58 percent of Chesterfield seniors earn more rigorous diploma

More Chesterfield County Public Schools seniors are graduating with an advanced studies diploma than at any point in a decade, according to information released by the Virginia Department of Education. Nearly 58 percent of Chesterfield County’s Class of 2017 graduated with a more rigorous advanced studies diploma.

Graduates must earn at least 26 credits to earn an advanced studies diploma in Virginia. Students must earn four English credits, four math credits, four science credits, four social studies credits, three foreign language credits, three elective credits, two health and physical education credits, a fine arts or career and technical education credit and an economics and personal finance credit. A standard diploma Virginia only requires 22 credits.

“Our teachers continue to create a strong, inviting classroom experience that allows our students to experience learning with real-world application,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “These interactive classrooms, a strong connection between teacher and student and rigorous coursework are preparing students for success in their futures.”

Overall, more than 90 percent of Chesterfield County Public Schools students who entered ninth grade in 2013 graduated in four years, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

At the school level, Matoaca High led the way with a 2-percentage point increase, improving to 93 percent from 91 percent. Both Midlothian and Cosby high schools have the highest percentage at 98 percent of students graduating on time.

Here are the 2017 on-time graduation rates for Chesterfield’s comprehensive high schools:

  • 98 percent at Cosby and Midlothian
  • 95 percent at Clover Hill
  • 94 percent Thomas Dale
  • 93 percent Monacan and Matoaca
  • 92 percent Manchester
  • 89 percent James River
  • 84 percent Bird and Meadowbrook

School division leadership has worked to put in place several plans to address a slight increase in the dropout rate, which rose to 6.5 percent from 5.9 percent.

“We strive to provide an innovative and relevant education that engages all of our students and instills in them the love of learning,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “We remain steadfast and focused on decreasing our dropout rate and increasing our on-time graduation rate, and we are asking principals to work closer with the middle schools in their feeder patterns since dropout trends begin to form in the seventh grade. We hope through our efforts, we will continue to increase the number of students graduating high school in four years.”

For more information, visit the school division’s School Quality Profile athttp://schoolquality.virginia.gov/divisions/chesterfield-county-public-schools.