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SSP High School Sees Increase in Graduation Rates


The four-year graduation rates for the Class of 2022 were released earlier this week by the Minnesota Department of Education. A preliminary look at the data shows the 4-year graduation rate for the South St Paul High School class of 2022 is 89.9%. This is 5 percentage points higher than the graduation rate for the class of 2021 (84.4%) and above the graduation rate for the class of 2020 (88.6%). The statewide average 4-year graduation rate is 83.6%, which has been stable over the past five years. 

What could contribute to the increase?

Over the past two years the SSP High School has made some changes to help increase the graduation rate. One of those being What I Need (WIN) Wednesday. WIN Wednesdays are directed towards the students who may be falling behind in class and need more one-on-one support, while at the same time rewarding the students who are doing well. On WIN Wednesday, students with a C- or lower in any class are required to come to school for more support in a smaller class setting. Students with a C or above are assigned work that they need to complete at home. Since the implementation of WIN Wednesday in 2021, the high school has seen a decrease in the number of failing grades from the start of the semester to the end.

Another change over the past couple years is the implementation of the Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) Program. The BARR program focuses on building relationships with students to help better understand where they need support to succeed. This program helps teachers identify what the next steps are. Licensed School Counselors can then help students work through some of the outside issues that may be putting their academics at risk. Read more about the Licensed School Counselors roll here.

High School Principal Chuck Ochocki says, “We have amazing students who want to succeed. Sometimes they just need a little extra support. One of the great things about our smaller district is that we have more opportunities for our students to receive the extra attention they need. We have made it a priority to learn what the barriers are for our students and directly address how we can help them.”

What are the next steps?

Additional analysis will be conducted by district and site administrators in coming days to disaggregate the data, examine the graduation rates of student groups, and look into individual student situations.