3 area high schools ace graduation; BCSC drops slightly

Hauser Jr.-Sr. High School graduated all 56 of its seniors last year for a 100 percent rate, up from 93.2 a year earlier.

The announcement — which drew a strong round of applause during Hope’s Dec. 29 State of the Town address — was officially reported Thursday by the Indiana Department of Education with the release of statewide graduation rates.

For the sixth consecutive year, two private schools serving the Columbus area recorded a 100 percent graduation rate.

Trinity Lutheran High School awarded diplomas to all 36 seniors last year, while Columbus Christian graduated all 7 of its seniors.

Leaders at both private schools have long attributed small class sizes and individualized student attention as reasons for their non-existent dropout rates.

The graduation rate for the county’s largest school district, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., dropped slightly last year, the state reported.

For the class of 2016, 90 percent of BCSC seniors graduated, compared to 91.4 percent the previous year. Across the BCSC district, 719 students received diplomas from a potential total of 799.

Columbus North had a 90.1 percent graduation rate in 2016, while Columbus East recorded an 89.9 percent rate. The prior year, North had a graduation rate of 92.1 percent, while East’s rate was 90.5 percent.

Graduation rates will always vary from year to year, just like Scholastic Aptitude Tests or other measurements, BCSC superintendent Jim Roberts said.

With the goal of maintaining a 90 percent or higher graduation rate annually, the Columbus-based school district will utilize the newest data in ongoing efforts to consistently improve the overall rate over the next five years, Roberts said.

“What we really want to focus on is consistency in performance,” the superintendent said.

All local public and private schools exceeded the state average of 89 percent, up just 78 percent in 2006.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.