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District should be proud of graduation rate

Recently released graduation rate data shows plenty of bright spots for area schools.

Mississippi School of the Arts posted an impressive 98.5 percent graduation rate, one of the highest in the state. But that’s to be expected of a school that selectively admits students from around the state.

Lawrence County was not far behind with a 90 percent rate, and that’s something the district should be proud of. Lawrence County ranked 18th in the state.

“We’re very pleased with our 90 percent and being ranked 18th. Next year we’re going to work to be in the top 10, ” Lawrence County Superintendent Tammy Fairburn said. “We encourage our students to be in school. We feel like having good positive relationships with our students, that’s half the battle.”

The Lincoln County School District also posted a healthy graduation rate of 87.7 percent. The county district ranked in the top 50 statewide.

The Brookhaven School District posted a rate of 79.5, which is considerably higher than the previous year’s rate of 71.9. But it still came up short of the state average of 84 percent.

“Although we are happy to see the improvement we are not satisfied with where we are,” Brookhaven High School Principal David Martin said.

Across the state, more students are graduating. That’s true in local districts as well. But much work remains to be done. Ideally, districts would have a 100 percent graduation rate, but we know that’s not realistic. Achieving a 90 percent rate is, though. Lawrence County is proof of that.

To get there, districts will have to continue to prioritize graduation and continue to educate students on the importance of a diploma. Students will have to do their part, too. They will have to show up, put in the work and take responsibility for their education.