NNPS on-time graduation rate increases and continues to lead state average


Posted: October 6, 2022

Newport News’ public school graduation rate increased to 95.8% with the Class of 2022. The school division’s on-time graduation rate increased to 94.5% in 2021 and increased significantly from 72 .9% in 2008. During the same period, the dropout rate decreased from 12% to less than 1% (.9%) in 2022 according to data published by the Virginia Department of Education.

The class of 2022 faced unexpected school closures in their second year, successfully adapted to virtual and blended learning in their freshman year, and persevered to complete their graduation requirements graduation on time in four years.

The NNPS on-time graduation rate is above the state average of 92.1% and the NNPS dropout rate is below the state average of 5.2%. The school division’s overall student completion rate, which includes students who earned a diploma or GED within four years, is 97.5%.

The Class of 2022 has been accepted to 120 colleges, universities and military academies and has won over $55 million in scholarships and academic awards. Forty-five percent of the Class of 2022 have achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and graduates have earned more than 2,000 industry and professional certifications.

“I am extremely proud of the Class of 2022. They are a testament to their hard work, dedication and perseverance. They have truly shown us what it means to be ready for college, career and citizenship,” said the Dr. George Parker, Superintendent of Newport. New public schools. “I am also grateful to our teachers and staff. They work diligently every day to ensure that all students graduate on time, equipped with the skills and tools they need for a successful future.”

The on-time graduation rate monitors a cohort of high school students entering ninth grade and assesses the graduation and dropout rates of these students four years later. On-time graduation and drop-out rates in 2022 tracked students who entered ninth grade in the 2018-19 school year. Seventeen students in the cohort are still enrolled in the school, giving them the opportunity to complete the graduation requirements in the 2022-23 school year.

More NNPS students graduate in four years

With continued emphasis on college and career readiness, the NNPS graduation rate has steadily increased and remained above the state average. In 2008, the on-time (four-year) graduation rate was 72.9% and the dropout rate was 12%; that same year, the school division established an award-winning national school dropout prevention and recovery program. Newport News Public Schools offers a range of programs and services to help students graduate on time, including online classes, summer learning opportunities, an evening high school program and coaches graduation programs that identify, coach, and develop academic success plans for students. Additionally, the NNPS provides students with more options to meet graduation requirements, including online courses and university courses.

Graduation rates at Newport News high schools remain high: Achievable Dream maintains a 100% graduation rate. Rates increased in all other secondary schools.

  • Achievable Dream High School’s graduation rate is 100% for the seventh consecutive year
  • Denbigh High School’s graduation rate is 96.3%, up from 95.6% in 2021
  • Heritage High School’s graduation rate is 94.2%, a slight increase from 94.1%
  • Menchville High School’s graduation rate is 96.9%, a slight increase from 96.8% in 2021
  • Warwick High School’s graduation rate is 93.4%, an increase of almost three percentage points from last year (90.7%).
  • Woodside High School’s graduation rate is 96.7%, two percentage points above the 2021 rate of 94.6%

Dropout rates remain low at all high schools, well below the state average of 5.2 percent.

  • Denbigh High School’s dropout rate is 0.4%
  • The dropout rate at Heritage High School is 0.4%
  • Menchville High School dropout rate is 0.3%
  • The dropout rate for Warwick High School is 2.7%
  • Woodside High School’s dropout rate is 0.7%

Neighborhood Highlights:

  • NNPS efforts to increase on-time graduation rates have resulted in averages above the state average in most student subgroups (Black Students, White Students, Hispanic Students, Students with Disabilities, Economically Disadvantaged Students, and English Learners).
  • Dropout rates for all NNPS student subgroups are lower than the state average dropout rates for the same subgroups.
  • Completion rates for all NNPS student subgroups are higher than the state average completion rates for each of the subgroups.
  • NNPS graduation rates continue to remain above the state average.

Plenty of student options, graduation coaches and attendance officers ensure student success

NNPS students have many options to advance learning and exceed state requirements for graduation. Dozens of required and elective courses are available online, after school and during the summer, giving students more flexibility.

Graduation coaches and attendance officers are assigned to each high school to identify, support, encourage, and connect students at risk of not graduating with the options and resources they need to succeed. Additionally, graduation coaches work with ninth graders to ensure a smooth transition into high school.

Graduation coaches assist with the successful transition of all Newport News public school students and provide early intervention services to support at-risk students by:

  • Identify seniors who have passed less than six learning standards tests and are at risk due to absenteeism or behavioral issues
  • Identify freshmen who need additional support during the school year and provide resources to help them
  • Develop positive working relationships with faculty, staff, parents, and community partners involved in student success
  • Analyze data from standardized tests to help plan alternative courses for students at risk

Attendance officers are a valuable part of the support team that encourages students to attend school every day:

  • Identify students who miss school and prepare resources to ensure daily attendance
  • Locate and contact students who have dropped out of school and create a plan to ensure they re-enroll and receive the supports they need to graduate on time
  • Work with families and community partners to remove barriers to absenteeism


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