A smaller percentage of Natrona County School District high school seniors graduated in 2018 than in 2017, according to numbers released by the district on Tuesday.

The overall graduation rate for the district in 2018, 78 percent, is down 1.3 percent from 2017, when the district posted an overall rate of 79.3 percent.

"While the overall graduation rate for the district saw a slight decrease," district spokeswoman Tanya Southerland said in a statement, "we have seen a steady improvement with a 3.9 percentage point increase in the past five years."

The district's 2018 rate is up just shy of four percent from 2013, when the overall graduation rate was 74.1 percent.

Midwest High School and Roosevelt High School saw the largest declines from the previous year.

At Midwest, the 2018 graduation rate was 64.3 percent compared to the 2017 rate of 100 percent. Numbers from the past five years show that the 2017 rate, though, was an anomaly. In 2016, the rate was 84.6 percent, compared with 64.7 percent in 2015, 84.2 percent in 2014 and 66.7 percent in 2013.

At Roosevelt, the 2018 rate was just 35.4 percent. That's down over 10 percent from 2017, when the graduation rate was 45.6 percent. The previous four years saw rates of 47.4 percent in 2016, 42.7 percent in 2015, 51.3 percent in 2014 and 43.1 percent in 2013.

While Kelly Walsh High School saw a decline of 2.7 percent from 2017, posting a 2018 graduation rate of 80.6 percent, Natrona County High School posted a 2.2 percent jump from the previous year with a 2018 rate of 84 percent -- the best in the district.

"Kelly Walsh High School has seen an overall improvement in graduation rates over the past five years with a slight decrease from last year to this year," Southerland said. "As a district, we will continue forward with dedicated efforts towards meeting our strategic goal of increasing our four-year graduation rate to 85 percent by 2019 while empowering every learner to grow, excel, and be successful contributors to our local/global community."

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