On-Time Graduation Rate Increases for the FCPS Class of 2020

News Release
September 30, 2020

Graduation rates released by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) indicate that 93.0 percent of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students in the class of 2020 graduated on time, up from 91.2 percent in 2019. The on-time graduation rate for the state in 2020 was 92.3 percent compared with 91.5 percent in 2019.

 “I am thrilled by this news as it shows the tremendous commitment of our families, teachers, school leaders, and support staff,” said Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand.  “It reflects the success of interventions we have in place to keep students in school and support them through high school to graduation.  We remain fully committed to ensuring that every student has equitable access to the resources and support necessary to reach graduation in preparation for college and career.”

Overall success highlights for the class of 2020 include:
•    FCPS seniors earning Advanced Studies diplomas increased to 61.2 percent and remains substantially above the statewide outcome of 51.8 percent. 
•    The division dropout rate fell to 6.2 percent, down from 7.4 percent in 2019. 

Success in closing achievement gaps is also apparent in class of 2020 outcomes, with students in the Black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, English learner, and students with disabilities groups improving to a greater degree than the division a whole in both on-time graduation rates and dropout rates. Additionally, Black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged groups increased the rate of Advanced Studies diplomas more than the division overall.  

Student Group

On-Time Graduation

Advanced Studies Diploma

Dropout

2019

2020

Change

2019

2020

Change

2019

2020

Change*

All

91.2%

93.0%

1.8%

60.8%

61.2%

0.4%

7.4%

6.2%

-1.2%

Asian

97.8%

98.3%

0.5%

79.4%

79.0%

-0.4%

1.6%

1.2%

-0.4%

Black

93.2%

95.9%

2.7%

46.6%

47.8%

1.2%

4.8%

2.8%

-2.0%

Hispanic

74.6%

79.2%

4.6%

31.8%

32.7%

0.9%

22.7%

19.7%

-3.0%

White

98.1%

98.6%

0.5%

74.1%

74.2%

0.1%

1.1%

0.9%

-0.2%

Econ Dis

86.2%

89.9%

3.7%

36.2%

37.3%

1.0%

11.5%

8.7%

-2.8%

EL

67.4%

72.5%

5.1%

15.1%

14.8%

-0.4%

30.3%

26.7%

-3.6%

SWD

92.2%

94.8%

2.6%

16.8%

17.2%

0.4%

6.5%

4.7%

-1.8%

 

Because school closures limited student access to diploma requirements, the Virginia superintendent of education waived certain requirements for graduating seniors who had successfully completed all standard course requirements. This decisive action eliminated barriers and supported students to meet their graduation goals across the commonwealth. Nonetheless, gains in FCPS reflect not only the impact of state waivers but also long-term investment in high school program enhancements for English learners and strategic school support structures designed and implemented collaboratively by the FCPS Office of School Support and Office of Counseling and College and Career Readiness. 

Virginia’s on-time graduation rate reports the percentage of students in a senior cohort who earned a state Board of Education-approved diploma within four years. This year’s on-time graduates are students who entered ninth grade for the first time during the 2016-17 school year and earned a diploma by August 2020. The calculation reflects longitudinal student-level outcomes, taking into account student mobility, changes in student enrollment, and academic needs of students with disabilities and English learners

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