WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Lincoln County Schools overall report card is out: “Academically, things are going well”

The state report card for Lincoln County Schools shows the district is making good progress with student achievement district-wide with the exception of Siletz Valley Charter School, over which the school district has no legal control. It’s a Charter school. But all other Lincoln County schools range from satisfactory progress to outstanding. The outstanding schools are Crestview Heights in Waldport, Waldport High in Waldport, Isaac Newton Magnet School in Newport and Sam Case Elementary School in Newport. All the rest were satisfactory in academic achievement.

Two schools were singled out as Statewide Model Schools for showing strong growth in student achievement and excellent student outcomes; Taft High 7-12 as well as Sam Case Elementary. Their strong academic programs will be included in the state’s “tool kit” for helping schools across the state that are struggling to advance student achievement.

However, several schools were given demerits (In Need of Improvement) in areas of student participation in student testing and graduation. Numbers of Latino and Special Education students tested were low at Newport High and Newport Prep Academy. Schools Superintendent Tom Rinearson said “We’re working on that.” And Taft High was dinged for a glitch in their graduation rate. It faulted Taft for not graduating enough seniors that entered the school as freshmen. Rinearson says Taft High has a one-third turnover rate every year and so it’s nearly impossible to get even most entering 9th graders to graduate with their classmates exactly in four years as seniors. Rinearson says Taft has less than a 2% drop out rate which means they graduate over 98% of the students who wind up as seniors at Taft High, either through G.E.D. programs, Adult Education or other academic avenues.

Meanwhile, more attention is being given to Siletz Charter School. Although their participation in testing and in attendance was outstanding, their academic achievement levels were “In Need of Improvement.” In fact their achievement rates have been so low that they are now designated as a “Priority School,” a school whose students are scoring in the bottom five percent among high poverty schools in the state. Rinearson reports that additional district and community support has swung into action, offering support to the school’s administration and to the teachers. Rinearson says the number of students who met targets in math doubled over the past year, but it wasn’t enough to meet the new, higher academic standards. Rinearson says the extra help and support will continue in order to raise the school’s student achievement, adding that it’s going to take the whole community to rally around their children with broad parental participation.

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