Education Impact- Graduating our Future-Updated Aug 2012

The Challenge

  • 80.9% of Forsyth County’s 9th graders graduate from high school in four years. This is an improvement over last year's rate of 78.8%, but there is still work to be done.
  • Forsyth ranks 3rd in graduation rates among the states five most populous counties, diminishing our economic competitiveness.1
  • Dropouts earn 32% less than high school graduates. They are more likely to live below the poverty line, serve time in jail, live shorter lives, and receive government assistance.2

1North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
2High School Dropouts: Individual Economic Cost and The Role of the GED as a Potential Factor, Magnus Lofstrom, University of Texas at Dallas, The Social Costs of Inadequate Education, Henry M. Levin, Columbia University.

United Way's Response

  • Established improving the high school graduation rate as our top priority.
  • Created a comprehensive pilot initiative in early 2008 to increase tutoring, family involvement, counseling, mentoring, graduation coaching for students at-risk of dropping out.
  • Targeted the pilot program for Parkland Magnet High School (lowest graduation rate in system) and Philo Magnet Academy (Funded by Women's Leadership Council dollars), Parkland’s largest feeder school.
  • Expanded limited tutoring in Spring 2010 to Mineral Springs Middle School and East Forsyth Middle School. (Funded by Women's Leadership Council dollars)
  • Expanded targeted tutoring in Spring 2010 to Carver High School
  • Intensive tutoring began at Atkins High School in Spring 2010
  • A comphrehensive program at North Forsyth High School began in Summer 2011



Key Outcomes Baseline Most recent Percent Change
Parkland Magnet High School Graduation Rate 65.8% 74.3% +12.96%
Parkland students passing End of Course tests 42.3% 70.7% +67.1%
Atkins High School Graduation Rate 53.3% 96.9%* +81.8%*
Atkins students passing End of Course tests 45.6% 48.0% +5.3%
Carver High School Graduation Rate 66.1% 72.6% +9.8%
Carver students passing End of Course tests 52.5% 58.1% +10.6%
Philo Magnet Academy students testing on grade level in math 29.6% 70.1% +136.8%
Philo Magnet Academy students testing on grade level in reading 18.3% 39.3% +114.7%


* Atkins became a full magnet school 2 years ago and therefore had a very different population of students in the school year that just ended (2012). This is the primary reason for the striking increase in the graduation rate there.