District continues to exceed state graduation rate, ALC tops list

District continues to exceed state graduation rate, ALC tops list

The district’s most recent four-year graduation rate, released today by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), shows White Bear Lake Area Schools topping the state’s graduation rate by 5.7 percentage points, with 89.0% of 2023 seniors earning their diploma within four years.

The 2023 graduation rate at White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus, which does not include students from the district’s Area Learning Center (ALC) or Transition Education Center (TEC) programs, is 94%. The Area Learning Center’s graduation rate of 73% is the highest ALC rate in the area. This most recent ALC rate is an increase of 9 percentage points over 2022 and 22 percentage points since 2021.

“The intentional work being done at each of our high school buildings is paying off and we are seeing results, including the narrowing of the achievement gap,” said Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak. “Students are putting in the effort and owning their learning. Adults in the district serve as supportive guides, providing rigorous curriculum and focused efforts on making learning relevant for each of our students.”

Multiple White Bear Lake Area Schools student groups exceeded the statewide average by double-digits: English Learners by 17.9 percentage points, Black students by 14.6 percentage points and students receiving special education services by 14.4 percentage points. Also notable are the district’s Hispanic or Latino group graduation percentage at 9.6 percentage points and students eligible for free or reduced-priced meals at 8.8 percentage points higher than the Minnesota average.

A district-wide commitment to student success has led to gains for White Bear students. “We work to provide a school setting where students feel empowered and connected to their learning, their futures, and the staff members who support them,” said ALC principal Gretchen Harriman. “By getting to know our students, we are able to help them navigate toward their goals now and in the future.”

WBLAHS - South Campus’ graduation rate is fourth-highest amongst area high schools, topping Forest Lake Area High School, Roseville High School, Irondale High School, North Senior High School, and Tartan High School and following Mounds View High School, Mahtomedi High School and Centennial High School.

Those students who do not graduate in four years have the opportunity to continue on in the district through alternative programs at the Area Learning Center, where most earn their diploma. The Transition Education Center also provides young adults, ages 18-22, with specialized programming designed to meet their post-secondary transition goals as they earn their diploma.  

“We understand that high school graduation is an important culmination of a student’s experience, and we are focused on providing supports toward that milestone throughout a learner’s career - from the time they take their first step into the classroom through the time they are walking across the commencement stage,” said Kazmierczak. “We are excited to see the positive influence our students will experience by coming together at White Bear Lake Area High School next fall. It is an exciting time to be a Bear, and we are committed to helping students build their futures and create their successes.”

table of 2023 graduation rate data


MDE does not publicly report graduation percentages for student populations of fewer than 10 students; therefore, our American Indian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Students, and Other Indigenous Peoples student groups are not available as distinct student groups but are included in overall district and building data.

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