SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — The city school system’s graduation rate reached nearly 95% last year, again topping the state average.
“We are very proud that our graduation rates over the last four years have exceeded 92%,” Superintendent Robbie Hooker said in a statement.
Hooker noted the state average was 83.8%. Social Circle came in at 94.5%.
The local system’s graduation rate was 93.9% in 2018 and dipped slightly to 92.31% in 2019 before reaching a new high with the most recent class.
“While we are proud of the overall average, we are especially pleased with the growth in our subgroup populations,” Assessment Director Lisa Wolaver said.
She noted that all Black students graduated in 2020 and that the “economically disadvantaged” subgroup — students who receive free or reduced-price lunch — increased to a 92.6% graduation rate.
The rate for that group was 90.9% in 2018, the last year for which numbers were available. The state doesn’t provide statistics when there are fewer than 15 students in a subgroup.
The graduation rate for Black students increased by nearly 12 percentage points in a year.
Social Circle is one of 105 Georgia school districts to record a graduation rate at or above 90%.
“I’m very proud today of the Class of 2020,” state Superintendent Richard Woods said in releasing the graduation rates Tuesday.
“These students were faced with difficulties none of us could have imagined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have shown over and over again — in ACT and SAT results, in their personal accomplishments and now in this graduation rate — that they were able to rise above.”
Board Chairman John Callahan said the numbers speak to the quality of the school system.
“Our excellent graduation rates demonstrate the great opportunities we provide our students,” he said. “The rates are especially impressive considering that we have increased the level of challenge in our courses and the number of courses required to graduate.”
Hooker, who is in his first year as the superintendent, said that while he’s proud of the numbers, he sees room for improvement.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our board and staff members who worked tirelessly to provide whatever assistance was needed for our students to succeed even during the disruption to face-to-face learning,” he said.
“High graduation rates are achieved because our staff members, from preschool to high school, work to get to know each child’s individual abilities and interests. Our staff members help students develop their knowledge and skills in order to dream big and have bright futures ahead of them.”