California’s high school graduation rate continued its steady increase over the past seven years with South Bay schools generally increasing over the same period.
Redondo Union High School saw an steady uptick over the past five years. Rates climbed from 91.7 percent for the Class of 2012 to 95.7 percent for the Class of 2016. Redondo Beach Unified Superintendent Steven Keller credits the success at RUHS to curriculum that focuses on the whole child.
“We're not a school district that spends 100 percent of its time preparing students for a high stakes assessment,” Keller said. “We certainly want our kids to be well prepared, but we believe in the social and emotional well being of each and every kid."
With its student body swelling at RUHS to more than 2,800 this year, Keller said it reflects a changing demographic in the community. The school can likely only accommodate about 200 more students, he said.
“People are moving here for the schools and we are just really humbled by it,” Keller said.
At Mira Costa High School, graduation rates dipped slightly to 93.6 percent, down 3.7 percentage points from 2012.
Manhattan Beach Unified Superintendent Mike Matthews said in a statement that the district is continuing the examine graduation rates and other information presented on the California Dashboard. "We will report back to the Board and the community on any patterns we discern," he said.
At other South Bay schools, El Segundo and Peninsula high schools recorded the highest rates of graduates in the region with 98.9 and 98.6 percent respectively. Hawthorne reported graduation rates of 98.3 percent and Torrance at 95.4 percent.
The overall graduation rate statewide reached 83.2 percent in 2016, up from 82.3 percent the year prior and 74.7 percent in 2012, according to the latest figures released by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Tuesday.
While Los Angeles County fell below the average with a graduation rate of 81.3 percent among its 121,039 students who were part of the class of 2016, that rate was higher than 2015 when graduation rates were 78.7 percent.
—Sandy Mazza and Daniella Segura contributed