The graduation rate continues to improve in the Pasco and Hillsborough public school districts.
Pasco County Schools charted a 91% graduation rate in 2021, more than a full point increase over the prior year, according to Pasco school district officials.
Hillsborough County Schools recorded a graduation rate of 89.2% — the highest rate in the district’s history, according to the Hillsborough school district news release.
Pasco’s rate has improved by 15 percentage points since 2013, district officials said in a news release.
“We are seeing steady progress year after year,” Superintendent Kurt Browning said in the release. “I can’t say enough about how hard our students worked during a challenging and unusual school year. All our teachers in elementary, middle, and high school can share the credit because it really takes a team effort to prepare students for college, career, and life.”
Cypress Creek High School had the highest graduation rate of 99.4% and Wesley Chapel High posted a 96.6% rate, an increase of more than 3 percentage points.
Fivay High School had a second year of impressive gains, increasing by 6.7 percentage points, after a gain of 6.4 percentage points the previous year.
Hudson High saw the biggest increase, improving by 10 percentage points — up to 86%.
Pasco school district staff also noted that students who graduated in 2021 did so after a highly unusual year of school due to COVID-19. Many missed significant time in school, either due to illness or due to quarantine requirements, a district news release noted.
Because of the COVID-related disruptions, the state waived state assessments required for graduation for the second year in a row, making it difficult to make historical comparisons, according to the Pasco district’s release.
Hillsborough officials were delighted by the district’s record accomplishment.
Hillsborough high schools within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area fared well.
Wharton High charted a 90.9% graduation rate; Gaither, 92.2%; Freedom, 94.1%; and, Steinbrenner, 97.8%.
Sickles High, which is near the newspaper’s coverage area, charted a graduation rate of 98.4%, the highest among Hillsborough public schools.
“I am so excited for our community and our organization for obtaining the highest graduation rate in district history,” Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Addison Davis said in the school system’s news release. “This is in direct correlation to the hard work and dedication exhibited by our students, caregivers, teachers, school leaders, school counselors, support professionals, and district staff.”
To view the statewide results, visit the Florida Department of Education web page.
Published January 12, 2022