Waynesboro Public Schools’ graduation rate for 2019 falls just below the state rate, but Augusta County Schools students are graduating at a higher rate.

Graduation rates were released Tuesday across Virginia, where the state rate stands at 91.5 percent.

Waynesboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cassell said that the school system’s graduation rates have improved every year for the past five years.

The school system’s graduation rate is now at 89 percent, with a drop-out rate of 5.6 percent.

Graduation rates exclude students who earn a GED and who do not finish high school in four years.

“Whenever we have a trend I think it shows sustainability,” said Cassell.

Augusta County Schools’ graduation rate is 92.8.

“Although we are proud that we have maintained a consistent on-time graduation rate and a low drop-out rate, both surpassing the state average, we realize we still have work to do,” said Augusta County Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric W. Bond in a statement.

The school system’s drop-out rate is 2.6 percent.

The school system’s “ultimate goal is to have every student graduate,” whether they graduate in four or more years, Bond said.

The school system’s primary mission, Bond said, is for students to graduate with “high school diplomas and skills to be contributing members of the workforce and community.”

“Our current success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, our students and families,” he said.

Staunton City Schools reported a rate of 90.4 percent on Tuesday.

According to a press release from the school system, this year’s percentage is 13 points higher than 10 years ago.

The city’s drop-out rate is 5 percent.

More than half of Staunton City Schools’ students graduate with an Advanced Studies diploma, the press release stated.

“When students come into our preschool and kindergarten classrooms, we are already thinking about their graduation,” said Staunton City Schools Executive Director of Instruction Stephanie Haskins in the press release.

This year, Staunton City’s elementary schools welcomed the Class of 2032.

“Throughout their years in Staunton City Schools, we are preparing students for life – engaging them in the types of thinking and problem solving that will allow them to be effective and productive citizens and life-long learners,” Haskins said.

Graduating high school “is an important milestone” in preparing students for success.

She said that school staff at all grade levels “celebrate the accomplishments of our recent graduates.”

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