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DeSoto Parish Leads State in Graduation Rates...

With the latest wave of graduation rates being released, residents of DeSoto Parish have reason to smile. According to the Louisiana Department of Education, the DeSoto Parish School System now has the highest graduation rate in the State of Louisiana at 94.5 percent.

“This is very significant,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, Superintendent. “In DeSoto Parish, we are committed to ensuring a diploma for our students, advancing them to their next phase of life.”

Under Louisiana’s strict accountability model, graduation rates are calculated based on the number of students who enter high school as a freshman then graduate on time four years later. DeSoto’s rate means that 94.5 percent of parish students graduated with a diploma four years after entering the ninth grade.  The Louisiana average is 74.6, placing DeSoto nearly 20 points above the state average.

Additionally, DeSoto Parish has been recognized as being the state’s leader in improvement over the last few years with a combined three-year growth of +14.1 percentage points. Basically, that means that DeSoto Parish is graduating over 14 percent more students today than three years ago.

“I remember talking about our graduation rate in the 70’s a few years back,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, Superintendent. “I promised we would do everything possible to improve and that’s exactly what our team has done.”

There are several contributing factors to the increase in graduation rates and they all begin with the district’s mission statement: DeSoto serves to care for our students, ensure their learning, and celebrate their graduation as citizens prepared to transform their dreams into realities. The system, in 2012, adopted a mission statement that gave increased attention to graduating its students.

“When we put graduation in our actual purpose statement, I knew it would emphasize its importance to everyone involved,” said Director of Student Services Darrell Hampton.

The district and schools increased student awareness of graduation’s importance, provided opportunities for students to recover missing credit, allowed students to recover absences, and refined scheduling processes. One of the most important factors has been principals, counselors, and teachers working one-on-one with students and their families to remove barriers to graduation.

“Success with our graduation rate has been a multi-year process with many individuals teaming together to guarantee a diploma for every student,” said Director of Student Learning Kathy Noel. “It’s an honor to celebrate with our students and families.”

At present, the district is in the planning stages for the 15-16 school year which will include additional targets to improve graduation rates. The district recognizes the value of community, family, and educators working together to improve graduation outcomes for our students.

“This is a great time to be part of this great system,” said School Board President Coday Johnston. “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many people.”

 

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