Newport News On-Time Graduation Rate increases, continues to top state average

Posted: October 6, 2022

Newport News Public Schools' graduation rate increased to 95.8% with the Class of 2022. The school division's on-time graduation rate increased from 94.5% in 2021 and has increased significantly from 72.9% in 2008. During the same period, the dropout rate decreased from 12% to less than 1% (.9%) in 2022 according to data posted by the Virginia Department of Education.

The Class of 2022 faced the unexpected closure of schools during their sophomore year, successfully adapted to virtual and hybrid learning in their junior year, and persevered to complete their graduation requirements on time in four years.

NNPS' on-time graduation rate is higher than the state average of 92.1% and the NNPS dropout rate is lower than the state average of 5.2%. The school division's overall student completion rate, which includes students who have earned a diploma or a GED in four years, is 97.5%.

The Class of 2022 was accepted into 120 colleges, universities and military academies and earned more than $55 million in scholarships and academic awards. Forty-five percent of the Class of 2022 graduated with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and the graduates earned over 2,000 industry and career certifications.

"I am extremely proud of the Class of 2022. They are testaments to hard work, dedication and perseverance. They have truly shown us what it means to be college, career and citizen-ready," said Dr. George Parker, Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools. "I am also grateful to our teachers and staff. They work diligently every day to ensure that all students graduate on time equipped with the skills and tools they need for successful futures."

The on-time graduation rate monitors a cohort of high school students entering ninth grade and assesses the graduation and dropout rates of these students four years later. The 2022 on-time graduation and dropout rates monitored students who entered ninth grade in the 2018-2019 school year. Seventeen students in the cohort are still enrolled in school, giving them an opportunity to complete graduation requirements during the 2022-2023 school year.

More NNPS students are graduating in four years

By keeping the focus on college and career readiness, NNPS' graduation rate has consistently increased and remained above the state average. In 2008, the on-time (four-year) graduation rate was 72.9% and the dropout rate was 12%; that same year, the school division established a national award-winning dropout prevention and recovery program. Newport News Public Schools has an array of programs and services to help students graduate on time, including online courses, summer learning opportunities, an evening high school program, and graduation coaches who identify, mentor and develop academic success plans for students. In addition, NNPS offers students more options to meet graduation requirements, including online and college-credit courses.

Graduation rates at Newport News high schools remain high: Achievable Dream maintains a 100% graduation rate. Rates increased at all other high schools.

  • Achievable Dream High School's graduation rate is 100% for the seventh straight year
  • Denbigh High School's graduation rate is 96.3%, up from 95.6% in 2021
  • Heritage High School's graduation rate is 94.2%, a slight increase from 94.1%
  • Menchville High School's graduation rate is 96.9%, a slight increase from 96.8% in 2021
  • Warwick High School's graduation rate is 93.4%, an increase of nearly three percentage points from last year (90.7%)
  • Woodside High School's graduation rate is 96.7%, two percentage points over 2021's rate of 94.6%

Dropout rates remain low at all high schools, well below state average of 5.2%.

  • Denbigh High School's dropout rate is .4%
  • Heritage High School's dropout rate is .4%
  • Menchville High School's dropout rate is .3%
  • The dropout rate for Warwick High School is 2.7%
  • Woodside High School's dropout rate is .7%

District Highlights:

  • NNPS' efforts to increase on-time graduation rates resulted in averages higher than the state average in most student subgroups (Black students, white students, Hispanic students, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students and English learners).
  • The dropout rates for all NNPS student subgroups are lower than the state's average dropout rates for the same subgroups.
  • The completion rates for all NNPS student subgroups are higher than the state's average completion rates for each of the subgroups.
  • NNPS graduation rates continue to remain above the state average.

Numerous Student Options, Graduation Coaches and Attendance Officers Ensure Student Success

NNPS students have numerous options to advance learning and exceed the state requirements for graduation. Dozens of required and elective classes are available online, afterschool and during the summer, giving students more flexibility.

Graduation coaches and attendance officers are assigned to each high school to identify, assist, encourage, and connect students at risk of not graduating with the options and resources they need to be successful. In addition, graduation coaches work with ninth-grade students to ensure a smooth transition to high school.

Graduation coaches assist in the successful transition of all students in Newport News Public Schools and provide early intervention services to support endangered students by:

  • Identifying seniors who have passed fewer than six Standards of Learning Tests and are endangered through absenteeism or behavioral issues
  • Identifying freshmen who need additional support during the school year and providing resources to assist them
  • Developing positive working relationships with faculty, staff, parents and community partners involved in the student's success
  • Analyzing data from standardized tests to help in planning alternative courses for endangered students

Attendance Officers are a valuable part of the support team who encourages students to attend school every day:

  • Identifying students who miss school and preparing resources to ensure daily attendance   
  • Locating and connecting with students who have dropped out of school and creating a plan to ensure they re-enroll and receive the supports they need to graduate on time
  • Working with families and community partners to remove barriers for non-attendance