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### Achieving the Highest Graduation Rate in Over Ten Years: WAPS Sets a New Record

Winona Area Public Schools achieved its highest graduation rate in over a decade, as per the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Education.

In 2023, 86.34% of students at WAPS graduated within four years, continuing an upward trend that commenced in 2019. At Winona Senior High School, the graduation rate reached 93.12%, marking the highest rate since 2017. Although the graduation rate at the Winona Area Learning Center experienced a slight decline to 52.63% from 60.8%, it remained significantly higher than before the WALC staff initiated a three-year school improvement plan in collaboration with the Regional Centers of Excellence.

Superintendent Brad Berzinski expressed his satisfaction with the results, attributing the achievement to the dedication of not only the teachers and staff but also the students and families. He emphasized the district’s commitment to implementing systemic changes to address individual needs, highlighting the positive impact of their collaborative efforts.

The district-wide graduation rate surpassed the state average of 83.3% as of the recent release. Furthermore, the district exhibited higher graduation rates among students receiving special education services compared to the statewide average (73.7% versus 65.6%). Similarly, students eligible for free or reduced-price meals graduated at a rate of 71.9%.

Despite the progress reflected in the increased graduation rates, Superintendent Berzinski acknowledged that there is still unfinished business in achieving the ambitious targets outlined in the World’s Best Workforce Report. The district fell short of its goals of 89.1% district-wide, 95.3% at the high school, and 65.8% at the WALC.

While acknowledging the positive trajectory, Berzinski emphasized the ongoing need for further efforts to continue moving forward and meeting the established objectives.