Sarasota School District graduation rate rises

Pine View hits the 100% mark

A chart shows the school graduation rates for the past three school years. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools

The graduation rate for the Sarasota County Schools for the 2016-17 was 85.7 percent, the Florida Department of Education reported on Jan. 10.

Pine View School in Osprey achieved a 100% graduation rate for the 2016-17 school year, the report shows. The Sarasota Military Academy achieved a rate of 96.7%.

Both those levels were higher than the schools’ rates of the previous two years, according to a chart released by the Sarasota County School District, though Pine View hit the 99.5% mark in 2015-16.

Image from the U.S. News & World Report website

In its 2017 rankings, U.S. News & World Report named Pine View No. 13 in the United States and No. 1 in Florida. A note about the school on the U.S. News website in association with that recognition says, “The curriculum at Pine View School mixes traditional classroom learning with independent study, mini-courses and upgraded classes. … Students must maintain a minimum grade point average and complete advance foreign language courses to graduate.”

The school with the biggest gain from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year was the Imagine School at North Port: from 78.8% to 89.1%.

Among the schools that saw declines year-over-year were Suncoast Polytechnical High in Sarasota, Venice High and Sarasota High. However, for Sarasota High, the drop was from 81.9% in 2015-16 to 81.4% in 2016-17, the figures show.

“The district remained well above the state graduation rate of 82.3 percent,” a news release points out. Additionally, the 2016-17 rate for the Sarasota District marked an increase of 0.3% from the previous year’s figure, the release adds.

For the 2016-17 school year, the release explains, the State of Florida calculated and reported the Federal Uniform Graduation rate. “Federal regulations require each state to calculate a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, which includes standard diplomas but excludes general equivalency diplomas, known as GEDs, both regular and adult; and special diplomas,” the release says. “The U.S. Department of Education adopted this calculation method in an effort to develop uniform, accurate and comparable graduation rates across all states,” the release adds.

The Federal Uniform Graduation rate also is used in Florida’s school accountability system in the calculation of the high school grades, the release notes.

The graduation rate is calculated by tracking the number of students who start in a school as ninth graders and then graduate in their class four years later, the release points out.