- Teaching for Learning
Grad Rate Reaches All Time High
Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) graduation rate has reached its all-time high in recent history with 86.2 percent for the class of 2018. Each of the four comprehensive high schools and TAF@Saghalie experienced an increase. The district’s graduation rates have risen steadily for six years in a row.
From 2012 to 2018, the district’s four-year cohort graduation rates have increased by a total of 16 points. FWPS is a leader in the region, and is surpassing the state average in graduation rates and college enrollment.
“One of the most important things a school district does is graduate its scholars, ensuring they are ready to succeeed in their pursuit of post secondary opporuntities,” said Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell. “The steady increase in graduation rates in FWPS shows us that we are making gains toward Goal 5 of our strategic plan.”
Three years ago, Superintendent Campbell launched a vision for a Graduation Assurance Committee comprised of high school principals and central office staff. The committee’s role is to consistently monitor students who are not on track to graduate and through partnerships with students and families, create supports to ensure the students are on track to persist to graduation.
The district is continuously using data to track each scholar’s progress. This includes monitoring credit accrual beginning in the ninth grade, which is also a measure of progress with Goal 5 of the district’s strategic plan. Ninth grade scholars on-track for high school graduation continues to increase from year-to-year. In the 2017-18 school year, 87 percent of ninth graders were on track to graduate, up six percentage points from the 2015-16 to 2017-18 school years.
Tracking this metric is important since “9th graders who end the year on track are four times more likely to graduate than their off track peers. This early warning indicator is a sign that a student is facing challenges in their life that need support,” according to Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The district is also seeing success for scholars after they graduate. For two consecutive years, FWPS has outperformed the state average with the percent of scholars who enroll in two- or four-year college programs. The Education Research & Data Center’s most current data for the class of 2016 shows FWPS at 63 percent, surpassing the state average of 59 percent. For two consecutive years, Todd Beamer High School outperformed the state average by a full 10 percentage points with 69 percent for the class of 2016, and reached 70 percent for the class of 2015.
All of these efforts are specific measures targeted in the district’s strategic plan Goal 5, Persistence to Graduation: High School Graduation Through Successful Transitions. From kindergarten through twelfth grade, FWPS is advancing a college-going and career focused culture with the belief that every scholar can achieve their dreams.