BREAKING NEWS: Volusia County high school graduation rates have improved, but still lower than those in neighboring Seminole, Orange, Brevard & Flagler counties

Here are the individual high school grad rates for Volusia County, FL / Headline SurferPhotos for Headline Surfer / Volusia County School District's graduation rate is 76 percent, equivalent to a C grade. In terms of a grade, neighboring counties Seminole (80.3 percent), Flagler (80.4 percent) and Orange (81.3 percent) would all get a B- and Brevard would get a B+. Of the highest grad rate grades among Volusia County high schools, Seabreeze HS in Ormond Beach is tops at 87 percent or a B+, followed by Spruce Creek High School at 85.9 percent and Atlantic with an 83.8 percent graduation rate or a B for both Port Orange high schools.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DELAND, Fla. — The Florida Department of Education released the 2015-16 high school graduation rates today, showing Volusia County's rate climbed to 76 percent, but still lower than neighboring county school districts such as Seminole with 80.3 percent, Flagler with 80.4 percent, Orange at 81.3 percent and Brevard at 87.4 percent.

Of course, numbers can be spun to make the metrics look good, which is what Volusia County did in pointing out the district had an increase of 15 percent over the last five years and a 4.4 percent increase over last year. "Volusia’s rate is the highest increase of surrounding counties and exceeds the state increase," Volusia County School district spokeswoman Nancy Wait Wait said, adding, "Two high schools had double digit gains: Atlantic High with a 14.3 percent increase and Taylor Middle-High with a 10.3 percent increase."

But the bottom line is Volusia County still lags behind its neighboring school districts in terms of overall graduation percentages.

Volusia County School District spokeswoman Nancy Wait / Headline SurferOf course, numbers can be spun to make the metrics look good, which is what Volusia Countyhas dome in pointing out the district had an increase of 15 percent over the last five years and a 4.4 percent increase over last year. 

"Volusia’s rate is the highest increase of surrounding counties and exceeds the state increase," Volusia County School district spokeswoman Nancy Wait said, adding, "Two high schools had double digit gains: Atlantic High with a 14.3 percent increase and Taylor Middle-High with a 10.3 percent increase."

But the bottom line is Volusia County still lags behind its neighboring school districts in terms of overall graduation percentages.

Wait continued, "Because Superintendent Tom Russell identified graduation assurance as a high priority for Volusia County Schools, several programs were put in place to raise graduation rates, including an early warning system to identify students needing additional assistance and placing AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) in every high school." 

Wait said as a result, Volusia County made huge gains with subgroup populations:

  • At-risk students - 11.5% increase;
  • African American students - 8.7% increase;
  • Hispanic students - 7.5% increase;
  • Exceptional education students - 14.1% increase;

“I am very proud of our students, teachers and administrators for their achievements,” Volusia Schoolsd Superintendent Tom Russell said in a statement released by Wait. “We are excited to see the increases this year which are the result of our focus on graduation assurance.”

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area in Central Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards in print & digital mediums. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's pursuing a Master of Arts degree in New Media/Journalism (graduation in March 2018). Frederick earned his BA in Political Science/Public Admin. (concentration in Writing) from Central Connecticut State University, in 1984, where he recieved the President's Citation for "academic excellence & outstanding campus/community service." Prior to myriad duties as publisher/award-winning journalist of Headline Surfer, 2008-present; Frederick was city hall reporter for the Palatka (FL) Daily News, 2007-2008; city editor of the Taunton (MA) Daily Gazette, 2005-2006; cops & courts/legal affairs writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 1996-2004; and cops & courts reporter for the Rockland (NY) Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers, 1989-1996.