The graduation rate for Montgomery County seniors increased slightly last year for the first time in three years, according to new state Department of Education data.

The graduation rate increased from 88.4% in 2018 to 88.7% in 2019, according to data released Tuesday morning.

The MCPS rate remains higher than the state average of 86.9% and the national average of about 85%.

White and Asian students graduated at the highest rate, both around 95%, while Hispanic and black students had lower rates. Hispanic students had a roughly 76% rate, while black students had a 90% graduation rate.

The five-year graduation rate was 92% for black students and 80% for Hispanic students.

The graduation rate for students with limited English proficiency rose by 6.3 percentage points to 52.8%.

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MCPS graduation rate by subgroup.

“We are pleased to see our graduation rate on the rise. Nearly all of our student groups showed an increase in both the percentage graduating and the actual number of students graduating,” MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith wrote in a statement. “While disparities between student group outcomes persist, we have and will continue to remove barriers to access and opportunity so that all students reach their full potential.”

The graduation rate for the class of 2017 was 89.5%, while the class of 2016’s rate was 89.8%. The 2015 rate was 89.4%, and in 2014, it was 89.8%.

Poolesville High School had the highest graduation rate for the class of 2019, at 99%, according to a news release from MCPS. The next three were Thomas S. Wootton High School at 96.9%, Winston Churchill High School at 96.8% and Walter Johnson High School at 95.6%.

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Gaithersburg High School had the lowest graduation rate at 76.5%, up 2.5 points from 2018. Next was Northwood High School at 79.2%, up 1.4% points from 2018.

Wheaton High School’s rate increased by 7.2 points, to 84.4%.

MCPS graduation rate by school

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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