What's a "Cohort"

Cohort: A cohort is a statistical grouping of students based on the year they enter the ninth grade for the first time together.

How are students in the cohort tracked?
Each individual student's status is tracked over time and throughout the Virginia public school system using his or her unique state-testing identifier maintained through the commonwealth's Education Information Management System. The identifiers allow the state to follow students as they transfer in and/or transfer out of Virginia public schools.

  • Students who transfer out of Virginia public schools are removed from the cohort based on their exit codes.
  • Students who transfer in to Virginia public schools for the first time from outside the public school system are assigned to a cohort based on the year and grade in which they first entered a Virginia public high school (grades 9-12).
  • Students who are incarcerated will be counted as transfers as they leave and re-enter the system.
  • Incarcerated students who re-enter Virginia public schools will be assigned to a cohort based on the year and grade at the time of return to public school.

Students who graduate in fewer than four years are counted as on-time graduates and are included in the graduation rate calculated for their original ninth-grade cohort.

The on-time graduation rate includes only those students who graduate from high school within four years of entering ninth grade. It does not include:

  • Students who took longer than four years to graduate;
  • Students who earned their GED® or
  • Students who earned certificates of completion.

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