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Graduation Rate Success

Last spring, 287 Cartersville High School seniors walked across the stage to begin their future while setting a district record graduation rate of 91.29 percent since 2012 when Georgia aligned its graduation rate calculation with national standards. Cartersville High School graduated 13 percent more students than in 2011 and surpassed the state rate by nearly 10 points this year.

Cartersville City Schools Superintendent Marc Feuerbach said, “Graduation is not only the pinnacle of a student’s K-12 experience, it is the motivation of every staff member to strive daily to connect with our students and to support them in entering the world prepared to succeed. Four years ago, I realized it was entirely possible for CHS to graduate 90 percent or more of our students. At that time, I felt we could reach this objective within four or five years. It is exciting to surpass that goal and even more thrilling that this means a higher number of our students are completing high school.”

A number of factors contributed to the increased rate, which has been steadily climbing since 2011 except for two years where the district experienced slight decreases.

Continuation of diligent record keeping ensures that students who move out of the district are accounted for and are not identified as non-completers. Also, online credit recovery options remain successful in supporting student progress. The Flexible Academic Block or FAB Wednesday program gives students the opportunity to participate in a number of support activities including mandatory and optional tutoring, enrichment,  researching in the media center, working on assignments in computer labs, completing make-up work, preparing for the SAT and ACT and occasionally hearing guest lecturers.

Feuerbach said, “Building relationships with all of our students and monitoring their overall progress from the time they enter CHS until the time they graduate has been our most impactful strategy. Our staff encourages students to realize that high school is a process and it takes persistence to be successful.”

Another piece of data analyzed by the Georgia Department of Education is the performance of student subgroups including all racial and ethnic students, low-income students, English learners and students with disabilities. Since 2011, students in CHS’s subgroups have made significant gains shrinking the achievement gap in regards to the graduation rate further indicating a positive sign of growth among all students.

Feuerbach said, “While we are very pleased with the strides our students, staff and stakeholders have made, we will continue to set high expectations for all of our students as we prepare them to be both college and career ready.”