Graduation rates on the rise in Polk, up over 80 percent for Class of 2014-15 in PSD
Polk County’s graduation rate is climbing up from last year’s low as local educators look to continue their program of improvements for Polk School District.
The combined graduation rate for Polk County was averaged out at 81.1 percent, up 12.1 points from the 2014 rate of 69 percent.
Cedartown’s rate grew by 14.1 points from 65.8 percent in 2014 to 79.9 percent this year. Rockmart came in at a graduation rate of 82.7 percent, up from 74.2 percent in 2014.
“I’m real pleased with both high schools,” said Polk School District superintendent William Hunter. “They are great numbers. Cedartown has grown from 56 in 2013 to 79.9 this year, and Rockmart has done a great job too with their numbers up above 80 percent.”
Cedartown high principal Darrell Wetherington said that
Phe believes a combination of factors have provided the growth in the number of students graduating. One of the most important ones was a change in end of course testing, which Wetherington said was probably one of the greatest factors of all.
“The elimination of that graduation test also helps increase the rate, but I also say that our teachers and students work extremely hard to master the materials and get a diploma after high school,” he said.
Wetherington also said an increased use in technology has played a role too.
“Incorporating technology into our instructional program has benefited students,” he said. “The focus is to keep students in school and engaged on the subjects, and using iPads is just one part of that.”
Rockmart high principal Wesley Cupp said teachers set students up for success by identifying those early who needed assistance.
“Kudos to the teachers and students for the work they did to get the rate up,” he said. “When you develop a positive atmosphere, it bleeds off into the kids and provides the environment they need to be successful.”
Hunter said three main items remain the focus of improvements within Polk School District.
Along with increased use of technology, he said educators are also committed to increasing reading scores on standardized tests, and in ensuring students are “college and career ready” when they graduate.