Senior Graduation Rates of 2017

Oak Ridge Graduation Rates at its Highest

Jasmine Boyens, Feature Editor

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Our graduation rate climbed even higher this year, with approximately 580 students expecting to cross the stage at Amway Arena on May 30. For the class of 2017, the rate is expected to be 90 to 92 percent, according to assistant principal Rebecca Watson, who works closely with seniors to make sure they stay on track to graduate.

Last year’s rate was 89 percent. The class of 2014 had a graduation rate of 74 percent. This year’s improvement marks an increase of more than 16 percent in four years.

Watson said the school has intensified its studying programs and after-school and Saturday tutoring, and that led to this year’s seniors scoring higher on tests. Students also had higher grade point averages than previous classes.

Many students have had difficulties with passing tests such as the FSA, ACT, and SAT but the school has provided intense tutoring as well as tools such as Khan Academy to assist, Watson said. Students have also found it easier to pass the PERT test, which is an alternative for those who do not pass the Algebra I EOC.

Even if students do not get a full diploma, they can still walk across the stage this year with a certificate of completion, meaning they have met all of the required course credits, including having at least a 2.0 GPA, but could not get a passing score on PERT, FSA or ACT/SAT.

According to Watson, this year is the highest number of students graduating at Oak Ridge. Approximately 20 students did not meet the requirements for a diploma or a certificate of completion.

“It took four years of pain, but I took a lot of tutoring this year,” said senior Fredric Barnes, who used opportunities at the school to better prepare for testing.

Not only are students graduation-ready but about three-quarters of seniors are also college-ready. Over 300 students were in the auditorium Friday to announce which college they has accepted them.

Iyanna Tookes says she used learning tools such as Khan Academy as well as tutoring offered in the JA and AVID program in order to become college-ready this year.

Plans for next year’s seniors are already in action as this Saturday more than 400 students took the SAT, 200 of those students being current juniors. This will get their testing out of the way and guarantee that they have time to pass.

There will also be several opportunities for juniors over the summer as there will be an ACT reading camp and an SAT math camp.