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Kannapolis passes state graduation rate

KANNAPOLIS ó Kannapolis City Schools saw its graduation rate pass the state rate in 2010-11. The rate at the systemís high school, A.L. Brown, was 85.1 percent, compared to the statewide rate of 77.7 percent.
But Kannapolis also 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 to 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 make the 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.
ěOur No. 1 goal has been keeping students in school and raising academic achievement,î A.L. Brown Principal Kevin Garay said in a press release. ěOur Freshman Academy has helped us do that. Another big factor has been our outstanding staff and their dedication to our students. Iím extremely proud of what theyíve done and of how hard our students have worked.î
Final test results for the school year show that, as a district, Kannapolis City Schools made high academic growth.
Among individual KCS schools, six out of eight met expected growth. Making it were Woodrow Wilson, Jackson Park and Forest Park elementaries; Kannapolis Middle; Kannapolis Intermediate; A.L. Brown High.
Not making expected growth were Fred. L. Wilson and Shady Brook elementaries.
Four made high growth: Forest Park Elementary, Kannapolis Middle, Kannapolis Intermediate and A.L. Brown.
The previous year, all of Kannapolisí 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.
ěItís an outstanding accomplishment that our graduation rate is among the best in the state,î she said. ěHelping students to graduate on time is one of the most important things we can do.î
Statewide, the high school graduation rate of 77.7 percent is the highest four-year graduation rate ever reported in North Carolina.
The four-year graduation rate in nearby systems was Cabarrus, 84 percent; Iredell, 85.1 percent; Mooresville, 91.1; Stanly, 77.9 percent; Rowan-Salisbury, 76.9 percent.

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