Chimacum High School graduation rates on the rise

CHIMACUM — Chimacum High School saw growth in its graduation rates and held rates higher than the state average, according to new data released by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, while Port Townsend and Quilcene high schools trail just behind.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) tracks both five-year and four-year graduation cohorts. This year’s data shows Chimacum’s graduation rates for five-year cohorts jumping just under five percentage points, putting the school’s graduation rate 9 percent over the state average.

Four-year cohorts track the students who graduate in the standard four years or less, while the five-year cohorts tracks students who graduate over a five-year, or extended, period.

Chimacum’s five-year graduation rate shows that 89 percent of the class of 2015 graduating, which is up from 2014’s 84.2 percent.

Statewide the class of 2015 saw a 81.9 percent graduation rate, up just slightly from the 81.1 percent from the class of 2014.

“This improvement reflects the concerted efforts of students to prepare for their futures and recognizes the staff, parents and community members who diligently support their personal journeys,” said Chimacum Schools superintendent Rick Thompson in a press release.

Chimacum’s four-year graduation rate also saw a substantial increase, 84.2 percent for 2015 up from 77.9 percent in 2014. This is again over the state four year graduation rate of 79.1 percent.

Chimacum’s class of 2016 saw another jump in the four-year graduation rate with 86.7 percent of students graduating.

Chimacum hopes to see those rates continue to rise, according to school board president Mike Gould.

“Among the goal the board set for the current school year is to see the graduation rate at Chimacum rise to 92 percent,” Gould said in a press release. “This news helps us realize being a state leader is educating well-prepared high school graduates is something Chimacum excels at.”

Port Townsend saw its graduation rates fall this year.

The five-year graduation rate for the class of 2015 was 86.8 percent, which is down from the 89 percent seen in of 2014.

The four-year rate was 80.4 percent for the class of 2015, which was also down from the 83.2 percent in the class of 2014.

Port Townsend High School’s class of 2016 had a graduation rate of 71.4 percent.

Neither the Port Townsend superintendent nor high school principal were available for comment Thursday.

Quilcene’s five-year graduation rate fell for the class of 2015, coming in at 77.8 percent, down from 85 percent for 2014.

The four-year rate for Quilcene’s class of 2015 was 75 percent, also down from the 77.3 percent seen in 2014.

However, Quilcene’s class of 2016 saw the highest local graduation rate, coming in at 96 percent.

“We’re such a small school and our graduating classes are so small that one student really makes a difference,” said Quilcene High School principal Sean Moss. “We definitely pay attention to the numbers but the bigger thing for us is getting to know the students and really paying attention to their needs.”

Moss added that as a small school they do have the advantage of having very close communication between educators, students and parents.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.