The Barrow County School System class of 2020 posted a graduation rate of 85.1% for the 4-year cohort. For the 8th year in a row, Barrow County is above the statewide average.
- Georgia’s 4-year cohort: 83.8%
- Barrow County School System: 85.1%
- Apalachee High School: 85.9%
- Winder-Barrow High School: 84.4%
Even amid a pandemic that closed our school buildings, our students persevered. Graduation is always a significant accomplishment, and our seniors faced additional challenges this year to reach it. In March, learning shifted to 100% online when our school buildings closed. While the district prioritized distributing computers to seniors, students were required to find access to technology and the internet to complete their school work. Students also had to adapt to new methods of learning, which was not ideal for everyone. In addition, seniors had to deal with the emotional loss of their traditional senior milestones with prom, honors night, and graduation ceremonies switching to virtual events that prevented them from celebrating with their friends and family.
“We commend our students for their ability to adapt and thrive under such challenging circumstances,” said Superintendent McMichael. Barrow County School System had 773 students graduate in the class of 2020.
Each of our high schools has developed mechanisms to track students throughout their four years of high school, which enables schools to provide additional support for at-risk students. Each spring, teachers, administrators, and counselors target their efforts specifically towards seniors that are failing classes and at risk of not graduating. Students and their parents participate in individual meetings to identify goals to help them meet graduation requirements. Credit recovery options are discussed, classwork is prioritized, and support networks are established to encourage students daily in their progress.
The shift to online learning introduced new challenges in reaching these at-risk students. The traditional methods to support students with daily, in-person check-ins were not available, and interactions with students were different. While schools persistently reached out to students, it was difficult to get in touch with some. Due to parent job loss and income reductions, some students needed to work full-time to financially contribute to their families. Others may not have had access to stay connected and engaged in their learning. For some students, online learning was challenging to demonstrate mastery in the content without the traditional in-person instruction and support.
Winder-Barrow High School saw a slight decrease of 0.4 over the 2019 graduation rate. They had 390 students cross the virtual 50-yard line this year. Apalachee High School’s graduation rate dipped by 4.8 points over last year. Apalachee had 383 students graduate in the class of 2020.
In Georgia, graduation rates are measured by the “cohort” method. Cohort methods measure what percentage of students at a school earn a diploma within four years of entering high school.
Barrow County Graduation Rates (4-year cohort):
2020 – 85.1%
2019 – 87.6%
2018 – 86.1%
2017 – 82.6%
2016 – 83.9%
2015 – 79.1%
2014 – 75.60%
2013 – 72.10%