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Graduation rates at Dallas High School were on the rise in the 2018-19 school year.

Itemizer-Observer

DALLAS — Graduation rates in Dallas School District rose significantly in the 2018-19 school year, according to a report released on Jan. 23.

The on-time graduation rate in Central stayed flat, and rates in Falls City and Perrydale declined from the year before. Statewide, the four-year rate reached a historic high of 80 percent.

Dallas saw almost a double-digit growth in the percent of students graduating within four years of starting high school.

“I’m very pleased to announce the graduation rate for Dallas High School at 84.3 percent, which is a full 9 percent higher than what we experienced in 2017-18,” said Dallas Interim Superintendent Andy Bellando at the Dallas School Board’s Jan. 28 meeting.

He said the improving rates over the last three or four years are the result hard work of the staff at all levels.

“It happens with the committed energy and effort of the staff members, classified, licensed and administrative staff members, who firmly believe in our students,” Bellando said. “One of the phrases I used at the beginning of this year, and one that I continue to rely upon on a daily basis, is that every teacher in Dallas School District is a teacher of a graduate, period. That’s not exclusive to the high school.”

He said he was pleased with the 81 percent graduation rate for special education students and 79 percent for economically disadvantaged students.

“That’s one of more powerful figures as far as I’m concerned because those are impacted students not only from a poverty and economically disadvantaged standpoint, but they may not have the resources they need to be successful,” Bellando said. “When we can say they are within 4 percent of the performance of Dallas High School, that says a lot.”

He said career and technical education program participants – meaning students who have taken CTE classes — graduate at 92 percent. Students who are CTE program participants graduate at a 95 percent rate.

Dallas’ four-year completer rate those who received a regular diploma — or the equivalent — is at 87.3 percent.

Bellando said though he’s pleased with the progress the district’s made, there is still work left to do.

“What I will say is that each of the non-completers, our non-graduates have names, they have faces, they have families and they have a future,” he said. “We’re not going to be satisfied, I’m not going to be satisfied, until we can encourage and influence this school district to continue this growth each and every year.”

Central’s rate stayed about the same, dropping from almost 82 percent to just more than 81 percent. The district’s four-year completer rate dropped from 85 percent to 83.7 percent.

Falls City also experienced a decline in its on-time graduation rate, dropping from 71 percent to 56 percent.

Perrydale’s rate remains the highest at 86.3 percent, but it also dropped from last year’s 96 percent.

Both Falls City and Perrydale had completer rates that are the same as their on-time graduation rates.

Statewide, the graduation rate rose to 80 percent, 1.3 percentage points up from last year.

“This year’s graduation rate increase means nearly 600 additional students earned a diploma,” ODE director Colt Gill said in a press release. “We are seeing even faster growth for students of color, students with disabilities and students navigating poverty than the state as a whole.”

To see the report: www.oregon.gov/ode.

Four-year rates for 2018-19

Central School District — 81.06 percent

Dallas School District — 83.05 percent

Falls City High School — 56 percent

Perrydale School — 86.36 percent

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