- Overland Trail Middle School
Graduation rate increases for fourth straight year
The communities in 27J Schools are celebrating today after they learned their district posted its fourth consecutive year of increases in its district graduation rate. It went up 2 percent more this year bringing it to an all-time high of 88.2 percent.
“This is proof positive that our efforts to keep kids in school and on track to graduate on time are working,” 27J Schools Superintendent Chris Fiedler said. “Earning that high school diploma is critical to any student’s success whether they decide to go to college, to a trade school or immediately enter the workforce. It’s the key to more and better opportunities.”
27J Schools is located just northeast of Denver and includes the city of Brighton, and parts of Thornton, Commerce City, Lochbuie, Aurora, Broomfield and Weld County. New families are moving into the district at a record pace and student enrollment numbers are increasing by about 500 to 800 students per year over the last five years alone.
In 2000, the district served 5,000 students while today, it has about 20,300 students enrolled. That number represents a diverse student population including 51.7 percent Hispanic students, 42 percent white students, 3.2 percent Asian students, 2.1 percent black students, 3.6 percent students of two or more races, .3 percent American Indian students and .2 percent native Hawaiian students.
“We’re doing a much better job of helping students find skills and subjects that really interest them and linking them to STEM and technical education. In those programs, students can do internships in the community and get hands-on training to explore their interests and see how they can make a career out of what they truly like to do,” 27J Schools Chief Academic Officer Will Pierce said. “That’s a powerful incentive to stay in school when you see career options you’d really enjoy.”
Of the Adams County districts located in the metro area, 27J Schools again has the highest graduation rate for the third consecutive year. In particular, the district posted gains among its Hispanic and white students. Hispanic students netted an increased graduation rate of nearly 4 percent making it 86.7 percent which earns 27J Schools the highest Hispanic student graduation rate in the Denver metro area. White students also increased their graduation rate 2.3 percent making it 90.6 percent. The district’s graduation rate exceeds the state average in every ethnic group.
Brighton High School, Eagle Ridge Academy and Prairie View High School earned graduation rates of more than 90 percent. These schools plus the district’s alternative high school, Innovations and Options, all saw improvement over last year’s graduation rate. The district’s newest high school, Riverdale Ridge, posted its first graduation rate at 93.8 percent this year.
27J Schools’ graduation rate now has exceeded the state average for four consecutive years
“Improving a large system like ours takes a lot of teamwork and dedication. I have to thank the Class of 2021, their parents and all of Team 27J for this historic accomplishment,” Fiedler said. “This is the highest graduation rate in the district’s history!”