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Data reveal Shen students' after-graduation plans

Data reveal Shen students' after-graduation plans

Data reveal Shen students' after-graduation plans
Graduates receive their diplomas during the 65th commencement of Shenendehowa HS at SPAC June 22, 2018.
Photographer: Erica Miller

CLIFTON PARK -- Shenendehowa Central School District's Board of Education heard statistics Tuesday night about the number of district graduates who go on to higher education, among other details.

The district gathers and maintains data throughout the year, from sources ranging from the state Department of Education to the district's guidance offices.

Schools Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson said the wide-ranging stats are useful in monitoring which areas the board of education and administration should focus on, whether it is college preparedness or making sure students of varying financial situations are performing equally well.

"I think that, as a board, it's great for you to know that we look at a lot of different data points to illuminate what we think we should be doing as a system," he said at the board meeting.

Since 2013, more than 60 percent of students who graduated from Shenendenhowa have gone on to attend four-year colleges. The most recent graduating class had the highest percentage of those students in five years, at 67 percent, or 517 graduates, according to data from state Education Department. 

A total of 27 percent, or 167, of the 2018 graduates had plans to attend two-year colleges, according to the data. That was the second-highest percentage in the past five years, according to the state numbers.

The remaining students planned to join the military, transition directly into the workforce, or were unsure of their future plans. 

The percentage of Shen students planning to attend four-year schools after graduation has increased by a few percentage points each year for the past five years, an improvement trend School Board President Bob Pressly attributed to greater access to college preparation resources, starting in middle school. Those resources include the college and career readiness software Naviance, which is widely used in middle schools and high schools. 

The data also showed that, among Shen's graduates, most completed school with at least a state Regents diploma.

A majority of graduates from the past three years completed requirements necessary for a Regents diploma with "advanced designation," according to the data shared on Tuesday. Fifty-one percent, or 395 members, of the 2018 graduating class received the advanced diploma.

Twenty four percent of students graduated with the standard diploma, and 19 percent graduated with the advanced diploma and honors.

The high school, said Robert Melia, assistant superintendent of management service and quality control, provides the largest amount of reportable data for the district, due to the high number of tests high school students take. Those exams include college prep tests, Regents exams, and advanced-placement tests.

Shen's eight elementary schools and three middle schools are included in the data gathering process as well, with attendance rates, school operating costs and athletics all monitored.

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