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Graduation rates are on the rise 

For the third consecutive year, Tulsa Public Schools has seen an increase in the number of students graduating from high school.

For the third consecutive year, Tulsa Public Schools has seen an increase in the number of students graduating from high school. During a recent meeting of the Tulsa Board of Education, the district announced a 76.9% graduation rate, an increase of more than four percentage points, for the class of 2017. 

"Earning a high school diploma is critical to post-secondary academic and personal success," said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist. "This is a milestone that changes the trajectory of a student's life. High school graduates have expanded educational and career opportunities and can even earn $10,000 more annually than those without a diploma." 

The district's four-year graduation trends are positive for the majority of schools. East Central High School saw an increase of nearly 17 percentage points between the classes of 2014 and 2017, while McLain High School's rate increased by 22 percentage points during that same time. Webster High School's graduation rate has increased by 24.3 percentage points from 2014 to 2017. 

Across the district, secondary school teams are working to track student progress toward graduation, developing personalized action plans to support the particular needs of each student, and staying in close touch with parents and families along the way. 

Webster High School Principal Shelly Holman said: "We meet as a team - our administrators, counselors, City Year corps members - anyone who can reach out and make a connection with a student that helps keep the student on track to graduate. We use a set of early warning indicators - attendance, behavior, and coursework - to identify students who need a champion to work directly with them to provide the supports that they need to be successful." 

Gist said: "This has been a collective labor of love by our students, parents, families, teachers, and school leaders. Our school teams have been relentless in identifying the challenges and barriers our students face and have worked collaboratively with families to make sure our kids get - and stay - on track to graduate. We're working to expand those practices that have proven successful and hope to continue this upward trend with the class of 2018."