Virginia Beach graduation rate soars to new heights

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) just released new high school graduation rates and for the second year in a row Virginia Beach is seeing its highest rate in history.

The Virginia Beach school district now sits at 93.9%, which is well above the state average of 91.5%.

“I’m really proud of the work that our teachers are doing, the work our kids and our community are doing,” said Virginia Beach Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence.

When Spence took over in 2014, graduation rates were just under 90%. His goal is to see that number rise to 95%.

“I think to become a great school system you have to focus on the individual child, so I would say those numbers are because we pay attention to each child,” Spence added.  “We look at what they need, we look at what’s holding them back and we look at what’s making them successful.”

One high school helping to push the numbers up is Cox.

“It does make you pretty happy,” said Cox High School Principal Dr. Michael Kelly.

Through a collaborate staff effort 95.8% of students walked across the stage in June, compared to only 90% three years ago.

“The biggest thing is that we really started to track each individual student,” Kelly added.

Staff is focused on building relationships and keeping a close eye on students who are on the graduation bubble.

“If they know you are caring about them, they are going to work harder to make sure they get it done too,” Kelly said. 

In more good news for the division, its dropout rate dropped to 3%, the lowest on record.


Here is a breakdown of the 2019 graduation rates for all Hampton Roads school districts:

  • Chesapeake 93.8
  • Hampton 92.7
  • Newport News 94.8
  • Norfolk 82.9
  • Portsmouth 85.2
  • Suffolk 90.3
  • Virginia Beach 93.9

Click here to view all of the VDOE detailed reports.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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