Good news if your student attends a high school in Charlotte, Sarasota or DeSoto counties: the graduation rates in all three districts rose in the 2019-2020 school year, with Charlotte and Sarasota exceeding the state average of 90%.
“It is my pleasure to announce our district’s 2020 graduation rate of 90.4%,” said Charlotte County Superintendent Steve Dionisio. “This graduation rate exceeds all other years.”
The Charlotte County Public Schools’ graduation rate in 2020 reflected a 4% increase from 2019, when the graduation rate was 86.4%.
Dionisio said it “is also important to note that our district’s ranking has improved another 10 positions from 35th (2019) to 25th (2020).”
He went on to say: “This is a wonderful accomplishment and is the result of high intention, sincere effort, and deliberate, skillful execution of goal-setting and vision.”
The superintendent said he is “extremely proud of our students, teachers, support staff, and school leadership teams.”
Here is a breakdown of Charlotte County’s graduation rates:
Charlotte High School: 94.9% (2019: 93%)
Lemon Bay High: 97.6% (2019: 95%)
Port Charlotte High: 90.8% (2019: 90%)
The Academy: 63.9% (2019: 41%)
Charlotte Virtual School: 100% (2019: 98%)
FSW Collegiate: 100% (2019: 99%)
Leading the pack was Sarasota County, which had a 92.5% graduation rate in 2020, up from 89.4% the previous year. With nine high schools including Sarasota Military Academy and Suncoast Polytechnical High, one — Pine View School — scored 100% for the second year in a row.
Pine View, which encompasses grades second through high school, is for gifted students who, in order to be admitted, undergo a series of tests and recommendations. Students are referred by administrators, teachers, staff members or parents.
Here is a breakdown of Sarasota County’s high schools’ graduation rates:
Booker High: 83.6% (2019: 81.5%)
Imagine School at North Port: 93.8% (2019: 93.7%)
North Port High: 95.2% (2019: 89.8%)
Pine View School: 100% (2019: 100%)
Riverview High: 93.9% (2019: 88.7%)
Sarasota High: 92.1% (2019: 89.4%)
Sarasota Military Academy: 94.4% (2019: 96.5%)
Suncoast Polytechnical High: 97.7% (2019: 99.2%)
Venice High: 95.6% (2019: 92.4%)
The DeSoto County school district has one high school, DeSoto High, and a relatively small high school population compared with Charlotte and Sarasota counties. But it saw the biggest jump in its graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year, when it reached 84.6%. Although that is below the state average, it is up from its 71.3% graduation rate seen in the 2018-2019 school year, and a giant leap from previous school years.
In the 2017-2018 school year, for example, the graduation rate for DeSoto High School was 60.9%, 63.8% in 2016-2017, and 61.6% for the 2015-2016 school year.
Educators and teachers associations for decades have drawn a correlation between household income and graduation rates.
DeSoto County ranks fifth in Florida out of 67 school districts falling below the poverty line.
Charlotte County ranks 19th in Florida out of the 67 districts in terms of income per capita, meaning it is in the top 20 of districts having the highest income.
Sarasota County ranks sixth in terms of income per capita, putting it in the top 10 of the 67 districts having the highest income.