Graduation and Dropout Rates

Graduation Rates

  • Cohort graduation rates are calculated as prescribed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), which provides data to the federal reporting system.  In accordance with NCES requirements, Delaware uses the 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.  This rate measures the number and percentage of cohort members who earned a regular high school diploma within 4 years or less.  The graduation cohort is defined as the number of first-time 9th graders followed for 4 years plus students who transfer into a school minus students who transfer out, emigrate, or are deceased during that time period.  The graduation report also provides 5-year and 6-year graduation rates.

    The graduation report does not contain data reflecting private school, parochial school, or homeschool students in Delaware.  The state does gather information from families that homeschool their children as well as from private schools, the purpose of which is to verify the transfer of a student from a public school to a private school or a homeschool situation.

    Local education agencies (LEAs) provide graduation information to DDOE utilizing the Cohort Management System (CoMS) accessed via the state's website, and each LEA is required to complete the graduation verification and appeal process using CoMS on an annual basis.

    Graduation Rate Calculation Timeline

    • January 2017 - CoMS opens for LEAs to begin diploma review and ordering—diplomas must be ordered 6 to 8 weeks prior to graduation.
    • September 6, 2017 - CoMS is updated with graduate list, and LEAs begin graduation verification and appeal process.
    • October 13, 2107 - DEADLINE for graduate verification and appeals submissions.
    • November 6, 2017 - CoMS is updated with cohort list, and LEAs begin cohort verification and appeals process—review is for previous graduating year, e.g., class of 2017 cohort is reviewed in November 2017.
    • November 27, 2017 - DEADLINE for cohort verification and appeals submission.
    • December 15, 2017 - CoMS updated with graduation appeals decisions.
    • February 2018 - Final school graduation rates released at the State Board of Education's monthly meeting.

    Note: There will only one round of appeals in the graduation verification process.

Dropout Rates

  • Dropout rates are also calculated as prescribed by the NCES.  In accordance with NCES requirements, Delaware uses the event dropout rate, which measures the proportion of students who drop out in a single school year.  This is the rate the state has reported since 1994.

    The dropout report does not contain data reflecting private, parochial, or homeschool students in Delaware.  The state does gather information from families that homeschool their children as well as from private schools, but only does so to verify the transfer of a student from public to a private school or a homeschool.

    LEAs provide dropout information to DDOE via the Dropout Verification System (DVS) on the DDOE website.  Each LEA is required to complete the dropout verification and appeal process for each of its schools that serves students in grade 7 and above on an annual basis.

    Dropout Rate Calculation Timeline

    • January 20, 2017 - DVS opens for LEAs to begin review of student lists, including potential dropouts based on no-show students.
    • June 12, 2017 - An updated list of potential dropouts is generated for review, and the official window for appeals opens.
    • July 10, 2017 - DEADLINE for submission of dropout appeals.
    • August 14, 2017 - DVS updated with appeal decisions.
    • October 2017 - Final DVS update—drop-ins, private school enrollees, Groves enrollees, and Groves graduates are removed from the dropout list.
    • February 2018 - Final dropout rates are released at the State Board of Education's monthly meeting.

    Note: There will only one round of appeals in the dropout verification process.