Pasco County school officials recently celebrated news of the school district’s 90.2% graduation rate.
“It’s higher than the surrounding counties. It’s 2.9% higher than the state average,” said Kurt Browning, the school district’s superintendent, during the Pasco School Board’s Jan. 17 meeting.
“I want to thank folks in our district that worked very, very hard to ensure success of our students, being able to get across the line. But also some things, such as the way we code things in our system, making sure that the data is clean, the data is correct.
“It’s a collective effort on a lot of people’s part,” Browning said.
“I just could not be more proud of the work this district put in to make sure that our kids were successful,” he added.
School board members also chimed in, sharing congratulatory remarks and expressing appreciation for district staff.
“Right up to the last minute, we had teachers and administrators working with kids, getting them across that finish line,” said school board member Colleen Beaudoin.
Don Peace, union president of the United School Employees of Pasco, congratulated the district for its performance.
He added: “I’m sure all of us would like to see the rate higher in the upcoming year summary. It’s important for us to keep the bar high, but attainable, for our students.”
While celebrating the moment, Browning expressed a word of caution.
“We will see what happens this coming year,” Browning said, referring to a potential state change that could increase a score needed for students to meet graduation requirements.
“We’re not sure what we’re going to see this May. That will be the benchmark year. But we are going to have to be creative and really problem-solve,” Browning said.
During a staff meeting on the morning of Jan. 17, Browning said that Dr. Monica Isle, the assistant superintendent for high school, shared some “staggering figures” regarding the number of seniors who do not currently meet graduation requirements.
“Raising the requirement could have ‘a dramatic impact’ on the district’s graduation rate,” Browning said.
Efforts will continue to ask the state to give more consideration to its required score, Browning said. At the same time, district staff will be making every effort to ensure its students are successful, regardless of the score required by the state.
Published February 01, 2023