over the last five years, Middleton High School has increased its graduation rate by a remarkable 32.6 percentage points. Middleton High School now stands at an 80.5% graduation rate. Leto High School improved their graduation rate by 18.7 percentage points over the last five years and is now at 85%.
When Superintendent Jeff Eakins took the helm of Hillsborough County Public Schools, the graduation rate stood at 73.5%. Since then, the rate has steadily climbed and now stands at 82.9%. (From 76% in 2014-2015, to 79.1% in 2015-2016, to 82.9% in 2016-2017)
The district has also been steadily closing the achievement gap – the difference in academic performance between groups of students. The district continues to see an increase in all key areas, including African American students (up 4.9% percentage points over last year), Hispanic students (up 4.9%), Exceptional Education students (up 6.1%) and English Language Learners (up 8.8%).
“I want to congratulate all of our students for taking our district to new heights. A diploma opens so many more doors for these students with opportunities for better jobs with higher wages. Out of our 27 traditional high schools, none are below an 80% graduation rate. I am so proud of all of our teachers, administrators, school staff and district employees who never lost sight of our goal, and that’s putting students first,” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins.
Graduation champions are everywhere in our schools and in our community – with bus drivers starting each morning, mechanics, custodians, student nutrition services employees, school security officers, front office staff, teachers, principals, district employees and countless community partners who provide resources, time and support for students. These graduation champions are ensuring students have every opportunity to walk across the stage on graduation day and are ready for college or a career.
673 more students graduated in 2016-2017 than the previous year. There are many factors that go into achieving the all-time graduation rate including; Advocacy, Activation and an All-In Attitude.
Advocacy: Teachers, school-based staff and district employees are fighting tenaciously for every student to have the support and opportunities they need to get to the finish line.
Activation: Teachers, principals and staff are providing great communication with parents, helping them become partners in their child’s education
All-In Attitude: Teachers continue to collaborate with each other by looking at student data and sparking each other’s creativity
Superintendent Eakins and the School Board created a District Strategic Plan where raising the graduation rate continues to be a top priority. With the latest graduation rate increase, the district’s goal of reaching a 90% graduation rate by the year 2020 remains on track.