BDS graduation rates nearly 90% despite adversities

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Students at Bay District Schools have faced many challenges in the past two and a half years, especially seniors.

“Their tenth-grade year, that’s when we were hit with the hurricane. Their eleventh-grade year, they left for Spring Break and never came back [due to the pandemic],” Mosley High School Principal Brian Bullock said.

Bullock said this has made his seniors resilient. With graduation right around the corner, the graduation rates for this school year won’t be released anytime soon. But, Graduation Options Instructional Specialist Jennifer Jennings said the rates for the 2019-2020 school year are something that should be celebrated after what everyone has gone through.

“I think the numbers tell how hard our schools and supports have worked to help students to walk the stage,” said Jennings.

Jennings said graduation rates for that school year were almost 89%. Compare this to the 2017-2018 school year, which was 81%.

“It’s great to hear that Bay District Schools is going in the right direction when it comes to our seniors graduating,” said Bullock.

Jennings said since starting the Graduation Pathways program in 2016, the graduation rate was 70%.

“I think we really need to look internally and see the supports that have been offered to students and that’s why with their hard work, they were able to walk the stage,” said Jennings.

Internal support Jennings said each of the five traditional high schools has, which includes an on-site-based graduation coach. These coaches work with students individually to keep them on the path to receiving their diplomas.

“It is because of them that many students graduated who may not have,” said Jennings.

Jennings says for upcoming graduations they hope to at least maintain that almost 89% rate.

“Just kids being resilient and going for that finish line,” said Bullock.

A finish line of a race filled with adversity.

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