Fewer students graduated high school during the 2019-2020 school year compared to 2018-19. Johnston County Public Schools (JCPS) released graduation numbers this month indicating a 91.7 percent graduation rate, down from 93.5 percent during the 2018-2019 school year. The county rate still remains above the statewide average of 87.6 percent in 2020 and 86.5 percent in 2019.
JCPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Paula Coates said, “Johnston County Public Schools 2020 graduation rate dropped 1.8 percentage points from 93.5% (2019 all time high rate for JCPS) to 91.7% in 2020, which is in alignment with the 2018 graduation rate of 91.8%. While we did see a drop, JCPS remains above the state average of 87.6% and ranked 25th out of 115 public school units.”
“The 2020 four-year graduation rate calculation is based on the total number of students that entered the 9th grade in 2016-2017. This number used in the calculation adds students that transfer into the district and subtracts those that leave the district for DPI approved reasons. If a student leaves the district and no appropriate documentation cannot be found, the students cannot be counted in the four-year graduation rate. Last year the documentation process was complicated by the March 13 COVID-19 closure, and JCPS had 15 students for whom documentation could not be confirmed. Had we been able to count these students our rate would have been 92.2%,” Dr. Coates said.
“One should be careful and avoid the false assumption that students who are not included in the four-year graduation rate have dropped out of school. A number of students are taking four-plus years to graduate. JCPS is constantly striving to improve our four-year graduation rate and maintain our position above the state average.”
Individual School Numbers
Graduation numbers actually improved at Cleveland High and Corinth Holders High Schools. At Cleveland High the rate increased from 94.5 to 95.0 percent. At Corinth, the rate increased from 94.0 to 95.0 percent.
Clayton High’s graduate rate declined from 93.5 to 91.7%; North Johnston High dropped from 93.5 to 89.7%; Princeton High declined two percentage points from 92.1 to 90.1%; Smithfield Selma High fell from 88.7 to 85.8%; South Johnston High dropped from 95.6% to 90.9%; while West Johnston High fell from 93.8 to 92.4 percent. The highest graduation rate was at Johnston County Early College. Their rate has remained steady at 97.9 percent for the last two years.