New graduation rate calculations confirm Stillwater students are doing well

February 28, 2018
Students with diplomas

Graduation rates in the Stillwater Area Public Schools may look a bit different moving forward than they have in the past. As Minnesota implements the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), its approach to calculating graduation rates is changing. The biggest change is in how students are identified by racial/ethnic groups. As per federal guidelines there are now seven racial/ethnic categories as opposed to the previous five.

The state will also begin recording seven year graduation rates in addition to the previously recorded four, five, and six year rates. This ensures all graduates are accurately counted, including those who finish high school in the typical four years as well as those who are enrolled in specialized programming until the age of 21.

In 2017, based on the new calculations, 88.9 percent of students graduated from the Stillwater district in four years and 94.7 percent in seven years. Stillwater continues to see graduation rates higher than the state average, especially when considering the seven-year rate. Stillwater provides many opportunities for students to receive support and education beyond their traditional senior year of high school.

Because the formulas used to calculate graduation rates are changing, rates using the new calculation should not be directly compared to graduation rates using the previous calculation. The state has gone back and recalculated graduation data from 2012 to provide districts with comparable information for five years. All of this information is available on the state’s School Report Card website.