OCHS graduation rate over 99 percent

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File photo / Ocean City High School graduation rate for 2011 is over 99 percent. File photo / Ocean City High School graduation rate for 2011 is over 99 percent.

OCEAN CITY — According to data released by the New Jersey Department of Education on Wednesday, Ocean City High School boasts the highest graduation rate in the area at 99 percent, up from 97 percent last year.

“Wasn’t that wonderful?” Superintendent Kathleen Taylor said. “I’m very proud of the accomplishments of our students.”

More than 93,800 seniors graduated from public high schools in New Jersey in 2012, with a statewide average of 86 percent, up 3 percent from 2011. 

Ocean City finished ahead of The Atlantic County Institute of Technology at 97 percent, Egg Harbor Township at 93 percent, Mainland Regional at 92 percent, and Lacey Township at 90 percent.

The graduation rate is calculated using a new, federally-mandated formula, requiring cohorts of student to be tracked over a four-year period. The methodology, implemented last year, is intended to track students with greater accuracy.

New Jersey, Taylor said, remains ranked among the highest in the nation in graduation rates. Ocean City, she said, is among the best in the state.

“It’s pretty exciting to see that,” she said.

Taylor said a number of factors contributed to Ocean City’s two percentage point improvement, landing the district at the top of the ladder.

“We have higher expectations,” she said, adding that students have “risen to that expectation, met it and exceeded it.”

“Our students are taking education seriously,” she said. “They understand the importance of graduating on time. With our programs, we have set the bar high. We expect students to achieve and they do.”

Taylor credited the tremendous support of the community, beginning with the student’s families. Since students come to OCHS from the primary and intermediate schools on the island and, in various sending-receiving relationships, from Upper Township, Sea Isle City and Corbin City, Taylor said quite a number of professionals also had a hand in helping students to achieve.

She said students are encouraged and inspired to excel.

“There is a lot of encouragement,” she said. “The teachers work with the students, if someone is struggling they help them to be successful.

“The guidance counselors have been working diligently to ensure that students understand what’s required to graduate, and they help to keep them on track. The graduation rate speaks highly of the hard work of our students and our staff in supporting them.”

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