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INDIANAPOLIS | Almost every high school in Lake and Porter counties improved its graduation rate for 2014, in line with schools across Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Education released graduation rates for 2013-14 showing a jump to 89.8 percent overall, up from 88.6 percent the year before. Indiana’s nonwaiver graduation rate also saw an increase, at 83.4 percent, up from 81.7 percent the previous year.

The waiver rate refers to the number of students who were excused even though they did not pass the mandatory “end-of-course assessments." Students who are granted waivers must have at least a C average and a 95 percent attendance rate. They must complete the Core 40 diploma curriculum, utilize any remedial opportunities available and must obtain clearance from teachers in math and English, which are the two areas covered on the end-of-course assessment.

Theresa Mayerik, the School City of Hammond's chief administrator of academic affairs, said every high school in Hammond improved and attributed it to the PLATO online credit-recovery program, instituted at each high school.

Hammond High's graduation rate was 86.6 percent, up from 78.5 percent in 2013. There were 149 of 172 seniors who graduated in 2014. Hammond Morton High jumped to 79.6 percent from 61.4 percent, with 230 of 289 students graduating.

"The Class of 2014 started high school when Hammond High School received the 1003g School Improvement Grant," she said.

"They were the only group of students to attend ... for four years under the grant. Under that grant, we were able to put in a number of interventions to help students be successful. One of those interventions was the use of the PLATO program. Last year, Hammond High School had a PLATO lab scheduled each period of the day. Students who failed classes could be scheduled into this lab to do credit recovery online."

Gary West Side jumped to 92 percent from 69 percent in 2014. Gary Wirt-Emerson climbed to 100 percent graduation rate in 2014, from 95.2 percent, with all 73 seniors graduating.

EdisonLearning Roosevelt grads showed a slight decline. In 2013, 41.3 percent of students graduated, compared with 38.8 percent in 2014. Of 170 seniors, 66 graduated in 2014. Roosevelt College and Career Academy is operated by Tennessee-based management company EdisonLearning Inc. The state appointed the private management company to operate the high school after several consecutive years of failure under the Gary Community School Corp. EdisonLearning Roosevelt also has earned an F from the state.

Munster High went up to 97.2 percent in 2014 from 96.7 percent. Crown Point High rose to 97 percent in 2014 from 96.2 percent in 2013. Similarly, Porter County schools also did well. Chesterton High jumped to 96.8 percent in 2014 from 92.8 percent, with 478 of 494 students graduating. Hebron High remained the same with 98.7 percent graduation rate for two consecutive years.

Indiana education leader Glenda Ritz said of teachers and parents, "Because of their efforts and the outreach efforts of the Department of Education, more children are graduating from high school and preparing themselves for college and career. Today’s news is yet another sign of the great work happening every day in schools throughout Indiana.”

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Northwest Indiana public school graduation rates

Graduation rates for public high schools in Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties.

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4 Field 5 Field 6 Field 7 Field 7
School Name 2014 Cohort Size 2014 Grads 2014 Grad Rate 2013 Grad Rate 2012 Grad Rate 2011 Grad Rate 2010 Grad Rate
Hanover Central High Sch 142 136 95.8% 92.1% 93.1% 90.1% 92.9%
River Forest Jr-Sr High School 105 80 76.2% 71.5% 77.2% 75.7% 65.9%
Merrillville High Sch 535 497 92.9% 93.5% 89.0% 90.1% 90.8%
Lake Central High School 777 738 95.0% 95.3% 93.2% 89.9% 85.4%
Lowell Senior High School 308 298 96.8% 95.7% 95.6% 87.5% 80.4%
Calumet High School 166 158 95.2% 92.1% 90.3% 79.6% 72.2%
Crown Point High School 666 646 97.0% 96.2% 97.4% 93.7% 93.6%
East Chicago Central High Sch 267 225 84.3% 82.1% 79.3% 67.0% 52.0%
Thomas A Edison Jr-Sr HS 93 86 92.5% 76.7% 67.9% 70.8% 71.4%
Thea Bowman Leadership Academy 112 101 90.2% 95.6% 88.4% 86.4% 84.9%
Gary Middle College 75 6 8.0% 5.0%
Lew Wallace (Sci-Tech-Eng-Math) 114 74 64.9% 54.9% 54.8% 60.4% 75.5%
Theodore Roosevelt Car & Tech Acad 170 66 38.8% 41.3%
Gary Lighthouse Charter School 93 78 83.9% 87.3% ***
West Side Leadership Academy 199 183 92.0% 69.0% 65.7% 69.4% 73.4%
21st Century Charter Sch of Gary 35 33 94.3% 100.0% 95.2% 100.0% 76.5%
Wm A Wirt/Emerson VPA 73 73 100% 95.2% 88.6% 94.1% 90.8%
Griffith Senior High School 214 180 84.1% 87.7% 87.4% 91.0% 89.0%
Highland High School 295 280 94.9% 95.3% 91.3% 92.8% 91.0%
Hobart High School 290 271 93.4% 91.2% 93.2% 90.5% 88.6%
Munster High School 386 375 97.2% 96.7% 98.0% 95.7% 95.2%
Whiting High School 94 88 93.6% 93.5% 81.7% 92.1% 85.1%
George Rogers Clark Md/HS 224 188 83.9% 77.0% 79.6% 74.9% 68.8%
Donald E Gavit Mdl/High Sch 177 155 85.3% 83.0% 75.8% 76.9% 79.3%
Hammond High School 172 149 86.6% 78.5% 75.6% 74.7% 62.6%
Morton Senior High School 289 230 79.6% 61.4% 67.8% 69.7% 69.1%
New Prairie High School 203 194 95.6% 92.6% 97.6% 97.0% 93.8%
LaCrosse School 23 22 95.7% 88.2% 95.8%
Westville High School 72 71 98.6% 90.9% 95.2% 92.2% 91.1%
South Central Jr-Sr High Sch 66 65 98.5% 85.3% 88.2% 87.8% 88.7%
LaPorte High School 437 385 88.1% 82.6% 88.1% 89.5% 86.9%
Michigan City High Sch 373 320 85.8% 78.9% 83.7% 85.0% 75.2%
Hebron High School 76 75 98.7% 98.7% 97.5% 90.8% 92.0%
Morgan Township Middle/High School 55 55 100% 98.4% 98.4% 98.0% 100.0%
Kouts Middle/High School 77 70 90.9% 87.3% 94.9% 98.2% 85.9%
Boone Grove High School 148 129 87.2% 89.4% 89.8% 83.5% 87.2%
Wheeler High School 133 125 94.0% 95.0% 95.4% 95.2% 98.1%
Washington Twp Middle/High School 65 59 90.8% 97.3% 88.9% 91.5% 94.7%
Portage High School 666 616 92.5% 91.8% 90.7% 88.4% 88.8%
Neighbors' New Vistas High School 62 17 27.4% 10.4%
Valparaiso High School 509 467 91.7% 92.1% 91.8% 90.8% 88.0%
Chesterton Senior High School 494 478 96.8% 92.8% 91.0% 89.8% 91.1%

Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.