The 1999 graduation rate is a four-year rate based on students reported by school districts who began 9th grade in the 1995-96 school year. The membership base used to calculate a high school's graduation rate includes students who transfer into the Class of 1999 and excludes students who transfer out of the Class of 1999. In addition, high schools can adjust their membership base for a student reported as a dropout during a previous school year if the high school has documentation that the student returned or transferred to another educational program.
The Colorado graduation rate for the Class of 1999 is 79.9 percent. This is a increase of 0.2 percentage points from rate reported for the Class of 1998. The Class of 1996 had a 77.7 percent graduation rate.
The graduation rate of 79.9 percent represents all Colorado public schools, including alternative schools. There are 72 alternative and second chance high schools in the state that address the educational needs of students who previously dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school. These alternative schools not only impact districts' graduation rates but also the overall state graduation rate since they are serving more and more students. The number of graduates from alternative schools in 1996 was 1,242 students and in 1999 there were 1,378 graduates.
Fifty-eight school districts or 33 percent of all Colorado school districts had a graduation rate at or above 90 percent in 1999. This was lower than the Class of 1996 when sixty-nine school districts (38 percent) had a graduation rate at or above 90 percent.
The Completer Rate is also a cumulative or longitudinal rate which calculates the number of students who graduate, receive certificates or other designations of high school completion. It is also calculated as a percent of those who were in membership and could have graduated or completed over a four-year period (i.e., from Grades 9-12).
The completer rate for the Class of 1999 is 81.7 percent. Completers include graduates and students receiving other certificates or designations of completion from a Colorado public high school.