SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Public Schools and the school board have recognized a great improvement in graduation and dropout rates throughout the district.
In 2012, the district recorded a dropout rate of 10% and a graduation rate of 56.6%. According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the school district has seen notable improvements during this nine-year window. In 2021, each of the schools in Springfield achieved a graduation rate above 86%, with most schools in the district meeting the 90% threshold.
In terms of dropout rates, the figure of 10% has dropped to 1.9% in 2021, which equates to 537 fewer students dropping out. Some schools have shown more drastic improvements. Superintendent Daniel Warwick noted in a press release that the High School of Science and Technology increased its graduation rate from 39.9% in 2012 to 91.5% in 2021. The school also featured a decrease in the rate dropout from 11.6% in 2012 to 0.6% in 2021.
The district also showed some short-term improvements after a pandemic-defined 2020 school year. Warwick revealed that English language learner graduation rates rose from 70.4% in 2020 to 77.2% in 2021.
In a statement, Warwick reflected on the improving numbers. “These numbers represent the city’s youth and their future… We cannot overstate what this means for our students and their families. And we can’t ignore the enormous amount of hard work and collaboration that has gone into achieving these gains,” Warwick said.
While acknowledging the improvements, the superintendent noted the district’s focus on further progress. “Yes, we are certainly happy with these gains, and we celebrate them, but we are not happy. We want to make sure that every student graduates. Even one retirement will be one too many… We will redouble our efforts to ensure we continue to move in the right direction,” Warwick said.
Mayor Domenic Sarno also addressed the news in a statement. “When I took over as mayor, our high school graduation rate was hovering around 50% and our dropout rate was 10% – just unacceptable. In addition to public safety, our school system continues to be my administration’s number one priority. This is great news and there is still a lot to do,” said Sarno.
Sarno continued, “This is a testament to all of our partners, from administration to teachers, staff, students, families and our business community. Thank you and congratulations to all. Like I’ve always said, meet to step up.