Evergreen Public Schools’ graduation rate surpasses 91 percent

The six high schools included in the graduation rate have made substantial jumps in the last five years

VANCOUVER — The graduation rate for Evergreen Public Schools hit 91.3 percent for the class of 2019 (students who graduated in June 2019). That’s a nearly four (4) percent improvement from the year before, and a 7.6 increase from the class of 2015.  

(Video story link attached: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ay3c1rBdXI&feature=youtu.be)

The six high schools included in the graduation rate – Evergreen, Henrietta Lacks (HeLa), Heritage, Legacy, Mountain View and Union – have made substantial jumps in the last five years. However, none is as startling as Legacy High School. The district’s alternative high school graduation rate was 7.7 percent for the class of 2015. In 2019, Legacy’s graduation rate was just under 70 percent.

In releasing the results, Evergreen Superintendent Mike Merlino said this improvement started back about eight years ago when then-Superintendent John Deeder and the School Board challenged all schools in the district to accept a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).” A BHAG is a concept articulated by author Jim Collins in his book Built to Last that challenges organizations to set ambitious long-term goals which in this case was a 100 percent graduation rate. 

“We realized this was not only a goal that affected our high schools, but was a goal that needed to permeate throughout all our schools. If students don’t receive the foundational skills and help in elementary and middle school, they are going to struggle in high school,” stated Merlino.

Evergreen’s Chief Academic Officer Bill Oman says the district’s high schools help students to stay on track when they start as freshmen. 

“Each of our high schools have teams that assist freshman students to provide support,’’ Oman said. “We have transition coaches that continue to work with and advocate for students in need of additional support throughout their high school career.”  

Oman points to Legacy’s team as being extremely focused with students who, in the past, may not have seen themselves as successful students.

The chart below shows the five-year progress of Evergreen Public Schools graduation rate by high school:

Henrietta Lacks (HeLa)*98.597.897.5  97.1 
iQ Academy**  52.935.650.8
Mountain View96.389.391.187.689.9

District Graduation Rate91.3%87.5%85.7%83.5%83.7%

*HeLa’s first graduating class was in June 2016. **iQ Academy, the district’s online high school, ceased standalone operation at the end of the 16-17 school year.

Evergreen Public Schools, with 37 school sites, and over 25,000 students and 3,300 staff members, is the sixth largest school district in the state, and the third largest employer in Clark County.

Information provided by Evergreen School District.

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