Graduation Reports

Graduation Rate Information

The graduation, completer and stability rates of APS schools are calculated according to the formula provided by the Colorado Department of Education. The graduation rates are included as the advanced indicator of adequate yearly progress for high schools while the stability rates are included as part of the school accountability reports.

Graduation Rate: The Colorado Department of Education defines the on-time graduation rates as follows, "The high school graduation rate is the percentage of students from which an end-of-year 8th-grade cohort, adjusted for verified transfers in and out with adequate documentation, who leave school as graduates as defined by the school district in four years or less" (Colorado Code of Regulations 301-67, 4.011).

The data utilized to calculate graduation rates are obtained from the end-of-year files that are submitted annually by the information technology department to the Colorado Department of Education. The on-time graduation rate for a school is determined by following a cohort of students across four years. In effect, the graduation rate is calculated by taking the number of students who graduate and dividing it by the number of students in the graduation base four years earlier (see page two). The graduation base is calculated by tracking the number of students who remain from the 9th grade (i.e., 8th graders at the end of the year file four years prior to graduation) after accounting for transfers. The method by which graduation rates are calculated has remained relatively constant. However, the state has become more stringent in regards to defining if a student is a dropout or transfer. The administrative rules for House Bill 05-091 require, "adequate documentation of transfer" for any student who transfers out of the district. For intra-state transfers, CDE can confirm using the student's SASID (state-assigned student identification number) that the student is still enrolled in a Colorado school.

However, if a student transfers to a private school or a public school outside of Colorado, it requires either a records request or other proof of enrollment from the receiving school. If documentation is not received, the originating district must code the student as a dropout. If the student is detected at a later point in a Colorado school the school district will be prompted to remove them from the denominator (i.e., they will not count against the graduation rate).

Completer Rate: The completer rate reflects graduates and those students who receive another certificate or designation of high school completion (e.g., GED recipient). The completer rate is calculated in the same manner as the graduation rate but is reported separately in state reports. The state approved legislation in 2005 that changes how school districts count students who leave to pursue a GED. Specifically, students who choose a GED program will remain in the graduation denominator which will reduce the graduation rate for the graduating class. The students will still be counted as completers but will reduce the graduation rate for their graduating class.

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the Division of Accountability and Research.

Graduation Rate Calculation - Examples
Graduation Rate Calculation Formula:
Until 2006-2007:

Number of Graduates in Year X
((Number of End of Year 8th Graders in year x-4) + (Number of transfers in)-(number of transfers out))

Numerator: cohort members (students) who graduated in year x
Denominator: initial 8th-grade cohort enrollment adjusted for verified transfers in and out.

2007-2008 and Beyond:

Number of on-time (four-year or prior) Graduates in Year X
(Number of End of Year 8th Graders in year x-4) + (Number of transfers in)-(number of transfers out)

Note: Graduation rates for schools not containing the 9th grade will be based on the grades
contained within the school.

For additional information concerning how graduation rates are calculated by the CDE, please
refer to the following website:

View a printable version of this page (pdf).