North Shore high schools see high graduation rates in latest state Education Department data

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The state Education Department released a district-by-district breakdown of high school graduation rates last week, which saw many North Shore schools boast high percentages of students graduating and those going on to attend college.

According to the state education department, the state’s overall graduation rate increased 1.7 percent from last year’s total of 76.4 percent to 78.1 percent.

“The good news is that more students, particularly those in urban districts, are graduating from high school. But we know the graduation rate could be even higher if students were given the option to meet our standards in a different way,” state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “This is not about changing our standard. It’s about providing other avenues for kids to show what they know so they can graduate.”

The data reflects rates based on students who entered high school in 2011 and graduated in 2015.

Of the school districts in Nassau County, the East Williston School District had the highest graduation rate at 97.5 percent, with 84.5 percent of those students earning a diploma with advanced designation, which requires more challenging coursework.

The district had 97.5 percent of its students go on to a two-year or four-year college and 75.2 percent of students reaching state level on Regents exams by the time they graduated.

According to the education department, students scoring an 80 or higher on the Regents Algebra test and a 75 or higher on the Regents English exam are considered college-ready.

Efforts to reach East Williston School District officials were unavailing.

The Manhasset School District had the second-highest graduation rate in the county at 97.1 percent, with 80.7 percent of those students graduating with an advanced Regents diploma.

The district had the second-highest percentage of students reaching state exam marks, only behind the Jericho School District, at 86.4 percent.

It also had 95.5 percent of graduating students go on to attend colleges.

Efforts to reach Manhasset School District officials were unavailing.

The Roslyn School District had 97 percent of students graduate in 2015, with 97.8 percent of those students moving on to attend college, the second-highest rate in the county.

Some 75.7 percent of its students graduated with an advanced Regents diploma in the district and 83.6 percent of students reaching state level on Regents exams.

Efforts to reach Roslyn School District officials were unavailing.

While the Mineola School District graduated 96.7 percent of its students, only 58.2 percent of those students reached state level on Regents exams.

Mineola Superintendent of Schools Michael P. Nagler said state test scores did not indicate whether a student was more or less ready for college.

“Mineola School District believes there is no correlation between one single exam score and college success; but rather that success on difficult courses, such as trigonometry, is a much better indicator of college and career readiness. Therefore the percentage of students that achieve advanced regents diplomas is a more meaningful statistic,” Nagler said. “Mineola ranks 12th in Nassau County for advanced regent diplomas, that coupled with the ninth highest graduation rate and third most successful in graduating student with disabilities signifies Mineola’s ability to reach all students. We are extremely proud of our students, teachers and administrators for our continued success in preparing students for college and careers.”

The district had 70.3 percent of students earn advanced regents diplomas and 92.2 percent of students going on to attend college.

Similar to the Mineola School District, the Sewanhaka School District boasts a high graduation rate at 91.8 percent, but only 53.4 percent of students reaching state level on Regents exams.

The district also saw only 50.5 percent of students graduate with an advanced diploma, but 94.1 percent of graduated students went on to attend college.

Efforts to reach Sewanhaka School District officials were unavailing.

The Great Neck School District graduated 92.2 percent of students, with 70.9 percent of those students graduating with an advanced diploma.

The district saw 96.7 percent of graduated students go on to college and 76.5 percent of graduated students reaching state exam levels.

“The Great Neck Public Schools enjoys a national reputation for academic excellence. The success of this district is due to our motivated students, the high-quality academic programs we offer, dedicated faculty, committed parents, and a supportive Board of Education and community,” Superintendent Teresa Prendergast said. “We are exceedingly proud of our students and their accomplishments. We continue to provide educational opportunities that best prepare our students for the post-secondary experience and the recently released data supports this mission.”

The Herricks School District saw 96.2 percent of students graduate in 2015, with 69 percent of those students earning advanced diplomas.

The district also saw 96.1 percent of graduated students go on to college and 78.1 reach state levels on Regents exams.

“The Board of Education is extremely pleased and proud of the graduation rate in Herricks. In addition, our students continue to perform well above state and county averages on state-wide exams, as reflected in Aspirational Performance Measures,” Herricks Board of Education President Nancy Feinstein said. “We attribute this success to the dedication and collaboration of our administration, teachers, parents and community.  Because we are dedicated to the notion of continuous improvement, the district will continue to examine ways to enhance learning opportunities and academic performance for all students.”

The Port Washington School District graduated 94.6 percent of students, with 94.7 percent of those students attending college after graduation.

The district had 69.1 percent of students reaching state exam levels and 57.5 percent of students graduating with an advanced diploma.

Efforts to reach Port Washington School District officials were unavailing.

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