Graduation Rates Increase

The Oregon Department of Education shared all dropout and graduation rates across the state and for each school district. The Lincoln County School District showed an overall graduation rate of 77.75% of 469 students in a four-year cohort (those who started together as Freshman in the Fall of 2013-14). Lincoln County School District’s rate of graduation went from 74.32 to 77.5% an increase of 3.43%. Overall, state averages have gone up by 1.82% so our district is following state trends. Results for each high school 4-year cohort rates: Taft 7-12 is 77.14%; Toledo is at 72% for 4-year cohort (but goes up to 89.13 for 5-year graduates); Waldport High School is 77.5%; Newport is 79.66%.

According to Superintendent Tom Rinearson, “We are showing improvement in graduation rates that pretty much matches up with the state percentages. We have strengths such as our high rate of graduation for Ever English Learners, TAG students and kids who take Career and Technical Education courses. Improvement is needed in some areas such as our white males who graduate at 74.77%, which is less than the state average of 76.09%. Our population of homeless and at-risk youth is greater than many areas of the state, and they need additional support to graduate. The new superintendent and the board should take a look at how we can strengthen support systems for our students and make school relevant so they want to reach the finish line.”

The largest number of dropouts in Lincoln County School District are among those who are experiencing homelessness. We had 233 identified as homeless and 26 of those dropped out. Katey Townsend, the McKinney-Vento Liaison and HELP Program Coordinator remarked that, “It is not surprising that homeless students are the subgroup with the highest dropout rate in Lincoln County and the State, given the countless challenges they face in their daily lives.  Many of our students dealing with housing insecurity and lacking resources have shown tremendous resiliency and pushed through to graduate high school and often go onto post secondary programs.”

In Lincoln County, the homeless student dropout rate declined from 13.94% in 2015-16 to 11.16% in 2016-17.  Lincoln County has a lower dropout rate among homeless students than the State’s percentage of 11.78%. Ms. Townsend continued, “Programs like Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), ASPIRE student mentoring, Career and Technical Education classes, and Job Opportunities for Youth (JOY) are critical to supporting the goal of decreasing dropout rates and especially so among homeless students.  When we surround students with support, and link them with opportunities to see how their education can lead to a career, we keep students engaged in school.”

Students who take at least one full credit of a Career and Technical Readiness class graduate at a rate of 90%, and students with at least .5 of a credit graduate at 86.33%. In general, there is a significant correlation between CTE classes and graduation rates. In Lincoln County School District, we are allocating High School Success (aka Measure 98) funds of $1,430,994.72 over 17-18 and 18-19 school years to support a variety of programs. Each of the district’s charter schools will also receive an allocation and are responsible for determining their school’s needs and planning for how funding will be spent.

Areas of focus for Lincoln County School District will be 8th grade Freshman Academy, an additional truancy officer for the county, AVID 7-12, Expansion of Early Childhood Education programs, Online coursework and Expansion of College level opportunities – IB, AP, CTE, Dual Credit, Nursing program.

Background: High School Success (Measure 98) is a 2016 ballot initiative approved by the voters that provides direct funding to school districts and charter schools serving grades 9 through 12 to improve students’ progress toward graduation beginning with grade 9. The funding is with the intent to increase the graduation rates of high schools and improve high school graduates’ readiness for college or career.

Information provided by LCSD

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