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RCPS achieves highest graduation rate ever for 2023, tops state
Image with graduation caps in the air, image says RCPS 2023 graduation rate highest everConyers, Ga. – Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) achieved an all-time high graduation rate of 87.04% with the Class of 2023 – the highest ever since the state began calculating the federally required four-year graduation cohort rate – and topped the state average, which came in at 84.4%. The Georgia Department of Education recently released the 2023 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rates for Georgia and RCPS increased its rate by nearly six points over last year’s rate of 81.23%. In so doing, RCPS had one of the highest single-year gains of any school district in the metro Atlanta region.

“I am so proud of our graduating seniors in the Class of 2023,” said Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts. “This is truly a special class that came of age as high school students in the shadow of a global pandemic. Their freshman year ended in March of 2020 with the statewide closure of schools, followed by their sophomore year that was disproportionately spent in remote learning. Their junior year was a critically important transitional year, and their senior year was a return to normalcy,” said Dr. Oatts.

Rockdale County Board of Education Chairwoman Pam Brown also expressed excitement at the record-breaking graduation rate achieved by the Class of 2023. “I could not be prouder of our seniors for their outstanding graduation rate achievement,” said Chairwoman Brown. “What an amazing accomplishment for our district, and I congratulate our students, their parents, our high school principals, administrators, teachers, counselors, and all those who made this possible. I thank Dr. Oatts for his steadfast leadership in collaboration with our Assistant Superintendent for High Schools.”

According to RCPS Assistant Superintendent for High Schools Dr. Sherri Freeman, the massive collective effort that produced this stellar achievement all started from the focused leadership of the Superintendent. “I thank Dr. Oatts for his laser-like focus and charge that our high schools engage best practices in sound advisement, consistently monitor the cohort, afford our seniors a menu of tutorial and instructional support options, and facilitate continuous and flexible credit recovery opportunities,” said Dr. Freeman. “I thank our incredible high school principals and their amazing teams for their dedication and enhanced focus on this important charge.”  

The RCPS graduation rate has increased by more than 11 percentage points since 2012, when Georgia began calculating the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law.

How Georgia calculates its graduation rate:
• The number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma, divided by
• The number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class.

The adjusted cohort rate means from the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently adjusted by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out.