At the end of August, more than 475 teachers and staff members came together at Silverton High School to kick off the school year. There was a buzz in the air that is hard to describe. The team was ready and excited to have students back in our schools. We are off to a great start and are looking forward to our best school year ever.
We start this year with a sense of stability, having fully settled in from the facilities changes we took on last year. We are also proud to be in the top 5% of Oregon high schools in terms of graduation rates. That ranks us as 18th on a list of 360 high schools in the state. We are inspired to grow even more to reach our goal of graduating 100% of our students. We know this work starts the moment our kids walk through our kindergarten doors for the very first time. That’s why we can all be proud of the fact that 97% of our kindergarten students are performing at or above grade level in Language Arts and Math, and 96% of our high school freshmen are on-track to graduate.
Along with our continued efforts to increase academic success, we have some important work to do this year related to providing equity in education for all of our students. It is also critical that we do more to ensure that our schools feel safe and welcoming to every single student in the district regardless of race, color, culture, orientation, beliefs or economic status. While I think we generally do a good job of this, we need to do more. This past year has taught us some valuable lessons and inspired us to build a formal action plan to further ensure that our culture reflects who we really are – a welcoming, caring, compassionate school community that supports the success and wellbeing of all of our kids. We call on you to join us in this effort.
We look forward to your partnership.