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Crescent Valley Graduation 04

Mortarboards fly at the end of the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2019 at Crescent Valley High School in June 2019.

Oregon Department of Education released its annual school and district report cards at 8 a.m. Thursday.

The reports include profiles of schools and districts featuring data like average class size, attendance rates, graduation rates and standardized testing results. The department also publishes accountability reports that rate some schools as needing state assistance. 

To view individual district and school reports, visit https://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx.

Although a lot of the data in the reports, such as graduation rates and standardized testing results, has already been published by the department,  the reports do include some new information, such as the rates of students on track to graduate, which shows the percentage of students who have completed one quarter of the credits needed to graduate after their first year in high school. On average, 85 percentage of students in Oregon met that measure.

In Benton County, Corvallis School District, Monroe School District and Philomath School District all outperformed the state average. Corvallis and Monroe both had 93% of their students on track to graduate and Philomath had 92% of its students on track to graduate. Alsea School District had just 33% of its students on track to graduate.

In Linn County, Central Linn School District had 60% of its students on track, Greater Albany Public Schools had 79%, Harrisburg School District had 95%, Lebanon School District had 76%, Santiam Canyon School District had 61%, Scio School District had 89% and Sweet Home School District had 88%.

Another new piece of information is a rating on individual student progress, which measures whether an average student made progress in math and English over a school year.

The reports rate 19 Linn and Benton county schools as having high individual student progress, 26 schools as having average student progress and six schools as having low individual student progress.

The six schools with low ratings on individual student progress are Memorial and Calapooia middle schools in Albany, Lincoln Elementary School in Corvallis, Green Acres and Hamilton Creek schools in Lebanon and Harrisburg Middle School in Harrisburg.

Starting last year, the departments began tagging some schools as needing additional support under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

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The only schools in Linn and Benton counties rated as needing comprehensive support were Alsea Charter School in Alsea, the Oregon Connections Academy, which is chartered to the Santiam Canyon district, and Oregon Virtual Education, which is chartered in Scio.

Alsea Superintendent Marc Thielman said his school is so small and its testing opt-out rate so high that the data the report cards are based on don’t really measure what the school does.

“The report cards are not really designed for a school of our size,” he said. “Our opt-out rates are so high that we were always going to be a low scorer,” he said.

Thielman said the district does get about $45,000 a year in support because of the rating, which it uses for teacher training and coaching.

A handful of other local schools were flagged as needing targeted supports, including Garfield, Lincoln and Mountain View elementary schools in Corvallis; Tangent Elementary School, Calapooia Middle School and Albany Options School in Albany; and Santiam Elementary School and Santiam Junior/Senior High School in Santiam Canyon.

Albany Options School serves as Greater Albany Public Schools only alternative high school, a designation that GAPS says affects the way the school is evaluated. 

"We are proud of the work that happens at AOS," assistant superintendent Lisa Harlan said. "We have been in conversation with the Department of Education around the identification of specialized schools treating them as if they were comprehensive high schools. AOS has a completer rate that rivals other high schools and their identification, we believe, is a mistake." 

As for Tangent Elementary and Calapooia Middle School, Harlan said the district is working to address factors that contribute to their need for support. 

"We know that absenteeism and achievement data at Tangent and Calapooia indicate some needs that we are working to address as a system," she said. "Our staff and students are working hard, and as a district we need to support them." 

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Anthony Rimel covers education and crime in Benton County and weekend events across the Mid-Valley. He can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net or 541-812-6091.

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