School Superintendent gives deep look into graduation rate

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 1/9/19

FLEMING ISLAND – The Clay County School District had a historical 2017-18 school year thanks to the work of high school seniors around the county.

For the first time ever, Clay County …

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School Superintendent gives deep look into graduation rate


FLEMING ISLAND – The Clay County School District had a historical 2017-18 school year thanks to the work of high school seniors around the county.

For the first time ever, Clay County exceeded a graduation rate of 90 percent. Clay County outpaced the rest of the state, said School Superintendent Addison Davis at the Jan. 8 regular school board meeting.

“Here’s just a six-year analysis that shows our trend of continuing to have a trajectory that puts us in a positive manner and we will continue to build on this as a foundation as we continue to grow these numbers and prepare our students to be full-option graduates,” Davis said.

Davis said Florida as a whole has an upward trajectory in graduation rates, similar to that of the districts. The district’s trajectory, however, remains above that of the state’s and Davis said he doesn’t expect this to change.

“We will continue to grow these numbers and that’s thanks to the hard work of everyone involved,” Davis said.

Davis went on to address ethnic subgroups and how those demographic groups performed. Almost every subgroup – white, Hispanic, black, two/three races, Asian, at-risk students, students with disabilities, English language learners and economically challenged – saw an increase in graduation rates. The only group to drop – English language learners – saw their rates drop from 79.3 percent to 77.5 percent, for a total of a 1.8 percent decline, from the 2016-17 to the 2017-18 school year.

“You’ll see that eight of the nine areas demonstrate increases which is because of the tremendous work by our staff internally at our schools,” Davis said. “One of the highlights is that we had the greatest gains at 8 percent for students with disabilities, moving from [74.3 percent] to [82.3 percent], which shows that our kids are really working hard.”

The White, Hispanic, Black, two/three races and Asian student subgroups saw graduation rates for the 2017-18 school year at or above 90 percent.

“We’re trying to close the gap between us and like-size counties like St. Lucie and Alachua and Escambia, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that we have the greatest growth of any county,” Davis said.

In terms of individual schools, every single high school saw graduation rate growth, with Fleming Island High serving as the standout star. FIHS saw 97 percent of their seniors graduate during the 2017-18 school year.

Davis said that FIHS continues to be the school with the greatest number of students that graduate in a large population. He also said the reason for such tremendous graduation rates across all Clay County high schools comes not only from the hard work from staff, but the students and their willingness to use the tools available to them.

According to Davis, the Clay County School District continues to offer more ACT and SAT preparation each school year and other resources to ensure graduation comes more easily.

This presentation from Davis served as one of the few highlights during an unusually short regular school board meeting, which was also the first one in 2019. Beyond this presentation, the school board amended a number of policies to correct typos and other graphical errors, approve district-wide math books and approve a state policy regarding religious expression in public schools.

The school board will hold a workshop on Jan. 29 at 8:30 a.m. in the District Office Accounts Payable Conference Room in Green Cove Springs to discuss alternative proposals and plans for improving school security as well as it Feb. 7 regular school board meeting agenda.


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