The state says Central Georgia schools are doing a better job of keeping their students through graduation day.

In fact, two high schools – Twiggs County High and Southwest in Bibb – nearly doubled their graduation rates over the past five years.

Georgia's Department of Education on Wednesday released new numbers say the state's high-school graduatin last year rose over 80 percent. That means four out of five Georgia ninth graders will graduate four years later.

The state says that rate has risen about 11 points over the past five years.

Some Central Georgia schools are helping to lead the way.

At Twiggs County High School, the rate has jumped 44 points since 2012. Now 90 percent of their students graduate.

Five years ago, Bibb County's Southwest High had one of the state's lowest graduation rates. They've raised their rate by 39 points, to 76 percent.

Nearly a dozen other area high schools raised their rate by more than 20 points: Northeast High School, 33%, Macon County, 31%, Wilcox County, 29%, Westside High (BIbb), 29%, Central High(BIbb), 29%, Dodge County, 27%, Wilkinson County, 27; Baldwin County, 24%, Crawford County High, 21%, Johnson County, 21, Howard High School (BIbb), 20%.

The state Department of Education says the rate is rising as districts increase students' access to "unique, personalized learning opportunities" -- incuding Career Pathways, dual enrollment, AP and IB programs, work-based learning, and internships.

Meanwhile, Bibb County was celebrating increases at all six high schools over the past five years.

"I am beyond excited to see our hard work paying off," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr., according to a news release. "These scores are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff, who are implementing initiatives and building relationships with students to ensure they are successful and prepared for college or career. This is what Victory in Progress looks like – it's doing the right work every day to move our District and our community forward."

Bibb's rate has risen 25 points in five years, to 77 percent.

Jones, hired in 2013, set a goal for an 80 percent graduation rate by 2020 and 90 percent by 2025.

Among Central Georgia public schools, Bleckley County High School had the highest graduation rate this year, 98 percent. Bibb County's Westside and Rutland had the lowest, both 74.8 percent.

Graduation rates for Central Georgia public high schools:

2012 Rate2017 grads2017 rateIncrease
Baldwin High 63.3726288.825.4
Bleckley County High 79.791509818.2
Central High 52.7723479.927.1
Crawford County High 58.179379.521.3
Dodge County High 70.0417696.726.7
Dooly County High 60.228675.415.2
Dublin High 87.9711890.82.8
East Laurens High 66.1211182.816.7
Hancock Central High 86.527995.28.7
Hawkinsville High 70.258385.615.3
Houston County High 86.2740894.78.4
Howard High 63.1625683.120
Johnson County High 66.677187.721
Jones County High 74.9434485.410.4
Macon County High 56.2510887.130.8
Mary Persons High 80.0729086.86.8
Northeast High 47.1515180.333.2
Northside High 72.5441188.415.8
Peach County High 66.5621483.316.7
Perry High 80.1929492.712.6
Putnam County High 69.5916590.721.1
Rutland High 64.0820874.810.7
Southwest High 39.131777636.8
Taylor County High 68.918286.317.4
Telfair County High 69.311088515.7
Twiggs County High 45.95549044.1
Veterans High 89.1330592.13
Washington County High 81.8220487.96.1
West Laurens High 73.2126286.813.5
Westside High46.1122674.828.7
Wheeler County High 76.276187.110.9
Wilcox County High 60.758789.728.9
Wilkinson County High 66.679893.326.7