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Buffalo Public Schools graduation rate increases to 76.3%

Buffalo Public Schools
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 17:42:28-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Public School District announced its graduation rate has increased to 76.3%.

"Due to strategic innovation within the Education Bargain with Students and Parents - the Buffalo Public Schools transformational turnaround plan - graduation rates have risen, student growth and achievement scores have risen, technological innovation is a hallmark attribute, and the District is providing greater programmatic access, equity, quality, and opportunity for all students than ever before – all under extraordinary circumstances that came along with the Covid-19 pandemic and remote instruction," a release from the district says.

Officials say the 4-year graduation rate for BPS high schools increased from 64.7% to 76.3%, an 11.6% increase, the largest increase of any of the big city school districts in the state.

According to the district, these are some of the highlights:

  • 12 of 20 high schools had graduation rates of 80% or higher
  • Graduation rate for English Language Learners (ELLs) rose from 33.2% to 57.5%
  • Graduation rate for Students with Disabilities (SWDs) rose from 51.9% to 64.2%
  • Dropout rate decreased from 15.2% to 12.5%

New Innovative High Schools (NIHS) were introduced in 2016, a component that the district says is a key part in the increase in the graduation rate.

"Providing programs that match students with their passions and future career opportunities in Western New York is a key part of our graduation outcome success," a release from the district says.

“In many ways, I am so extraordinarily proud of the Class of 2020,” said Superintendent Kriner Cash. “Due to the COVID-19 shutdown many of our seniors could have been discouraged and given up. They didn’t. Rather, they doubled down, showed their grit and resilience under adversity, and turned a negative into a tremendous positive! Staff, parents, and family members are to be commended for helping these amazing students see a brighter future unfold.”