Kannapolis beats NC average on graduation rate, sees drop in meeting expected growth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2011

KANNAPOLIS — Kannapolis City Schools had a higher graduation rate in 2010-11 — 85.1 percent — than the state average of 77.7 percent, according to ABC accountability results released by the state today.
But it saw a drop in the number of schools making expected growth. In the last two years, the KCS graduation rate has risen 16 points, going from 69 percent in 2009 to 77 percent last year 85.1 percent this year.
Kannapolis school officials say one of the drivers of the higher graduation rate is the Freshman Academy at A.L. Brown High School. The academy, which opened in 2007, helps ninth-graders to make a successful transition into high school and stay on track to graduate. The 2011 class of students was the first to have begun their high school careers in the Freshman Academy.
“Our No. 1 goal has been keeping students in school and raising academic achievement,” A.L. Brown Principal Kevin Garay said in a press release. “Our Freshman Academy has helped us do that. Another big factor has been our outstanding staff and their dedication to our students. I’m extremely proud of what they’ve done and of how hard our students have worked.”
Final test results for the school year also show that, as a district, Kannapolis City Schools made high academic growth.
Among individual KCS schools, six out of eight met expected growth, and four out of eight made high growth.
The previous year, all of Kannapolis’ schools met expected growth and were designated as Schools of Progress.
Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain says she is proud of the work KCS is doing to keep students in school.
“It’s an outstanding accomplishment that our graduation rate is among the best in the state,” she said. “Helping students to graduate on time is one of the most important things we can do.”