OSD celebrates historically high grad rates

OSD celebrates historically high grad rates
A 2020 graduate

The Olympia School District’s on-time graduation rate for the Class of 2020 reached 92.8%, marking the highest on-time graduation rate in district history. The percentage of students who graduated in five years also rose in several high schools and contributed to an overall district extended graduation rate of 94.5%.

“First and foremost, this achievement is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our graduates and the support of their families,” said Superintendent Patrick Murphy. “The class of 2020 faced adversity in their senior year like none had experienced before, and their persistence is reflected in this all-time graduation rate. Likewise, our teachers and educational staff, from preschool through high school, worked tirelessly to serve and support this class and prepared them to not only graduate from high school, but to go on and confidently pursue their post-secondary goals, whatever they may be.”

In addition, district leaders attribute the increased graduation rate, in part, to important staff and innovative programs including: 

 

  • Graduation specialists in each high school provide extra support for students who are struggling to fulfill requirements.  
  • Online education classes offer students a robust menu of online courses which can help students attain the credits they need to graduate.
  • High School and Beyond plans, facilitated by career center counselors, engage students pursuing a variety of future paths, whether that be college, career or military.
  • "Opportunity Time" each week in schools provides high school students additional time with teachers, allowing the students to revisit instruction, ask additional questions and take exams.
  • Restorative Practices have reduced student suspensions and have not only kept students in school but engaged in their instruction. 

 

 Mick Hart, Executive Director of Secondary Education, credits district staff for implementing the programs that lead to student success. “Finding ways to reach students and provide opportunities for them to access instruction, services and a safe place to share their own life struggles has given students in our district a place to feel success,” Hart said. 

House Bill 1599, which was passed in 2019, also provided a boost to graduation rates for 2020, Hart said. House Bill 1599 expanded the ways Washington students could show their readiness for their next step after high school and provided multiple pathways to graduation. Hart estimates the new state graduation requirements will continue to have a positive impact on graduation rates in the years to come.