MCPS Graduation Rate Increases for Class of 2020
The four-year graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students has risen to 89.3 percent, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education. The MCPS graduation rate rose 0.6 percentage points compared with last year, and is higher than the state average of 86.8 percent.
The graduation rate for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) rose 3.0 percent in the Class of 2020 over the previous year and jumped significant 9.3 percent since the Class of 2018. Nearly 240 more LEP students graduated in 2020 than in 2019; and 531 LEP more students graduated in 2020 than in 2018.
The Class of 2020 saw increases in graduation rates for all student groups, with the exception of Asian students. The graduation rate for Hispanic/Latino students rose to 77.1, a one-year increase of 1 percentage point. The graduation rate for Black or African American students rose to 91.3, a one-year increase of 1.6 percentage points. The rate also rose for special education students (4.1 percent over two years), and students who receive Free and Reduced-price Meals (2.8 percent over two years).
The numbers are notable, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, which closed schools in March 2020, and has made remote learning a unique and challenging experience for students and their families.
“We are very pleased to see our graduation rate on the rise,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “Our students have worked so hard in the face of an unprecedented year. They have been supported by their families, the greater Montgomery County community and by MCPS staff, who have gone above and beyond to provide for their academic and social-emotional needs.
“We are making tremendous progress in closing gaps, but there is always more work to do.”
During the pandemic, students and families have received support from their schools and from Student and Family Support and Engagement (SFSE), which provided a wealth of wraparound services, including Student Well-Being Teams. These teams work to reduce barriers to learning.
“The need to identify and support mental health challenges in the past year has been more important than ever,” said Ruschelle Reuben, associate superintendent of SFSE. “Our teams provide support and resources, and work with county partner agencies to ensure that student and family needs are met.”
Among other highlights of school performance:
- Paint Branch High School saw an increase of 5.3 percentage points in the graduation rate from the Class of 2018 to the Class of 2020. Gaithersburg High School had an increase of more than 4.8 percentage points for the same two-year period.
- Fourteen high schools saw a one-year increase in the graduation rate and four saw a consecutive increase over two years (Gaithersburg, Paint Branch, Poolesville and Thomas S. Wootton high schools).
- The highest graduation rates for the Class of 2020 are at Poolesville High School (99.3 percent); Thomas S. Wootton High School (97.7 percent); Northwest High School (96.0 percent) and Walt Whitman High School (96.0 percent).
“We are so proud of the accomplishments of our Class of 2020 graduates,” said Dr. Afie A. Mirshah-nayar, principal at Paint Branch. “This year presented challenges like no other, and our students deserve hearty congratulations for their achievements.”