WPHS Grad Rate Up

The graduation rate at Wheeling Park High is now at 81.4 percent – up from 74.7 percent last year, Superintendent Dianna Vargo announced.

Vargo presented the annual “State of the Schools” address at WPHS on Tuesday.

Ohio County’s graduation rate compares to that in Brooke County at 89.1 percent; Hancock County, 80 percent; Marshall County at 85.9 percent; Tyler County, 94.6 percent; and Wetzel County, 86.4 percent, according to data provided by the West Virginia Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education lists West Virginia’s overall high school graduation rate at 76 percent; Ohio’s stands at 80 percent. Among neighboring states, Pennsylvania and Maryland have graduation rates of 83 percent, while Virginia’s is 82 percent. The graduation rate in Kentucky was not reported.

Vargo cited the GED Option Pathway program at WPHS as the reason why more students are staying in school. It allows to students to remain enrolled at WPHS while pursuing a GED and obtaining career and technical training, she said.

“This was a significant increase,” she said of the improvement in the graduation rate, noting the GED Option Pathway program “gives them hope.”

“Say you were not very successful as a freshman and you feel, ‘How am I going to get enough credits to graduate?’ This program provides opportunities for them,” Vargo said.

Vargo provided other notable figures pertaining to this year in the school district during her address. She said there are 5,485 students in Ohio County Schools and noted food service workers in the district serve about 280,000 breakfasts and 450,000 lunches during the school year.

Vargo added that the principals employed at the 14 buildings in Ohio County Schools have a combined 155 years of leadership experience.