Before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Southern Nevada, Clark County high school graduation rats were rising. In 2017, the rate was 80% and it had reached 84% in 2019.
But in 2020, it dropped slightly due to the pandemic to 82%, according to the Nevada Department of Education. Before when rates were increasing in 2017, they were in the 60% to 70% range.
The Clark County School District has made some changes to improve their graduation rates with academic policies, but there is still room for improvement, as Nevada still ranks 41st in graduation rates.
There are some more changes CCSD should make to continue to make sure they are on an upward trend for their graduation rates coming out of the pandemic.
Before the graduation rates dropped they were increasing for four straight years. CCSD in the past had bad graduation rates. They one time were ranked last in graduation rates and their academic policies were not doing great either.
But CCSD resolved it by having four consecutive years of having increased graduation rates. Graduation rates dropped because of the pandemic in 2020 that occurred. Students went virtual after spring break and they were still virtual in the fall and half of 2021.
With students going virtual, students were suffering academically. Some students of low income did not have a laptop or WiFi and couldn’t do their school from home but schools decided to offer students laptops and WiFi.
There would be students who did not pay attention in class being virtual because of distractions at home or they would be lazy to do school work. students wouldn’t do their schoolwork or join the class.
To improve graduation rates for CCSD there are some things that they need to do. At Bonanza High School, they decided to add an extra period to improve the graduation rate. The principal at this school, Joe Petri mentioned that there will be pros and cons of adding the extra class.
Petri’s innovative approach shows that he cares about students being successful. Petri said that he got the staff involved in his research. One of the teachers, Breanna Hubbard, said it’s about giving students opportunities and opening as many doors as possible for them before they graduate.
That changed helped raise Bonanza’s graduation rate from 74% to 92% in two years. Thus showing a change in a school can improve graduation rates
In North Carolina research was conducted on 23 high schools that had improved over the past five years. These schools changed multiple policies to improve overall education particularly with their suspension policy.
Changing the suspension policy was another reason it helped graduation rates increase. Doing this resulted in how students behaved due to the stricter policies and rules. Research showed improvement in the school’s academic support and school and classroom environment.
With the faculty helping students with academics and change in the atmospherics it will make it better for the students. Some other things they did were “teachers having engaging lessons and high expectations, close monitoring of students, giving students more chances to succeed.”
With teachers doing this, students are being watched so that they succeed because they don’t want any student to fail because they will help that student that is failing, not doing great, or struggling.
Graduation rates have affected many students by their race, gender, and the neighborhoods they live in. This one article said that Asian student’s graduation rate dropped by 3.5%. Asian student’s graduation rate was 93.5%, according to a study done by the Nevada Independent.
White student’s graduation rate was 84.6%. Pacific islander student’s graduation rate was 85%. Multi race student’s graduation rate was 85%. Hispanic student’s graduation rate was 81.3 %. And Alaska native student’s graduation rate was 74.4% which stayed the same.
Gender and neighborhoods affected graduation rates. For females, the graduation rate was 76% and for men, it was 68%. According to Clark County High School. This shows that females are more successful and smarter than males.
So the neighborhoods in Nevada that are at or above USA graduation rates range between 82% to 100%. The areas in Las Vegas are the southwest, southeast, and northwest. Then the neighborhoods that are at or above Clark County graduation rates which are in the range of 74% to 81% are parts of central Las Vegas, part of the west side closer to the south, and parts of the north.
And finally, the areas in Las Vegas that are below Clark County graduation rates are in the range of 0% to 73%. Those parts in Las Vegas are on the east side, part of central Las Vegas, and part in the northeast.
Multiple staff members of the CCSD board have said what they think about graduation rates.
“This is a huge achievement by all teachers, support professionals and administrators from elementary to high school who have worked together to make CCSD ‘#1 For Kids.’” CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara said in a statement back in 2018. “While we celebrate this success of increasing the rate by 2 percentage points in one year, we are focusing all of our efforts to ensure all kids graduate ready for college and career.”
CCSD will work hard on instructions by helping and supporting every student. They said that graduation rates were one thing they will focus on and monitor closely to help students prepare for college and careers.
Chief student achievement officer Dr. Mike Barton said that CCSD is happy to see graduation rates increase. With CCSD being happy it means that they have made improvements. Jhone Ebert, who is the state superintendent, was shockingly surprised by the graduation rates. The biggest factors were that schools did various things to improve the rate. It impacted certain races, neighborhoods, and genders, and multiple CCSD board staff thought that there needed to be improvements. CCSD needs to continue working on its graduation rates so they can get back to the positive trend they were heading in before the pandemic.
This article was submitted by a student who is not affiliated with the newspaper as part of an assignment for a class. This article was reviewed by the Scarlet and Gray staff, and approved for publishing.