Poudre School District’s on-time graduation rate dipped to 83.2 percent for the class of 2019, down 0.8 percent from 2018’s 84 percent rate, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Education on Tuesday. PSD’s on-time graduation rate is 2.1 percent higher than the statewide average of 81.1 percent.
PSD has exceeded the statewide average for four-year graduation rates in all but one year since 2010, when the state changed how the rate was reported. At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Scott Nielsen presented the new graduation rates.
“While our graduation rates are higher than the state average, we hold ourselves to a higher standard here at PSD, and seeing our graduation rate drop by 0.8 percent is not what we want,” Nielsen said. “We know there is work ahead so we can make sure we are doing everything we can to help our students graduate in four years.”
Nielsen shared that PSD’s high school principals are taking an individual look at each one of the students who did not graduate on time in 2019 to get a better understanding of what supports and interventions could be helpful to other students who have fallen off track.
Nielsen also noted that while PSD’s on-time graduation rate dropped slightly in 2019, the district’s completion rate increased. This means that more PSD students are exiting with a Poudre School District diploma or a certificate program like a General Education Diploma(GED). PSD’s dropout rate also decreased to 1.3 percent, the lowest it’s been in at least 10 years.
The district’s dropout rate improved year over year and is better than the state’s average. This means that students are staying connected to the district.
“We want to make sure students graduate ready to go to college, start their careers and enter adulthood and their next steps in life,” Nielsen said. “That matters more than how long they take to get there.”