Lake County Schools’ graduation rate jumped 6.3 percentage points, increasing from 77.8 percent in 2016-17 to 84.1 percent in 2017-18, according to data released today by the Florida Department of Education.

Seven of the district’s eight high schools saw an increase, the largest of which was at South Lake High School where the graduation rate soared 11 percentage points going from 75.2 percent in 2016-17 to 86.2 percent in 2017-18.

Superintendent Diane Kornegay, M.Ed., was incredibly proud Wednesday afternoon. When she joined the district in January 2017, Kornegay said increasing the graduation rate would be one of her main priorities.

“I am so proud of our students and staff,’’ she said. “This accomplishment is a direct result of students working hard and staff diligently tracking students, being laser-focused on what they need in order to graduate, and being proactive instead of reactive.”

Kornegay specifically pointed to the establishment of the new College and Career Readiness Department as well as the work of the district’s graduation resource facilitators. The 2017-18 school year was the first full school year with graduation resource facilitators in place at all the district’s high schools. They conducted monthly meetings to monitor student progress and share tracking information and strategies.

“We implemented the Performance Matters graduation requirement tracking system, which allows schools to monitor student progress and easily see which requirements individual students have met and which ones remained to be fulfilled,” she said. “That was a tremendous help.”

Additionally, ACT prep materials are made available to all seniors who need a score on that test to substitute for a low score on state standardized tests to meet graduation requirements. Schools also provide increased opportunities, including year-round courses at Lake Virtual School, for students to remediate credits and grades within the standard four years of their high school experience.

Kornegay said all of those strategies helped lead to the district’s increase, and they will continue to focus on those strategies as they work toward the ultimate goal of a graduation rate of at least 90 percent.

“Through a common vision for instruction and engaging all students in relevant and authentic learning experiences, we will get there,” she said. “We are on the right track.”

High School 2016-17 Graduation Rate 2017-18 Graduation Rate Change
East Ridge 93.2% 93.6% +.0.4
Eustis 79.7% 87.3% +7.6
Lake Minneola 93.8% 97.1% +3.3
Lake Virtual 91.7% 96.2% +4.5
Leesburg 67.1% 71.6% +4.5
Mount Dora 83.3% 87.2% +3.9
South Lake 75.2% 86.2% +11
Tavares 80.1% 88.6% +8.5
Umatilla 87.0% 84.2% -2.8
DISTRICT 77.8% 84.1% +6.3
STATE 82.3% 86.1% +3.8


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