Virginia released the on-time graduation rates for every school in the state Wednesday. For the Valley, Harrisonburg had the lowest rate of 72 percent.
The state average is around 81 percent. In the Valley, Rockingham County has the highest rate at 89 percent followed by Shenandoah County at 85, Augusta County at 84 and Page County at 80. Staunton's rate is 80 percent and Waynesboro's is 77.
Harrisonburg Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Loso says there are many factors that account for the city's lower rate.
He explains it is the first time that numbers have been released for this graduation 'formula.’ Therefore the gives them a starting point.
In addition, students who start high school at a later age, such as 16 or 17, may not have adequate schooling to graduate in four years.
On top of that, the rate does not include people who have received other certificates of completion, such as GED.
Loso says, "We actually have almost 35 percent of the students that did not meet the on time graduation did actually receive some sort of completion status, such as they received a GED."
One common misconception is that a 72 percent perfect on-time graduation rate means there was a 28 percent drop out rate. However, there is no direct correlation between the two.