The graduation rate at Watauga High School reached 87.6% for 2012-13, the highest rate on record. The statewide graduation rate also attained a record high for 2012-13, hitting 82.5%.
Superintendent Dr. David Fonseca praised the results for Watauga High School as a reflection of the hard work of students, teachers, and parents, and as an indication of the benefits of community support for public schools. “We are very pleased with the increase in our graduation rate and we are working hard to ensure continued improvement in the years ahead,” said Fonseca. “We know that the success of our high school students is built on the foundation of excellence among our teachers at all grade levels and on the support they receive from other school personnel, from parents, and from our partners in the business community and throughout Watauga County. This is a great time to celebrate our progress and to express our gratitude to all those who have helped achieve it.”
The four year cohort graduation rate is determined by tracking each incoming class of ninth graders through high school and determining what percentage of those students graduate four years later. Strict state guidelines are applied in the calculation of the graduation rate. Students who leave high school for a community college GED or adult high school program are counted as dropouts even if they go on to complete a degree in that new setting. In addition, a student who transfers to another high school will be counted as a dropout unless the receiving school requests the student’s records. If the transfer is not confirmed by way of a records request, the student is assumed to have left school altogether.
The 2012-13 graduation rates were released by the State Board of Education today at their August meeting. In most years, the August meeting of the Board of Education also includes the release of statewide school test results for the previous academic year. However, test results for 2012-13 will not be available until October because of the additional time needed to score the new tests administered last year in connection with the new Common Core/Essential Standards curriculum.
In past years, school status designations, such as School of Excellence and School of Distinction, would also be announced in August but these designations ended with the 2011-12 school year. A new school rating system using A-F letter grades will take effect for the 2013-14 school year. The first grades under this new system will be released in the fall of 2014.
Watauga High School is a comprehensive four year high school with an enrollment of approximately 1,450 students. The principal of Watauga High School is Marshall Gasperson.