County, schools see hike in graduation rates

County, schools see hike in graduation rates

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) graduation rate hit 91.4 percent in 2014, its highest rate since 2010, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education this week. As student graduation rates increase, the CCPS dropout rate continues to decline.

The CCPS four-year cohort graduation rate jumped from 89.8 percent in 2013 and has improved more than five points since 2010. Additionally, CCPS students also improved across all subgroups. The CCPS average exceeds the state graduation rate of 86.39 by five points.

“I can’t tell you how proud we are of the accomplishments of our students,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill told high school principals. She credited principals, teachers and staff for helping students stay in school and graduate with their class. “None of this would have been possible without your hard work and your commitment to being the difference,” Hill said.

Four of six high schools posted graduation rates greater than 90 percent. Henry E. Lackey High School’s graduation rate jumped from 87.25 in 2013 to 90.57 in 2014. La Plata High School posted a 2014 rate of 92.82, down from 94.64, and North Point High School’s graduation rate remained the highest in the county at 95.94 percent, despite a slight decrease. Westlake High School improved its graduation rate to 91, up from 88.3 percent in 2013. Maurice J. McDonough High School increased its graduation rate from 88.75 to 89.07 in 2014, and Thomas Stone High School increased by nearly 7-points, raising its rate from 80.65 in 2013 to 87.36 in 2014.

Gradation rates for students of all races/ethnicity were above 90 percent. Four-year cohort graduation rates by race/ethnicity are:

  • Asian: greater than 95 percent;
  • African American: 90.06 percent;
  • Hispanic/Latino: greater than 95 percent;
  • White: 91.94 percent; and
  • Two or more races: greater than 95 percent.

While gaps in graduation rates between some student groups remain, the numbers improved across the board in 2014:

  • The graduation rate for students receiving free or reduced-price meals (FARMS) increased more than three percentage points, from 79.06 percent to 82.2 percent.
  • The graduation rate for special education students improved more than 10 percentage points, rising to 75.16 in 2014 from 64 percent in 2013.
  • Both girls and boys improved four-year cohort graduation rates. Females bettered their four-year cohort graduation rate to 94.37, up from 93.27 in 2013. A higher percentage of males graduated in 2014, up 2 points from 86.42 in 2013 to 88.56 in 2014.

Hill said, “Even though we surpassed the state average for FARMS and special education students, we still have work to do to close the achievement gaps for these subgroups.”

The percentage of students dropping out of school also has declined. The CCPS four-year cohort dropout rate has declined from 6.13 percent in 2013 to 4.97 percent in 2014. The State’s dropout rate was 8.35 percent in 2014. Dropout rates provide a cumulative dropout rate across the four years since the cohort first entered grade 9. This rate includes as dropouts those students who did not graduate after four years but did not return for a fifth year. There were 2212 students in the four-year adjusted cohort, with 2,022 earning diplomas in four years.

Maryland five years ago moved to the cohort graduation rate, which follows a set group of students from freshman year through their senior year. The State includes both the four-year cohort and five-year cohort rate in its accountability program. Data released this week is for the four-year cohort graduation rate for the class of 2014 and includes summer graduates. The calculation follows students from the time they first entered grade 9 and includes those who graduate after four years. The five-year cohort rate does not include summer graduates and is released in June.

Graduation Rate – Four-year Cohort Rates at a Glance

All Students – Charles County Public Schools


High School                                       2013 Cohort                                       2014 Cohort


Henry E. Lackey                                87.25                                                   90.57

La Plata                                            94.64                                                   92.82

McDonough                                       88.75                                                   89.07

North Point                                        97.67                                                   95.94

Thomas Stone                                   80.65                                                   87.36

Westlake                                           88.3                                                     91.0

Charles County                                  89.8                                                     91.4

Maryland                                           84.97                                                   86.39


Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.


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