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TPS 4-year graduation rates increase

(Topeka Public Schools)
(Topeka Public Schools)(WIBW)
Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 12:01 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Public Schools is seeing a 4-year graduation rate increase along with historic high graduation rates for ELL students.

Topeka Public Schools says graduation rates district-wide have increased again in 2020, with historic increases at multiple schools. Additionally, it said its English Language Learners continued to achieve record-high graduation rates at 87.2% and Topeka West High School maintained a 100% graduation rate for its ELL students for the third year in a row.

According to TPS, the systematic steps that have been replicated through equity work across the country have helped the district’s state assessment performance and graduation rates steadily increase since the 2016-2017 school year. It said the steps include but are not limited to the following:

  • Paying for the ACT test for students and giving the assessment during the school day for four consecutive years
  • Matching business mentors with students
  • All schools meet monthly with district administration for a data consultation on every student to ensure their success
  • An increased number of high school courses were introduced in middle school since Dr. Anderson began to give students early exposure
  • Increasing counselors at every school

The district said it has shown every student, regardless of zip code, can succeed in graduating and moving on to careers and college. It said Capital City High, Topeka High, Avondale West and Hope Street High all saw their highest graduation rates in over a decade. It said Topeka High, serving 1,700 students, has steadily increased in graduation rates and they are celebrating having a graduation rate of 91.5%. It said the alternative school, Hope Street, addresses dropouts and while historically it has had low graduation rates, it has also increased from a graduation rate of 75% in 2015 to 83.6% in 2020.

According to TPS, credit in part goes to the success of addressing the whole child and providing wrap-around services to help every student in graduating in four years with their peers. It said those who are interested in working for the district following graduation are often employed as another new initiative implemented a handful of years prior or they are offered a contract to teach if they continue through college to become a teacher.

“Topeka Public Schools is one of the largest districts in this region and the success of our scholars is the responsibility of us all," said Dr. Tiffany Anderson, TPS Superintendant. "Our improved graduation rate improves the economic conditions for Topekans and the investment from businesses, parents, and our amazing educators and leaders has helped ensure more scholars have opportunities during high school and as part of their post-secondary experiences.”

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