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RPS Confronts Falling Graduation Rates Head-On

Richmond, Va. – The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released On-Time Graduation and drop out rates for the 2017-2018 school year. Richmond Public Schools’ graduation rate is 75.39%, down 1.5% from 2016-2017, with a drop out rate of 19.53%, up 2.91% from the previous school year. The Virginia On-Time Graduation Rate shows only the percentage of students who earned a Board of Education-approved diploma within four years of entering high school for the first time (students who graduate in more than four years are not included in this rate).

“This data is not a reflection of our students' abilities. It's a reflection of our failure to provide them with the education they deserve,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras.  “My administration is committed to changing this – once and for all – for every young person in RPS."

Despite the overall trends, RPS saw notable gains among English Language Learners (ELL) in both categories, with graduation rates increasing almost 16% and the drop out rate decreasing by 14%. As the district’s ELL population continues to grow, RPS has added additional parent liaisons, ELL teachers, and bilingual staff members to increase support for ELL students throughout the city.

“We are optimistic about the increase in graduation rates that we’re seeing with the ELL student population, but it’s imperative that we see this same growth across the district,” said School Board Chair Dawn Page. “I’m confident that with the new strategic plan in place, we are moving in the right direction to properly address this issue.”

For specific results by school division and schools, visit the Virginia Department of Education’s website at