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Lakeridge graduates almost 97% of students; Lake Oswego High School close behind

PMG FILE PHOTO - Overall, 95.9% of seniors in the Lake Oswego School District graduated in 2019-20. Lake Oswego School District graduation rates continue to rise, outpacing the rest of the state with 95.9% of LOSD students graduating with their four-year cohort in 2019-20, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

Much like 2018-19, LOSD graduation rates last year were significantly higher than the overall state graduation rate of 82.6%.

Graduation rates in the district have seen a steady increase over the years.

Even with the interruption the pandemic caused in the spring, the district's 2019-20 graduation rates were higher than the year before.

LOSD rates were 94.6% in the 2018-2019 school year.

Overall graduation rates at both high schools increased, each by more than one percentage point.

Lakeridge High School graduated 96.8% of its students in 2019-20 after posting a 95.9% graduation rate in 2018-19.

LHS principal Desiree Fisher said she's thrilled with the school's graduation success.

"I must give the accolades to our teachers and staff who work tirelessly with students to find their path to success," she said. "We are proud of our Pacers who show up every day to learn and prepare themselves for all life has to offer."

Lake Oswego High School's graduation rate for the 2018-19 school year was 93.9%, and last year sat at 96.6%.

LOHS principal Rollin Dickinson said the graduation rates at LOHS have risen every year for the last 4 years.

"That is testament to the enduring good work our students and staff are doing together," he said. "It's about high expectations, challenge, support, connection, care and growth. It's about learning and people that matter so much."

Both principals said the rise in graduation rates, even taking into account the pandemic, wasn't a surprise to them.

"During the pandemic last spring our staff really stepped up to work with our seniors to make sure they had all their requirements complete and were prepared to graduate to their grade 13 experience," Fisher said.

Dickinson noted that due to adjustments made at the state level, many of the state's seniors completed graduation requirements by April. If a student was passing their classes at the time of the closures, they earned credit for that class. The state also lifted essential skills requirements for the class of 2020.

"For the entire fourth quarter we were able to work closely with our seniors who were otherwise not on track to graduate or who were not passing their classes at the time of the school closure," he said.

While overall graduation numbers rose, some rates within student groups did not.

For example, the graduation rate for students with disabilities at Lakeridge High School dropped from 87% to 83%.

Fisher said the school is committed to seeking ways to improve support for all students.

LOHS students who fall under the state qualification of "economically disadvantaged" also saw lower graduation rates last year. LOHS graduated 91.4% of students from this category in 2018-19, and 86.6% last year. Dickinson said that the difference in percentage was a result of one less student graduating in that category than the year before.

"Each student's situation is widely different — depending on if they moved out of the country or state, if they are on a different kind of diploma due to disability, or if they pursued a GED," Dickinson said.

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