The Herald-SunNorth Carolina public schools — including three from Durham — with the highest graduation rates in 2016 were honored Tuesday during an awards luncheon.The “100 Percent Club” award was given to schools with 10 or more students in its cohort that achieved a 100 percent four-year cohort graduation rate.Earning 100 percent honors within the Durham Public Schools were Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College with 101 students, City of Medicine Academy with 79 students and Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School with 73 students.In addition to the schools recognized, 73 schools with 4-year cohort graduation rates of at least 95 percent received a letter and certificate.DPS’ Hillside New Tech High School had a 98.3 percent rate, and East Chapel Hill High School in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district had a 95.1 percent rate.“I was proud of all of our schools that were recognized today by (State Superintendent June) Atkinson,” DPS Superintendent Bert L’Homme said. “These are diverse Durham Public Schools that prepare every student for the future, with high standards, without exception.”Atkinson recognized 12 districts and 70 individual high schools at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center.“Collectively, your efforts and those of many others across the state have helped North Carolina continue to make steady progress on the crucial goal of ensuring that all students graduate from high school – and graduate ready for the changing world that awaits them,” Atkinson told school leaders at the event. “Your schools are demonstrating that our goal can be reached.”The state’s four-year cohort graduation rate has climbed from 68.3 percent in 2006 to 85.9 percent in 2016.Atkinson said 35 percent of the graduating seniors had earned college credits, with 139,000 diploma endorsements certifying that they achieved a high level of preparation for career, college or both.

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