Edmonds School District graduation rates reach record levels

Graduation rates in the Edmonds School District are at their highest levels ever.

Six years ago, about 67.5 percent of students graduated high school. Now it’s up to 83.6 percent for on-time graduation, and 93.3 percent for students who took more than four years.

District officials credit a more targeted approach to reach at-risk students. They cite an example at Lynnwood High School.

Two years ago, Kelly Land joined counselors and others staff members to identify a few dozen incoming freshmen who they believed faced the possibility of not graduating. They discussed what help was needed so these students could have a chance at being successful in high school.

“We make every effort we can,” said Land, the Student Support Advocate for both Lynnwood High and Alderwood Middle School, which feeds into LHS. “We ask, ‘How can we support this student?’”

Lorenzo Carreon was one of those students. “In seventh grade I lost motivation and by eighth I plummeted,” he said. “I lost good study skills.”

“Lorenzo is a very polite, respectful kid, but as a freshman, he was very, very quiet. His issue was self-confidence; he needed academic support in 9th grade,” Counselor Larry Wilson said. “He fell into a pattern of poor grades in middle school because he did not know how to advocate for himself, until he learned that skill. He works pretty hard to get the grades he now gets.”

Lorenzo said the extra math support built into the school day, as well as a Reading Block class he had during freshman and sophomore years are huge factors in why he’s now successful. He’s on track to graduate in 2012 and is planning on attending community college for two years and then transferring to a university.

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