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Scio SD sees mixed test scores

The Scio School District saw an increase in graduation rates and a decrease in regular attendance during the previous school year, while standardized test scores saw mixed results.

The Oregon Department of Education published its annual at-a-glance reports in October, detailing numbers for the 2022-23 school year.

Scio High School saw 93 percent of seniors graduating on time for the class of 2022, up from 84 percent the previous year and above the state average of 81 percent. Students earning a diploma within five years was at 88 percent, down one percentage point from last year and above the state average of 87 percent.

Superintendent Steve Martinelli said these improvements in graduation were evidence that the district’s intervention programs are working and that students are receiving necessary support.

“With small class sizes every student is known by name, strength and need,” Martinelli told The Canyon Weekly. 

“Throughout our K-12 system we are better able to identify students with gaps in their learning and give them an intervention when they need it the most.”

The number of freshmen on track to graduate was also up to 95 percent compared to 87 percent the previous year, and above the state average of 84 percent. 

Martinelli said this is a strong indicator of high school success and was also boosted by intervention programs.

The number of graduates enrolling in college was down sharply, with 36 percent of students in the class of 2021 enrolling in a two- or four-year college within 16 months of graduation. This compared to the state average of 56 percent, and 69 percent for the class of 2020.

Martinelli said 2021 was the height of the pandemic and this likely impacted students’ decision to enroll in college. He also noted college is not the only measure of graduate success and said the district has robust career and technical education programs that prepare graduates to jump into the workforce.

“ We believe it is our job to prepare our students to be able to make the choice of college or career,” said Martinelli. 

“We don’t want to be a barrier to either for our students so we prepare them all to have the skills they need to be productive citizens moving forward.”

At Scio Middle School, the percentages of students meeting grade level expectations were close to or above state averages for standardized tests.

English performance was at 49 percent (48 percent prior year, 43 percent statewide) and math was at 26 percent (31 percent prior year, 29 percent statewide). Science performance saw a boost of 16 percentage points with 36 percent of students meeting expectations (20 percent prior year, 27 percent statewide).

Centennial Elementary School, which serves K-5, saw test scores increase in all categories. Students meeting expectations was at 54 percent in English (41 percent prior year, 44 percent statewide), 41 percent in math (39 percent prior year, 37 percent statewide), and 40 percent in science (29 percent prior year, 31 percent statewide).

Lourdes Public Charter School, which serves K-8, saw steep hits to its test scores. Students meeting expectations in English was at 39 percent (78 percent prior year, 43 percent statewide) and in math at 29 percent (41 percent prior year, 33 percent statewide), while science performance data was unavailable.

Districtwide regular attendance was down, similar to other school districts across Oregon. For the 2022-23 school year, the percentage of students missing fewer than 15 days of instruction during the school year was at 58 percent for all four schools (70 percent prior year, 62 percent statewide).

Local and state school officials have speculated that parents are more likely to keep children home when they are sick due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enrollment at the four schools totaled 684 students, compared to 661 the previous year and pre-pandemic numbers of 789 during the 2018-19 school year.

At Willamette Connections Academy, an online K-12 school sponsored by the district, on-time graduation for the class of 2022 was down significantly at 65 percent. This compares to 86 percent the prior year and the state average of 81 percent.

The rate of freshmen on track to graduate was down slightly at 75 percent (77 percent prior year, 84 percent  statewide). The rate of students graduating within five years was up to 83 percent (76 percent prior year, 87 percent statewide).

The rate of graduates from the class of 2021 enrolling in college within 16 months was 46 percent, compared to 56 percent statewide. No data was available for college enrollment rates for the class of 2020.

Enrollment for Willamette Connections Academy was down more than 300 students at 1,052, compared to 1,377 the prior year. Pre-pandemic data was not available.

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