Lynwood – Open access to high-level courses, expansion of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, and rigorous career technical education Pathways have helped boost Lynwood Unified’s graduation rates to record highs in 2015-16.

The latest increases – roughly 3 percent at both comprehensive high schools – represent the latest in the District’s trend of significant improvements over six years.

While the District graduation rate rose 2.7 percentage points, Lynwood High and Firebaugh High both broke the 90 percent mark. Lynwood High boasted a 93.2 percent rate, up from 89.1 percent in 2014-15, while Firebaugh High jumped from 90.4 percent in 2014-15 to 93.3 percent in 2015-16.

Since 2010-11, Lynwood High has climbed 25.3 percentage points and Firebaugh High has risen by 23.9 percentage points.

“It is our responsibility to provide the right tools and support to get all students into the college and career of his or her choosing,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “Our rising graduation rates are a testament to the hard work exhibited every day by our students, teachers and staff. Congratulations to everyone in our Lynwood Unified family for this accomplishment.”

Lynwood Unified has eliminated prerequisites and tracking so that any student can enroll in advanced placement coursework, including AP, honors and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. The District provides teacher training to support students, free summer camps, access to online tutoring courses, and District funds to cover the cost of exams.

For this, Lynwood Unified was named a 2017 AP District of the Year by the College Board for expanding access to AP courses while simultaneously improving AP exam performance. Lynwood Unified was one of only three Districts in the nation – and only one in California – to receive this distinction.

More than 92 percent of the students in the district qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and about a third of the District’s students are English learners.

Lynwood Unified plans to continue strengthening its 2016 Golden Bell-winning programs, including its career technical education pathways and health collaborative partnership that offers whole-body support for students and their families.

“Lynwood Unified is constantly raising the bar for students, and our students are always exceeding that bar,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “I am so proud to be part of such a successful District that is truly dedicated to helping all students pursue their dreams.”