The Crook County School District announced Tuesday that more than 95% of Crook County High School freshmen are on track to graduate, according to data from the Oregon Department of Education.
That percentage is the highest of any individual school in the region.
District-wide numbers, which includes all freshmen in various programs, is also the highest in the region at 87%.
The Freshman On-Track program measures how many 9th grade students earned six credits, which services as a key predictor for future graduation rates.
High School students in the Crook County School District began the 2020-21 school year online, but transitioned to hybrid learning in October, and started full-time, in-person instruction by January 2021.
“We’ve put in place a tracking system that alerts administrators when a student begins showing signs of drifting off-track,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joel Hoff explained.
“This means we can get students the individualized support they need so they avoid falling behind and still have the opportunity to thrive for the rest of their high school career.”
“Building positive relationships with students is just as important as what they learn in the classroom,” explained CCHS Principal Michelle Jonas. “We know that if students feel happy and safe, they’re more likely to succeed, and I’m incredibly proud of our staff for going the extra mile to ensure all students have the opportunity to graduate.”
Sophomore Celina Tucker was motivated to catch up after falling behind during the online learning period.
“I came to school for early-bird classes, doubled my course load, and attended summer school because I was deficient in three credits last year,” she said. “This year, I’m taking advanced classes like Honors Geometry, and I wouldn’t be here without my teachers never giving up on me.”
Crook County School District hosted one of the largest Summer School programs in the state last July, which provided another opportunity for students to make up lost credits.
Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson says that while COVID-19 has been a challenge on multiple fronts, it’s also pushed the school district to rethink its approach to education.
She says the success points to the work of the entire system, and the experience students have from kindergarten through high school.
“I want to thank our school board for having the vision and leadership to try new methods, fund new programs, and find creative ways to support our students,” Johnson said.
“The success of our freshmen is also owed to the teachers and classified staff at the elementary and middle school levels and their interventions.
“Our goal is to make Crook County School District one of the best-performing districts in the state, and I think we’re well on our way to achieving that.”