Roaring Fork, Re-2 grad rates above state average
Area graduation rates for 2017
Roaring Fork Schools — 86.1 percent
Glenwood Springs High School – 89.8 percent
Roaring Fork High School – 92.9 percent
Basalt High School – 76.4 percent
Bridges High School – 77.4 percent
Garfield Re-2 Schools — 85.1 percent
Coal Ridge High School – 87.2 percent
Rifle High School – 83.6 percent
District 16/Grand Valley High School — 79.5 percent
*Source: Colorado Department of Education
Graduation rates for Garfield County high schools continued to exceed the state average last year, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Education in late January.
The on-time graduation rate for Roaring Fork School District high schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt was 86 percent in 2017. That’s 7 percent higher than Colorado’s four-year rate of 79 percent.
Likewise, the graduation rate for Garfield Re-2 high schools, including Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools, was 85.1 percent.
And, Garfield District 16’s Grand Valley High School recorded a 2017 on-time graduation rate just over the state average, at 79.5 percent.
For the Roaring Fork Schools, the data also shows that the district’s major subgroups of students — white, Hispanic, male, and female — are graduating at higher rates than their statewide peers.
“We have a lot to celebrate with this data,” said Rob Stein, superintendent of Roaring Fork Schools. “Graduation rates are some of the most powerful indicators of our success as a school district, especially when factoring demographic subgroups.
“This data shows that we’re doing something right, in making our schools places where kids want to be and following up when there are attendance problems.”
The state data also includes the recapture rate for students taking longer than four years to complete high school.
In the Roaring Fork District, the graduation rate for students taking an extra one or two years ranges from 85 percent to 87 percent.
In Garfield Re-2, the graduation rate for five-year high school students is 89.1 percent, and for District 16 the rate is 87.5 percent for students taking five years.
CDE also released dropout rates for 2017. Roaring Fork Schools are on par with the state at a 2.3 percent dropout rate. That’s a positive trend from the district’s 2.7 percent dropout rate in 2016. However, Stein cautioned against putting too much stock in the dropout rate.
“The dropout rate varies greatly year to year,” he said. “A dropout who comes back is then included in the graduation numbers, making our graduation rate the better measure of how well we’re succeeding.
“I also wonder if fluctuations in the dropout rate might be due to factors such as immigration enforcement,” Stein said. “We should be careful about not reading too much into what might be slight fluctuation in very small numbers.”
Garfield Re-2 and Garfield District 16 recorded even lower dropout rates for 2017 than their upvalley counterpart, at 1.8 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.