Four-year graduation rates for Westminster Public Schools class of 2018 increased an impressive ten percent, according to data released on Jan. 16 by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The increase is the highest of any school district in the metro area.
The four-year rate for Westminster High School (WHS) graduates improved to 79.1 percent compared to 69.8 percent in 2017, while rates at Hidden Lake High School (HLHS), the district’s alternative high school, increased from 20.4 percent to 33.1 percent.
Five-year graduation rates also showed continued improvement, which is consistent with a Competency Based Education approach that places an emphasis on mastery of content as opposed to seat time. The five-year rate at WHS is 82.3 percent and 41.8 percent at HLHS.
“The improved graduation rates are further evidence of our continued academic improvement and the value of a Competency Based System,” said Superintendent Pam Swanson. “It’s not enough to have students walk across the stage and receive a diploma. It is just as important to have a system in place that provides flexibility so some students can graduate early while others can take the needed time to acquire the skills needed for the day after graduation."
In addition, WHS’s dropout rate of two percent was below the state average for the second consecutive year. HLHS’s dropout rate declined from 17 percent to 16.6 percent.
CDE has created interactive tools and maps to better illustrate how the graduation and dropout rates look across the state as well as a detailed breakdown by ethnicity and race.