Moses Lake HS named ‘school of distinction’

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MOSES LAKE — Moses Lake High School has been named one of the state’s “Schools of Distinction” for its increased graduation rate over the last five years — one of only 28 high schools statewide to receive that award from the Bellevue-based Center for Education Effectiveness (CEE).

“Our graduation rates have risen in the last five years,” Superintendent Josh Meek told a group of teachers and administrators at the high school Monday morning. “That puts you in the top 5 percent of graduation rate improvement across the state.”

“That’s pretty incredible,” he added.

According the CEE, the MLHS graduation rate has risen to 82.5 percent in 2017, compared with a graduation rate of 75.3 percent in 2012. The median graduation rate in Washington was 86.8 percent in 2017, according to statistics from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

According to Marilyn McGuire, CEE’s vice president for school and district improvement, this year 99 schools in Washington — including 27 high schools — received the designation “School of Distinction.”

“This is for continuous improvement,” McGuire said. “For a high school to win it, there should be continuous improvement in graduation rates over five years.”

While MLHS’s graduation rate did rise over the five year period 2012-2017, it only did so after a fairly substantial decline to 68 percent in 2013 and 2014, according to data on the CEE website.

This is the first time MLHS has been named a “School of Distinction” since the CEE program began in 2007.

“Everyone in this room plays a part in this somehow,” Meek said. “We’re changing the lives of kids to open up doors for their future.”

A high school diploma may not guarantee much, Meek added, but it is a good start on life.

“This tells us that we’re doing the right thing and we’re on the right path,” said MLHS Principal Jake Long.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at countygvt@columbiabasinherald.com.

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