Rate jumped 13% over 2016
CLEWISTON — The 2017 graduation rate for Clewiston High School’s seniors has been released by the Florida Department of Education, and it ranks as the highest ever at 87 percent, according to Principal Roberto Sanchez-DeLeon.
“The class of 2017 is to be commended for this significant accomplishment. The staff and faculty at CHS have worked hard over the last few years to increase the number of students obtaining their high school diploma,” the principal said.
By the Florida DOE’s rankings, he said, “combined, Hendry County now ranks 27th in the state out of more than 70 districts in our graduation rate.”
“This is something that as a school and a community we can all be proud of,” Mr. Sanchez added.
Clewiston High’s rate for the Class of 2016 was just 74 percent, so 2017’s crop of seniors, who entered in the 2013-14 school year, improved substantially. “It was a 13 percent increase,” Mr. Sanchez said. “That’s huge.”
Asked what factors he attributed the improvement to, the principal replied:
“I think it’s that the entire staff has been more focused on individual students and monitoring their progress throughout their four years here in high school, communicating with them the requirements and where they stand at academically. And then also having the support systems, our after-school program, our Power Hour initiative, different programs that help support kids in making sure that they’re not only staying on track academically but that they also are able to come back if they do fall off track.”
Principal Sanchez also explained that students who were having trouble keeping their grade point averages up in the range that would earn them their diplomas were offered extra remedial help. “We had several students that hovered around the 2.0 graduation grade point average; all students have to have a 2.0 average to graduate,” he stated. “There were several kids who had a 1.95, 1.9, etc., that were able to make it back to 2.01.”
He also credited the children. “I also want to attribute this to the effort and the hard work that the class themselves put in, right? Because it’s about the students eventually doing the work. And also, another key role is the support and help that we’ve gotten from our superintendent, Mr. (Paul) Puletti, and also our district staff,” Mr. Sanchez added.