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KPS Announces Highest Number of Grads Since Start of The Promise

Kalamazoo Public Schools has reported its highest number of graduates to date since The Kalamazoo Promise was announced 15 years ago.

At the Sept. 22 Board of Education meeting, KPS Superintendent Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri announced that the district’s total number of 2020 graduates was 734.

“That number represents nearly a 62 percent increase and highest number of graduates to date in the post-Promise era and is the seventh year in a row with an increase,” Raichoudhuri said. “The pandemic didn’t stop our students from performing at their best and our district from providing the supports it has committed to providing to ensure that our students are successful.”

In 2005, the district had 454 graduates. The number of graduates rose to 692 by 2018 and 715 in 2019.

These are the number of 2020 graduates for each high school and high school program:

Kalamazoo Central High School — 319

Loy Norrix High School — 284

Phoenix High School — 113

Kalamazoo Innovative Learning Program — 18

The increase in graduation numbers represents more than a simple increase in overall enrollment numbers. Enrollment in the district has grown by 25 percent over the past 15 years, but administrators have said that the remainder of the increase in graduates can be attributed to concerted efforts by the district to raise the number of graduates.

Administrators cite efforts such as curriculum improvements, best practices with instruction, enhanced parent and guardian involvement, and more extensive collaborations with community partners as being key to improving outcomes for students.

The 2019-2020 graduation rate will be released by the Michigan Department of Education in early 2021.