MAYO — The Lafayette County School District is ranked No. 1 in the state.

For the second straight year, Lafayette County has posted the highest graduation rate in Florida, graduating 98.8% of its students in 2018-19. In 2017-18, the district’s graduation rate was 97.4%.

“This is an accomplishment we can all take pride in,” Superintendent Robby Edwards said of the graduation rates released last week by the Florida Department of Education.

Made with Flourish

Edwards said credit for the district’s ongoing success is wide-ranging. It extends beyond Lafayette High School to Lafayette Elementary School as well as to the support of the entire community.

“I would like to first recognize Mr. Stewart Hancock, principal at Lafayette High School,” Edwards said. “The success LHS has seen under Mr. Hancock’s leadership has certainly raised the bar. I would also like to recognize the teachers and staff at LHS who go to great lengths to ensure all students are provided every opportunity to earn their high school diploma.”

In addition to the stellar graduation rate — LHS graduated 77 of the 78 students in its cohort this past spring — Lafayette High has achieved an ‘A’ grade the past two years in the state’s school grades released annually. So have Lafayette Elementary and the district, which totaled the second-highest overall score in the school grades released in July 2018 followed by the fifth-best score this past summer.

“District level personnel responsible for planning and support are focus on student success,” Edwards said, continuing to provide credit to the many stakeholders. “The teachers and administration at Lafayette Elementary have provided students with a strong foundation to build on. Parents should be commended for their continuous support of our students and schools.

“To our coaches, sponsors, counselors and all the many other people who have poured themselves into our students, Thank you!”

The state’s graduation rate increased for the 13th consecutive year, reaching 86.9%. The state’s graduation rate was just 58.8% in 2005-06.

The graduation rate measures the percentage of students who graduate within four years of their first enrollment in ninth grade. The rate is calculated for an adjusted cohort of students — a group of students on the same schedule to graduate — taking into account those who enter or exit the group.

Jamie Wachter is the editor of the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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