Oregon School District has been deemed to “exceed expectations” set by the state Department of Public Instruction.
The distinction, given out based on the 2020-21 academic year, is the same as what the district earned for the 2018-19 school year, with a lower score of 71.9 for 2020-21 than the score of 79.2 two years prior. No district report card data is available for the 2019-20 school year because the state ordered schools to close their doors to in-person instruction for a quarter of that year as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
This is the district’s lowest score in more than five prior years of state report cards; since the 2015-16 school year, the district has consistently received scores between 77 and 79.
District superintendent Leslie Bergstrom said in a statement to the Observer that while she’s proud the district’s state report cards show strong academic achievement, she said there’s more to a student’s learning and education than a school-wide score.
“Despite the exceptional circumstances of the 2020-21 school year, all of our schools met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations. That being said, there are certainly areas where we can improve,” she said in the statement. “While our district report card shows strong performance on “Achievement” and “On-track to Graduate” categories, we need to focus on individual student growth as well as growth within specific target groups.”
On all of the state report card sheets, DPI includes a disclaimer that people should take caution when interpreting scores and ratings because of how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted K-12 education for the last part of 2019-20, and made it look different in 2020-21. The majority of OSD students, for example, didn’t return to in-person education for the 2020-21 school year until mid-January if they were elementary school students, and mid-February if they were middle or high school students.
Students didn’t return for four full days a week until mid-April, but some students chose to remain virtual throughout the rest of the spring semester.
All of the school sites that received a formal grade in the district also meet or exceed expectations, with the exception of Forest Edge Elementary School, which was given an alternate rating of “satisfactory progress,” as the 2020-21 school year was the first it was open and COVID-19 kept half of its students learning virtually for the first semester.
The district as a whole is outpacing state averages in student achievement in English and Mathematics, but is seeing slightly lower district-wide student growth. The district is considered to be significantly exceeding expectations with its metrics measuring student readiness for graduation, earning scores that were higher than the state average for lower levels of chronic absenteeism, the rate of graduation and both third grade English/Language Arts and eighth grade math.
Throughout the district, there are still academic achievement gaps between students of color and their white peers.
Black and Hispanic students tend to have higher rates of scoring as “basic” or “below basic” in the subjects of reading and mathematics than their white peers. The 2020-21 data reflects the test scores of 2,297 students, which is approximately 250 less students than those who were tested in 2018-19.
Based on the district-wide report card, 71.4% of Black students rank in the areas of basic or below basic in reading and 89.3% in math, and 66.5% of Hispanic students rank in the areas of basic or below basic in reading and 80.5% for math. White students statistically score higher in reading and math, with only 52.1% and 55.3%, respectively, being ranked as basic or below basic.