The Oregon Department of Education released graduation data for the 2019-20 school year and once again, the Corvallis School District continues to outpace the state in four-year graduation rates. The district’s overall graduation rate for 2020 was 90%, an increase from last year’s rate of 89% and the highest rate ever in the Corvallis School District. In terms of the number of students, 484 out of 538 graduated with their 4-year cohort in 2020 compared to 522 out of 587 in 2019.
“Last school year was full of unique challenges including the abrupt transition to emergency distance learning in the spring. It’s important to keep in mind that while the final few months of learning were disrupted, this graduation rate represents a culmination of our students thirteen-year journey to cross the finish line. We celebrate the fact that our graduation rate continues to grow and that our graduates are well prepared for their next steps beyond high school,” shared Superintendent Ryan Noss.
Corvallis students navigating poverty achieved their highest rate of graduation at 83% (155 of 186 students) which is up 5% from the previous year. “This is the fourth consecutive year of improvement for this student group. Our individualized approach and focus on supporting the whole child are having a positive impact on graduation rates for our students,” said Noss. “We are deeply grateful to the additional resources from community donations through the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation to meet additional needs of our most vulnerable students. These investments are paying off.”
The district continues to celebrate the success of Hispanic/Latinx students. While the 2020 graduation rate is slightly lower than the previous year, 88% (86 of 98) Hispanic/Latinx students graduated on time. The graduation rate for this group has improved significantly since 2014 (65%), reaching the highest rate of 89% in 2019.
“We continue to invest in the success of our multi-linguistic students,” said Noss. “More students than ever have earned the Oregon Seal of Biliteracy and, while this number is not part of the ODE report, it is an important indicator of academic rigor and success.” This recognition demonstrates high levels of cultural competency and academic proficiency in two languages. Adopted by the State of Oregon in 2015, 95 Corvallis seniors earned this recognition in 2020, a steady increase from 30 in 2015. Students receiving this award have a deeper understanding of self and others and have a more culturally sensitive perspective.
One area requiring ongoing focus includes the four-year graduation rate for students with disabilities. The rate has remained flat for the last three years at 68% (32 of 47 in 2019-20). Due to a data entry error, there were two additional graduates that were not recorded in this student group which would have brought the percentage of 2019-20 graduates up to 72.3%.
Superintendent Noss added, “I am proud of the work of Corvallis School District staff and their commitment to each and every student. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a curveball to our community. I’m proud of the resilience and accomplishments of our students in the face of that challenge and the high level of support and outreach provided by our staff to ensure their success.”