High school beat state, county average for on-time graduation

West Linn High School reported a best-in-the-county graduation rate, according to a report released Feb. 6 by the Oregon Department of Education. The report analyzed on-time graduation rates for the Class on 2013 throughout the state.

On-time graduation refers to students who earn their diploma within four years of entering high school, and it does not include students who earn general education degrees (GEDs) or who attend high school for a fifth year.

by: FILE PHOTO - West Linn High School's on-time graduation rate of 97 percent in 2013 is the highest in the county and well above the state average of 69 percent.Overall, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District reported a 90 percent four-year graduation rate for 2012-13, meaning for students who entered high school in 2009. That number was up slightly, from 88 percent in the 2011-12 school year, and it bested both the Clackamas County average of 74 percent and the overall Oregon rate of about 69 percent.

The four-year graduation rate at WLHS was 97 percent for the Class of 2013 cohort, meaning that nearly all West Linn students who entered high school in September 2009 graduated on time. That number was up from 93 percent the previous year.

Elsewhere in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, Wilsonville High School reported a 2013 on-time graduation rate of nearly 91 percent. That represented an increase of about 6 percentage points over the previous year.

Arts and Technology High School, WL-WV’s alternative high school, reported an on-time graduation rate of about 39 percent for the 2013 cohort, a group that numbered just 31. That number represented a slip from the previous year, when approximately 54 percent of the Class of 2012 graduated within four years of entering high school. However, at this point the ATHS 2013 cohort has a “completer” rate of nearly 52 percent. That figure refers to the number of students in the cohort that eventually earned a high school diploma, earned alternative accreditation such as a GED or returned this year to complete coursework, and it still could rise. The completer rate for 2011-12 at ATHS is now approximately 62 percent.

When adjusted to account for students who returned to earn diplomas in a fifth year of high school or who earned GEDs, WL-WV’s overall completion rate was 92 percent.

“The vision of West Linn-Wilsonville schools has always been ambitious and built on the belief that each child can achieve at high levels,” Superintendent Bill Rhoades said. “We are incredibly proud of our recent graduation results, knowing of the hard work and persistence demonstrated by students, teachers, families, principals, support staff, administrators and by our communities over the 13 years of these children’s experience in school.

“The standards for high school graduation are the highest they have ever been and the success experienced by our students is a true reflection of the support and investment of an entire school community.”

The district’s high school graduation rates reflect progress toward an ambitious statewide goal, known as 40-40-20, that calls for a 100 percent high school completion rate by 2025.

Approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2011, the goal requires 40 percent of adult Oregonians to hold bachelor’s or advanced degrees, 40 percent to have an associate or postsecondary certification and all to have a high school diploma or equivalent by the year 2025.

“We are proud to see that both West Linn High School and Wilsonville High School increased graduation rates by significant amounts,” Rhoades said.

“Improving graduation rates that are already at or above 90 percent takes effort, thoughtfulness, growth mindset and, importantly, a strong belief that we, and our children, can achieve beyond expectation. ... We know that it will be our best thinking, continued learning and belief in each child that will allow us to improve on these results and to achieve the vision of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District,” he said.

By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 112
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