FCPS Graduation Rates Reach Record High for the Class of 2021 

News
October 01, 2021

Graduation rates released by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) indicate that 94.6% of Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) students in the class of 2021 graduated on time, up from 93% in 2020. FCPS’ 2021 graduation rate exceeded the statewide on-time graduation rate.

Class of 2021 outcomes reflect tangible movement in closing achievement gaps. Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, and English Learner students, are three groups among which FCPS has historically had the largest gaps. Although FCPS recognizes it still has some way to go to close the gaps completely, all three groups had notable improvements for both on-time graduation and dropout rates.

“The class of 2021 faced incredible challenges during their senior year, from starting off the year with virtual instruction, to missed time with friends and family. Still, they persevered and reached a new level of success,’” said Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “These results also reflect the commitment of our teachers, school leaders, and support staff to ensure equitable access to resources so that all of our students can achieve the ultimate goal of graduation.”

Change in Graduation and Dropout Rates, 3-Year Change

 

On-Time Graduation Rate*

Dropout Rate**

Student Group

2019

2020

2021

Change

2019

2020

2021

Change

All 

91.2%

93.0%

94.6%

3.4

7.3%

6.2%

4.7%

-2.6

Asian

97.8%

98.3%

98.8%

1.0

1.6%

1.2%

0.8%

-0.8

Black

93.2%

95.9%

96.0%

2.8

4.8%

2.8%

2.7%

-2.1

Hispanic

74.6%

79.2%

83.7%

9.1

22.6%

19.7%

15.2%

-7.4

White

98.1%

98.6%

98.6%

0.5

1.1%

0.9%

0.9%

-0.2

Two or More Races

96.4%

97.6%

98.2%

1.8

2.1%

1.9%

1.2%

-0.9

Economically Disadvantaged

86.2%

89.9%

93.1%

6.9

11.5%

8.7%

5.8%

-5.7

English Learners

67.4%

72.5%

76.6%

9.2

30.2%

26.7%

22.6%

-7.6

Students with Disabilities

92.1%

94.8%

94.8%

2.7

6.5%

4.7%

4.4%

-2.1

  * Positive change in On-Time Graduation Rate demonstrates progress toward a goal of 100 percent. 

** Negative change in Dropout Rate demonstrates progress toward a goal of 0 percent. 

 

More FCPS students also earned Advanced Studies diplomas, from 66.6% of total graduates in 2019 to 68.5% in 2021, and a reduction in students relying on the Applied Studies diploma for on-time graduation, from 2.2% of total graduates in 2019 to 1.2% in 2021.

Continuation of state flexibility for graduation rates contributed to these high graduation rates for the class of 2021. Emergency guidelines from the state Board of Education provided additional options for students to verify credits for successful coursework, and the state superintendent of education extended waivers for certain assessment-dependent graduation requirements. This flexibility reduced barriers and supported students to meet their graduation goals. Targeted school support structures, including funding of school-based on-time graduation coordinators, were other factors contributing to strong graduation rates and lower dropout rates in the class of 2021.

Detailed on-time graduation rate information for the division and individual schools can be accessed through the “College and Career Readiness” tab within the Virginia School Quality Profiles and the Virginia Cohort Reports issued annually by the VDOE.

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For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200