Tahoe-Truckee schools’ graduation rate continues to climb | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee schools’ graduation rate continues to climb

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

Truckee High School seniors wait to collect their diploma at their graduation ceremony last June. According to the California Department of Education, of the students who entered a TTUSD high school in 2010, 93.1 percent graduated in the 2013-14 school year.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — The percentage of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District seniors donning a cap and gown is rising, surpassing state and county figures.

For the 2013-14 school year, 93.1 percent of TTUSD students who entered high school four years prior graduated, up from 89.7 percent in 2012-13 and 90.1 percent in 2011-12, according to recent statistics from the California Department of Education.

In comparison, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District on Lake Tahoe's South Shore had a 84 percent graduation rate for the 2013-14 school year.

Further, the graduation rate statewide was 80.8 percent (12.3 percent lower than TTUSD) and 90.7 percent in Placer County (2.4 percent lower than TTUSD) last school year.

"I am extremely proud of our students, teachers, and staff," said TTUSD Superintendent Rob Leri. "To make these kinds of gains in our graduation rates is a direct reflection of their hard work and dedication and the quality of education within Tahoe-Truckee."

Specific efforts Leri attributes to the uptick include high school personnel working with students on a one-on-one basis, an increase in intervention courses provided for those struggling academically, and strengthening the district's English Language Development program.

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Meanwhile, of the district's Hispanic cohort, 90 percent graduated in 2013-14, up from 83.5 percent in 2012-13 and 83.7 percent in 2011-12, according to CDE data.

TTUSD's graduation rate of that student segment also exceeded the state (76.4 percent) and Placer County (85.7 percent) and Nevada County (16.4 percent) figures for 2013-14.

"I think (TTUSD's increased rates are) a reflection of the progress that the district has been making on multiple fronts, coming about with the district's new vision and beliefs, the development of the prioritization of being student centered and our draft strategic plan." Leri said. "I think this is a reflection of all the work that's gone in the last three to five years to really change the opportunity for all kids."

Of the students who did not graduate with their class last year, 3.2 percent dropped out, 1.9 percent are still enrolled in school and 1.9 percent completed a GED.

The latest data also reveals TTUSD's drop-out rate is below the state (11.6 percent), LTUSD (10.2) and Placer county (4.8).

When compared to itself, TTUSD's drop-out rate continues to fall — it was 5.5 percent in 2012-13 and 5.3 percent in 2011-12

With the 2014-15 class graduating in the coming weeks, Leri said he would expect the rate for this school year to be similar to 2013-14, if not slightly up. Official stats aren't expected until next spring.

To encourage the graduation rate to climb, TTUSD will stay the course with its current efforts, Leri said.

"It's a culture of success, a culture of possibilities for students," he said. "I think all of those things foster the ability for students to have aspirations of success and there are people here who care and support that."

By the numbers

93.1 percent: TTUSD students graduated in 2013-14

89.7 percent: TTUSD students graduated in 2012-13

90.1 percent: TTUSD students graduated in 2011-12

Source: California Department of Education

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More online

Visit dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest to view a breakdown of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s graduation rate, along with other districts, counties and the state rate.