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NLMUSD Grad Rates Hit Five-Year High

Nearly 94 percent of District seniors received diplomas in 2013

From the HMG-CN Education News Wire:

The rate of students who have graduated from Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District high schools increased for the fifth straight year, topping off at nearly 94 percent for the 2012-13 year.

The District graduated 93.9 percent of its 1,599 high school seniors last year, a 1.5 percentage-point increase over 2011-12, according to data recently released by the California Department of Education. Dropout rates also fell to 3.1 percent, as opposed to 8.8 percent in 2009-10.

The statewide graduation rate average for 2012-13 is 80.2 percent with an 11.6 percent dropout rate.

“Over the last five years, we have implemented several programs at the District and school levels that have contributed to our continuous increase in graduates,” said NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez. “Obviously, we are very proud of these results and plan to build upon them to close that achievement gap.”

In the past five years, systems have been put into place to provide academic interventions and counseling to students, including placement is support classes, tutoring assistance, credit-recovery opportunities via El Camino Continuation High School or online, and drug intervention classes for first-time marijuana users so they can remain in school.

District schools have also implemented strong California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) support classes and boot camps that are offered on weekends and after school. Additionally, students who are not eligible to participate in the June commencement ceremony are now given the opportunity to walk in a summer ceremony if they complete their overdue requirements.

“I think students are putting a high premium and value in receiving their high school diplomas because they recognize how valuable they are for their futures,” said NLMUSD Director of Curriculum and Assessment Shannon Baker. “At the school and District levels, we’re making it a priority that students don’t fall through the cracks and have the support to get that high school diploma.”

With increasing support and monitoring from the Curriculum and Assessment Department and Instructional Technology Services, the District has also improved tracking of students who transfer to other school districts so they are not deemed “lost” and counted as dropouts. Data entry and student monitoring at the high school sites have also played an important role in the District’s continuing growth.