BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District’s 2021 graduation rate dipped slightly, the district said in a press release on Friday, Jan. 7, but it still was higher than the state average.

The 2021 graduation rate for Hernando schools was 91%, 0.9 percentage points above Florida's 90.1% graduation rate, although the district's 2021 rate is slightly lower than last year's graduation rate of 91.7%.

Both Central High School and Nature Coast Technical High School saw gains over their 2020 graduation rates and, at 94.5%, Nature Coast Technical School has the highest 2021 rate among the district's schools.

"We watched as more than 1,500 students graduated last spring. Despite a school year with swift and sudden change to the way they learned, students and teachers adjusted to digital learning, navigated new instructional platforms and rebounded after breaks in attendance," said John Stratton, Superintendent of Schools. "These outcomes are a result of the entire school community — students, teachers, administrators and parents — working through a tough year, together."

The 2020-21 school year marks the second year for the Florida Department of Education's Emergency Order 2020-EO1, which provides exemptions for students who do not meet state assessment requirements due to the pandemic.

The district said its 2021 graduation rates were 91% for Central High, 86.2% for Hernando High, 94.5% for Nature Coast Technical, 92.5% for Springstead High, 93.7% for Weeki Wachee High and 94.2% for Hernando eSchool.