DEARBORN — For the second year in a row, the Dearborn Public Schools is showing an increase in the percentage of students who graduate in both four and five years at its secondary schools.
From 2012 to 2013, four-year graduation rates rose at Dearborn High School from 85.14 to 89.91 percent, Edsel Ford High School from 79.74 to 83.70 percent and Fordson High School from 84.54 to 89.46 percent.
District-wide, the rate jumped to 86.17 percent, which is 3.58 percent higher than 2012 and over 10 percent higher than the 2011 totals.
The current rate is also just over 9 percent higher than the state average of 76.96 percent.
From 2010 to 2012 five-year graduation rates went up 0.72, 3.07 and 4.3 percent at DHS, EFHS and FHS, respectively, and 4.61 percent district-wide.
Supt. Brian Whiston said the district was proud of its students and applauded the work of the teaching staff in helping more students with their studies.
“The work is not done, but it is important to recognize and celebrate these improvements that show our district is moving in the right direction and our students are being successful in the classroom,” Whiston said.
He said keeping graduation rates as high as possible is not only one of his goals, but also of the top administrators for the district. He said to ensure that success the district uses system-wide accountability for employees.
Whiston highlighted an eight-point plan that was implemented by the district as a key part of its recent success in graduation rates.
“The increases over the last few years are really the result of steps taken at the high school level to ensure students graduate on time,” Whiston said. “As we move forward we expect that actions being taken at the middle and elementary levels will provide us with consistently high graduation rates.”
The plan includes several steps to reduce truancy, working with parents to keep students on track and paying strict attention to each student’s reading level, and providing support if a student falls behind.
The district also hired graduation intervention specialists that work directly with parents and teachers to support and encourage struggling students and offers students a chance to enroll in an extended school day program to help them catch up with lost credits.
Whiston said addressing truancy at all grade levels and making sure all students are reading at grade level are just a couple district wide programs that will have a long-term impact on improving graduation rates and overall student success in the future.