With an on-time graduation rate of 84 percent in 2012, Mountlake Terrace High School was above the district rate of 74.2 percent; while some may be satisfied with the school’s performance in graduating students in four years or less, MTHS Principal Greg Schwab wants the school to do even better.
“An 84 percent on-time graduation rate is a solid number, but it is not something we are happy with by any means,” Schwab said. “We have some work to do because there are 16 percent of our students who are not graduating on time. This number translates to roughly 40 students that our school did not get to graduation.”
District officials point out that all four comprehensive high schools in the district had on-time graduation rates above the district’s average, with Meadowdale leading the way at 91.8 percent. Edmonds-Woodway High School graduated 84.2 percent of its seniors on-time in 2012, while Lynnwood High School’s on-time graduation rate totaled 75.8 percent.
The overall Edmonds School District on-time graduation rate dips in comparison to those rates at the four comprehensive high schools due to student enrollment in nine other diploma-granting entities within the district. About 15 percent of district students enroll at Scriber Lake High School, Edmond Heights K-12, eLearning online classes and the Edmonds Career Access Program (EdCAP) at Edmonds Community College. On-time graduation rates in these programs lag because students often enroll deficient in credits or even at risk of dropping out of school completely.
In 2012 the EdCAP program had 126 students scheduled to received diplomas, but only seven were able to complete their studies and graduate on time; 35 students dropped out of the program without finishing it.
At Mountlake Terrace, the on-time graduation rate has stayed fairly consistent over recent years after bouncing around in the mid-2000’s. “If you go back to the 2004-2005 school year, MTHS had a graduation rate of 59.5 percent,” Schwab noted. “In 2007-2008 it jumped to 88 percent. Then for the class of 2011 it was 84 percent.”
Getting students to graduate from Terrace on-time is an aim for Schwab and the school’s administration and staff. “That is what we are focusing on, how to ensure that every student who comes to MTHS graduates in four years,” Schwab explained. “Our goal is a 100 percent graduation rate because that is what our students and our parents deserve.”
— By Doug Petrowski