Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools sports record high graduation rate: 'Preparing students for life'

Akilah Davis Image
Thursday, September 21, 2023
CHCCS boasts record high graduation rate: 94.8 percent
Students, teachers and parents alike are proud of the work being done at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools to help students graduate.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's the middle of the school day at Phoenix Academy, an alternative school that provides students with personalized education, and Xavier Caldwell is hard at work. He knows he learns better in smaller settings.

"Teachers can be a lot more focused on single students and people that need help," he said. "I can always ask for help if I don't understand part of a subject or a subject at all."

Caldwell, 18, is a high school senior. He's just one of the many students here working toward graduation.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows the graduation rate for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is 94.8 percent. Last year, the statewide graduation rate was 86 percent, according to MyFutureNC.

School leaders call that data a major achievement. They said meeting students where they are is the key to the district's high graduation rate.

Superintendent Dr. Nyah Hamlett said in recent years the district's graduation rate has repeatedly exceeded the statewide average. There is a focus on closing the achievement gap and equity work.

"We know that we're preparing our students for life after school," she said. "Connecting with their families and getting to know them. Reaching deep and providing them multiple opportunities and pathways in order to graduate."

Those pathways include modified schedules for families working multiple jobs.

"Sometimes our students have morning schedules so they can leave in the afternoon. We also provide more online options for students. We have to be creative and resourceful. We're doing that more than ever," said district graduation coach Jacqueline Drumwright.

The flexibility here is something Caldwell believes will take him far.

"As far as I can, I might as well just keep on moving," said Caldwell.

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