The Joplin School District says it has had its highest graduation rate in years.
The Joplin Globe reports that about 87 percent of Joplin's class of 2013 graduated. The average rate throughout Missouri was about 88 percent.
Joplin's graduation rate was close to 79 percent in 2011 and 2012, and was down to 54 percent in 1996.
Superintendent C.J. Huff says the improved rate is the result of "strategic work," as well as support from teachers, principals, staff and others.
Business and community leaders also lauded the efforts of Bright Futures, a program developed in 2010 to address such issues as poverty and a lack of parental involvement in schools.