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Oregon graduation rate rises; Central Oregon school districts tout Class of 2022 gains

(Update: Adding video, comments from school officials; KTVZ.COM Poll)

Bend-La Pine Schools up 11% in decade; Crook County HS tops region at 99.39% graduation rate

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Oregon's statewide graduation rate for the Class of 2022 was 81.3 percent, marking gains for every student group compared to the previous year and the second-highest graduation rate ever recorded in the state, according to data released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education.

"After a slight drop due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 graduation rates are a positive sign that Oregon’s students and school systems are continuing to recover," ODE said in a news release. 

Notably, it said students completing two credits in an approved Career and Technical Education (CTE)  Program of Study significantly exceeded the statewide average, graduating at a rate of 93.0 percent. Students who successfully completed English Learner programs prior to entering high school in Oregon graduated at 86.4 percent, 5.1 percentage points higher than the statewide average and an all-time high for that student group.

“When we combine the tremendous resilience of Oregon’s youth, the courageous, tireless, work of our educators, and the individualized, student centered resources made available through the Student Success Act and other key initiatives, we’re able to make meaningful progress for Oregon’s students,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “There is more work to do, and we are ready to keep working to make sure all students have what they need to succeed.” 

“Each graduate represents an individual and family success story, a point of pride for their community, and a stronger future for Oregon,” Gov. Tina Kotek said. “It will take focused leadership and increased accountability to continue our recovery and ensure that all of Oregon’s children are better served by our investments in K-12 schools. All of our education investments must be paired with specific strategies to ensure we know how the dollars that are spent are connected to the education priorities that Oregonians care about. Every child is full of promise, and I am committed to creating the conditions for them to thrive.”

The table below shows the progress of student groups from last year to this year.
(* indicates all-time highs for graduation rates for that student group)

Student groupClass of 2021Class of 2022Difference
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander69.874.64.8
American Indian/Alaska Native67.068.9*1.9
Black/African American73.573.70.2
Former English Learners (proficient prior to high school)84.286.4*2.2
English Learners in High School64.465.3*0.9
Special Education66.167.51.4
In Foster Care47.848.4*0.6

Other key findings from the data:

  • Students completing two credits in an approved Career and Technical Education (CTE)  Program of Study significantly exceeded the statewide average, graduating at a rate of 93.0 percent.
  • Students who have successfully completed English Learner programs prior to entering high school in Oregon graduated at 86.4 percent, 5.1 percentage points higher than the statewide average and an all-time high for that student group.
  • Black/African American students’ graduation rate of 73.7 percent is 0.2 points higher than the previous year and the second-highest rate ever for that student group. 
  • Hispanic/Latino students’ graduation rate of 78.7 percent was up 1.7 percentage points from the previous year and the second-highest rate ever for that student group. 
  • American Indian/Alaska Native students had a 1.9 percentage point increase to 68.9 percent, the highest ever for that student group.
  • The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student group rebounded from a 6.8 percentage point drop for the Class of 2021 to a 4.8 percentage point increase for the Class of 2022. (Because this is one of the smallest student groups it can have large annual percentage swings.)
  • The graduation rate for students experiencing houselessness increased 3.2 percentage points to the second-highest level for the group.

News release from Bend-La Pine Schools:

Class of 2022 Graduation Rate Continues Positive Trend

Bend-La Pine Schools’ grad rate of 83.5 percent is second highest on record, up more than 11 percentage points in decade

Bend-La Pine Schools recorded its second highest graduation rate on record, 83.5 percent, continuing a decade-long trend of increasing graduation rates for our schools, according to a report released by the Oregon Department of Education today. This rate is more than 2 percentage points higher than the statewide average. Additionally, 89.4 percent of students graduated or earned a GED, extended diploma or other within four years (four-year completer data). 

“It’s heartening to see our schools continue to show steady gains in graduation rates over the past decade-plus,” said Superintendent Steven Cook. “These rates reflect the hard work of our dedicated staff and students, however, we will not be satisfied until every student graduates from our schools with a passion, purpose and plan for the future.”

Bend-La Pine Schools also continues to see positive trends among various student groups, including students with disabilities and students identified as homeless among others. 

About the Numbers: The graduation rate tracks students beginning in ninth grade and measures how many of those students graduate within four years. The rate is adjusted for students moving in or out of the district. 

Bend-La Pine Schools’ 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Over Time: 

  • 2021-22: 83.5 percent
  • 2020-21: 82.4 percent
  • 2019-20: 85.9 percent
  • 2018-19: 80.6 percent
  • 2017-18: 81.9 percent
  • 2016-17: 78.7 percent
  • 2015-16: 77.5 percent
  • 2014-15: 77.2 percent                                   
  • 2013-14: 77.2 percent
  • 2012-13: 78.6 percent
  • 2011-12: 72.2 percent           

School-Specific 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate for 2021-22

  • Bend Senior High: 88.2 percent
  • Bend Tech Academy at Marshall:  51.6 percent
  • La Pine High: 59.2 percent
  • Mountain View: 87 percent
  • Realms High: 94.9 percent
  • Summit: 95.8 percent

News release from Crook County Schools:

The CCHS Class of 2022 Tops Region with a 99.39% Graduation Rate

The district's overall graduation rate of 91.95% well exceeds the state average of 81.3%

(Prineville, OR) - It’s hard to beat a 98% graduation rate, but that’s exactly what Crook County High School accomplished between 2021 and 2022. The CCHS Class of 2022 graduated 99.39% of students, the highest in school history and the top graduation rate in Central Oregon. 

“I am incredibly proud as a parent and school board member to know Crook County High School is capable of the enormous achievement of hitting a graduation rate of nearly 100%,” School Board Chair Jessica Ritter said. “I give credit to the leadership of Dr. Johnson and our incredible staff, who are in the trenches, making a difference in students' lives every day."

“We’re so pleased to see these results because it shows the dedication of our staff and the extra support they give students who need a boost to get across the finish line,” Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson commented. “This district is about raising the bar around student achievement through intentional systems that work, and it’s paying off.”

CCHS Principal Michelle Jonas says the strategy is straightforward. Administrators and staff constantly monitor performance and know each student by name and need. If a student gets off track and becomes credit deficient, they’re assigned a staff member who develops an individualized improvement plan.

“Every trimester, we review student data and identify who requires additional support. It’s about building positive relationships and rallying around students who might also be struggling in life beyond academics. I’m proud of the CCHS team for always going the extra mile to ensure every student has a chance to receive their high school diploma,” Principal Michelle Jonas said. 

Dr. Johnson points to other reasons leading to the impressive graduation rates, like the popular Summer Blast program that serves about 600 students each summer. It allows opportunities for credit recovery and keeps students engaged in reading, writing, and math beyond the regular school year. The school district also credits new after-school programs that tie students with activities and friend groups, encouraging more involvement in school.

Offerings include book clubs, board games, cooking-making, sewing, drama, martial arts, and many others. The goal is to create meaningful connections and encourage regular attendance since not all students participate in sports, leadership, or traditional clubs like FFA. 

There have also been enormous gains at Pioneer Alternative High School since 2019, when the graduation rate was only 28.8%. The Class of 2022 hit an all-time best of 84.62%, thanks to one-on-one coaching and caring staff who work tirelessly to ensure all students have a chance to succeed. That elevated the district’s overall graduation rate from 88.51% in 2021 to 91.95% in 2022, making it the high district-wide graduation rate over the past decade. 

“Attendance is another big push for our district, because it’s a major indicator of future graduation rates and academic success. If a student misses 30 minutes of school every day, that amounts to 16 days of learning loss in a year. We know that simply showing up is the key to graduating high school,” Dr. Johnson explained. 

News release from the Redmond School District:

Redmond Graduation Rates Reflect Community Success

Redmond, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Education released statewide graduation rate data this morning, which showed Redmond School District well above the state average with an overall district average of 87 percent graduation success. 

“Our successful graduation rates are reflective of a culmination of all of the hard work that teachers are doing from kindergarten through high school,” said Dr. Charan Cline, Redmond School District superintendent. “Every involved teacher, staff, family, and community member who has made an impact and enriched a graduate’s educational path contributes to our success.” 

Dave Burke, Director of Secondary Programs, added that some exciting numbers to see are the subcategories of Hispanic, Latino, Multi Racial, and Underserved Races and Ethnicities. Students from these categories graduated at or above the district graduation rate. “Our staff has been dedicated to finding the best ways to support these groups of students and their families.”

For instance, at upcoming parent-teacher conferences, arrangements have been made for 150 conferences to include translation services. 

“Creating avenues of accessibility to our staff and leadership for all students is a priority for us,” said Burke. “Our relationships with families and the community are our greatest resource for helping students succeed.” 

Our graduation rate has gone back up from the dip during the pandemic, which is a healthy indication of growth in the district. Burke also attributes graduation success to programs that are drawing students in and keeping them involved in their school communities; such as Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, athletics, clubs, co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

At last night’s school board meeting, Redmond High School FFA president, Emilee Lindquist, stated that she transferred to RHS specifically to join the livestock judging program. Lindquist earned gold and the team as a whole earned silver in Livestock Evaluation at the national competition this year. These types of programs help students find their interests and give them insight into careers they want to pursue after high school. Lindquist is interested in going to college for large animal science and medicine to become a veterinarian.

“We still have some room for growth,” Cline said, “but we are very proud of the work we’re doing here in Redmond.”

Article Topic Follows: Education

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