Class of 2021 91% Graduation Rate for Barrow County School System

The Barrow County School System has achieved a high school graduation rate of 91.0% with 814 graduates. The Barrow County Class of 2021 boasted the highest graduation rate of any class in BCSS history since graduation rates have been measured statewide (starting in 2000). The 2021 cohort successfully graduated, despite dealing with the challenges of the pandemic for their last year and a half of high school (March 2020-May 2021).

The Georgia Department of Education released the statewide high school graduation rates for the class of 2021. Georgia experienced a slight decline from 83.8% in 2020 to 83.7% in 2021, which they attributed to the challenges of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Georgia, graduation rates are measured by the “cohort” method. Cohort methods measure what percentage of students at a school graduate within four years of entering high school.

Barrow County is above the statewide average, posting a graduation rate of 91.0% for 2021.

Barrow County School System: 91.0%

  • Apalachee High School: 92.1%
  • Winder-Barrow High School: 89.9%

Georgia’s 4-year cohort: 83.7%

Barrow County Schools consistently utilize data to identify students’ individual learning needs at all grade levels and support each student in a safe environment. The district has developed mechanisms to track students throughout their four years of high school, enabling schools to provide increased support earlier for at-risk students.

“I am very proud of all our teachers, staff members, students, and parents for the dedication and hard work that goes into supporting our students in crossing the finish line of high school graduation!” shared Superintendent Dr. Chris McMichael. “This is an amazing accomplishment. We set this as a goal in our strategic plan, and we are excited to have reached this milestone.”

Barrow County Graduation Rates – 2013 to 2021

In just seven years under Dr. McMichael’s leadership as superintendent, the graduation rate has increased by almost 19%. The focus on keeping students engaged in their learning and goals drove the significant rate increase from 85.1% in 2020 to 91.0% in 2021.

Apalachee High School

Apalachee High School also saw a significant increase from 85.8% to 92.1% from 2020 to 2021, with 386 students graduating in 2021. “Our students, teachers, parents, and community have truly rallied behind their children to set them up for post-secondary success. We could not be prouder of the hard work, effort, and dedication displayed, resulting in the highest graduation rate in the history of Apalachee High School,” shared principal Jennifer Martin. “The collective effort from our feeder elementary and middle schools builds a solid foundation for our students, working collaboratively with each school, and focusing on our daily opportunities to place students on the right path for success should be celebrated.”

Winder-Barrow High School

Winder-Barrow High School experienced a positive jump from 84.4% in 2020 to 89.9% in 2021. The class of 2021 had 428 students cross the WBHS 50-yard line, a goal for students that is emphasized throughout their academic careers. “We are thrilled about our 5.5% increase for the Class of 2021,” stated principal Derrick Maxwell. “This was a giant effort of all teachers and staff to reach individual students, even many who were home and had unique needs during the pandemic. We plan to continue and increase our efforts and look forward to seeing our Class of 2022 cross the 50-yard line.”

The Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy, which opened in 2020, will have its first graduating class in 2023.

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