September 15, 2021
Summer Graduation Numbers Increase 75%
New initiatives prioritized student achievement and credit recovery
As rain fell in buckets on the morning of August 22, most people outdoors ran for cover. But on the Loyola College campus in North Baltimore, hundreds stayed put for a great reason: City Schools students, with their families and friends, celebrated high school graduation and basked in their achievement.
Nothing was going to stop our 505 scholars — the most City Schools summer graduates in at least four years — from celebrating their accomplishment. They walked across the stage at joyous graduation ceremonies, which featured guest speakers Jason Newton of WBAL and Senator Cory McCray.
This year’s huge number of summer graduates is a 75% increase from last year and a 120% increase from two summers ago. It is also a testament to the success of City Schools’ targeted and re-imagined initiatives for high school students.
Graduates included seniors who needed a few more credits as well as young adults who re-engaged with school in order to earn their high school diplomas. Of the summer graduates, 406 of them were 12th graders who graduated within four years. Two, three-week intensive in-person summer sessions included a late start site which allowed students who needed flexibility to accommodate employment schedules. The all-senior summer school program at Forest Park was new this summer; seniors and students who were going to turn 21 and age out of the system were able to take up to four courses over the two summer sessions.
To read more about City Schools’ 2021 summer programs that focused on re-engagement and recovery for 12,000 students, click here.
Keeping all seniors working toward graduation at one site created an enhanced sense of community, with determined seniors showing up each day to push themselves and one another. And the support didn’t stop with graduation. Forest Park High School also hosted City Schools’ Navigator Center, the program working with graduates on the transition from high school to college or career. Read more about the Navigator Center, here.
That sense of community, mutual support, and achievement shined bright at the summer graduation ceremonies, as students from across the city donned caps and gowns with their school colors. The multi-colored scene reflected the variety of paths our students took to get to the day, the shared goal they have all achieved, and the open canvas of what comes next.
A huge congratulations to all City Schools summer graduates!