The Tennessee Department of Education released graduation rates for the graduating class of 2018.
"Bradley County Schools has maintained steady graduation rates for the past few years. We did have an increase this year as we went from a graduation rate of 91.7 percent to a rate of 92.2 percent," officials said. "This is above the state graduation rate of 89.1 percent, but our goal is to increase our graduation rate to 95 percent by the year 2021.
"We have some areas that we need to continue to grow, but we also have some areas that we want to highlight.
"We are very proud of the results of our Career Technical Education students, as they had a graduation rate of 97.98 percent.
"Our goal is to have students ready for their next steps, and we are focused on preparing students for life after high school, whether their path takes them to college or to careers. To help reach our goals, our students have opportunities to take part in mock interviews, job shadowing, career fairs and college visits, just to name a few.
"We do recognize that we need to support our special education students. We are encouraged, as we saw an increase in the graduation rate of this subgroup from 65.88 percent to 72.46 percent. We will collaborate with our Director of Special Education Ruth Ann White to continue to address the needs of this subgroup.
"Another subgroup that we will need to pay attention to is our economically disadvantaged students. We saw a decrease from 88.48 percent graduation rate to 84.87 percent."
"We are also proud to see that both of our primary high schools improved their graduation rates this year", stated Dr. Linda Cash. "Walker Valley High School increased their graduation rate to 97.12 percent and Bradley Central High School increased to 88.66 percent. Bradley Central does have a higher percentage of students that are economically disadvantaged and special education but irregardless, we will continue to focus on ways to address the needs of all students at BCHS.
"Bradley County Virtual School and GOAL Academy did see a decrease in their graduation rates. Both of these schools are so small in numbers that even one student not graduating makes a big difference in the graduation rate. GOAL Academy produced a 93.I percent graduation rate and Bradley County Virtual had a 75 percent graduation rate."