News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

NSSD sees improved graduation rates

The North Santiam School District (NSSD) saw improvement in graduation rates during the last school year, while also seeing opportunities to improve performance in English and math.

According to the state’s recent At-A-Glance reports, published in October, 93 percent of 12th graders at Stayton High School graduated on time during the 2022-23 school year.

This was beyond the statewide average of 81 percent, and up from 88 percent the year before.

There was also a significant improvement in on-time graduations at North Santiam Options Academy with 48 percent of twelfth graders graduating last year, compared to 36 percent the prior year.

“These achievements collectively reflect the district’s dedication to the success of all students,” said NSSD spokesperson Emily Pelletier. “We’re proud of all the individual success stories captured in these metrics.”

In other graduation metrics the district saw a decline, with 78 percent of ninth graders district-wide on track to graduate. This was down four percentage points from the year before and below the state average of 84 percent.

There was also a decline in regular attendance, with 55 percent of students attending at least 90 percent of their enrolled school days. This was down five points from the previous year and below the state average of 62 percent.

Pelletier said this decrease was “a continued illustration of the ongoing impact of the [COVID-19] pandemic on education.” 

She said the district sees regular attendance as “critical” to student success and said they will identify strategic solutions to bring this number up.

There was also a decrease in English scores, with 31 percent of third graders meeting grade level expectations. This was down from 40 percent the previous year and below the state average of 40 percent.

Meanwhile math scores improved with 22 percent of eighth graders meeting grade level expectations, up from to 18 percent the previous year, though below the state average of 26 percent.

Pelletier said they plan to close learning gaps by using targeted strategies that focus on support for students and families, with an emphasis on those who are traditionally marginalized.

“The district’s response involves a dedicated focus on professional development for staff, targeted intervention for students requiring additional support, and the implementation of reliable formative assessment tools,” she said. “… It is crucial for our community and families to understand the depth of our commitment to each student. We genuinely care about their well-being, growth, and achievement.”

Enrollment was holding steady at 2,099 students for 2022-23, up from 2,068 students last school year and below pre-pandemic enrollment of 2,226.

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