*Press release issued by Syracuse City School District

The Syracuse City School District graduation rate has reached a historic high, according to data released this week by the New York State Department of Education.

The 2016 cohort – students who began high school in 2016 – completed high school with a four-year graduation rate of 70.7 percent. This is a record high in the Syracuse City School District, and a six percent increase from the previous year.  The 70.7 percent is the highest graduation rate achieved since New York State switched to Cohort-based accountability for the 2002-2003 reporting year.

The District also saw increases in the graduation rate among English Language Learners, rising to 58.1 percent – nearly 20 percent higher than the previous year; students with disabilities, rising to 49.5 percent, a more than five percent increase; and closing the gender gap, with the number of males earning a diploma rising to 67 percent, an 8.5 percent increase from the previous year.

Students enrolled in the District’s Career and Technical Education programs saw even greater gains, with 91.4 percent earning their high school diploma after four years.

“Our Class of 2020 faced unprecedented challenges last year due to COVID-19 impacting their educational experience,” Superintendent Jaime Alicea said. “Despite those challenges, our students persevered – and excelled – achieving the highest graduation rate our District has seen in recent memory. I am exceptionally proud of the hard work and dedication of both our students and staff. As we continue to navigate through this unique educational environment, this data motivates us to continue pushing our students and ourselves to achieve our best. We will continue working to help every student cross the stage and earn their high school diploma, and I look forward to seeing the continued progress we will make together in the Syracuse City School District.”

At the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler, the most recent graduation rate is up 23.7 percentage points, 20 points higher than the three prior years.  Corcoran High School is up to 77.6 percent while The Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central graduated 97.3 percent of their students.

“This is very good news for Syracuse. I commend our recent graduates and their families for persisting in the face of the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “The rising graduation rate is another indicator of consistently steady improvement in our schools. It’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of our teachers and staff; Superintendent Alicea and his administration; and President Sojewicz and the entire school board.”

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