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Benson Unified
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Superintendents address graduation rate.

School leaders across Cochise County reflect on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the graduation rates of their districts.

Superintendents from the Benson and Douglas unified school districts said their graduation rates were not affected by the pandemic.

Benson Unified School District Superintendent Micah Mortensen said the district graduation rate, ranging between 95% and 98%, was stable throughout the pandemic.

Douglas Unified School District Superintendent Ana Samaniego said their graduation rate, averaging 89.88%, was unaffected by the pandemic.

Sierra Vista and Bisbee school leaders said the graduation rate was affected by the pandemic.

Sierra Vista Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Holmes said the graduation rate is 91.4% for the 2019-20 academic year.

Bisbee High School Principal Darin Giltner said his school’s graduation declined by 8% in comparison to the previous school year.

More information in today's feature. 

After nearly a year since schools made the transition from in-person learning to distance learning, students and parents across Cochise County are sharing their concerns regarding how the prolonged time away from teachers and peers has affected their mental health. More information from Dana Cole and myself in today's feature.

The latest benchmark data indicates county can have hybrid models. Should schools doing distance learning, switch to a hybrid model and allow some in-person instruction?

According to the state health department's website, Cochise County meets all three benchmarks to resume a hybrid model for students. SVUSD, Benson and Bisbee are distance learning, with no in-person instruction, while other districts have their students back in the classroom and on the athletic fields. 

Do you think parents should have a hybrid option for children  sooner rather than later or wait until next month? 

Link to the benchmark data:,