We are pleased to announce high school graduation rates have increased by 3 percentage points in the School District of Janesville from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. Janesville’s graduation rates have been on an upward trend, improving by 5.1 percentage points between the 2009-2010 and 2012-2013 school years. The School District of Janesville rates exceed the state graduation rate by 1.2 percentage points during the 2012-2013 school year.
We are ecstatic about the increase we have seen in graduation rates among Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino students over the last four years. Graduation rates have improved by 8.9 percentage points for Black or African American students from 2009-2010 (70.5%) to 2012-2013 (79.4%) school years. Graduation rates for Hispanic/Latino students have improved by 15 percentage points from 2009-2010 (68.1%) to 2012-2013 (83.1%) school years. We attribute the success we have seen for the two groups to the district diversity efforts, through the Platinum Plan and Project Redesign. The Platinum Plan; through efforts of the Director of Student Services and a subcommittee of the District Equity Leadership Team (DELT), provides professional development for district staff centered on Culturally Responsive Teaching, Racial Awareness and Understanding Poverty. Project Redesign focuses on increased rigor, relevance and engagement in the curriculum for all students.
Also, contributing to the success among Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino students is the grant and local funded Youth Advocate positions, hired in the district to increase connectedness among minority students and staff. The Youth Advocates meet with identified youth individually and/or in small groups focusing on increasing student achievement. During interactions with students, the Youth Advocates teach the following; resiliency, increased social competencies and problem-solving skills, promote a healthy view of self, promote active engagement in the classroom and school community, post-secondary education and provide the student with the opportunity to experience an additional supportive adult. The School District of Janesville has partnered with the Department of Public Instruction over the last four years through the Safe and Supportive Schools grant; which provided funding for both Craig and Parker High Schools. One of the established goals of the grant, ending this year; was focused and deliberate attention on African American and Latino students in the area of attendance and school performance.
In Janesville, we are all working very hard to ensure our students graduate with their four-year cohort group. District staff promotes the importance of a high school education to all students. Members of the Student Services Department are meeting with students on a consistent and regular basis to ensure students are on track for graduation.