Four PSD schools receive ‘Outstanding’ rating on State Report Card
Staff and students in the Pendleton School District are cheering today with the announcement that four Pendleton schools received an “Outstanding” rating on the 2011-2012 Oregon State Report Card, which was released publically this morning.
Pendleton High School, Sunridge Middle School, McKay Creek Elementary School, and Washington Elementary School all received the “Outstanding” rating, the highest a school can receive on the State Report Card. Sherwood Heights Elementary and West Hills Intermediate schools earned “Satisfactory” ratings, and Lincoln Primary, Hawthorne Alternative, and Nixyaawii Community schools were unrated due to a smaller student population.
The annual publication reports on the state of public schools and their progress towards meeting educational goals.
“The fact that we have four schools in our District that received a rating of ‘Outstanding’ on the Oregon Report Card is a direct reflection of the really good work our folks have done over the past few years,” said Jon Peterson, superintendent of the Pendleton School District. “I think our teachers are working harder than they ever have, and there are results to show for that.”
PHS had 79 percent of students meet or exceed math benchmarks, compared to just 75 percent of comparison schools (schools of similar demographics) and 67 percent statewide. That is also an increase of 8 percent over the previous year’s scores for math. Sunridge Middle School saw a 4 percent increase in students meeting or exceeding math benchmarks over the previous year with 73 percent, compared to 64 percent of comparison schools and 63 percent statewide.
Several main factors contributed to the success Pendleton schools saw in 2011-2012, said Laura Miltenberger, Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Coordinator for the District. First, the District put heavy emphasis in the area of math over the past four years, and realigned math curriculum vertically across the District to the state standards. In addition, the District’s efforts with Professional Learning Communities – or PLCs, in which teachers in similar instruction areas, such as grade level, frequently meet to discuss best practices and evaluate student growth – has also played a large role in achievement.
Additionally, teachers are using a form of teaching called “active engagement,” in which students become more involved in the instruction, therefore becoming more engaged in their learning. Teachers throughout the District also began “learning walks,” in which they visit other teachers’ classrooms around the District to see how they teach.
“Our administrators are becoming more united and we’re all working for strong Pendleton schools, not just our individual buildings,” Miltenberger said. “We really do have aligned schools now – what’s happening in a 3rd grade classroom at Sherwood is the same thing happening in a 3rd grade classroom at McKay.”
The CLASS Project – Creative Leadership Achieves Student Success – which the District received a $259,000 grant to implement by the Chalkboard Project, also has helped to open doors for improved instructional techniques and more collaboration among teaching staff.
“I think we’re really primed to take the good things happening in our District and make them that much stronger,” Miltenberger said.
Peterson said the District’s success also is a reflection upon the support it receives from throughout the community.
“We’ve continued to have a lot of really great support from our community, from parents,” he said. “You don’t do these things without a collective effort. It has a lot to do with the supports that are there for kids. And kudos to our students! Over the past few years, we’ve really seen – especially at the middle school and high school – a much more aware student population. This is likely tied to the fact that we’ve raised the bar on achievement, and they have to meet that bar to graduate. The students seem to be much more focused than ever at being successful in school.”
To view the full State Report Card for the Pendleton School District, please visit www.ode.state.or.us.