San Marcos Unified School District is one of six San Diego county districts that have 4-year cohort graduation rates above 90% and one of seven San Diego county districts with drop out rates below 5%.
“Our record high graduation rate is great news, especially since it is occurring at the same time we are raising academic standards,” said Torlakson. “This is more evidence that the dramatic changes taking place in our schools are gradually helping to improve teaching and learning in every classroom. We have raised academic standards, started online testing, given local districts more flexibility in spending, and provided more resources to students who need it most.”
As a district, San Marcos Unified places a strong emphasis on making certain that kids are connected and in school, and that we have interventions in place to support our student community.
San Marcos Unified receives an incredible amount of parental support, which is a vital part of the continued success of our high schools. In addition to strong PTO leadership, which has created a supportive atmosphere, the English Language Program Coordinator has worked successfully with our English Language Advisory Council. This has helped to empower parents to support their English learner students and promote more communication between parents and teachers of English learners.
The relationship that SMUSD has with local institutions of higher education has significantly contributed to our college-going culture. Through programs such as GEAR UP, where staff is actively involved in the campus community and tutors organize enrichment opportunities, as well as The PACE Promise, our partnership with CSU San Marcos guaranteeing admission to students who meet entrance requirements, SMUSD is committed to providing the strong sense of community which connects our students to learning. One only needs to look at our high attendance rate as an indication that our students feel engaged
Torlakson said he believes the extra resources flowing into our schools have helped schools add staff and reinvigorate many programs intended to help students graduate. In addition to specialized staff who support students with additional needs, SMUSD counselors and school psychologists further our students’ academic, social, and emotional well-being and orchestrate a variety of interventions.
The new graduation rate results come one day after the announcement that California finished sixth in the nation in the percentage of high school graduates from the class of 2014 who passed an Advanced Placement exam with a score of three or better.
To view and download state, county, district, and school graduation and dropout rates, visit the California Department of Education's DataQuest.