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UCPS recognized for graduation rate

The Union County Public Schools system and three UCPS high schools were recognized by state officials in Durham yesterday (October 11, 2011) for their high graduation rate. Pictured, from left, are UCPS Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Programs Dr. Mary Ellis, Central Academy of Technology and Arts principal Dr. Shaun Poole, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis, State Superintendent June Atkinson, UCPS Director of Student Testing Carolyn White, Weddington High School principal Brad Breedlove, Marvin Ridge High School principal Bill Cook, UCPS Board of Education Chairman Dean Arp and North Carolina Principal of the Year Rob Jackson, principal at Cuthbertson High School.

The Union County Public Schools system and three UCPS high schools were recognized by state officials in Durham yesterday (October 11, 2011) for their high graduation rates.

UCPS was one of 10 North Carolina school districts recognized by State Superintendent June Atkinson, Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison for having the highest four-year cohort graduation rates in the state in the 2010-11 school year.

“I’m really proud of the school system. We’ve made great strides in this area the last couple of years,” said UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis. “It’s a major part of our focus on the GIG (globalization, innovation and graduation.)”

Among all 115 school districts in North Carolina, UCPS had the fifth highest graduation rate at 89.1 percent, but was first when rated among large school districts. Of large systems, Guilford County Public Schools’ graduation rate of 83.1 percent was the closest rate to UCPS.

On the individual school level, Central Academy of Technology and Arts was first among 23 schools statewide recognized for having 100 percent graduation rate and was first among the 100-199 cohort size for having the highest graduation rate.

Weddington High was first among the 200-299 cohort size for having 98.1 percent and Marvin Ridge High was first among 300-399 cohort size for having 99.3 percent graduation rate.

Davis commended the work of UCPS Director of Student Testing Carolyn White and Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Programs Dr. Mary Ellis for being creative in looking for multiple avenues for students to be successful.

"Our graduation rate overall is not perfect,” Ellis said. “We are, however, accomplishing measured growth. This is good in and of itself. But when one attaches a student's name and face to this process, it becomes a very powerful thing. I salute our counselors, school administration, Carolyn White's team and most importantly the students who found their individual successes. I am grateful for the percentage of graduates but expect that we will continue to reach more students."

This is the fourth year that Atkinson has held the special awards ceremony to highlight the importance of high school graduation for all students and to congratulate districts and schools with high rates.

"A high school diploma is essential to success in life for today's public school students,” Atkinson said. “Graduating all of our students career- and college-ready has been a priority for me since I took the oath of office. I congratulate the principals, teachers and staff at these schools for ensuring that students stay on track for graduation and look forward to the day when all our high schools can boast a 100 percent graduation rate."

“We’ve worked hard to find multiple pathways for students to be successful,” Davis said. “I’m proud of the good work being done by the people throughout the school system. It starts out there in the schools with the hard work being done the students and teachers, the counselors.”

Davis said UCPS has its sight on all students graduating in the future. “We won’t rest until it’s 100 percent graduation rate,” Davis said. “We’re going to keep working at it, keep trying to improve it step by step.”

School districts and schools were recognized by Atkinson in four categories: top 10 school districts; highest graduation rate by size; top two schools by 9th grade cohort size; and the 100 Percent Graduation Club. In each case, the rates referenced are for the four-year cohort graduation rates (the percentage of students who graduate from high school in four years or less).

The North Carolina statewide four-year cohort graduation rate for 2010-11 is 77.9 percent, which is up 3.7 percentage points from 2009-10.
 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Oct 12, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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