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RPS 205 freshmen beat state average in “on track” to graduate


New data from the Illinois State Board of Education shows that Rockford Public Schools students are performing better than the state average when measuring students who are on track to graduate.

The State Board released results from the annual standardized tests today. RPS 205 released its own scores on Tuesday. This “freshmen on track” measurement is new to the 2014 annual report card. To be considered on track, a student must have earned at least five full-year course credits and have earned no more than one semester F in a core course – English, math, science or social science – by the end of his or her freshman year.

All four RPS 205 high schools are above the state average of 87.4 percent, according to information the Illinois State Board of Education released today. Here’s a look at Winnebago County high schools and their “freshmen on track” percentages:

Pecatonica 100

Winnebago 96.7

Guilford 94.1

Hononegah 92.9

Durand 92.1

Jefferson 91.9

Auburn 91.5 

East 90.7 

South Beloit 89 

Harlem 87.7

With the new High School Academy model, RPS 205 students start their high school experience in the Freshman Academy, which provides additional support and lays the groundwork for success. District leaders have also added mandatory tutoring to ensure students’ success.

Administrators will continue to support freshmen and watch this measure closely. A student’s freshman year is a solid indicator of how he or she will perform through the rest of high school – and whether he or she will graduate ready for the workforce or college. The Illinois State Board of Education says an on-track student is almost four times as likely to graduate from high school.

The measure could help boost graduation rates, an area in which RPS 205 is seeing growth. The 2014 graduation rate was 67.5 percent, compared to 64 percent in 2013 and 62 percent in 2012.