For the fourth year in a row, Clarksville Community Schools’ graduation rate has outpaced state and federal graduation rates as well as the rates of its neighbors. In 2018, 99.1 percent of Clarksville High School and Renaissance Academy students received their diplomas.
That is more than 11 points higher than state and federal rates, 3 points higher than Greater Clark County Schools Corp., 6.5 points higher than New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. and 5.4 points higher than West Clark Community Schools Corp.
This is also the fourth year in a row that Clarksville Community Schools’ graduation rate has improved, moving from 95 percent in 2015 to 96.7 in 2016 to 98.8 percent in 2017 and, most recently, 99.1 percent.
Renaissance Academy Director Dr. Brian Allred credits the high rate to the one on one attention each student receives.
“We are very, very aware of our kids and where they are,” Dr. Allred said. “Our counselors and administrators are constantly working with kids, making sure if they don’t have the courses or credits, they get those made up. We are always on them.”
Though a smaller district can pose challenges — a student or two equates to an entire percentage point — the benefit is a smaller population makes it easier to keep track of students and ensure “no one falls between the cracks” according to Dr. Allred.
Clarksville High School Principal Adrienne Goldman said the rate is high because “we push, pull or drag them in to get them graduated. We don’t let up … We make it a priority to make sure we are checking on them and making sure they are doing what they need to. Especially our kids who are in jeopardy.”
To district superintendent Tina Bennett, the teachers, counselors and principals make the difference by “making connections with students and personalizing their education so that we are able to help them attain their diplomas and address any gaps along the way.”
“I couldn’t be more proud,” she added.