On-time graduation rates of area school districts remain high

Janelle Clausen

The overall on-time graduation rate and awarding of advanced diplomas among area school districts remained roughly stable and well above the state average, according to state Education Department data released last Wednesday.

According to the data, area school districts’ graduation rates dropped less than a tenth of a percent from 94.71 in 2017 to 94.62 in 2018. This is nearly 15 points higher than the state’s overall rate of 80.4 percent, up from 80.15 percent, and a few points higher than Nassau County’s overall 88.44 percent – down from 89.53 in 2017.

According to the data, only a third of students graduated with advanced regents diplomas statewide in 2018. In Nassau County, 58 percent of students did. In area school districts, the rate was 69.6 percent.

Manhasset schools boasted the highest area graduation rate in both 2017 and 2018 at 99.65 percent, with only one student failing to graduate on time both years. East Williston was the second best despite a slight dip from 97.78 percent to 97.32 percent, followed by Herricks, whose graduation rate was 97.1 percent.

The majority of the issued diplomas in Manhasset were regents with advanced designation. About 84.93 percent of students, or 248, received such diplomas. This is slightly lower than in 2017, where 250 students – 87.41 percent – received advanced regents diplomas.

Of East Williston’s 145 graduates, 135 – or 90.6 percent – of students received regents diplomas with advanced designation. This is up about 10 percentage points from 2017, where 109 students – or 80.74 percent – graduated with advanced diplomas.

In the Herricks school district, 304 students graduated with advanced regents diplomas – making up 80 percent of the class of 2018. This is an increase of nearly 50 students from 2017, but only a percentage point difference due to the difference in class size.

Port Washington schools saw the largest increase in the graduation rate, going from 90.63 percent in 2017 to 94.3 percent in 2018. The district also saw an increase in students graduating with advanced regents diplomas, rising from 263 students, or 63 percent, in 2017 to 303, or 72 percent.

“The Port Washington Union Free School District is proud of our students, staff and faculty for their continued dedication to raising the bar in education every day and the increase in our graduation rate is a testament to this,” Kathleen Mooney, Port Washington’s superintendent, said in a statement. 

This put Port Washington ahead of the North Shore School District, whose graduation rate of 92.61 percent was the lowest, Great Neck’s 92.79 percent, and Sewanhaka’s 93.61 percent.

The North Shore School District, however, had a higher rate of advanced diplomas issued. It issued 183 such diplomas in 2017, or three-quarters of the class, and 180 in 2018, making up about 78.26 percent of the class.

The North Shore district’s decrease was the largest percentage-wise, going from 97.12 percent in 2017 to 92.61 percent in 2018. It had the third highest graduation rate in 2017.

Sewanhaka Central High School District’s on-time graduation rate dropped slightly from 93.76 to 93.61 percent, but the district increased the number of advanced degrees issued from 724 – going to 53 percent of students – in 2017 to 778, or 55.26 percent of students, in 2018.

Mineola’s on-time graduation rate went from 94.53 to 94.86 percent, but the percentage of students receiving advanced regents degrees went down from about 75.12 percent – or 151 – in 2017 to 69.16 percent, or 148, in 2018.

Roslyn’s graduation rate dipped from 96.28 to 95.67 percent, while its rate of issued advanced diplomas – 81 percent – stayed the same.

Great Neck’s graduation rate decreased a full percentage point from 93.82 to 92.79 percent. About 79.13 percent of students, or 464, received advanced regents diplomas in 2017. In 2018, that number slipped to 73.93 percent, or 451 students.

“The Great Neck Public Schools provides innovative, high-quality academic programs that prepare our students for success beyond graduation,” Great Neck Superintendent Teresa Prendergast said in a statement. “With the support of our faculty, parents, Board of Education, and the entire school community, our students continue to meet and exceed state standards. We are incredibly proud of all of our students and their accomplishments.”

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