District 51 Celebrates Lowest Dropout Rate in at Least Two Decades

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — School District 51 recorded its lowest dropout rate of the 21st century in 2019-20, according to data released Tuesday, Jan. 12, by the Colorado Department of Education. D51’s 2019-20 dropout rate of 1.7% is the lowest recorded by CDE, whose dropout rate data goes back as far as the 2000-01 school year.

The dropout rate for District 51 students last year was below the state average of 1.8% and a full percentage point below D51’s 2018-19 dropout rate.

In addition to dropout rates, CDE reported the graduation rates for Colorado’s 178 school districts on Tuesday. School District 51’s four-year graduation rate grew from 79.6% with the Class of 2019 to 80.2% for the Class of 2020.

The four-year graduation rate reflects how many students earned a high school diploma within four years of starting the ninth-grade, which would be fall 2016 for the Class of 2020. The state also reports five-year, six-year, and seven-year graduation rates. In D51, 84.3% of students who started ninth-grade in 2015 have graduated, 86.5% of students who started ninth-grade in 2014 have graduated, and 86.6% of students who started ninth-grade in 2013 have earned their high school diploma.

The state also reports a completer rate, which includes both students who earned a high school diploma and students who earned a GED. The D51 Class of 2020 has a completer rate of 80.9%. The remaining 19.1% of students in the Class of 2020 are still working toward their goal of graduation, have put receipt of their diploma on pause in order to participate in college programs like P-TECH or ASCENT, have dropped out, or moved but did not alert the district that they were leaving.

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