The School District of Palm Beach County’s graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year reached a historic high mark, ranking first among Florida’s large, urban school districts and exceeding the state’s graduation rate for the Class of 2017, according to figures released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education.
The graduation rate for District-operated schools increased to 90 percent for the 2016-2017 school year. The graduation rate for all schools, including charter schools, was 85 percent for 2016-2017 — highest among other large, urban districts in Florida, including Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange and Pinellas counties, and higher than the the state’s average of 82.3 percent.
For the second consecutive year, graduation rates increased for Black and Hispanic students in Palm Beach County, as the District continues its focus on closing the achievement gap. The graduation rate for Black students increased by 10 percentage points over two years, while the graduation rate for Hispanic students increased by 6.6 percentage points over two years.
“Our intense focus on closing the achievement gap is working and more of our minority students are walking across the graduation stage on time and with honors. These historically high graduation rates confirm that the work of the District’s strategic plan is paying off,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “We set a goal of achieving a 90 percent graduation rate by 2021 — and we hit it, three years early. This doesn’t happen without the immense commitment of our teachers, school leaders and students.”
Approximately 75 percent, or 19, of District-operated high schools earned a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher — including two schools, Suncoast High School and Village Academy, where 100 percent of seniors graduated. Those schools are:
- Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts, 99.1 percent
- Atlantic Community High School, 91.5 percent
- Boca Raton Community High School, 93.8 percent
- John I. Leonard High School, 94 percent
- Jupiter Community High School, 92.9 percent
- Olympic Heights Community High School, 95.8 percent
- Pahokee High School, 92.2 percent
- Palm Beach Central High School, 93.9 percent
- Palm Beach Gardens Community High School, 93.4 percent
- Palm Beach Virtual, 93.1 percent
- Park Vista Community High School, 95.2 percent
- Royal Palm Beach Community High School, 90.9 percent
- Santaluces Community High School, 92 percent
- Spanish River Community High School, 95.6 percent
- Suncoast High School, 100 percent
- Village Academy, 100 percent
- Wellington Community High School, 91.9 percent
- West Boca Raton Community High School, 94.3 percent
- William T. Dwyer High School, 91 percent
Among District-operated high schools, Riviera Beach Preparatory Academy had the largest increase with 14.7 percentage points, followed by Pahokee High and Glades Central High with 9.8 percentage points and 9.1 percentage points, respectively. In addition, Lake Worth High, Palm Beach Gardens High and John I. Leonard High each increased more than 5 percentage points.
Graduation rate figures are based on students who finish high school “on time,” within four years of entering ninth grade. Students arriving to Palm Beach County schools who have already been retained in ninth through 11th grade will impact the school’s graduation rate if they do not graduate “on time,” regardless of when they enroll in the school.
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.