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Osceola School District A Leader In Graduating Students

Photo by Crystal Chavez

New figures show the high school graduation rate in Osceola County is higher than the statewide rate. 90.7’s Crystal Chavez looks at what the school district is doing right.

The Osceola County School District’s high school graduation rate increased to 86.3 percent—that’s four points above the state average.

Superintendent Debra Pace said her district has been taking a comprehensive approach: monitoring and supporting students who were behind on credits and giving alternative tests– including the SAT last spring –to help juniors and seniors meet state testing requirements for a diploma.

“And then finally, I truly believe that our emphasis on industry certification and a college going culture has also really contributed to this effort, so that kids see a purpose for what they’re doing in our schools, it kind of gives them that momentum and persistence to stick it out until the end,” said Pace.

She said improvements were shown for the district’s black and Hispanic students, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, English Language Learners and students with special needs. The graduation rate in Osceola County has been going up every year since 2010.

Counselors are working with newly-enrolled Puerto Rican students from the island. Especially with the juniors and seniors who have two options: work hard, strengthen their language skills and work for a Florida diploma … or get a diploma from Puerto Rico. Florida’s partnering with the Department of Education in Puerto Rico to offer hurricane evacuees that option.

In central Florida, only the school districts in Seminole and Indian River County had higher graduation rates than Osceola.

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About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez