“These are more than data points. These numbers represent the city’s youth and their futures,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “We cannot overstate what this means for our students and their families. And we cannot overlook the tremendous amount of hard work and collaboration that has been poured into making these gains.”
Overall, the district’s four-year graduation rate climbed sharply from 56.6 percent in 2012 to 84 percent last year. And just as remarkable is the improvement of the district’s dropout rate, which tumbled from 10 percent in 2012 to 1.9 percent last year.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated: “When I took over as mayor, our high school graduation rate was hovering around 50 percent and our dropout rate was at 10 percent - just plain unacceptable. Alongside public safety, our school system continues to be the number one priority of my administration. This is great news and there is still more to do. We’ve seen a more than 30 percent graduation rate improvement and a huge decrease in our dropout rate – both of which were accelerated under the leadership of Superintendent Daniel Warwick. This is a testament to all our partners from administration to teachers, staff, students, families, and our business community. Thank you and congratulations to all. As I have always stated – show-up to move-up.”
Said School Committee Vice Chairman Christopher Collins: “These results are nothing short of outstanding. The continued efforts by teachers, administration, staff and, importantly, the students and families have brought about these improvements and will result in more successful lives for the students of Springfield. Congratulations to all for a job well done.”
Warwick pointed out the record-setting progress made at the High School of Science and Technology, in particular. That school increased their graduation rate from 39.9 percent in 2012 to 91.5 percent last year. Additionally, the school decreased their dropout rate from 11.6 percent to 0.6 percent during that same time period.
Graduation rates for the district’s comprehensive high schools include Springfield Central High School at 93.6 percent, Roger L. Putnam Vocational-Technical Academy at 96.8 percent, Springfield Conservatory of the Arts at 93.8 percent, The Springfield Renaissance School at 97.6 percent, John. J. Duggan Academy at 98.1 percent, and the High School of Commerce at 86.8 percent.
The dropout rates for those schools are 0.9 percent for Central and Putnam, 0 percent for the Conservatory, 0.6 percent for Renaissance, 1.5 percent for Duggan, and 1.7 percent for Commerce.
Warwick also pointed out the graduation rate of English Language Learners in the district, which increased from 70.4 percent in 2020 to 77.2 percent last year.
Overall, Springfield Public Schools’ work to ensure more students remain in school translates to 537 fewer students dropping out in 2021 compared to 2012.
Warwick said that even though the district’s improvements in graduation and dropout rates have earned recognition among the state’s best, educators and administrators remain focused on the goal of getting “all kids to the finish line.”
“Yes, we are certainly pleased with these gains, and we celebrate them, but we are not satisfied. We want to make sure every single student graduates. Even one drop-out will be one too many,” said Warwick. “So, we will double our efforts to make sure we continue trending in the right direction.”