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ISD 728 Graduation Rates at Historical Highs

The Minnesota Department of Education recently released graduation rates for the Class of 2019. Results from the report and the three-year historical averages indicate good news across the board for ISD 728. 

Graduates visit their old elementary schools in the spring.  The District’s overall four-year graduation rate of 91.4 percent was a three-year high, and 7.7 percent higher than the state average of 83.7 percent. Rogers High School led the way, overall, with 97.6 percent of its senior class graduating. Zimmerman High showed the best three-year growth, with its graduation rate increasing by 3.2 points to 95.1 percent in 2019. 

“It takes an entire team to get a student through graduation day, so this is a great reflection on our District team delivering on our mission to create learners who are ready to accomplish their dreams and contribute positively to our local and global communities,” said Dr. Daniel Bittman, superintendent of ISD728 schools. “I’m really proud of our teachers, staff and administrators across the District, who are ready to help kids and families on their journey to life beyond our schools. We feel we prepare them well, and are getting better each and every day.” 

Breaking down four-year graduation rates by race/ethnicity, ISD 728 has shown significant improvements in the graduation rate for American Indian/Alaskan Native students. In Minnesota, students within this group saw just over half of its seniors graduate - but the graduation rate here in ISD 728 is at 80 percent - nearly 30 points higher.  ISD 728 has also closed the achievement gaps for Black and Hispanic students - two groups that saw major gains in graduation rates statewide. Nearly 70 percent of Black and Hispanic students in Minnesota graduate, which is markedly up since 2010. But in ISD 728, that rate is at 85.7 percent for Black students and 88.5 percent for Hispanic students - both more than 15 percent higher than the state average. 

“Our core values center around high-quality education for all,” said Dr. Joseph Stangler, Director of Research and Assessment. “These results are a good indicator that we are holding true to those values and getting our students prepared for career and college success.” 

Other highlights from the report: 

  • ISD 728’s English Learners - those who have a home language that is not English - hit a three-year high with a 95.7 graduation rate in 2019. 
  • Students identifying as two or more races have shown steady increase in graduation rates over the last three years, hitting a nearly 94 percent graduation rate last year. 
  • Students receiving discounted or free lunch continue to be below the average graduation rate in the District, but that group scores more than 9 percent above the state’s average. ISD 728’s rate for students in the FRP category was just over 80 percent. 

More information about the District’s graduation rates can be found via the Minnesota Department of Education's Report Card, which can be accessed at