High school graduation rates increase

The state Education Department has released the graduation rates for the Cohort Class of 2016, those who entered ninth grade together in 2016 and graduated in 2020. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — One school district in the tri-county region had 100% graduation of students in the Cohort Class of 2016 — those who entered ninth grade in 2016 and graduated in 2020 — according to data released by the state Education Department on Thursday.

Copenhagen Central School in Lewis County graduated 28 students. Of those, 16 graduated with an Advanced Regents diploma, 10 graduated with a Regents diploma and two graduated with a local diploma.

The state’s overall graduation rate increased to 84.8%, up 1.4 percentage points from 83.4% for the 2015 Cohort as of August. Twenty-three area schools met or exceeded the state’s graduation rate. They included:

St. Lawrence County — Brasher Falls (86%), Colton-Pierrepont (94%), Hermon-DeKalb (91%), Lisbon (92%), Madrid-Waddington (93%), Norwood-Norfolk (90%), Parishville-Hopkinton (97%) and Potsdam (95%).

Jefferson County — Alexandria (88%), Belleville Henderson (92%), Carthage (89%), General Brown (93%), Indian River (87%), LaFargeville (95%), Lyme (95%), Sackets Harbor (90%), South Jefferson (88%) and Thousand Islands (95%).

Lewis County — Beaver River (91%), Copenhagen (100%), Harrisville (91%), Lowville (88%) and South Lewis (85%).

The Cohort Class of 2016 was in a unique situation with the closure of schools in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic and students switching to remote learning from home. To address the situation caused by the mandatory school closures, the Board of Regents and state Education department took several regulatory actions to ensure no students were negatively affected academically and students who were otherwise eligible to graduate in 2020 could do so.

Generally, in order to earn a high school diploma, students must pass four Regents examinations and choose a graduation pathway, which may include a fifth Regents examination. But the June and August 2020 Regents exams were cancelled, affecting every student in grades seven through 12 who planned to take an exam during those administrations. As a result, those students were exempted from taking the Regents exam if they had successfully completed courses leading up the required Regents examinations.

The state Education Department data also included the number of students who were still enrolled as of August and the number of dropouts.

In Brasher Falls, three of the 79 students were still enrolled and eight students dropped out. In Canton, three of the 97 students were still enrolled, and one student dropped out. In Clifton-Fine, four of the 22 students were still enrolled and none had dropped out. In Colton-Pierrepont, none of the 18 students were still enrolled or dropped out. In Edwards-Knox, two of the 41 students were still enrolled and two students dropped out.

In Gouverneur, four of the 121 students were still enrolled, and 11 students dropped out. In Hammond, none of the 19 students were still enrolled and three students dropped out. In Hermon-DeKalb, none of the 33 students were still enrolled and two students dropped out. In Heuvelton, three of the 40 students were still enrolled and three students dropped out. In Lisbon, three of the 38 students were still enrolled and none dropped out. In Madrid-Waddington, two of the 58 students were still enrolled and one student dropped out.

In Massena, 10 of the 202 students were still enrolled and 14 students dropped out. In Morristown, none of the 22 students were still enrolled and three students dropped out. In Norwood-Norfolk, two of the 80 students were still enrolled and four students dropped out. In Ogdensburg, five the 122 students were still enrolled and 15 students dropped out. In Parishville-Hopkinton, none of the 36 students were still enrolled or dropped out. In Potsdam, two of the 100 students were still enrolled and three students dropped out.

In Alexandria, three of the 40 students were still enrolled and two students dropped out. In Belleville Henderson, one of the 36 students was still enrolled and none had dropped out. In Carthage, eight of the 221 students were still enrolled and 11 students dropped out. In General Brown, three of the 104 students were still enrolled and four students dropped out. In Indian River, 10 of the 198 students were still enrolled and 13 students dropped out.

In LaFargeville, none of the 43 students were still enrolled and two students dropped out. In Lyme, none of the 20 students were still enrolled and one student dropped out. In Sackets Harbor, one of the 41 students was still enrolled and two students dropped out. In South Jefferson, nine of the 136 students were still enrolled and four students dropped out. In Thousand Islands, two of the 74 students were still enrolled and two students dropped out. In Watertown, 13 of the 261 students were still enrolled and 36 students dropped out.

In Beaver River, two of the 70 students were still enrolled and one student dropped out. In Copenhagen, none of the 28 students were still enrolled or dropped out. In Harrisville, none of the 35 students were still enrolled and three students dropped out. In Lowville, none of the 52 students were still enrolled and three students dropped out. In South Lewis, none of the 78 students were still enrolled and five students dropped out.

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