School board members received an update during their May 7 board meeting on last year’s graduation rates, which have soared past the state average. Walla Walla High School’s four-year graduation rate is 91 percent for the Class of 2018, which is 10 percent higher than the state average. Lincoln High School’s four-year rate is 85 percent, which represents a 15 percent improvement over the past five years and nearly 5 percent above the statewide mark. Wa-Hi has seen a seven percent increase over a five-year span and represents one of the highest rates in recent years, despite increased diploma rigor. The district’s overall graduation percentage is 83 percent, nearly reaching the Board’s 2022 strategic plan goal of 85 percent.
Graduation rates for Hispanic students at Wa-Hi have rocketed 11 percent above state averages to 86 percent. District-wide Hispanic rates have increased 15 percent increase over the last five years, nearly matching the graduation rate for all students.
This year’s statistics represent the last year that the Walla Walla Community College ran AEP Program, that accepts students from across the valley, will impact Walla Walla district-wide performance data.
“This is exceptional performance we should all be proud of as a community and school district,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Regardless of your role as teacher, neighbor, coach, business leader or support services staff, you all play a part in connecting, inspiring and supporting our students across the finish line.”
Board members also learned fewer district graduates who entered college are needing to take remedial courses based on National Student Clearinghouse data. This data target is also a strategic plan focus area for the School Board. Walla Walla Public Schools college enrollment numbers dipped slightly in students attending two and four year college institutions last year. However, the district still maintained more than 56 percent of its students attending post high school education and this figure does not include many of the trade school and other institutions not tracked by the College Clearinghouse.
“Our post-secondary enrollment and remediation rates also showed positive signs,” said Smith. “What was very impressive is that we saw the lowest remediation rates in history for our four-year college going students at eight percent, with the state average sitting at 12 percent. And, although we are still above the state average, we saw an 8 percent decrease in students taking remedial courses who attended two-year institutions.”