Graduation Rates

Graduation Rates
Two Lincoln Graduates

The percentage of high school students who graduated on time, dropped out, or graduated with extended time.

The Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors adopted a strategic plan with four broad goals. The first goal addresses academic excellence, and a component of this goal tasks Tacoma schools to improve graduation rates.

Specifically, the board wants to see improvement in these three areas:

  • % of students graduating on time
  • % of students graduating –extended time
  • % of students dropping out

Open Report

Strategies that work

Our high schools have adopted strategies to assist students who are struggling to meet new rigorous state standards known as the Common Core State Standards. In fact, Tacoma’s graduation rates have already improved thanks to increased time for tutoring and instruction, seminar/study periods, communicating and working with families and community partners, and new data tracking and analysis systems.

A large contingent of community partners – known as Graduate Tacoma – along with Tacoma Public Schools set a goal of an 85% graduation rate by 2020 – a goal we reached four years early in 2016.

Hitting our goal, four years early

Tacoma’s graduation rate for 2018 reached 89.3 percent – the highest since the state began officially tracking the statistic in 2003, according to data submitted to the state by Tacoma Public Schools. Since then, the graduation rate has continued to rise every year. 

Understanding the data

This benchmark displays the percentage of students who graduated from Tacoma Public Schools. Three distinct categories of students can be viewed.

  1. Those students who graduated within four years. This is known as the "on-time" graduation rate since the students graduated from high school in the expected four-year time frame.
  2. Those students who graduated but needed more than four years. This is known as the "extended" graduation rate.
  3. Those students who did not graduate. This is known as the "dropout" rate.

Because a school year includes two calendar years, such as 2014-2015, the school year on the benchmark chart is identified by the second calendar year. For example, the 2014-2015 school year is identified as 2015 on the chart.

The data may be viewed by district, region, school, and race. It can be further filtered by gender, English Language Learner status, free and reduced lunch status, and special education status.


The state-mandated P210 Report determines which schools and programs are included in graduation rate calculations.

Schools and programs include:*

  • Community-Based Transition Program
  • Day Reporting
  • Foss HS
  • Home-Based
  • Lincoln HS
  • Mount Tahoma HS
  • Oakland HS
  • Pearl Street
  • Science and Math Institute (SAMI)
  • Special Services
  • Stadium HS
  • Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA)
  • TCC Fresh Start
  • Wilson HS

* In 2014 one single student who dropped out from Truman Middle School in 2014, is included in that year's data...

Schools and programs explicitly not included by the state:

  • Fresh Start (not to be confused with TCC Fresh Start)
  • Goodwill GED
  • Remann Hall
  • Tacoma / Pierce County Education Center
  • Willie Stewart Academy (formerly the Reengagement Center)

In calculating a percentage, the numerator is divided by the denominator. 

Depending on the chart, the numerator is the number of students flagged as either Graduated, Dropped Out, or Continuing.

The denominator is the total number of students in the cohort group for the specific year.

Data retrieval schedule

Official results from the state are typically available in January or February.

Input from

Data Warehouse with data from the state P210 Enrollment report.  ​​​

Legacy reports 

Our current reports show data from the 2018 school year and beyond using improved reporting tools. Legacy reports show older data using older tools.
Open legacy report