ROCHESTER, Minn. - New reports from Minnesota and Iowa's Departments of Education show record breaking rates of students taking home diplomas last year.
Rochester Public Schools is surpassing the state average by around 2% this year and that's despite being slight down from the previous year when the district boasted scores at 87%.
The state's four-year graduation rate sits around 84%. Superintendent Michael Muñoz says he's excited to see what the future holds for the district.
He explained, "Our goal is to have every student graduate and as we continue each year, that continues to grow, that's the most important thing. That's because if students don't graduate from high school there's a lot of research that shows it's going to be very challenging for them in their future."
Muñoz attributes the success to changes including an effort to target specific academic needs. He also points to non-academic initiatives including the creation off full-service community schools.
"We have four districts that are community schools and they're really designed to address the needs of students outside of school and get those taken care of so when they do come to school they can really focus on learning," said Muñoz.
The district's graduation rate for African American studetns is little over 80% which is a number Muñoz hopes will continue to climb.
He added, " One of the things that's most exciting for me is we continue to close the gap between our students of color compared to our white students. We're closing the gap between our graduation rates and that's something we've been able to do the last several years."
In Iowa the state high school graduation rate reached record highs - topping out at nearly 92% in 2019.