Alachua County's graduation rate increases, tops state average

Alachua County District’s graduation rate increases, tops state average

The Florida Department of Education just released: Alachua County high school students graduated at a higher rate than high school students statewide.

The district's four year graduation rate for 2017 was 82.7% , a total gain of 4.3 percentage points over 2016.

Alachua County public schools spokesperson Jackie Johnson said they've implemented several district programs to help students succeed.

"One of the things we did last school year, which we know made an big impact, is to allow all students to take the ACT exam for free twice at school, during school hours," Johnson said.

She said students can use that test to meet the state testing requirement in order to graduate on time.

The district also increased behavioral programs to cut down on out of school suspensions.

Johnson said in an effort to keep boosting graduation rates for all students, they are going to analyze all the figures.

"We will go classroom by classroom, student by student, grade by grade, school by school," Johnson said.

Santa Fe High School's graduation rates went from 83% to 90%.

Principal Beth LeClear said beyond what the district is doing, they added programs for students to work one on one with mentors.

LeClear said they also have "power hours" for students to meet with teachers for extra help.

School Officials say they encourage more schools to come up with ways to think outside of the box boost these numbers.

At 82.7 percent, .4 points above the state average, Alachua County schools wants to push to get that number closer to 100 %.

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