Denfeld High School's Graduation Rate Lower Than State Average

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: April 24, 2019 09:08 PM

The Minnesota Department of Education recently released graduation rate results from last year. A majority of Northland schools were above the state average, but some were below it.


Denfeld High School's graduation results for the 2017-2018 year came in at 73 percent. Which is less than the state average of 83.2 percent. It also is less than their 2016-2017 school year, which was at 80 percent.

The graduation rate has fluctuated over the years. The school board, staff, and administration, plan on gathering to discuss the results and address what caused the dip in last year's school year.

The school district says they value education and want all students to graduate on time.

A spokesperson for Duluth Public Schools said they provide after school programs and intervention strategies to support students achievements in high school.

"We know there’s always improvement and as a district we are making significant policy changes and resolutions to make sure we address students educational needs,” Jill Lofald, a vice-chair for the School Board of Duluth Public Schools, said.

Lofald mentioned programs and efforts put in place already to help, like the Education Equity Tool. An effort designed to make sure the school district provides education equity for all students by making systematic changes to eliminate structural and institutional barriers.

Lofald covers District four and said there's a significant homeless population and challenges in the poverty rate, especially in the western community.

"In January of 2018 the school board made a historic vote to make sure that compensatory education dollars followed the students most in need. The students that we weren't seeing improvement, were not reading at grade level, were part of our free and reduced population," Lofald said. "Change is coming. Nobody likes to see students not successful at the high school. But we are hoping with strategies we put in the elementary's and significant compensatory education dollars and general education dollars going to the students that need it, I think that’s what is driving the budget right now."

Lofald mentioned the Full Community Service Program as well. It's a community effort to provide academic, social, and health services for struggling students and their families, which in turn, will help students' educational outcome.

Bill Gronseth, the superintendent of Duluth Public Schools commented on the results, saying, "We look forward to further studying the results and using the information to inform the work we do toward increasing student achievements."


Alejandra Palacios

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