DPS Class of 2017 Largest in District History

Jan. 18, 2018



Alex Renteria | Manager of Media Relations | | o. 720-423-3258 | c. 303-815-0413

Jan. 18, 2018

DPS Class of 2017 Largest in District History

CDE Data Release Shows Increases in Number of Students Graduating After Five, Six and Seven Years

Denver – According to the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) release today of 2017 graduation and dropout rates for Colorado school districts, the DPS Class of 2017 was the largest graduating class in the district’s history. Last spring, 3,749 seniors graduated, an increase of 116 students over the previous year.

Ten years ago, in 2006-07, DPS’ four-year graduation rate was just 38.7%. This year, DPS’ four-year graduation rate is 66.6%. Data released today showed a slight decrease — less than 1% — in the four-year graduation rate for the first time in 10 years, to bring it to 66.6%. The dropout rate also increased slightly, by 0.2%, over last year.

Speaking at an event at Bruce Randolph School, DPS Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova said the graduation rate decrease and dropout rate increase are both concerns the district will address with urgency as DPS and school districts across Colorado prepare students for new graduation requirements that go into effect with the Class of 2021.

“We are focused on ensuring our students not only reach the graduation stage, but have the tools and supports to succeed in any path they choose,” Cordova said. “Students now have more options and support than ever if they want to stay enrolled in a DPS school longer than four years to meet graduation requirements or to earn more free college credit.”

Districtwide, 86% of Denver Public Schools’ students are persisting through high school – they have either graduated, completed high school or are still in school after four years. And more DPS students are graduating after five years as a result of innovative new programs that encourage students to stay in high school for a fifth year.

These programs include ASCENT, which gives students access to a fully-funded fifth year of college classes, providing a head start on an associate or bachelor’s degree; the Career Education Center (CEC) Early College; and the CareerConnect CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program.

These programs contribute to DPS’ five-year graduation rate of 75.3%, with six-year and seven-year graduation rates also in the 70%-range. All are increases over the previous year.

At Bruce Randolph, the four-year graduation rate is 75.8%, and the five-year graduation rate is 96%. “We strongly believe in changing the paradigm for students of color in this generation, in this zip code. Every measurable statistic says students living in zip codes like ours have lower graduation rates. However, we’ve set higher expectations and offer tons of support in order for students to be college ready,” said Cesar Cedillo, Principal at Bruce Randolph.

DPS also saw improvement in the four-year graduation rate among African-American and Latino students across the district. The four-year on-time graduation rate increased for African-American students by 2%, the largest increase by race and ethnicity in 2016-17. Learn more about DPS’ college and career readiness efforts here.

School-by-school graduation rates can be found here.