Colton's graduation rate inches toward 90 percent
School districts around the state received their report cards in October, providing a picture of each district's overall performance, attendance, demographics and more from the 2018-19 year.
Colton's "At-A-Glance" report from the Oregon Department of Education, pictured here, shows high average student progress in grades 3-8 and a high on-time graduation rate, while other indicators fall below state averages.
Colton School District is a data-driven district, where "educators use data to inform teaching, learning and leading," according to Superintendent Koreen Barreras-Brown.
Still, for Colton, the state report card is one part of a bigger picture.
"The SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) data is important summative data that informs our practice, and it is one piece of a very complex puzzle," Barreras-Brown said. "The interim data and other formative assessments help us track individual student growth throughout the year."
This one piece of the puzzle, the state report card, shows the regular attenders in grades K-2 is at 77 percent, down from the previous year and 5 percent below the state average.
The district is working to improve the percentage of regular attenders through participation in a program from Kaiser Permanente, Oregon Department of Education and Clackamas Education Service District.
"Our staff receives specialized training in how to engage students and create a more welcoming environment for all students where all students feel safe and connected," Barreras-Brown said. "[Colton Elementary School] teachers are working hard to reach out to families when a student is absent. This regular check-in with students and families helps teachers to understand how they can help support students."
In fact, this work to reduce chronic absenteeism extends across the district, Barreras-Brown said, as staff members work to make connections with students, do home visits and try to build authentic relationships with students and families.
While regular attendance, grade 8 mathematics and grade 3 English Language Arts could all stand to see improvement, the report card reveals some strengths in the district.
For instance, that on-time graduation rate is nearing the 90 percent mark as it sits at 87 percent, which is up from the previous year and sitting well above the state average. Still, that's not good enough, according to Barreras-Brown.
"Our district purpose is all students K-12 are on track and graduate college and career ready, and our district goal is 100 percent graduation rate," she said.
Barreras-Brown described the process of improving that rate as focused on equity through the use of data.
"We disaggregate data by our focal students (students of color, students experiencing socioeconomic barriers, students who are emerging with multilingual abilities/needs, students experiencing foster care systems, students experiencing homelessness, and students with special needs) to ensure we address equity, access and progress for all students within our inclusive learning environments," she said.
Another strength for the district, a rarity in Oregon schools, is that the racial diversity of the staff closely matches that of the students.
"We believe our school and district staff should represent all our students," Barreras-Brown said. "We believe this is in the best interest of all students, staff and community members and this is part of our inclusive learning model."
To view the full report card or to view individual schools' report cards, visit ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.