NEW BEDFORD — Global Learning Charter Public School has small class sizes, but registered a huge number in terms of its 2017 graduation rate.

It is a nine percent jump from the 2016 graduation rate of 87 percent, and the highest graduation rate in the school’s history.

The 2017 high school statewide graduation rates released Monday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show the Global Learning Charter Public School (GLCPS) with a 96.1 percent graduation rate, which is higher than the state graduation rate of 88.3 percent. It is also among the highest graduation rates in the region.

In addition, the school’s dropout rate decreased slightly from 1.8 to 1.7 percent, which has held steady for the most part since 2012.

“Our students work hard, and our staff works as hard to make sure that every student is receiving the support and resources needed to succeed,” said Lena Pires, principal of GLCPS. “We’ve put systems and programs in place to keep students on track to earn that high school diploma, and set them up for college and career success post-graduation.”

The newly released figures show a 95 percent graduation rate for high needs students who attend GLCPS, which are students who are identified as English Language Learners, special education students, low income, or a combination of the three areas.

“When you have small class sizes as we do, you take these numbers very personally,” said Dr. Stephen J. Furtado, Sr. “We know every student, and we want each and every student to walk across that stage. So, are we happy with our graduation rate? Yes. And, we will continue to work toward ensuring that every student can earn that high school diploma and is prepared for future success.”

Furtado also noted that achieving a high graduation rate is just as challenging for a school with small class sizes, because a small number of students not graduating results in a dramatic drop in the graduation rate.

Open to New Bedford residents, GLCPS is a tuition-free public charter school that currently serves 500 students in grades 5-12. GLCPS offers a small, personalized, college preparatory learning environment in which students are encouraged to realize their full potential, both academically and personally. For more information, please visit or call (508) 991-4105.

--Global Learning Charter School

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