MONROVIA – Expanded college and career preparedness opportunities, emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses, and promotion of the arts have helped boost Monrovia Unified’s graduation rates to record highs in 2015-16.

Monrovia Unified’s graduation rate climbed to 92.6 percent in 2015-16 – the district’s best overall performance since the state began tracking figures for four-year student cohorts. This overall graduation rate encompasses alternative education, which is traditionally lower than comprehensive rates.

The figures also show that graduation performance by major student subgroups – Hispanic/Latino, white, African American and socioeconomically disadvantaged – mirror the District’s overall rate. The achievement gap has narrowed considerably districtwide in this measure.

“We are so fortunate to have the support of our parents, teachers and staff, who constantly motivate students to do their best,” Monrovia Unified Board President Bryan Wong said. “This is yet another measure demonstrating that Monrovia’s schools continue to reach greater levels of success each year.”

Monrovia High School – with its largest graduating class since 2010 – achieved its best-ever graduation rate this year at 96.9 percent – a jump of 2.2 percentage points over 2014-15.

“These rates really demonstrate the commitment of our students and teachers,” Monrovia High Principal Kirk McGinnis said. “These impressive numbers validate all their hard work, and I am proud to be a part of such a successful District and high school.”

MHS’s socioeconomically disadvantaged students topped even that success with a 97.2 percent graduation rate. English learners at the school achieved a 93.5 percent graduation rate. Success also was seen by Hispanic/Latino with a 96.6 percent rate; white students with a 95.2 percent rate; and African American students with a 100 percent rate.

“The high graduation rates reflect the strength of instruction by experts in the classroom and the effort expended by our students,” Monrovia Unified Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “We are all very proud to be able to say that all three of our high schools are at the highest graduation rates in recent history.”