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Grad rates hold steady in 833

SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY SCHOOLS—Numbers released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education show an overall four-year graduation rate of 92.08% for the four high schools in District 833.

That's a fraction below the previous year's rate of 92.4%, but still well above the 2018 statewide graduation rate of 83.2%.

"The state of Minnesota set a goal of trying to have all students at a 90 percent rate by 2025," said Brian Boothe, director of professional development and accountability. "We're already well above that."

East Ridge High School posted a graduation rate of 96.27%. Both Park and Woodbury high schools saw a slight increase in their graduation rates, with 91.55% and 96.51%, respectively.

The South Washington Alternative High School had a four-year graduation rate of 39.13% for the class of 2018.

Overall graduation rates for each year could rise as some students in the class of 2018 earn their diplomas a year or two later, Boothe said. For example, 32.61% of students who have been studying at South Washington Alternative High School for four years plan to continue their work towards a diploma.

Boothe credited the district's personalized learning strategy. Teachers meet to discuss students who may be in danger of not graduating.

"The staff looks at every personalized way and tries to find a staff member who has a relationship who can coach them and get them over our final hurdle," he said. "It's an example of why personalized learning works."

A total of 1,267 students in District 833 earned their diplomas last year. The Minnesota Department of Education identified four student groups — Asian, Black, Hispanic and White — beating the statewide numbers:

• Asian students: 97.66% compared to 86.59% statewide

• Black students: 87.27% compared to 67.42% statewide

• Hispanic students: 85.05% compared to 66.75% statewide

• White students: 92.89%, compared to 88.41% statewide

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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