01STOCK_SCHOOL_2

JANESVILLE

The Janesville School District’s four-year graduation rate fell 1 percentage point during the 2017-18 school year, meaning slightly fewer students received diplomas in the traditional four-year schedule.

The graduation rate was 88.4 percent in 2017-18, down from 89.4 percent in 2016-17. That’s slightly below the 2017-18 state average of 89.6 percent, according to a school district news release issued Tuesday.

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Over the last four years, the district’s graduation rate has remained fairly steady, varying by a percentage point or two.

One of the district’s five “promises” is to increase the graduation rate to 92 percent by 2022. The promises are a set of five-year goals in areas such as academics, finance and school climate.

In the release, Superintendent Steve Pophal said the schools were “positioned well to deliver on that promise.”

The overall graduation rate includes graduation rates for three of the district’s four charter schools and Craig and Parker high schools. Rock River Charter School students receive Craig or Parker diplomas, so its graduation rates are rolled in with those schools.

Over the past five years, Craig’s graduation percentages have routinely been in the mid 90s. Parker’s have been in the low to mid 90s.

Allison DeGraaf, district director of learning and innovation, said the schools tackle graduation rates in a variety of ways.

By looking at attendance data, staff can target individual students who are missing so many days of school that they are falling significantly behind. That goes on at all grade levels. Principals or counselors might take that one step further and visit the student’s home to connect with the family.

A big piece of the puzzle is making sure students feel connected at school, DeGraaf said. That connection could be academic, social or with a teacher.

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