Latest graduation rates highlight decade-long climb

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 9:00am

All district comprehensive high schools continue to outpace state average

Continuing a trend that highlighted the past decade, the four-year on time graduation rate for Adams 12 Five Star Schools again increased for the Class of 2019 to its highest point ever.

Lea este artículo en español

The district’s graduation rate reached 84.9* percent in 2019. The new mark is not only the district’s highest graduation rate since the state changed how the rate was calculated but it capped a nine-year stretch that saw the number of Five Star students graduating on time climb more than 12 percentage points. It also surpassed the state average of 81.1 percent, as reported by the Colorado Department of Education.

For the third consecutive year, all five of the district’s comprehensive high schools exceeded the state average. Of those five, Horizon High School came close to matching a previous graduation rate high-water mark with 95.1 percent of students graduating on time and Mountain Range hit a new high at 91.3 percent. In addition, three district charter schools, Prospect Ridge Academy, Stargate and Westgate, hit 100 percent.

“Continuing this positive trend in our graduation rates is a fitting end to a decade that saw our students make so much academic growth,” Superintendent Chris Gdowski said. “As we look ahead to the next 10 years, I believe our best work remains ahead of us, especially as our newly-implemented strategic plan, ELEVATE, focuses on not only raising graduation rates but also increasing academic rigor. I continue to be proud of the work our schools are doing to help students succeed.”

Alternative education pathways
Year-over-year, Five Star Schools has seen an increase in the number of students seeking alternative education pathways as an opportunity to grow and succeed. This increased demand also reflects continued success as the number of students graduating from an alternative pathway rises. For the Class of 2019, both of the district’s alternative schools saw their highest graduation rate to date. The number of students graduating from Vantage Point High School surpassed the 50 percent mark in 2019 and also capped a decade where graduate rates have grown by nearly 40 percentage points. Vantage Point offers an individualized program for students in grades 9-12 who are at risk of not graduating. Additionally, Pathways Future Center, which uses a blended learning model - a mix of online and in-classroom learning - to meet the needs of students, continues to graduate more students every year, increasing to nearly 64 percent in 2019.

Specialized populations
A total of 75.9 percent of district Hispanic students in the Class of 2019 graduated in four years, according to the most recent data, again continuing a decade-long climb that saw rates climb from about 51 percent in 2010. 

Additionally, the Five Star District maintained a high level in 2019 of graduating students served through specialized programs in every category tracked by the state. The state measures graduation data for students served in various specialized programs, such as English Language Learners, students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP), economically disadvantaged students, gifted and talented students and homeless students.

“Raising achievement levels for all student groups regardless of their race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status is another goal outlined in ELEVATE,” Gdowski said. “We continue to seek the right opportunities for students served by specialized programs to find a path to success and their continued improvement shows we are on the right path.”

The 2019 graduation rate for all district high schools:

  • Horizon High School: 95.1 percent

  • Legacy High School: 91.2 percent

  • Mountain Range High School: 91.3 percent

  • The New America School: 20 percent

  • Northglenn High School: 88.2 percent

  • Pathways Future Center: 63.7 percent

  • Prospect Ridge Academy: 100 percent

  • Thornton High School: 83.3 percent

  • Vantage Point High School: 50.9 percent

  • Westgate Charter School: 100 percent

*The district graduation rate figure does not include district charter schools.