WESTMONT – Westmont High school is projected to soon record the highest graduation rate in 10 years, according to Community Unit School District 201 officials.
About 99.2 percent of the 2014 class are expected to graduate from the high school, which held its commencement ceremony May 27, CUSD 201 Superintendent Kevin Carey said.
The 2014 graduation rate is a 5.5 percent increase from 2013, when total was 93.7 percent. Overall, this year's graduation rate is about an 8 percent increase from the 10-year average of 91.42 percent, according to Carey, who added that the official graduation rate will be released on June 19.
While the increase is dramatic, Carey said totals are usually on par with projections, and he expects that a majority of the graduating class will attend four or two year college or university, while some students will join the military, attend a tech school or enter the work force.
"A 99 percent graduation rate is definitely great news," Carey said. "One of the high school's goals was to increase graduation rates, so this is a testament to the high school students, staff and administration.
"When you have an entire high school community focused on a goal, there is a higher chance of achieving it. I think the goals set by principal [Jack] Baldermann have been clearly communicated to the students and teachers are doing a fantastic job of working with students and parents to achieve these goals."
Part of the short and long term goals that Westmont High School administration has set involves increasing "rigor," especially in the literacy department.
Additionally the high school teachers continued meeting regularly during "professional learning communities" gatherings, in which teachers of similar disciplines meet and discuss the educational needs of students. The professional learning community gathering helped formulate across the board "exit outcomes" for each grade level, Carey said.
Carey also credits the work of Westmont High School Principal Jack Balderman, who completed his second year as leader of the school.
"Jack is somebody who is passionate, energetic and he believes strongly in the staff," Carey said. " He has brought a positive climate to the building. He is also creative in coming up with different strategies to support, assist and push the students. His vision is so positive and I think it has helped us see positive changes."
Westmont High School graduation rate for the previous 10 years
2004 92.3 percent
2005 93.1 percent
2006 91.2 percent
2007 91.6 percent
2008 94.7 percent
2009 93.3 percent
2010 89.9 percent
2011 84.3 percent
2012 90.1 percent
2013 93.7 percent