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Corvallis High School Teacher Recognized for Science Education Leadership
Published on Monday, November 23, 2015

Congratulations to Corvallis High School teacher Britten Clark-Huyck who was recognized last month as the Oregon Science Teachers Association Outstanding Classroom Teacher for Region 2. Awardees were selected based on their ability to accelerate student achievement, motivate student excitement in science, and support and mentor other teachers.

While this award is specifically related to her work as a science educator, Ms. Clark-Huyck is also a certified Google instructor and in addition to teaching students, she is a mentor teacher in the use of instructional technology in high school classrooms.

In reflecting on her own high school educational experience, Ms. Clark-Huyck notes that she remembers a lot of lectures and a very teacher-centered environment. Now in her sixth year of teaching, her focus is on finding ways for all students to express their understanding. She works hard to find the barriers and move them out of the way for her students to have success. 

“Technology is incorporated into my classes in many ways. I believe strongly in incorporating 21st century digital skills into my student’s classroom practices. In addition to science fundamentals and concepts, all of my students are learning productivity skills such as file management and organization of digital files. This has been a true game changer for many of my kids.  With 1:1 devices, it is easy for me to create differentiated lessons to reach multiple skill levels. Technology has opened up a whole new culture of learning in my classroom; we are having fun learning together.”


A message from Corvallis School Board Chair Chris Rochester
Published on Monday, November 09, 2015

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (A sign on Albert Einstein’s Princeton office door.) Einstein also said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” I think what he meant was not that school is useless, but that its real purpose is to teach young people how to think, reason, and question, so they will have the intellectual integrity and fundamental skills they need to be responsible citizens.

Let me give you a snapshot of the Corvallis school district. We have 14 schools, 6,600 students, and close to 800 staff. Our total minority population is 31 percent: 14 percent of our students are Hispanic; 7 percent are English language learners (we have 52 languages — the top four are Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Korean); 12 percent are children with special needs; nearly one out of three students (29 percent, as reported by parents) comes from economically disadvantaged circumstances. We believe the real percentage is higher. We have more than 200 homeless students.

These are things that can be counted that count.

The number of economically disadvantaged children in our schools has been increasing for a decade. Some of these children are high achievers; many are far behind, dragged down by all the discouragements of poverty.

Close to 90 percent of our operating budget comes from the state of Oregon school fund. The rest comes mainly from federal funds and our local option levy. This levy gives the school district critically needed funds for the arts, technical programs, and an array of student support. The levy has also helped us to stabilize rising class sizes. We will ask the voters to approve the school levy for another five years on the November 2016 ballot. 

Superintendent Erin Prince and her staff have worked tirelessly to move the district forward. Her watchwords are, “All students succeed. No student left behind. All students show growth.” There are no shortcuts to student achievement. It’s hard student-by-student, grade-after-grade work. This intensive student support has brought positive results. Our four-year graduation rate jumped from 68 percent to 84 percent in 2013-14 (we’re waiting for our 2014-15 results). Our first Smarter Balanced assessment results of essential Common Core reading, math and writing skills exceeded Oregon averages by double digits. All student groups showed academic growth. These are things that can be counted that count.

Still, we have too many students who struggle. Our English language learners, special education students, and economically disadvantaged students lag behind other groups. This may be predictable, but it is not inevitable. Some of the obstacles to achievement for these children are inequities that exist within the school district.

The school district can’t do much about the cost of housing, or the prevalence of poverty and homelessness in Corvallis. But there is much we can do to remove inequities in our schools. These may involve transportation, activity fees, access to more rigorous classes, or they may involve subtler issues such as instruction assumptions, different expectations for different students, or helping families navigate health and higher education systems. Einstein was right about this: many of our equity issues are things that can’t be counted that count.

While your school district has made significant progress on many fronts during the past four years, it has much more work to do with limited resources. Our mission has always been, and will always be, to do our best to truly educate every student. If we can do that, then our students can forget everything they learned in school, but remember everything that is important.


2014-15 District and School Report Cards released
Published on Friday, October 16, 2015

The Oregon Department of Education released report cards for all Oregon schools and districts this week. The report cards provide a snapshot of student demographics, performance on state assessment tests, specific programs and electives offered at individual schools, and comparative information for similar school districts. The report cards include assessment data from the new Smarter Balanced assessments and as a result, prior year data is not available for school ratings.  The school ratings will resume with next year’s report cards.

Corvallis schools continue to outperform comparable districts on state assessments and the most notable achievement is the improved graduation rate of 84%, compared to an average of 78% in comparable districts. “We are on the right path in directing the resources where they are most needed and closing the opportunity gap so that all students can make progress and graduate with a diploma,” notes Superintendent Erin Prince. Detailed Corvallis school reports are available here.

Other areas of strength for Corvallis schools include a higher percentage of freshmen on track to graduate within four years (89% compared to 85%), greater numbers of students taking the SAT college entrance exam (47% compared to 35%) and the  number of Corvallis students continuing their education after high school (73% compared to 62%.)

While school ratings are not provided this year, the report cards provide us with an opportunity to highlight the many areas we are getting it right for our students. In addition, they affirm where we need to focus our energy. According to Superintendent Prince, "We have work to do for our student subgroups including English Language Learners, students of color, students of poverty, and students in special education. The report cards are an annual measuring stick that guide us as we dig deeper and find new ways to help every student make progress and have success in school.” 

Complete ODE report cards and related files are available online here and the Comparison School and District data sheets can also be found here



2014-15 State Assessment Results Released
Published on Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Oregon Department of Education released results on the 2014-15 standardized tests for school districts today. Smarter Balanced replaces the OAKS (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test and is an end of year summative assessment administered to specific grade levels in English and math. The test was created to align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of shared K-12 learning expectations for students and marks a new baseline for measuring student achievement. Science standards and assessment remain the same as prior years. more


Superintendent's Message

Superintendent Erin Prince’s monthly report to the school board about what’s happening in the Corvallis School District.

"Superintendent's Report 11-9-2015" - Posted Thursday, November 12, 2015

"Superintendent's Report 10-5-2015" - Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Superintendent's Report 9-14-15" - Posted Friday, September 18, 2015

"Superintendent's Report 8-17-15" - Posted Monday, August 24, 2015

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