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News & Announcements

Archived highlights of news announcements published during the 2014-2015 school year are listed at the right. 

Corvallis School Board revisits equity discussion

October 1, 2015- Leaders of the Corvallis School District provided the School Board with an in depth review of student demographics, assessment and achievement data, and proposed plans to better meet the needs of all students at the Board’s Strategic Planning Retreat on September 28, 2015.

Superintendent Erin Prince and her leadership staff presented data including student and family demographics, assessment and standardized test scores, and homeless student counts. The objective of the meeting was to lay the foundation for the school district’s equity transformation plan, to be finalized and adopted later this year.

Superintendent Prince opened the meeting with a review of the school district’s vision statement ensuring equitable access to an inclusive and rigorous learning experience for all students. After a lengthy review of student data, draft guidelines for the district’s equity initiatives were discussed. The focus of these initiatives is to close the opportunity gap, help all students make academic progress, and ensure that every student graduates.

“These retreats give us an opportunity to look at the big picture” said School Board Chair Chris Rochester. “We made progress in identifying the areas of inequity in the school district.  Some of these are obvious; others are subtler.  We made a firm commitment to allocate resources to remove barriers to student achievement and participation.  We discussed equity guiding principles, which will frame and guide specific action beginning this year.  These principles will include recognition of the importance of addressing barriers to achievement, and a strong commitment to take action to remove them.  After further discussion, the board will formally adopt our equity guiding principles.” Some equity concerns include disparity in achievement and discipline rates, especially for some under-represented groups, low math scores for English Language Learners and students with disabilities, and high numbers of homeless students. The school district is particularly interested in supporting students in historically underserved groups, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, students of color, and students who live in poverty.

When asked to reflect on areas they felt most proud, board members welcomed the fact that participation rates on Advanced Placement tests are proportionate to school demographics and that graduation rates have dramatically improved.

Superintendent Prince highlighted the need to continue this dialogue. “We are embracing a culture of embedded support for our students. The Corvallis School District is trailblazing in this area by building capacity in our teachers and recognizing that not all students need the same resources to make progress in their learning. I am thrilled that our school board sees the need and is actively engaged in this discussion.”

The Corvallis School Board meets again on October 5, 2015 for a regular meeting at the school district administration building. Continued discussion of the Equity Guiding Principles is on the meeting agenda.

Smarter Balanced 2014/15 Test Results

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.

The Corvallis School District was an early adopter of CCSS and teachers have been using these standards as a guide for instruction in English and math since 2012. With the CCSS, Oregon made a commitment to raising the bar for students. For the first time, educators are looking at assessments through the lens of college or career readiness. Rigorous changes in curriculum and instruction include increased writing and critical thinking skills and the Smarter Balanced test assesses how well students can demonstrate the more challenging standards.  According to Superintendent Prince, “We are moving beyond rote memorization and ‘sit and get’ instructional strategies. Our educators are providing deeper learning opportunities in the classroom and helping students develop writing, reasoning, and critical thinking skills that can be applied to the real world.”

With a 98.2% assessment participation rate, the Corvallis School District is outpacing state averages in every grade level in English, math, and science assessments and in most areas by double digit percentage points. The Oregon Department of Education performed a field test in 2014 and based on those results, projected the 2015 baseline scores.  Most students in Corvallis surpassed those projections, with 56.7% meeting or exceeding the English standards, 68.7% of students meeting or exceeding math standards and 76.2% meeting or exceeding science standards compared to state averages of 54.1% in English, 40.8% in math, and 63.5% in science. While student subgroups including English language learners and special education students statewide performed near the lower projections, the Corvallis School District continues to demonstrate our commitment to ensure equitable access for learning across all student subgroups. “We will continue to focus on helping all students make progress and show growth. While this is only one tool of summative and formative assessments used in Corvallis, these assessments help guide instruction and ensure students are supported for success in their K-12 journey. 

We are relentlessly focused on helping every student receive the resources needed to be prepared for graduation and a successful future.”

Individual student scores will be available later this month and school report cards will be available October 15. Oregon Department of Education data is available here. 

2014-15 archive news