On Thursday, January 25, 2018, Oregon Department of Education released the graduation cohort and dropout rate data for all public school districts in Oregon. Results show Hermiston School District has room for improvement with its graduation rates.

The cohort graduation rate is calculated by taking the number of students in the group who graduated with a regular diploma within four years and dividing that by the total number of students who entered high school for that cohort, in this case, 2013-2014. The figure is adjusted for students who move into or out of the system, emigrate to another country, or are deceased, to form the adjusted cohort.

Cohort graduation data looks at students who entered high school as ninth graders in 2013-14 and then graduated with a regular or modified high school diploma within four years. According to Oregon Department of Education, data for 2016-17 shows the state increased from 74.83 to 76.65 percent for its four-year cohort graduation rate. Hermiston School District saw a slight increase from 65.68 to 65.82 percent.

For the same cohort of students, Hermiston School District increased from 75.34 to 79.21 for the four-year cohort completer rate, which is just shy of the state’s 80.18. The completer rate includes students who earned an extended or adult high school diploma and students who earned a GED, in addition to the students who earned a standard diploma.

The state’s five-year cohort completer rate was 83.22 percent in 2016-17. Hermiston School District saw a 2.17 percent increase from 78.86 to 81.03 percent. Similar to the four-year completer rate, this figure includes students who in five years earned an extended or adult high school diploma, and students who earned a GED, in addition to the students who earned a standard diploma as completers.

The District saw some improvement in several subgroups in the four-year cohort graduation rates from 2015-16 to 2016-17:

  • Hispanic/Latino subgroup, the percentage went from 60.49 to 61.78 percent.
  • Economically disadvantaged, the rate went from 56.90 to 59.14 percent.
  • Students with disabilities, the rate went from 42.86 to 46.55 percent.
  • Ever English Learners in High School, the rate went from 57.55 to 60.81 percent.
  • English Learners in High School, the rate went from 14.29 to 26.32 percent.

“As a District, we certainly have a lot of room for improvement,” said Interim Superintendent Tricia Mooney. “Digging deeper into our results we realize that as a district we need to get better at tracking our mobile population – the students that transfer into the district. We need to learn their whereabouts when they leave our district. However, I am very hopeful that we will see greater gains in the years to come. We have dedicated staff, students, and parents. Our staff, the district’s culture, and professional development will continue to help us move in the right direction and to see improved graduation rates.”

Tom Spoo, Hermiston High School principal said, “As a District, we have taken steps to improve our graduation rates. This year we hired a graduation coach who works with our freshman and sophomores to help students develop individual success plans which may focus on areas such as grades and attendance. As a principal, I meet with our juniors to make sure they are on target for graduation. Counselors and vice principals work hand and hand with seniors to discuss graduation requirements and assist them in choosing options that will help them graduate.”

For more information on dropout rates, please visit the ODE website.