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Report cards reveal Hillsboro school demographics

Parents and school officials have plenty of information to chew on this week as the Oregon Department of Education released the yearly district and school report cards.

National graduation rates were released by the U.S. Department of Education as well.

Oregon appears to be climbing out of the graduation-rate basement, making gains to rank No. 47 in the nation with a statewide graduation rate of 72 percent.

"I am proud of the work Oregon schools are doing to prepare each and every student for life after high school," said ODE deputy superintendent Salam Noor.

"In conjunction with Acting Chief Education Officer Lindsey Capps, I will continue to work with education partners, school districts, parents, and communities throughout the state to identify strategies to improve student outcomes so that each student can graduate with a plan for the future and the knowledge and skills to reach his or her dreams.”

Hillsboro School District's graduation rate — students earning a standard high school diploma within four years of entering high school — continues to climb, up 1 percent from the previous year to 80.7 percent.

Hillsboro's completion rate — those completing a diploma or GED within five years of entering high school — was 88.4 percent, well above the state's 82.1 percent.

Hillsboro assistant superintendent Dayle Spitzer said that while she's pleased with the district's steady rise in graduation rates, "80 percent to us means [20 percent of] kids are not on track to graduate." The district continues to focus on programs designed to prepare students for college and career readiness, she added.

The reports cards this year differ from previous years. Since students took the Smarter Balanced Assessments for the first time last spring, no school ratings were issued by ODE, though the report cards do show the results of the Smarter Balanced tests.

Hillsboro schools scored higher than the state average on the new tests in 11 of 20 categories. Broken down by school, Hillsboro and statewide results show a continuing achievement gap in historically underserved students.

The district report card this year shows a glimpse into the makeup of the school district, including class size comparisons to state averages. Hillsboro's classes sizes in middle and high school are about four students higher per class than the state average.

Overall, staff at the district is about 90 percent white, while just over 48 percent of the students in the district are white. Almost 36 percent of students in the district are Hispanic/Latino, while only about 7 percent of the staff is Hispanic/Latino.

Hillsboro School District partners with Western Oregon University to train bilingual students who want to become teachers in a "Bilingual Scholar" program. Twenty graduates of the district started their classes at WOU this fall. The district has similar partnerships with Portland State University.

"Our classrooms are becoming more culturally and racially diverse," said Saideh Haghighi, the district's director of equity.

"Students need to see people that reflect their culture and race and potentially see themselves in those leadership positions."

District and individual school report cards can be found on the Hillsboro School District website, hsd.k12.or.us, under the "Academics" tab.

On Twitter: @ReporterFuller


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