CHS grad rate up; district rate down

The Carson City School District’s graduation rate decreased slightly, but remained well above the state average, according to a preliminary report released by the state Thursday.

Bullying, though, was also on the rise, the report stated.

The Nevada Department of Education released its annual Nevada Report Card, which included the state’s preliminary graduation rate for the class of 2015. The report stated Carson City School District’s rate was 77.87 percent in 2014. But the rate dropped to 74.30 percent for 2015.

Carson High’s grad rate was 86.20 percent, an increase of 1.3 percent over the 2014 rate of 85.50 percent. Pioneer High School’s graduation rate was 50.70 percent in 2015, an increase of 5.14 percent from 2014.

The numbers for Carson include graduation numbers from Carson High School, Pioneer High School and the adult education program. The adult education program is what caused the decrease in Carson’s overall graduation rate. The adult education rates dropped from 33 percent to 9 percent from 2014 to 2015.

“Though CHS and PHS went up in rates, district wide, our numbers went down because the adult education graduation rates went down,” said Carson City Schools Superintendent Richard Stokes. “With the adult education program, we need to try to apply the same strategies as we have at the high schools.”

Stokes said the district will be setting their sights on the adult education program in order to turn the overall district numbers around.

“The numbers are lower than we want so we are setting our sights higher and aiming for 90 percent graduation rates district wide,” Stokes said. “It just may take us a few years to get there, but next year we will utilize great student resources to try to improve.”

Nevada’s statewide graduation rate ticked up almost one percentage point amid gains at the massive Clark County School District.

State education officials said that the preliminary graduation rate for the Class of 2015 was 70.86 percent, up from 70 percent the year earlier. Clark County logged a 72 percent graduation rate, up from 70.9 percent the year before, while Washoe County had a 75 percent graduation rate, up from 72.7 percent a year earlier.

“The data released today illustrates that many of our schools have worked hard in certain areas, such as improving graduation rates and reducing credit deficiency and truancy,” State Superintendent Steve Canavero said in a statement. “However, I am troubled by data showing that we still have much work to do to ensure our school environments are free from violence and bullying.”

State officials said there were nearly 5,158 reported bullying incidents that led to discipline last school year, up significantly from 3,754 the year before. Meanwhile, the number of reported cyber bullying incidents that led to discipline fell slightly from 544 to 480 year-over-year.

Lawmakers passed a bill this spring that strengthens reporting requirements for bullying incidents, and creates a new state-level anti-bullying office whose new director came on board this month.

Lawmakers also approved millions of dollars to hire social workers to address bullying at Nevada schools. The state Board of Examiners approved money this week to administer a statewide survey of students that will help determine where bullying is most acute and where social workers are needed most.

“The staff of (the Nevada Department of Education’s) new Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment is dedicated to working with districts and schools to address issues of bullying and school safety,” Canavero said.


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