BRHS graduation rate climbs by 9.2 %


The Becton Regional High School Class of 2015 celebrates after receiving their diplomas.

With a 92.81 adjusted cohort graduation rate in 2015, Henry P. Becton Regional High School has seen a record-breaking 9.2 percent increase.

The adjusted cohort graduation rate, which is monitored by the Department of Education (DOE), can be translated into the number of students who started high school in 2011 and finished in the spring of 2015.

The data for Becton Regional High School surpassed numerous other schools in Bergen County such as Hasbrouck Heights, Saddle Brook, Fair Lawn, Teaneck and Wood-Ridge.

“The major contributing factors to such a spike in the graduation rate at Becton Regional High School are the positive climate and cultural changes that we have established,” said Principal Dr. Dario Sforza. “Setting high standards, having high expectations and being transparent are just some of the aspects that we continue to emphasize with all stakeholders. As a result, this positive culture and climate change continues to permeate in everybody.”

“Also, the emphasis and analysis of student grades by our teachers and department teams helped ensure that borderline students were offered the necessary resources to assist them,” he added. Prior to analyzing student grades, the Becton administration ‘tightened up’ the Intervention and Referral Services program. For example, they began to offer students credit recovery programs such as Educere, a virtual education course offered by established educational institutions. “More emphasis was placed on thinking outside the box and following up with students, teachers and parents,” he said.

Superintendent Mrs. Louise Clarke stated, “Monitoring students prior to graduating from Becton has been one of our top priorities as a district, and I am thrilled that we were able to raise our graduation rate by over nine percent.”

The efficiencies and opening the lines of communication between various departments were also noted as being paramount. For instance, Network Administrator Mr. Richard Gbaguidi began working more closely with the guidance department while the principal would oversee the percentages that were being presented. The monitoring of these percentages has become more efficient with the guidance counselors and administrators taking time to analyze the data in order to find inaccuracies.

Last but certainly not least, the attendance policy changed last year, which continues to hold students more accountable. Students are only permitted to have 18 excused absences out of the school year versus the previous 21 days.

The Becton administration and staff hope to capitalize on the graduation rate in the near future by focusing more on individualized and personalized learning, an initiative started this school year with the implementation of a new flexible schedule that brought increased specialized, experimental and exploratory career electives for students.

“As principal, I am honored, proud and motivated by the hard work displayed daily by our teachers and students as well as the continued support of our parents, Board of Education and community members in making BRHS a top high school in Bergen County,” said Dr. Sforza.

Becton Regional High School’s graduation rate of 92.81 also surpassed the statewide graduation rate in 2015, which averaged 89.7 percent. More New Jersey students graduated high school on time in 2015 than in the past five years.