The 2016-17 graduation rate for Lake County Schools stands at 77.8 percent, a negligible slide of less than a half percent compared to the previous year when the graduation rate was 78.1 percent, according to data released by the Florida Department of Education on Wednesday.

Statewide, the graduation rate reached a 14-year high of 82.3 percent for 2016-17, the department said. That is an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the 80.7 percent graduation rate in 2015-16.

While the district rate remained relatively flat, several individual Lake schools saw increases in their rates. The largest jumps were at Lake Virtual School, where the 2016-17 graduation rate increased to 91.7 percent compared to 63.9 percent in 2015-16; Lake Minneola High School, where the 2016-17 rate was 93.8 percent compared to 89.3 percent the year before, and East Ridge High School, where the rate was 93.2 percent compared to 88.6 percent the year before.

Graduation rates at Eustis, Mount Dora, South Lake, Tavares and Umatilla high schools changed less than 1 percentage point between the two years.

Leesburg High School saw the largest decline, dropping from 75.5 percent in 2015-16 to 67.1 percent in 2016-17.

As part of her effort to make Lake County Schools a “Destination District,” Superintendent Diane Kornegay has set a goal for a minimum 90% graduation rate districtwide. Several strategies have been put in place as the district works toward that goal. Those strategies include the following:

  • Graduation resource facilitators have been placed at all eight high schools. They conduct monthly meetings to monitor student progress and share tracking information and strategies.
  • ACT prep materials are made available to all seniors in need of a concordant score. A suitable ACT score can substitute for the Florida Standards Assessment score required for graduation.
  • The implementation of a Performance Matters graduation requirement tracking system allows schools to monitor student progress and easily see which requirements individual students have met and which ones remain to be fulfilled.
  • Schools are providing increased opportunities for students to remediate credits and grades within the standard four years of their high school experience.
  • Math progression revision provides remediation and intervention for students.
  • Lake Virtual School offers courses year round, which helps with remediation as well.

Additionally, Principal Michael Randolph was hired at Leesburg High School in June 2017 and is leading a turnaround at the school. Along with the districtwide efforts to improve the graduation rate, he is also taking the following steps at Leesburg High:

  • Applying earlier efforts to help students with credit recovery after they fail a class;
  • Pursuing funding to expand the school’s construction academy, which provides college preparatory curricula coupled with training for high-demand, high wage jobs; and
  • Finalizing the application process for the establishment of an Advanced International Certificate of Education program, offering accelerated academic opportunities for students.
High School 2015-16 Graduation Rate 2016-17 Graduation Rate Change
East Ridge 88.6% 93.2% +  4.6
Eustis 79.1% 79.7% +  0.6
Lake Minneola 89.3% 93.8% +  4.5
Lake Virtual 63.9% 91.7% +27.8
Leesburg 75.5% 67.1% –  8.4
Mount Dora 82.9% 83.3% +  0.4
South Lake 74.3% 75.2% + 0.9
Tavares 80.5% 80.1% –  0.4
Umatilla 86.8% 87.0% + 0.2
DISTRICT 78.1% 77.8% –  0.3
STATE 80.7% 82.3% + 1.6