Local school districts pleased to see trend of improving graduation rates


Central Oregon school districts Thursday touted new graduation rates that surpassed the state average, according to new data from the Oregon Department of Education

Crook County High School and the Redmond Proficiency Academy boasted 98% graduation rates, which were tops among local schools.

The statewide graduation rate for the class of 2020-21 is 80.6%, the second-highest graduation rate ever recorded in Oregon, but down 2% from last year.

The 80.6 represents an uptick from the most recent, pre-pandemic rate of 80.0 for the class of 2018-19.

More detailed information from the individual school districts is below. (We will update with data from Sisters and Jefferson County school districts.)

Crook County School District

Teachers and staff at Crook County High School are celebrating a major milestone as 98.17% of students graduated in 2021 with a high school diploma.

That rate places CCHS #1 among all Central Oregon high schools. It’s also the highest rate in the school’s history and well above the state average of 80%.

The Oregon Department of Education released its annual graduation report card today, which also shows Crook County School District with a district-wide rate of 88.51% and a significant improvement for Pioneer Alternative High School (PAHS). 


“This is the work our families and taxpayers expect us to do, and we achieved these impressive numbers because of stellar support from our school board and the efforts of an incredible group of teachers and staff. The community places a high value on our schools, and we owe it to them to ensure students are prepared for work and life beyond high school,” explained Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson. 

Crook County School District was one of the first district’s in the state to bring students back into classrooms during the 2020-21 school year.

While that provided a jump start to get students back on track, the CCHS leadership team implemented several new strategies focused on creating positive relationships with students, and the academic needs of individual students.

CCHS Principal Michelle Jonas remembers tracking student names on a whiteboard and meeting daily with her administrative team to figure out how to reach every student and provide them with a chance to receive their diploma. 

“We know that prioritizing in-person learning last year made a huge difference in both student success and graduation rates,” explained Principal Michelle Jonas. “I’m extremely proud of our staff for going above and beyond last year and never giving up on students. They made personalized phone calls to families, and we created tools that tracked academic progress so we knew exactly when a student was falling behind and needed that extra push.” 

Changes were also made to the education model at Pioneer Alternative High School that significantly increased graduation rates. PAHS only graduated 49% of students in 2020. That rate jumped to nearly 80% in 2021 after a number of targeted interventions: 

  • Onsite GED Testing Center
  • Reformed partnerships with COIC and Rimrock Trails Treatment Services
  • Adding Career & Technical Education Classes
  • Additional Counselor
  • Graduation Specialist
  • Credit Recovery Opportunities

School Board Chair Scott Cooper, who’s been serving on the board for over 12 years, remembers a time when graduation rates were unacceptably low.

He credits the turnaround to a united vision by fellow school board members and developing leadership teams at the district office and in the schools that care deeply about the success of local students.

“The best-in-region graduation rate at Crook County High School is the result of a sustained focus by board and enormous and creative effort by staff. We see similar efforts at Pioneer High School and corresponding or even better improvement over time,” explained Chair Scott Cooper. “The fact that staff sustained this through the chaos of COVID is even more impressive. The data are validating the good work the team is doing district-wide to get young people across the finish line.”

Crook County School District recently announced it will ask voters to increase taxes by 10 cents this May to update old buildings, improve technology, and expand Career & Technical Education and other extracurricular programs.

Jonas notes a direct correlation between student engagement and programs like CTE, after-school clubs, music, and the arts.

Focusing on those areas is one way the district plans to sustain its high graduation rate in the future. 

Bend-La Pine Schools

Bend-La Pine Schools recorded its second-highest graduation rate on record, 82.4 percent, continuing a decade-long trend of increasing graduation rates for our schools, according to a report released by the Oregon Department of Education today.

This rate is about 2 percentage points higher than the statewide average.

Additionally, 92.7 percent of students graduated or earned a GED, extended diploma or other within five years (five-year completer data). 

“It’s encouraging to see the overall positive trend line continuing for our graduation rates. These rates are reflective of the collective hard work of our students and our staff. We know the positive relationships staff built with students make all the difference,” said Superintendent Steven Cook. “While these rates are encouraging, we are committed to the goal of seeing every student graduate from our schools.”

Bend-La Pine Schools saw a dip in graduation rates from 2020 (when the district recorded a historic high of 85.9 percent), but those rates likely reflected an artificial bump, due to no-fail policies in place in the spring of 2020.

However, the district held on to the gains made from the previous years and the graduation rate is up 1.8 percentage points from 2019 (pre-pandemic).  

Bend-La Pine Schools also continues to see positive trends among various student groups, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners and historically underserved racial/ethnic groups, among others.

Graduation rates were higher in these groups for the Class of 2021 than for the Class of 2019 and reflect an overall positive long-term trend.

About the Numbers: The graduation rate tracks students beginning in ninth grade and measures how many of those students graduate within four years. The rate is adjusted for students moving in or out of the district. 

The Class of 2021 earned the following diplomas, by type: 1,182 Regular Diplomas, 37 Modified Diplomas, 4 Extended Diplomas, 83 GEDs, 13 Alternative Certificates, 45 continuing enrollment.

Bend-La Pine Schools’ graduation rate includes roughly 100 students from COIC and Oregon Youth Challenge Program, which enroll students from across the region/state. Without including students enrolled in these programs, Bend-La Pine Schools’ 4-year graduation rate would be approximately 85.6 percent. 

Bend-La Pine Schools’ 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Over Time: 

  • 2020-21: 82.4 percent
  • 2019-20: 85.9 percent
  • 2018-19: 80.6 percent
  • 2017-18: 81.9 percent
  • 2016-17: 78.7 percent
  • 2015-16: 77.5 percent
  • 2014-15: 77.2 percent                                   
  • 2013-14: 77.2 percent
  • 2012-13: 78.6 percent
  • 2011-12: 72.2 percent           
  • 2010-11: 68.2 percent

School-Specific 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate for 2020-21

  • Bend Senior High: 89.7 percent
  • Bend Tech Academy at Marshall:  59.62 percent
  • La Pine High: 59.3 percent
  • Mountain View: 85.3 percent
  • Realms High: 65.4 percent
  • Skyline*: 82.1 percent
  • Summit: 93.8 percent

*Skyline High School merged with Realms High School starting fall of 2021

Redmond School District

The Redmond School District continues to outpace the statewide average in graduation rates again this year. 

The District’s 85.4 percent four-year graduation rate is higher than the statewide 80.63 percent rate.

The District’s 88.3 percent five-year graduation rate (meaning students earned a diploma, extended or modified diploma or GED within five years) is similarly above the statewide 84.49 percent rate. 

RSD has seen its four-year cohort graduation rate increase by 5 percentage points over the past five years (from 79.3 percent in 2016-17 to 85.4 percent in 2020-21) and once again saw its districtwide five-year cohort graduation rate improve to 88.3 percent. 

The district’s one-year dropout rate dropped districtwide to 1.5 percent in the 2020-21 school year, although due to state rule changes during the pandemic, the number shouldn’t be compared to previous years. 

“We are proud of the perseverance and hard work of our graduates, especially during a difficult time like a global pandemic when much of their high school work was completed in distance learning,” Superintendent Charan Cline said. “We like to see continuous improvement in graduation rates, and we won’t rest until we see all of our students graduate and leave school on a positive path to the future.”

“We would like to thank all of our district staff who have done extraordinary work to help our students succeed under unprecedented circumstances,” Cline added.

Redmond Proficiency Academy

Redmond Proficiency Academy’s (RPA) high school graduation rate for the class of 2021 cohort was 98 percent – the highest ever for the charter school and higher than local, state and national averages.

“As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the challenges facing our students and staff are ever-present, but our students are still achieving at a high level which is a testament to the dynamic approach we take with learning,” said Executive Director Jon Bullock. “I am incredibly proud of our students and staff for not only persevering through challenging times, but their continuous achievements and improvements along the way.” 

RPA’s graduation rate of 98 percent is based on the 2020-21 four-year cohort, which is composed of students who began high school in the 2017-18 school year and who graduated during the 2020-21 school year.

RPA features a College Prep program that utilizes a university model scheduling system in which students take advanced courses and learn to be effective university students by learning in seminar environments – emulating a college campus experience.

This flexible scheduling model works well for students and families seeking a choice in their educational experience, one that allows them to focus on additional interests outside of school, including downhill and cross country ski racing, equestrian events, rodeo circuits, and many other activities.

This unique model also allows students of all academic levels and interests to accelerate or decelerate their learning in the manner that works best for the students and their post high school goals 

The cumulative experience of seven years at RPA is preparation for life after high school, Bullock explained. The conversations start in middle school when faculty and staff encourage students to explore their interests and talents, and ways they can apply them to future careers.

The tuition-free public charter school offers courses in award-winning theatre, robotics, and arts programs, in addition to computer science, rock climbing, Spanish language immersion and many others.   

Bullock attributes the success of RPA students to several factors:

  • Implementation of an intensive senior support program of graduation coaches;

  • Development of academic support programs for seniors to move them towards graduation;

  • A focus on college pathways and career readiness programs to increase student engagement;

  • A data-focused system to identify students who need intervention and who may be at risk of falling behind.


“When I became Governor, Oregon’s graduation rate was 72%. Today, it is 80%, as we have made significant investments and reforms to help ensure all students, regardless of their zip code, are prepared for lifelong success,” said Governor Kate Brown. “But there is so much more work to be done to address the needs of Oregon’s students, particularly given the impacts the pandemic has had on them––not only on their academic and career readiness, but on their mental, social, emotional, and behavioral health.

“I remain committed to working with school leaders and legislators to assess what resources will be necessary to meet the needs of our students this school year and into the summer months.”

Other key findings from the data:

  • Students participating in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) course of study significantly exceeded the statewide average, graduating at a rate of 92.9 percent.
  • Students who have successfully completed English Learner programs in Oregon graduated at 84.2 percent, 3.6 percentage points higher than the statewide average.
  • Black/African American students’ graduation rate of 73.5 percent was down from 76.3 percent the year before, but still higher than the 70.4 percent graduation rate for the Class of 2019. 
  • Hispanic/Latino students’ graduation rate of 77.0 percent was down from 79.5 percent the previous year, but still higher than the 76.2 graduation rate for the Class of 2019.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native students had one of the smallest decreases of any student group, just 0.2 percentage points down to 67 percent.
  • The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student group saw the largest decrease, down from 76.6 percent two years ago to 69.8 percent last year.
  • The graduation rate for students experiencing homelessness dropped five percentage points to 55.4 percent, the same rate as the Class of 2019.

Student group

Class of 2014[1]

Class of 2021[2]










Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander




American Indian/Alaska Native




Black/African American








Former English Learners (proficient prior to high school)




English Learners in High School




Special Education




[1] Students who began high school in the 2010-2011 school year.

[2] Students who began high school in the 2017-2018 school year.


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