Lafayette Parish graduation rate dips, but long-term growth remains

(The Daily Advertiser) – Lafayette Parish’s graduation rate in public schools dropped slightly from 2015 to 2016, despite gains on some campuses.

The parish’s overall rate last year was 75 percent, compared to 75.9 percent in 2015.

Acadiana High and Early College Academy both had drops of .5 percent in their rates, according to the school system. Carencro High grew 7.8 percent. Northside High and David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy showed 2.3 percent growth.

The 2016 graduation rates by school were:

  • Acadiana High: 70.7 percent
  • Carencro High: 69.9 percent
  • Comeaux High: 74.8 percent
  • Lafayette High: 87 percent
  • Northside High: 68 percent
  • Early College Academy: Approximately 95 percent
  • David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy: 93.5 percent

Over the past two years, the graduation rate has risen at all district schools. The largest gains have been a 12.9 percent increase at Northside High, 11.4 percent at David Thibodaux and 10.3 percent at Carencro High.

The overall rate for the Lafayette Parish School System has risen 6.2 percent in the past two years.

“The Lafayette Parish School System has and will continue to increase the use of performance data to monitor student progress and allow well-informed and timely interventions when students fail to progress at expected rates,” district officials said in a news release.

Louisiana’s overall graduation rate also dropped slightly, to 77 percent in 2016 from 77.5 percent in 2015. However, state Superintendent John White said the number of students who graduated last year – nearly 39,000 – was more than any other class in the state’s history.

The state also released Friday the percentage of high school students earning college or career credentials along with a diploma.

In Lafayette Parish in 2016, 12.2 percent of graduates earned advanced credentials, 20 percent earned basic credentials and 42.8 percent earned a diploma without any credentials.

Moving forward, the district is using several new measures to help students at risk of not graduating. The Edward J. Sam Accelerated School of Lafayette opens next month for students who need a different setting or options to earn a diploma.

The school system has also expanded its Jump Start initiatives to offer students more workforce credentials, as well as the WorkKeys assessment to evaluate students’ skills and career readiness.

There are also more opportunities for students to take Advanced Placement, dual enrollment coursework and other tests to prepare them for college, district officials said.

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