Surry County’s four-year cohort graduation rate continued its upward climb and set another record, according to the state’s 2012-13 Cohort Graduation Rate Report, presented to State Board of Education members on Thursday. In 2013, 85.8% of Surry County Schools’ students who started ninth grade in 2009-10 completed high school in four years or less, up from the 2012 rate of 83.0%. By comparison, the state rate for the 2013 cohort was 82.5% up from the 80.4% rate of the 2013 cohort.
The Surry Early College topped all high schools in the county, posting its third consecutive year with 100% of students graduating. East Surry’s rate of 98.4% ranked it highest among the area’s traditional high schools, including those from neighboring Mount Airy, Stokes, Yadkin, Wilkes, and Elkin. Both Surry Central and North Surry posted their highest rates ever, with Surry Central at 83.5% and North Surry at 79.1%.
“Raising graduation rates begins in kindergarten and involves educators at every grade level. This is wonderful news for our principals, teachers, counselors and students. Thanks to all of our educators for their hard work and congratulations on this success,” State Superintendent June Atkinson said. Atkinson, who spoke to the Surry County Schools’ Teachers of the Year earlier in the week, went on to say that graduating all North Carolina public school students has been one of her primary goals since she took office. “I won’t rest until every single student earns a high school diploma.”
State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey also commended educators for their efforts to ensure students graduate. “The increase in our state’s graduation rate is a trend the Board is pleased to see continued. Although it is important that we celebrate this success, we still have a ways to go to ensure that all our students graduate career and college ready.”
Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis L. Reeves echoed the sentiments of Atkinson and Cobey. “These graduation rates are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teachers, students, and administrators. While I am extremely pleased that we are at an all time high, I recognize that we still have room for growth. We are striving to ensure that we personalize the educational experience for our students and build strong relationships that nurture good character and integrity. In an effort to meet the individual needs of students in a mobile world, I am proud that we are opening the Surry Virtual Academy this fall. I am also proud of the strong partnership we have with Surry Community College to offer many College and Career Promise courses at the off campus centers throughout Surry County. Graduating all students college and career ready is our top priority and is a responsibility we take seriously in all our K-12 schools. The Surry County School System is committed to educating all students to be productive workers, responsible citizens, and life-long learners, enabling them to be globally competitive and prepared for life in the 21st Century.”
The full report on the state’s cohort graduation rate, as well as previous years’ reports, is available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/reporting/cohortgradrate.