The four-year graduation rate for Gwinnett County Public Schools dipped slightly in 2019 from the previous year. District officials point out that five-year graduation rate rose and Gwinnett graduates surpassed the national average in college graduation. AJC file photo

Gwinnett 2019 graduation rate shows slight decline from previous year

Although the 2019 four-year graduation rate for Gwinnett County Public Schools declined slightly from the previous year, (going from 81.7% to 80.9%) school officials pointed out the silver lining: Given extra time, more students obtain diplomas. The five-year graduation rate rose to 84%.

In 2018, the district’s four-year graduation rate was 81.7%. Since May of 2018, additional members of the Class of 2018 successfully met all graduation requirements. Counting them made the five-year rate 84.27%. 

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“While the vast majority of our students graduate within four years, we are committed to supporting those who need additional time,” said Steve Flynt, the district’s associate superintendent for school improvement and operations. “We want to graduate students, but not at the expense of not educating them to the levels they need to be successful in the future.” 

At a time when more states are requiring end-of-course tests and other standards that make graduation more difficult, graduation rates as a whole are on the rise. 

Georgia has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma, and  Gwinnett County says its requirements surpass the state’s.

Ten Gwinnett high schools had increases in this year’s four-year graduation rate, with the largest gains at Berkmar High School, Dacula High School, Gwinnett Online Campus, and Norcross High School. However, 12 of the 22 high schools showed decreases with declines at Discovery, Mountain View and Shiloh 5% or more.

With the most diverse student population in the state, Gwinnett saw improved graduation rates with several subgroups of students with gains for Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, English Learners, and Students with Disabilities.

Gwinnett schools with the highest graduation rates in 2019 were Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), North Gwinnett High School, and Brookwood High School, followed closely by Grayson, Mill Creek, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, and Lanier high schools. In all, 12 Gwinnett schools posted four-year graduation rates that surpassed the state average. 

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