Routt County graduation rates remain above Colorado average for 2014
Steamboat Springs — The graduation rate for all Routt County students climbed from 89.9 percent in 2013 to 93.4 percent in 2014, according to calculations based on Colorado Department of Education data released in late January.
Graduation rates in Moffat County fell from 86.8 percent in 2013 to 84.6 percent in 2014 but still remained above the state average of 77 percent and the state’s expected graduation rate of 80 percent.
Soroco High School principal Jenifer Hufman said she was pleased with the school’s 82 percent graduation rate, which represents 18 of 22 students who graduated on time.
Hufman said three of the non-graduates were students who transferred out of the district, so the school’s rate is actually even higher that CDE data would suggest — if 18 of 19 students graduated on time, the rate would be nearly 95 percent.
Hufman credited a dedicated teaching staff and several support programs for the high graduation rate.
“We have a teaching staff who is very invested,” Hufman said. “They are willing to do whatever they need to do.”
She said that programs through Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Education Services, the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation and a grant through CDE for a school health professional all have helped students remain in school and succeed.
In 2013, all of the school’s 18 seniors graduated on time, earning the school a 100 percent CDE graduation rate.
Hufman also praised the families of students for providing support at home that helps them excel in the classroom.
“Our families are really great at supporting the students,” she said. “If they didn’t, that would make our jobs a lot harder.”
Hayden High School had the highest graduation rate of any Routt or Moffat county school — 96.4 percent — or the equivalent of 27 of the school’s 28 seniors graduating in 2014. The school had a comparable graduation rate of 96.9 percent in 2013 — with 31 of the class’s 32 students graduating that year.
District Superintendent Trudy Vader also said that dedicated teachers were a factor that contributed to the district’s high graduation rate, as well as the close relationships that staff, the high school principal and the counselor build with students.
“There’s just a complete dedication. They’re looking at individual students and reviewing data with them every few weeks to make sure they’re on track,” Vader said. “They have a strong counselor and principal committed to students having post-secondary success. The most important thing is those strong relationships.”
The region’s largest district, Steamboat Springs, had a graduation rate of 91.1 percent, representing the on-time graduation of 163 of 179 students last year. This was an increase of almost four percentage points from 2013, when 87.3 percent, or 138 of 158 students, graduated on time.
Nine of the 16 students who didn’t graduate attended Yampa Valley High School, the district’s alternative school, and the rates don’t take into account students that may have transferred out of the district and proved hard to track, as Hufman mentioned.
Moffat County High School’s graduation rate of 84.6 percent — 99 of 117 seniors — was down slightly from 2013 when 86.8 percent — 132 of 152 seniors — graduated on time.
Statewide, nearly 14,000 of the state’s 61,400 students failed to graduate on time, although statistics next year will reveal students who were able to graduate in a five-year period.
The state’s 2013 graduation rate of 76.9 percent climbed to 81.2 percent last year, when adding in fifth-year graduates.
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