LARGO — Pinellas County Schools is celebrating another record-high graduation rate for the 2020-2021 school year, despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report released by the Florida Department of Education, the Pinellas County Schools graduation rate rose to 92%, up one half a percentage point from last year’s record high, and over 20 percentage points since 2013. Pinellas also continues to lead the state with the highest graduation rate among Florida’s ten largest public school districts, and also leads the Tampa Bay area school districts.

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“I am thrilled for our students, staff and families” said Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego, who announced his retirement on Jan. 6. “The 2020-21 school year was like no other we have experienced. The continued acceleration in our graduation rates is a testament to the hard work, dedication and innovation of everyone associated with Pinellas County Schools. When schools were closed in March 2020, our district didn’t stop teaching and our students did not stop learning. Thank you to everyone who doubled and tripled their efforts to ensure Pinellas County Schools students had a successful 2020-2021 year.”

In addition to increased graduation rates, more students continue to take advanced placement courses, with 15,788 AP exams taken in 2021. Pinellas County Schools 2021 graduates were accepted to a variety of top-ranked post-secondary institutions, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Vanderbilt, Bethune Cookman, John Hopkins, Duke, Rice, the U.S. Naval Academy, Pinellas Technical College and all Florida universities.

Additional 2020-2021 highlights include:

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• Pinellas outpaced the state graduation rate by nearly two full percentage points.

• The graduation rate for ESE students rose nearly two percentage points, to 83.8%, outpacing the state’s rate of 82.3%

• East Lake High School and Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School had 100% graduation rates, and Palm Harbor University, St. Petersburg and Seminole High Schools each posted 99% or better (99.5%, 99% and 99% respectively).

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• Of traditional high schools, Largo High School showed the greatest improvement in its graduation rate, with an increase of 2.3 percentage points.

• Lealman Innovation Academy, an alternative school, had the highest year-over-year graduation rate increase, advancing from 82.1% to 89.8%.

• All traditional high schools earned graduation rates over 90% in 2020-2021.