Elkhart Community Schools Announces Record-Breaking Graduation Rate

For the tenth consecutive year, Elkhart Community Schools has demonstrated growth in high school graduation rates. ECS is thrilled to announce the highest graduation rate – 95% –  in district history for the Class of 2018.

In 2008, when 62.7% of students graduated and the local Elkhart economy was in a downfall, the district committed to improving the graduation rate by working with students, families, staff, and community partners to create more opportunities for students. In 2012, the district committed to exceeding a 90% graduation rate within the next five years by developing innovative instruction and comprehensive support. The district successfully exceeded a 90% graduation rate in 2017 with 91.7% of students earning a high school diploma.

“Elkhart Community Schools has a reputation throughout the state of providing opportunities for every student, regardless of where the student is in life,” said Steve Thalheimer, superintendent of schools. “Programs like the Early College Program, the Elkhart Area Career Center, and School Without Walls provide students with educational opportunities that far exceed a traditional high school and pre-dated the State’s recent adoption of the Graduation Pathways model. Our students are highly engaged in the learning process, whether it’s college-level material, an industry-specific curriculum, or a blended online program.”

“Elkhart Community Schools has created a culture where a high school diploma is not the ‘last step’ in a student’s education, but is the ‘first step’ of his or her future career,” said Thalheimer. “Students are no longer thinking about a diploma as their final goal; they see an apprenticeship, an industry certification, a college degree as their educational goal, and an ECS high school diploma as the first step.”

“While I’m only just beginning my career at Elkhart Community Schools, it’s clear to anyone looking in that these innovative programs are being developed, led, and supported by phenomenal staff,” said Thalheimer. “The continued growth of the graduation rate is a result of years of hard work by hundreds of dedicated staff members from pre-K through high school who put the needs of our students first and foremost. Every member of our staff is a reflection of the Elkhart community – dedicated, hardworking, willing to go above and beyond – and we are thrilled to provide the community with measurable results of a superior educational experience at Elkhart Community Schools.”

Historical graduation rates for Elkhart Community Schools, per the Indiana Department of Education –

  • 2008: 62.7%
  • 2009: 70.4%
  • 2010: 75.4%
  • 2011: 83.0%
  • 2012: 84.4%
  • 2013: 84.6%
  • 2014: 86.9%
  • 2015: 88.1%
  • 2016: 88.7%
  • 2017: 91.7%
  • 2018: 95.0%

For additional information about Indiana Graduation Rates, please visit the IDOE’s Graduation Rate page.