High School Graduation Rates Reach Record High

By Linda Ong | long@kolr10.com

Published 04/29 2014 06:41PM

Updated 04/29 2014 06:51PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  The walk, cap, and cheering aside, graduating from high school is a milestone.

"When students graduate here, my hope is they are ready for whatever that next step is for them," said Ron Snodgrass, Principal of Central High School.

Each of the 340 graduating seniors at Central High School who are set to get their diplomas next week are reflective of the nation's new record high graduation rates.

High school graduation rates in Missouri and across the country have reached a new record high. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 81-percent of high school seniors in Missouri graduated the academic year 2011-2012-- this is one-percent higher than the national graduation rate. The lowest-graduate rate of 62-percent came from students with limited English proficiency.

According to the most current data from Springfield Public Schools, 86.5-percent of the students in the district will graduate-- 69-percent will go on to a two or four-year college.

According to U.S. News' annual Best High Schools report, Central High School in Springfield was ranked the 12th best high school in Missouri, while Parkview High School was recognized in the report for the first time.

Snodgrass said says the school's recognition as a top high school is a result of a team effort.

"It's a commitment to excellence, a commitment to a type of teaching that is inquiry based, that causes students to think," he said.

School Counselor Isaac Crawford said the support from counselors, teachers, and faculty is crucial to a student's success.

"I can think of students that almost didn't graduate that did-- and they would even say it was from the support they received," said Crawford.

Snodgrass says Central's student success comes accelerated courses, faculty dedication, and student input. With this foundation, he hopes the school has done its best to prepare students for the next step.

"We've got great teachers that are trying their best to better prepare them to lay that foundation," said Snodgrass. "So whatever they choose to do, whether its two-year technical school or four-year university, they're in good shape in terms of furthering their career."

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