The Georgia Department of Education has released SY 2020-21 graduation rates for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. SCCPSS improved its cohort graduation rate by nearly half a percentage point over last year – rising from 89.7% to 90.1% despite the challenges of an entire school year affected by the pandemic and teaching conducted in large part virtually. That number surpasses the state rate for the seventh year in a row and is a new record high for the district. The state of Georgia's rate is 83.7% using the adjusted cohort calculation now required by federal law. The most recently published national rate is 86% from the 2018-19 School Year.
SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett says, “Our 2021 cohort graduation rate of 90.1% marks the seventh year in a row that our district has both graduated a higher percentage of students than the year before and surpassed the graduation rate for the state of Georgia. I could not be prouder of our students and staff who work hard every day in pursuit of this significant indicator of success. The fact that the district was able to achieve our highest graduation rate ever during a global pandemic with every aspect of teaching and learning impacted last year is a tribute to the efforts of all."
Eight of eleven high schools in the District either improved their cohort graduation rate over the previous year or stayed the same. Of those who increased their rate, the biggest increase was seen at The School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High with a seven point increase over 2020 numbers. Overall, SCCPSS 4-year cohort graduation rates range from 73.5% to 100%. SCCPSS can once again boast of two schools in the district with a 100% graduation rate. It is the sixth year in a row that Savannah Early College High has met that goal and the fifth year in a row that Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School has done so.
Georgia calculates a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. This rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted" by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out. While all states use the same calculation, each state sets its own requirements for students to earn a regular high school diploma. Georgia has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma.