WEST PALM BEACH — The graduation rate for the Class of 2020 in Palm Beach County’s District-operated schools climbed to 94.4%, according to the Florida Department of Education. This rate represents a sharp increase from the 91.6% graduation rate in 2019.
The School District’s graduation rate, which was released on Jan. 7, continues to outpace the State’s average of 90%.
Twenty-two of the district’s high schools have a graduation rate of 90% or higher.
Lake Worth Community High School earned a 12.3% increase to 91.1%, Palm Beach Gardens Community High School achieved a 6.3% gain to 96.7%, and Palm Beach Lakes Community High School showed a 4.7% increase to 87.8%. Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts had a 100% graduation rate. Village Academy had the largest single-year increase of 18.7% to achieve a 100% graduation rate.
The District also continues closing the achievement gap. The number of black student graduates jumped by 5%, Hispanic students by 2.7%, and white students by 1.3%.
Also notable is the 23.5% increase in the graduation rate among English Language Learners (ELLs) and Students with Disabilities (SWD) which increased by 16.3%. Free or Reduced Lunch (FRL) students’ rate increased by 11.5%.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our students, teachers, and school administrators,” said Superintendent Donald Fennoy. “Our challenge now, in this time of COVID, is maintaining this level of success. As a district, we will continue to work in the best interest of our students and make up for any lost ground to elevate our future graduating classes.”
The 94.4% district graduation rate does not include charter schools operated in Palm Beach County. The graduation rate for all schools, inclusive of charter schools, increased to 90.2%, from 87.1% last year.
Across the State, the overall 2020 graduation rate of 90% showed a 9.3% increase over the last five years, according to the Florida Department of Education.
The FY20 Federal High School Graduation rate includes standard diplomas but excludes special diplomas and General Education Diplomas (GEDs). When comparing the 2019-20 graduation rate to prior years, it is important to note that pursuant to Florida Department of Education Emergency Order No. 2020-EO-1, students in the 2019-20 graduating class were exempt from statewide, standardized assessment requirements stipulated in s. 1003.4282, F.S.
For more information on the district’s graduation rates, including a school-by-school listing of graduation rates, read the Executive Summary.
The school district’s goal is to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 if it is safe to do so. For a schedule of the graduation ceremony dates, visit https://www.palmbeachschools.org.
In 2020, nearly 160,000 people in 30 countries watched the virtual graduations of the Class of 2020, which consisted of 14,000 Palm Beach County School District students. The 32 separate and unique commencement ceremonies were broadcast on the School District’s YouTube channel, as well as on The Education Network.