Of the 97,961 students who began the ninth grade in 2014 and graduated in 2018, 91.6 got their diploma, a half-percentage-point increase over 2017, when the on-time graduation rate was 91.1 percent. It equates to 487 additional students graduating.
Virginia continues a steady trend of improvement over the last few years: In 2014, the commonwealth’s on-time graduation rate was 89.9 percent.
The commonwealth also saw improvement in terms of dropouts: a rate of 5.5 percent for the class of 2018, compared with 5.8 percent the previous year. That equates to 187 fewer students.
Virginia education officials also pointed out that more than half of the diplomas awarded (52 percent) earned an advanced studies diploma.
James Lane, Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction, credited educators’ work in addressing absenteeism and dropouts. “This improvement in graduation is the result of the hard work and dedication of teachers, principals, support staff and other educators who refused to give up on students who might otherwise have dropped out,” he said in a statement.