Glendale Unified reports higher graduation rate

Of nearly 2,300 Glendale Unified students who began high school in 2009, 90.4% went on to earn their diplomas as part of the class of 2013, according to data that state officials released this week.

Meanwhile, nearly 140 students dropped out, giving the school district a 6.1% dropout rate.

Overall, Glendale Unified's graduation rate comes in well above the 80% state average.

"For the first time in our state's history, more than 80% of our students are graduating — a clear sign of their hard work and the support they receive from their teachers, families and communities," said state Supt. Tom Torlakson.

The rates were calculated by tracking students who entered high school in 2009 on their path to graduation in 2013.

The recent figure also comes above Glendale Unified's previous counts.

In 2011-12, Glendale Unified reported an 88.1% graduation rate, slightly up from 87.5% in 2010-11.

Deb Rinder, senior director of educational services for Glendale Unified, said the school district aims to address students' individual needs, and educators are well aware that beyond academics, extracurricular activities such as sports, drama, art and music keep students invested in school.

"What we know is that kids who are really connected tend to finish school," Rinder said, and credited school officials for maintaining the district's arts and sports programs through years of crippling budget cuts.

Rinder said that it's key for the school district to intervene when a student isn't performing well and lead them to other programs in the district where they can recover credits or make up failed classes.

"I still think we need to get better at it," she said of improving the district's dropout rate, adding, "Glendale [Unified] prides itself on making sure we find something that works for kids."

Los Angeles Unified reported a 67.9% graduation rate, while Burbank Unified had 91.8% of its students graduate in 2013.

Among Glendale's high schools, Clark Magnet reported the highest graduation rate at over 99%, followed by Crescenta Valley High at 95.7%.

Hoover High reported a 94.7% rate and Glendale High had 90.8%.

Of the roughly 475 Glendale Latino students who were part of the class of 2013, 50 students dropped out while about 83.4% went on to graduate.

That rate stands above the 75.4% of Latinos who graduated across the state in 2013.

While the graduation rates of Latinos and black students climbed, state officials said they remained lower overall compared to other sub-groups.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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