2021 | Schools

89.3% of MCPS seniors graduated in 2020

Rate increased slightly from previous year

Montgomery County Public Schools’ graduation rate for the class of 2020 was 89.3%, an increase of sixth-tenths of a percentage point from the prior year.

This is the second consecutive year the state’s largest district has seen its graduation rate increase slightly. In 2020, the rate increased from 88.4% to 88.7%.

The MCPS rate remains higher than the state average of 86.8% and the national average of about 85%.

In a press release, MCPS wrote that the increase is notable, especially because the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the 2019-2020 academic year and created extreme challenges for students.

“Our students have worked so hard in the face of an unprecedented year,” Superintendent Jack Smith wrote in the press release. “They have been supported by their families, the greater Montgomery County community and by MCPS staff, who have gone above and beyond to provide for their academic and social-emotional needs.”

White and Asian students graduated at the highest rate, both around 97%.

Hispanic and Black students had lower rates. Hispanic students had a roughly 77% rate, while Black students had a 91% graduation rate.

The rate also rose for special education students (3 points), and students who receive free and reduced-price meals (2.7 points). The graduate rate for special education students was 72.9% and 85.9% for students who receive discounted meals.

The MCPS schools with the highest graduation rates were: Poolesville (99.3%), Thomas S. Wootton (97.7%), Northwest (96%) and Walt Whitman (96%).

The schools with the lowest rates were: Albert Einstein (77.8%), Gaithersburg (78.8%), Springbrook (80.8%), Wheaton (80.7%) and Northwood (81.7%).

Northwood’s graduation rate increased 2.5 points from the previous year.

Fourteen high schools saw a one-year increase in the graduation rate and four saw a consecutive increase over two years (Gaithersburg, Paint Branch, Poolesville and Thomas S. Wootton).

The schools with the largest one-year increases were Rockville (6.5 points) and John F. Kennedy (5.2 points).

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