In a year that seems like it's been one long string of bad news, Kalamazoo Public Schools has something to be proud of. KPS reports this past school year it had its highest number of graduates since The Kalamazoo Promise was announced 15 years ago.

KPS Superintendent Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri announced at the Sept. 22 Board of Education meeting, that the district’s total number of 2020 graduates was 734.

“That number represents nearly a 62 percent increase and highest number of graduates to date in the post-Promise era and is the seventh year in a row with an increase. The pandemic didn’t stop our students from performing at their best and our district from providing the supports it has committed to providing to ensure that our students are successful.” - KPS Superintendent Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri in a Kalamazoo Public Schools release

In that same release, KPS says "in 2005, the district had 454 graduates. The number of graduates rose to 692 by 2018 and 715 in 2019.

The graduate numbers for 2020 graduates for each high school and high school program:

Kalamazoo Central High School — 319
Loy Norrix High School — 284
Phoenix High School — 113
Kalamazoo Innovative Learning Program — 18

KPS says the increase in the number of graduates is more than an increase in overall enrollment numbers. Enrollment in the district has grown by 25 percent over the past 15 years, but KPS have said that the remainder of the increase in graduates 'can be attributed to concerted efforts by the district to raise the number of graduates."

The graduation rate for 2019-20 will be released sometime early next year.

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