Summit Schools’ grad rate beats state average |

Summit Schools’ grad rate beats state average

Summit School District’s on-time graduation rate for the class of 2010 exceeds the state rate by about 10 percent.

About 82 percent of Summit students finished in four years or less as compared to 72.4 percent across the state. That’s not to say that 27.6 percent of students are dropping out – they may require additional time.

The state’s drop-out rate improved to 3.1 percent, half a percentage point less than the 3.6 percent rate posted in 2008-09. The number reflects the percentage of all students enrolled in grades 7 through 12 who leave school during a single school year. Between 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, the number of students counted as dropouts declined from 14,975 to 13,147.

The graduation rates are calculated under a new formula issued by the Colorado Department of Education that separates graduates in four years or less from five-year and six-year students. It also allows for transfer students and students in five-year programs that incorporate college-level work.

It’s designed to comply with the federal system associated with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Students are assigned a graduating class year when they enter ninth grade – their on-time rate is four years from their date of entry.

Summit High’s class of 2010’s rate is on par with the graduating class the year prior. If the rate for the class of 2009 was calculated out in the new system, it would have been 82.6 percent. Under the old formula, it was 85.2 percent.

The previous system produced a rate that included students who took longer than four years to graduate.

“We’re not seeing a huge swing with the new formula,” district spokeswoman Julie McCluskie said.

The data is designed to create a new baseline for the state and to be able to compare what works for student achievement elsewhere in the country. Though the new on-time formula could make it look as if district performance has dropped if students are engaged in a longer study program, it’s not meant to penalize districts striving to motivate students, state officials said.

The district graduation rate is one of three indicators in the state’s accountability system for measuring how well schools and districts are preparing students for college and career success. The other two indicators are the dropout rate and ACT scores.

For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Education website at

Individual district data is available at

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