Graduates at the CHS Victory Lap

Charlottesville High School graduation rate again exceeds state at 94.5 percent

Specific Highlights Include Black Students and Students with Disabilities

Charlottesville High School’s 2020 on-time graduation rate remained high at 94.5 percent overall, surpassing the state’s rate of 92.3. This comes after a school-high graduation rate of 95.7 in 2019. Charlottesville has one of the state’s highest graduation rates among cities.

“We couldn’t be more proud,” notes Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins. “Among other things, it indicates that we were able to stay connected with our high school seniors this spring to help them finish their K-12 journey.”

Scenes from the 2020 CHS Graduation Victory Lap

The school’s rate tops the state’s averages in several categories, including for black students and students with disabilities. Charlottesville’s black students’ rate rose from their already-high 2019 figure (95.9) up to 96.7. This exceeds the school’s overall graduation rate by 2.2 points as well as the state’s average for black students (91.3) by 5.4 points. Similarly, the school’s already-strong rate for students with disabilities increased from 95.3 to 95.6, surpassing the school’s overall rate by 1.1 points and their state peers’ rate by 5.2 points. The school’s drop-out rate stayed low at 2.6 percent, compared to the state average of 5.1 percent.

The school’s percentage of students earning advanced diplomas was just above state averages overall (51.9 vs 51.8). This rate improved for certain groups — for instance, the percentage of Charlottesville’s black students who earned the advanced diploma rose 6.4 points, rising from 25.5 in 2019 to 31.9. Virginia’s rate is 36.4.

The graduation rate for Hispanic students fell to 77.1, and Asian students fell to 78.6. The small number of students in each of these categories (35 and 14 students, respectively) makes these groups’ percentages subject to swings.  There is also significant overlap in these two groups with Charlottesville’s ESL students, who also saw their rate decline to 69 percent. Multi-racial students’ rate declined slightly to 91.3. On the plus side, Charlottesville’s economically disadvantaged students again outperformed the state’s (92.6 vs 89.1).

“We are so proud of the Class of 2020. They showed resilience in the face of challenges such as the schools’ closure this spring,” noted CHS Principal Eric Irizarry. “Our teachers, counselors, and staff stayed with them even during the closure, and we found great new ways to celebrate their graduation. That class taught us a lot, which we will use to help this year’s seniors.”

The cohort’s graduation rates complement their strong performance on the SAT. For the combined score, CHS students’ average rose to 1156, which surpassed the state by 40 points and the nation by 105 points. In reading/writing, CHS’s average of 595 surpassed the state by 28 and the nation by 67. In math, CHS’s average of 561 surpassed Virginia by 12 and the US by 38.