Oregon’s ‘At-A-Glance’ Bulletins Show Pandemic Impacts

The Oregon “At-A-Glance” School and District Report Cards were published by the Oregon Department of Education.

The annual publication required by law is designed to inform parents, caregivers, communities and educators. It is also designed to initiate discussions on areas of improvement for schools and districts, according to the ODE.

Data shows Mid-Valley schools are struggling to help students graduate within four years, and that’s exacerbated for Latino students and students struggling with homelessness.

The ODE has warned that due to the impact of the pandemic on in-person learning, the data looks different this year. Similar to the 2019-2020 report, this year’s profiles do not include statewide assessment data, class size data, or attendance data.

“We all know we’ve been through and we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and because of this pandemic we’ve had an impact on in-person teaching with much of the state moving on to learning. remotely by conference for much of the year, “said Jon Wiens, director of accountability and reporting at ODE.” So there are a lot of caveats with the data we have this year. “

Losing students, adding staff

There were 38,809 students enrolled in public schools in Salem-Keizer last year, according to this year’s report. The number of students enrolled was 41,770 the previous year.

During the pandemic, the Salem-Keizer School District recruited 15 new teachers. Of its 2,042 teachers in 2020-2021, 80% were classified as “experienced teachers”, up from 78% last year. ODE defines experienced teachers as certified teachers with more than three years of experience.

The district also added three counselors / psychologists for a total of 122 in the district but lost teaching assistants from 1,114 to 1,092.

Progress towards graduation

Statewide, progress in keeping students on track to graduate within four years has declined from the 2018-19 school year, last year the ODE has reliable data.

In 2020-2021, the ODE saw a “big decrease,” Wiens said, with the rate of on-track students dropping from 11% to 74%.

The district of Salem-Keizer was above the state average in 2018 at 87%, but this year fell below, indicating that 70% of students achieved a quarter of the required graduation credits at the end of the ninth year.

In Salem-Keizer:

  • Roberts High School, which offers non-traditional programs to students, had less than 5% of students on track to graduate within four years.
  • North Salem High, 57% on track to graduate.
  • Early College High, which focuses on offering college credit as part of its program, is on track at 95%.
  • McKay High School, 62% on track.
  • McNary High School, 77% on track.
  • South Salem High School 74% on track.
  • Lycée Sprague, 74% on track.
  • West Salem High School, 81% on track.

In the Woodburn School District, students were still below the state average this year compared to the Salem-Keizer District, with 65% of 5,391 students on track to graduate on time.

  • At the Wellness Business and Sports School, 79% of students were on the right track.
  • Woodburn Academy of Art Science and Technology, 65% on track.
  • Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy, 54% on track.

In the Silver Falls School District, students at Silverton High reached the state average of 74%.

The Polk County Central School District reported that 46% of their students at their one high school, Central High School, had completed a quarter of their credits before their first year.

Varied results for students of color

In Salem-Keizer, native Hawaiians / Pacific Islanders and students struggling with homelessness – included in the report for the first time – were the student groups with the lowest percentage of students on track to graduate. graduates, both 39%, followed by Migrant (51%), Hispanic / Latino (61%) and Native American / Alaska Native (65%) students.

Compared to the previous report, the percentages are down 68% for migrant students and 70% for Native American / Alaska Native students.

Black, Asian and White students in the district were all above the Oregon average at 82%, 87%, and 80% respectively.

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The percentages are a decrease for white and Asian students but a 12% increase for black students.

Wiens cautioned against comparing the data with previous years, however.

“A lot of our data has been badly affected or their definition is different this year, so comparison with previous years is not warranted,” he said. “We expect these comparisons to slowly return in the future as our data stabilizes.”

Attendance not included

Distance learning has also continued to make significant changes to the definition of attendance in Oregon schools.

“Distance learning, especially for online schools, used to participate in recordings twice a week with a student. Last year, with the shift to full distance learning, we demanded a daily presence of distance learning students, ”said Wiens.

ODE reflected the required daily presence for face-to-face learning, shifting to daily presence for distance learning. Additionally, the “very definition of what attendance meant” was different last year, becoming much broader to allow teacher recordings or other forms of student engagement to be marked as present.

Students enter the building for the first day of blended learning at McNary High School in April.

According to ODE guidelines, participation included participating in classroom activities and interacting with a teacher during a school day, either by participating in a video course, communicating with the teacher by SMS, e -mail or by phone, or by delivering completed courses.

Due to the changes, attendance data was not included in this year’s report. Instead, data on “regular participants” will be reported separately from the district profiles and available on a separate website.

Of the 37,585 students included in the separate attendance report, 38.4% were chronically absent in the Salem-Keizer school district. A higher percentage of students of color were chronically absent, according to the data: 40.6% black students, 46% Hispanic / Latino students, 49.6% Native American / Alaskan students and 62.1% Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander students.

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Homeless students in the neighborhood were also included in this data for the first time. According to the report, 72.2% of homeless people in the district (361 students) were chronically absent during the school year.

Parents who want information on attendance and class size will be able to view this data on a separate web page linked to ODE reports.

“We don’t put it on our At A Glance profiles because that doesn’t mean what people normally think of class size. Class sizes for most of our speakers would reflect the notion of the number of students physically present in the classroom. But with much of the state under distance learning and / or blended learning, that notion just isn’t the same this year, ”Wiens said.

Low condition assessment

Information on standardized testing was missing from last year’s report, due to COVID-19 closures.

These test results will once again be missing from the annual report cards after low participation rates in statewide assessments.

Usually, standardized test scores are used as a means of tracking student learning.

“The results of these assessments should not be compared from year to year, school to school or student to student. And because of all the caveats we have about this data, we are reporting it separately and not on the At a Glance profiles, ”Wiens said.

Links to the website with information available on the condition assessment will also be available on the Reports at a glance.

In Oregon, the state received a waiver to reduce the grades required for testing in 2020-2021. With limited in-person instruction and concerns about impacts on families, ODE did not support remote administration of statewide assessments. These assessments were to be administered at a school test site.

“Many districts have prioritized education over administration of tests,” Wiens said.

This, in addition to parental opt-out options, led to very low turnout, typically around 30% for mandatory assessments and even lower for optional assessments. In previous years, attendance was typically 94-95%, according to the ODE.

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In the district of Salem-Keizer, few students were tested in most of the classes or groups of students indicated. Data was only available for some grade 3 students who participated in the English Language Arts assessments and a group of students in the same subject in grade 6.

According to the data, only 0.6% of grade 3 district students participated.

“We emphasize that when participation rates are low, especially if they are below 80%, we really should not use this data to compare between years, between schools or even between groups of students within from a school, ”Wiens said. “Evaluation data is valid and reliable when we have high participation rates. ”

For more information on this year’s report, visit the ODE website.

Dianne Lugo is a reporter for the Statesman Journal covering equity and social justice. You can reach her at [email protected], 503-936-4811 or on Twitter @DianneLugo.

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