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Story in LCSN about fascinating increase in HS graduation rates in Dona Ana County, and PSA would really like to understand what’s working better now than a few years ago. Obviously the early college HS program is working well in terms of graduation, but what’s helping the other schools??

LCPS officials credit the district’s improved graduation rates to better credit-recovery options, more educational options for students and better bookkeeping.

Better bookkeeping and better credit recovery apparently has to do with tracking what happens to students who are no longer enrolled. Did they enroll in another school, and graduate there?

Then there’s “more educational options”:

RGPI Principal Kathie Davis credits the school’s improvement with its unique class schedules and internship opportunities for students.


“I really think our improvement is due to the flexible schedule we offer, allowing students to focus on two core classes at a time,” Davis said. “And the electives revolve totally around the students’ interests. We are the transition from school to the workforce or to higher education. Because our students are out in the workforce doing internships, they’re gaining real-life work experience, which also keeps them engaged and moving toward graduation.”


RGPI also plays a role in helping the district’s larger high schools improve their graduation rates. Because of the way the rates are calculated by the New Mexico Public Education Department, schools get partial credit for students graduating on time, even if the student transfers to another school, district or state — provided the school can provide the state with that information.


As a result, the four larger high schools get partial credit for the students RGPI is able to graduate on time.

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