Graduation Rate in McDuffie County Beats the State Again

The graduation rate for students in the McDuffie County School System continues to climb. The rate for the class of 2023 rose to 87.7 percent, as measured by the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), an increase of 1.9 percent over the class of 2022. This is the highest rate the district has seen since the inception of the CCRPI accountability system in 2012. It also outpaced the state rate of 84.4 percent, another all-time high.

“This continued increase represents the hard work of our incredible staff, not just at the high school level, but from the elementary and middle schools as well,” said McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mychele Rhodes. “We are proud to produce students ready to make an impact on our local workforce or ready to take on their next academic challenge in college or technical school.”

The rising percentage of students completing high school demonstrates the impact of several district-wide initiatives rolled out to increase student achievement. Those begin with small group reading and math instruction at the elementary school level. Eighth grade students are offered the ability to take high school courses in English/language arts; math; science; social studies; health and physical education; and fine arts as well as Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE). Obtaining high school credit early provides students more flexibility in their schedules to pursue dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses at Thomson High School. The district also continues to expand CTAE career pathway offerings, allowing for student growth and success on a personal level. The Jumpstart Apprenticeship Program allows students to experience work-based learning opportunities throughout the community, helping build the future workforce of McDuffie County.

Learners can also find support through a variety of programs initiated by the district. Students unable to complete credits by traditional means are able to participate in credit recovery and extended school year options through the McDuffie Achievement Center and Thomson High School via summer and evening school programs. Extended learning periods, advanced content, and specialized instructional classes are also built into every school day. A graduation coach and school counselors monitor student progress toward completion of individual graduation plans.

“Many of the initiatives we have implemented are making a real difference in our students' lives,” Dr. Rhodes said. “Identifying the needs of our students and meeting them where they are is of utmost importance to their success.”

In addition to overall growth in the graduation rate, all measured subgroups in McDuffie County demonstrated growth from 2022 rates. The subgroups with the largest gains were black and economically disadvantaged students, both seeing an increase of 1.9 percent, compared to 2022.