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The statewide graduation rate in a four-year cohort (those who started together as a freshman in 15-16) for the class of 2018-19 is at an all time high of 80 percent, up 1.3 percentage points over the previous year.

In the Lincoln County School District, the graduation of 426 students went from 81.99 percent down to 76.06 percent. However, in the 5-year cohort, 430 students graduated and the rate increased from 80.85 percent to 85.12 percent.

“While it is unsettling to see the numbers of graduates decline for our 4-year cohort graduates, we do see a marked increase in our graduation rates for those in the 5-year cohorts,” LCSD Superintendent Dr. Karen Gray said. “When reviewing the numbers, we must keep in mind that we are investing heavily in our students and have made many strides in what we offer to prepare graduates to be college and career ready by the time they walk across that graduation stage.”

The data, which was recently released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) showed the four-year graduation rate has increased eight percentage points statewide over five years. The gap in high school graduation rates between historically underserved student groups and the state average is smaller than in previous years.

The year-to-year increase in graduation rates was greater for every underserved student group than the increase in the state average, bringing underserved student groups closer to the statewide average than ever before.

“This year’s graduation rate increase means nearly 600 additional students earned a diploma,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “We are seeing even faster growth for students of color, students with disabilities and students navigating poverty than the state as a whole. Student Success Act funding will build on this promising foundation to foster equity and excellence for all Oregon students.”

Dr. Gray said the LCSD School board has been working on community engagement and a new strategic plan that will be rolled out this upcoming year. This includes tapping into the $4.6 million state-funded dollars through the Student Success Act.

“We have effective and inspiring programs in place in our school district,” Gray said. “We are not just numbers but unique educational experiences and caring relationships. In Lincoln County Schools we want our students to be engaged in their education and excited about their future.”

Gray named a few examples of new programs that have been installed this year such as natural resources management, welding, visual arts and design, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), new reading curriculum K-10 and trauma-informed care. Next year, LCSD will add a new math curriculum. In addition, they continue to offer meals at no charge to all students.

“Not all students will move onto a four-year college degree but we want all of our students to have the essential skills in place to have that as a genuine option and to be future-ready,” Gray said. “We will see these numbers climb again for our 4-year cohorts, as well as our 5-year cohorts, which surpasses the state average.

“I say that boldly because I have every confidence in our students, staff, administration, school board and community.”

Lincoln County statistics

State 4-year 80.01 percent

Graduation Rates 4-year Cohort

- Lincoln County School District down by 5.93 percent (81.99 to 76.06 percent)

- Taft High down by 1.31 percent (78.90 to 77.59 percent)

- Toledo Senior down by 1.98 percent (79.25 to 77.27 percent)

- Newport High down by 2.22 percent (83.83 to 81.61 percent)

- Waldport High down by 14.33 percent (93.88 to 79.55 percent)

- Charter Siletz Valley down by 8.43 percent (84.62 to 76.19 percent)

- Charter Eddyville down by 66.67 percent (100 to 33.33 percent)

- Charter Lincoln City Career Tech down by 32.38 percent (52.38 to 20 percent)

State 5-year 81.61 percent

Graduation Rates 5-year cohort

- Lincoln County School District up by 4.27 percent (80.85 to 85.12 percent)

- Taft High up by 1.61 percent (79.12 to 80.73 percent)

- Toledo Senior up by 8.18 percent (74.51 to 82.69 percent)

- Newport High up by 4.26 percent (82.49 to 86.75 percent)

- Waldport High up by 7.79 percent (84.21 to 92 percent)

- Charter Siletz Valley up by 8.1 percent (84.21% to 92.31 percent)

- Charter Eddyville up by 5.56 percent (94.44 to 100 percent)

- Charter Lincoln City Career Tech up by 1.75 percent (66.67 to 68.42 percent)

Dropout rates for the Lincoln County School District are at 2.58 percent (last year it was 2 percent), which means that of 1,705 students in the 2015-16 4-year cohort, 44 did not complete the requirements to graduate. The state average is 3.26 percent with LCSD .68 percent lower than the state average.

The largest numbers of dropouts in LCSD are among those who are experiencing homelessness and those who are not yet proficient in English during high school. LCSD identified 348 students as homeless and 23 of those dropped out, which means 6.61 percent did not finish. Of the 63 students identified as English Learners, less than 10 dropped out equating to 9.52 percent.

Highlights from the state

Students who have successfully completed English Learner programs in Oregon graduate at a rate of 84.3 percent, higher than the statewide average. Speaking multiple languages improves education outcomes no matter which language a student learns first.

Students taking a Career and Technical Education (CTE) course graduated at a rate of 88.9 percent in four years and those enrolled in a CTE program of study had a 93.5 percent graduation rate in four years.

The graduation rate for students experiencing homelessness is up from 50.7 percent from the class of 2017, to 55.4 percent for the class of 2019. The class of 2017 was the first class for which this data was collected.

Students in the Migrant Education Program saw a 4.4 percentage point increase in graduation rates over last year to 79.4 percent, less than a percentage point below the statewide average.

“Every student in Oregon deserves to graduate prepared for lifelong success and with a plan for their future,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said. “Working together over the last five years, through a commitment to closing opportunity gaps for students in all our communities, we have made steady progress increasing the number of Oregon students completing high school.

“With the historic reinvestment in education made possible by the Student Success Act, our schools will be further empowered to engage and support Oregon’s students in reaching new levels of learning and achievement.”

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