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Numerous Allen County public, private schools surpass state's average graduation rate

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 6:49 am

The Indiana Department of Education on Wednesday released graduation rates for high schools for the 2012-13 school year.

The state's non-waiver graduation rate was 81.72 percent, an increase from 80.46 percent in 2012, according to the IDOE. Overall graduation rate for all schools was 88.6 percent for 2012-13, compared with 88.7 percent in 2011-12. According to the state, the non-waiver data is used for federal reporting requirements and does provide a look at the number of students who pass end of course assessments.

Fort Wayne Community Schools' five high schools combined to average a graduation rate of 90.7 percent, according to information released by the district.

Snider, Northrop and Wayne high schools were well above the state average at 96.2 percent, 95.1 percent and 90 percent of seniors graduating, respectively, while North Side and South Side lagged. South Side had a graduation rate of 86.4 percent, while North Side's rate was 81.4 percent.

Of note: Wayne's graduation rate was nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2011-12; the school had an 80.6 percent graduation rate for that year.

FWCS spokeswoman Krista Stockman explained Wednesday that the rates are derived from the obvious, such as credits obtained through course completion, as well as the taking of three end-of-course assessments in algebra, English 10, and biology.

Algebra and English 10 must be passed; however, waivers can be granted, by request, per the discretion of the district -- though Stockman explained that obtaining one isn't as simple as requesting it.

While each case is different, factors such as attendance rate, as well as a level of academic performance in all other course work, are considered.

"While we don't want to overuse the waivers, they do serve an important function," Stockman said. "For some students, an end-of-course assessment is a difficult thing, and while they are important, you have to understand what goes into a student not doing quite as well on that and make a determination from there. If you can show that you have been in class and actually put in the work, but just might not perform that well on one test, then we do look at those kinds of factors."

For other public school districts, Southwest Allen County and Northwest Allen County's high schools were well above the state's graduation rate, with Homestead at 94.5 percent and Carroll at 95.6 percent, respectively.

East Allen County Schools had Leo Junior/Senior at 95.1 percent, Heritage Junior/Senior at 87.2 percent, Woodlan Junior/Senior at 87.5 percent and New Haven at 80.1 percent.

Other notable schools in the area that are not part of the public school system included Bishop Dwenger at 98.8 percent, Bishop Luers at 97.1 percent, Concordia Lutheran at 99.4 percent, and Blackhawk Christian at 100 percent, with all 63 of its seniors graduating in the 2012-13 school year.