Hempstead school district graduation rate soars to new levels

Hempstead High School Principal Dr. Stephen Strachan says this year's graduation rate is about 81%.

News 12 Staff

Jun 29, 2021, 2:24 AM

Updated 1,030 days ago

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Students and teachers in the Hempstead Union Free School District are celebrating an accomplishment Monday with the graduation rate soaring to new highs.
Hempstead High School Principal Dr. Stephen Strachan says this year's graduation rate is about 81%.
"Our students knew we were committed, we supported them, and we kept our eyes on the prize," says Strachan.
School leaders say at one time the graduation rate was only 37%.
"I believe everyone came to the point where we said enough is enough, this is an educational institution, we have to find better ways to educate our students," says Lamont E. Johnson, president of the Board of Education.
According to the New York State Education Department, the prize for the class of 2021 is that Hempstead High School had the most improved graduation rate in the state.
"We knew we had to put some drastic plans in place to address the needs of our students," says Superintendent of Schools Regina Armstrong.
Some of those drastic changes included smaller class sizes, allowing teachers time to plan, and coaching students through the school year and ensuring they had the tools they needed to learn and graduate even during the pandemic.
"Keeping in touch with students, we brought our ninth and 12th graders back full time, we did see that some were falling off so that helped us end strong," says Strachan.
School officials say it was a collaborative effort from the whole community.
Armstrong says although they are happy with the graduation rate there is still more to achieve.
Officials say they are less focused on the number and more on getting the kids prepared for the real world.


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