Breaking News

Jeffco Schools 2018-19 graduation rate tops 85 percent

Jeffco Schools on-time graduation rate was 85.3 percent for the 2018-19 school year, including an increase in neighborhood high school graduation rates of 0.9 percent.

Some subgroups also saw an increase in graduation rates, including:

  • 1 percent increase in graduation rates for students with limited English proficiency
  • 2 percent increase in graduation rates among Gifted and Talented students
  • 1 percent increase in graduation rates among economically disadvantaged students
  • 1 percent increase in graduation rates among Title 1 students

Over the past five years, Jeffco’s graduation rate has increased 2.4 percentage points, from 82.9 percent in 2014-15.

Jeffco’s on-time graduation rate is well above the 2018-19 statewide graduation rate of 81.1 percent. It is also above the national graduation rate of 84.6 percent.

The Jeffco Schools on-time graduation rate includes all neighborhood, charter, and option schools, including schools with the state’s Alternative Education Campus (AEC) designation. AECs are “schools with specialized missions to serve populations in which at least 90 percent of students are considered at high risk of dropping out, according to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Twelve Jeffco option and charter schools are AEC schools.

On-Time Graduation Rate

CDE defines “on-time graduation” as the number of students who receive a regular high school diploma in four years or less. It does not include alternate forms of high school completion.

The 2018-19 on-time graduation rate is calculated by the number of students who received a diploma in four years or less divided by the number of students who entered ninth grade during the 2015-16 school year, plus any students who transferred in, minus the number of verified student transfers to another school. To verify a transfer, a school must receive an official transcript from the new school. Without an official transcript, school districts must report students as dropouts.

Fewer students also dropped out of Jeffco Schools, leading to a 0.3 percent decrease in the district’s dropout rate. Jeffco credited the improvement to district programs like Sobesky Academy’s MyPath, the Brady Bridge program, Jeffco’s NEXT GED Plus, programming at McClain Community High School, and Jefferson Virtual Academy TAG (Targeted Action to Graduation).

On-Time Graduation vs. Four-Year Completion Rate

The on-time graduation rate differs from the four-year completion rate because it also includes high school equivalency diplomas. Specifically, the completion rate includes students who received a regular diploma, a non-diploma certificate or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) in four years.

Jeffco’s four-year completion rate for 2018-19 was 87.5 percent. Specifically, 5,570 students completed high school certification in four years out of a cohort of 6,375.

Highlights in 2018-19 on-time completion rates include a 3.4 percentage point increase at option and special schools. Moreover, completion rates increased by 2.3 percentage points among students with limited English proficiency. In addition, on-time completion rates for Title I students increased by 3.4 percentage points. Students with disabilities also saw an increase of 0.6 percentage points.

Extended Graduation and Completion Rates

CDE calculates extended graduation and completion rates like four-year rates. They are calculated five, six, and seven years after the cohort entered ninth grade.

The extended graduation rates continue to reflect only graduates who received a regular high school diploma in that time frame. Extended completion rates continue to include high school equivalency diplomas like a HSED.

The table below shows improvements in both extended graduation and completion rates.

graduation rate


More information about graduation, completion, and dropout rates is available on the Jeffco Schools website.

Graduation rates for all Colorado school districts going back to the 2009-2010 school year are available on the Colorado Department of Education website. Data before the 2009-2010 school year is not comparable because a different method was used to calculate graduation rates before 2010.

Lisa Cook

Lisa Cook, Ph.D., is a writer, editor, musicologist and Jeffco resident since 1999 with two children attending Jeffco Schools. Lisa earned a BA from Valparaiso University, a Masters in Music from Colorado State University, and her Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. When not working, she can be found running (ideally on mountain trails) with Midnight, her miniature poodle. Please visit our "About Us" page to learn more about Lisa and our other writers.

Click here to opt-out of Google Analytics. Click here to opt-out.