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District 196 graduation rate remains high, but gaps between groups persist
District 196 graduation rate remains high, but gaps between groups persist

The four-year graduation rate for District 196 students as a whole stayed the same in 2022 at 88.5% and remained almost 5% higher than the statewide rate, according to graduation data released by the Minnesota Department of Education April 25. The data also shows that gaps persist in District 196 and statewide between the graduation rates for White students and other groups of students.

Of the 2,183 District 196 seniors included in the 2022 graduation data, 1,993 (88.5%) graduated in four years, the same as the district’s four-year rate in 2021. Statewide in 2022, the graduation rate for all students increased 0.2% to 83.6%.

The state goal by 2025 is for all school districts to have a graduation rate of at least 90% for all students and at least 85% for each group of students. In 2022, District 196 exceeded the state average for each of the student groups and met the state goal for Asian and White students, and students who are two or more races. In District 196 in 2022:

  • 70.8% of American Indian/Alaskan Native students graduated compared to 61.1% statewide;
  • 90.8% of Asian students graduated compared to 87.3% statewide;
  • 84.2% of Black students graduated compared to 73.5% statewide;
  • 70.6% of Hispanic students graduated compared to 69.3% statewide;
  • 92.2% of White students graduated compared to 88.5% statewide;
  • 89.7% of students who are of two or more races graduated compared to 79.2% statewide;
  • 66.7% of students receiving English Learner services graduated compared to 65.0% statewide;
  • 67.3% of students receiving special education services graduated compared to 65.6% statewide, and
  • 73.3% of students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals graduated compared to 71.1% statewide.

The 2021-22 school year was the second full school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who graduated in the Class of 2022 were in 10th grade when the pandemic started in spring 2020 and were juniors in 2020-21, the school year most disrupted by shifting learning models and limited in-person learning. A larger-than-normal number of high school students struggled during the pandemic years and fell behind on credits needed for graduation. Director of Secondary Education Michael Bolsoni said District 196 high schools increased focus on credit recovery work during the pandemic and continue to support students who need to make up credits to get back on track for graduation. 

The state also shared seven-year graduation rates as part of its annual release of graduation data. The seven-year rate for District 196 in 2022 was 95.2%, up just slightly from 2021 but 4% higher than the districts’ four-year rate in 2019 when some of these students could have first graduated. The 4% difference represents students who did not graduate in 2019 or later but did earn their high school diploma in 2022. Similarly, the seven-year rate of 87.3% for special education students in 2022 is 21.3% higher than the four-year graduation rate for special education students in 2019.