BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — More students are graduating from the Buffalo Public Schools and fewer are dropping out than in years past.

New graduation rates released by the district show four-year rates jumped 2.2% from 76.3% to 78.5%.

Another statistic BPS touts is a jump in English Language Learners, students whose native language isn’t English, graduating. This group saw a 12.2% jump from 57.5% (Cohort 2016) to 69.7% (Cohort 2017) receiving a diploma.

BPS also saw 13 of the district’s 20 high schools reach graduation rates of 80% or higher.

  1. Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality
  2. Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts
  3. City Honors
  4. Emerson School of Hospitality
  5. Hutchinson Technical High School
  6. Frederick Law Olmsted #156
  7. Lafayette International
  8. Leonardo da Vinci
  9. Lewis J. Bennett High School of Innovative Tech
  10. McKinley High School
  11. Middle Early College
  12. Research Lab for Bioinformatics
  13. South Park High School

In addition to the above schools, International Preparatory High School and Math Science Technology Preparatory School reached graduation rates of 75% or higher.

The district noted that the achievement gap between white students and Black students narrowed from 5.5 percentage points (Cohort 2016) to 1.3 percentage points (Cohort 2017).

The number of BPS students dropping out also fell from 12.5% (Cohort 2016) to 10% (Cohort 2017).

“These increases are due to the District strategically providing greater programmatic access, equity, quality, and opportunity for all students than ever before – all under conditions and challenges that came with the Covid-19 pandemic and remote instruction,” said a BPS spokesperson. “Using data-driven practices, high schools implemented multi-layered systems of academic and behavioral support that helped students and families understand what was needed to graduate on time.”

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.