Stephens Graduation Rate at All Time High

Stephens County’s graduation rate is at an all-time high.

2013 Graduation Rates released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education show that the Stephens County School System had a graduation rate of 90.8 percent in 2013.

That is an increase of nearly 3.50 percentage points from the 2012 graduation rate of 87.33 percent.

Stephens County School Superintendent Sherrie Whiten said that it is very exciting news to not only increase the graduation rate yet again this year, but also cross the 90 percent mark for the first time ever as a school system

“It has increased and it continues to increase,” said Whiten.  “We have come a long way.  Years ago, it was 61 percent back around 2003.  We are extremely proud of the hard work our teachers and students do to make sure everyone stays on track.”

Whiten said that the Kids Count Data Center ranks the Stephens County School System 14th in the state for graduating students on time.

Georgia Department of Education numbers show that Stephens County comes in well above the state graduation rate in 2013 of 71.5 percent.

This is the third year that Georgia has tracked school system graduation rates based on the percentage of students that graduate within four years.

The old method of calculating graduation rates in Georgia included students that took longer than four years to graduate.

Whiten said that Stephens County has performed well even under the tougher standard.

“This is the newer graduation rate, the one that was supposed to dramatically drop and it has not dropped for us,” said Whiten.

Stephens County’s graduation rate also compares favorably to neighboring counties.

Banks County’s graduation rate is 88.2 percent; Hart County’s graduation rate is 85.2 percent; Habersham County’s graduation rate is 77.8 percent; and Franklin County’s graduation rate is an even 77 percent.