NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: OCTOBER 12, 2009


Seventeen schools and 12 school districts in North Carolina today were recognized for having the highest rates of high school graduation in North Carolina at a ceremony in Raleigh. This is the second year that State Superintendent June Atkinson has held the special recognition ceremony to highlight the importance of high school graduation and the graduation success stories in North Carolina.

"North Carolina must redouble its efforts to keep students in school and on track for high school graduation," said State Superintendent Atkinson. "A high school diploma is a basic accomplishment for anyone entering the workforce and an essential stepping stone to a community college or university. The schools and districts we have honored today show us that public schools can have high graduation rates, and when they do, students are the winners."

School districts and schools were recognized in the three categories, described below. In each case, the rates referenced are the four-year cohort graduation rate. This rate refers to the percentage of students who graduate from high school in four years or less. The rates are for the students who were identified as being in the graduating class of 2009.

Top Ten School Districts Graduation Rate
Dare County 90.2 percent
Elkin City 88.2 percent
Clay County 87.6 percent
Chapel Hill-Carrboro 86.7 percent
Catawba County 83.8 percent
Carteret County 82.5 percent
Currituck County 82.1 percent
Polk County 82.1 percent
Mount Airy City 81.8 percent
Orange County 81.4 percent
Camden County 81.4 percent
Pamlico County 81.4 percent

(Note: the last three recipients were tied for the 10th slot.)

100% Club for High School Graduation Rate Location
Anson County Early College High Anson County
Early College at Guilford Guilford County
The Middle College at GTCC Jamestown, Guilford County
Weaver Academy, Guilford County
Ocracoke School Hyde County
Nantahala School Macon County
Newton-Conover Health/Science Newton-Conover City

Top Two Schools by Cohort Rate
(Schools must have been open for four years to be honored.)
100-199 Students
Highland School of Technology Gaston County
Hendersonville High Henderson County
200-299 Students
White Oak High Onslow County
Fred T. Foard High, Catawba County
300-399 Students
Weddington High Union County
Eastern Wayne High Wayne County
400-499 Students
Lake Norman High Iredell County
Jack Britt High Cumberland County
500+ Students
Northwest Guilford Guilford County
Green Hope High Wake County

North Carolina overall has a statewide graduation rate of 71.7 percent. For specific groups of students this rate is even lower. In particular, male students and students who are Native American, black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient or with disabilities have average graduation rates that are lower than the state average. The state graduation rate will not be fully addressed unless all of these groups’ performance is addressed.

Atkinson said sending the message to students that education is a foundation for their future is only one part of the equation. Research shows that students benefit from smaller learning environments, opportunities to build relationships with their teachers, rigorous and focused academics and support to help them overcome setbacks.

For more information about today's kickoff event, please call the NC Department of Public Instruction's Communication division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.