The Montana Office of Public Instruction is celebrating record high graduation rates for high schools students in the state.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Artnzen gave much of the credit to teachers in local schools.

“We are so excited to report that teachers have been doing their homework and have been working diligently,” said Arntzen. “We unrolled our aggregate graduation numbers and we are very proud to say they are increasing, and increasing steadily.”

Arntzen dove into the numbers from 2018.

“The statewide four-year cohort graduation rate for the 2017-2018 school year was 86.4 percent, the highest percentage since 2011 when the state began using a four-year cohort definition to calculate graduation rates. The previous year’s graduation rate was 85.8 percent,” she said. “But most importantly, our Native American students, they are more robust than ever. In the two years that I have been here, from 63 percent, we are now at 67.5 percent. That is a substantial increase, and the honor goes to the teachers and we are saying thank you for all the work that they have been doing in their classrooms in getting these students a diploma, and I am so proud of them.”

Last year, the OPI developed school improvement plans with teams from the newly identified comprehensive support schools under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The plans went into effect this school year and most of them are in Montana’s American Indian communities. The OPI is also offering professional development opportunities for designated targeted support schools who have a specific group of students that are underperforming.

Get the complete numbers from the OPI website by clicking here.