The School District of Palm Beach County had the highest graduation rate of Florida’s large, urban school districts for the 2015-2016 school year, and the District also exceeded the state’s graduation rate for the last school year, according to figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Education.
The District’s graduation rate of 82.3 percent for 2015-2016 outperformed similarly sized districts in Florida, including Broward, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties – an increase of nearly 3 percentage points from the previous year. The graduation rate for District-operated schools was 88.3 percent, up 3 percentage points from 85.3 percent for 2014-2015.
The state’s average graduation rate was 80.7 percent for 2015-2016.
A districtwide focus on closing the achievement gap for students of all races also translated into increased graduation rates for both Black and Hispanic students. The graduation rate for Black students increased by 4.6 percentage points to 73.7 percent in 2015-2016, and the graduation rate for Hispanic students was 79.5 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points. The graduation rate for white students was 90.7 percent, up 2.2 percentage points from the previous year.
“We are raising the bar and closing the gap,” said Dr. Robert Avossa, Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools. “This is a testament to the dedication of our teachers and principals, the hard work of our students, and the support of parents and the community.”
Increasing the number of high school graduates from Palm Beach County schools is one of four long-term outcomes from the District’s Strategic Plan, with the goal of reaching a districtwide graduation rate of 90 percent by 2021.
Fifteen District-operated schools reached that 90 percent graduation rate benchmark in the 2015-2016 school year – including three, Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts, Palm Beach Virtual School and Suncoast High School – that achieved 100 percent graduation rates. They are:
- Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts, 100 percent graduation rate
- Atlantic Community High School, 91.7 percent graduation rate
- Boca Raton Community High School, 91.9 percent graduation rate
- Jupiter Community High School, 92.6 percent graduation rate
- Olympic Heights Community High School, 94.5 percent graduation rate
- Palm Beach Central High School, 91.6 percent graduation rate
- Palm Beach Virtual School, 100 percent graduation rate
- Park Vista Community High School, 93.9 percent graduation rate
- Seminole Ridge Community High School, 92 percent graduation rate
- Spanish River Community High School, 93.9 percent graduation rate
- Suncoast High School, 100 percent graduation rate
- Village Academy, 97.2 percent graduation rate
- Wellington Community High School, 91.9 percent graduation rate
- West Boca Raton Community High School, 92.3 percent graduation rate
- William T. Dwyer Community High School, 91 percent graduation rate
The District also had eight schools that increased graduation rates by five percentage points or more. They are:
- Crossroads Academy, increased by 20.4 percentage points to 36.8 percent
- Riviera Beach Preparatory & Achievement Academy, increased by 11.3 percentage points to 33.6 percent
- Glades Central Community High School, increased by 10.3 percentage points to 75.1 percent
- Palm Beach Lakes Community High School, increased by 10.2 percentage points to 82.2 percent
- John I. Leonard High School, increased by 9.8 percentage points to 88.5 percent
- West Boca Raton Community High School, increased by 6.6 percentage points to 92.3 percent
- Palm Beach Gardens Community High School, increased by 5.9 percentage points to 87.7 percent
- Royal Palm Beach Community High School, increased by 5.6 percentage points to 88.4 percent
Florida’s high school graduation rates are based on the federal graduation rate, which includes standard diplomas but excludes special diplomas and general education diplomas (GEDs).
For more information about the District’s graduation rates, including a school-by-school listing of graduation rates, read the executive summary provided to School Board members.