Local high schools boast state’s highest graduation rates

According to a report released by the State Dept. of Education, the 2010-11 graduating classes of both Lovell and Rocky Mountain High Schools acheived the highest graduation rates in the state. Lovell High School had the highest graduation rate in the state with 92.68 percent. RMHS came in second at 92 percent.

“Since 2004-05 Lovell High School has exceeded the state average of an 80 percent graduation rate,” said Big Horn County School District No. 2 Supt. Dan Coe. “The reasons I believe LHS is a high performing school with a graduation rate that far exceeds the state average is the dedication, commitment, expertise and hard work of Mr. Scott O’Tremba and his staff. They have worked hard to clearly identify and implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum that advances student success. They also develop positive working relationships with each student with the goal that every student will graduate. Another contributing factor to this high graduation rate is a team effort working toward student success starting in kindergarten in Big Horn No. 2 with the board, administrators, staff, students and parents.”

According to Coe, Wyoming graduation rates are calculated using a federal formula required of all states. Essentially, the formula takes into account all incoming ninth-graders that graduate in four years minus any transfers that can be tracked to another accredited school. If a ninth-grade student is still in the school four years later, and does not graduate with his original classmates, he is counted as a non-graduate. Any student who can’t be tracked as having transferred to another accredited school is counted as a drop-out. All students who do not graduate with their class count against a school’s graduation record. The state then compares individual schools and districts across the state.

In 2011, 5,468 of the 6,857 high school seniors in the state of Wyoming graduated on time. In District No. 2 Lovell High School had 38 of 41 seniors graduate with their class. In District No. 1, which includes both Rocky Mountain High School and Burlington High School, 46 out of 50 seniors graduated with their class.

“We have great teachers in our district who pay attention to kids who are struggling,” said Big Horn County School District No. 1 curriculum director Patrice Riley. “We also have great intervention programs to keep kids in school. What it boils down to is great staff, great kids and wonderful parents who are willing to participate.”

By Patti Carpenter