Most Area Districts Exceed State Grad Rates

P-J file photo by Cameron Hurst

Roughly three-quarters of school districts in The Post-Journal’s readership area graduated at least 85% of their students in 2020.

The state Education Department has released graduation rates for the 2016 cohort, students who first entered ninth grade in New York’s public schools in 2016. The overall August graduation rate increased to 84.8%, up 1.4 percentage points from 83.4% for the 2015 cohort. The 2016 cohort graduation rate is 8% higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2007 cohort graduation rate was 76.8%.

The state Board of Regents and state Education Department relaxed rules for graduating seniors when the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close in March. The board allowed certain students to be exempt from the requirement to take a Regents exam at the end of their course of study, provided that each student passed the course. Exemptions applied to all seventh through 12th grade students and will have an impact on the graduation rates in the next few years.


Locally, Panama Central School led the way with 100% of its seniors graduating, followed by Randolph (99% with 1% receiving non-diploma credit), Bemus Point (98%), Clymer (96%) and Fredonia (96%).

The bottom five graduation rates belonged to Westfield Academy and Central School (80%), Salamanca (79%), Jamestown (74%), Dunkirk (71%) and Pine Valley (66%).


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