Four-year cohort graduation rate hits 91.7%

BCPS four-year cohort graduation rate hits 91.7 percent
Posted on 11/13/2020

Morganton, NC – Friday, Nov. 13, 2020


Burke County Public Schools in 2020 had its highest graduation rate in 10 years. The district’s four-year cohort graduation rate for the class of 2020 is 91.7%, up 2 percentage points from 2019 and up 6.8 percentage points from a district low in 2012. The average graduation rate for the state is 87.6 in 2020. All four traditional Burke County Public Schools high schools had graduation rates above the state level, and Burke Middle College once again had a 100% graduation rate. The Burke high school rates are as follows:

  • 100% Burke Middle College
  • 96.1%  East Burke High School
  • 94.1%  Draughn High School
  • 92% Patton High School
  • 90.4%  Freedom High School
  • 76.8% Hallyburton Academy

Burke County Public School Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam attributes several factors to the district’s steady rise in graduation rates over the past four years. He said, “We know that student attendance, student engagement, family engagement and economics are all factors in a student’s success in school and achieving the ultimate goal of graduation and receiving that all important high school diploma. Student-teacher relationships and school administrators also play an important role in student success. In Burke County Public Schools we have taken targeted steps over the past few years to do more to keep students in school. This includes adding Student Services Director Dr. Mike Swan to focus on student needs. Our counselors and principals are actively involved in intervention measures. We also have added various programs over the years so students can find courses they are interested in to keep them engaged. Another success has been our GEAR UP grant program for middle and high schoolers to see that not only is high school graduation attainable, but so is college. While schools do their part to help get students graduated, parents can help, too. Studies show that simple activities such as reading together at home and having meals together at the supper table factor into a student staying in school and ultimately graduating. While we recognize there is still work to do, I am very proud of our hard working students and staff for making graduation a priority and getting our graduation rate over 90 percent.”


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