City & Government, Creswell

Board talks grad rates, approves resolutions

The Creswell School Board met on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. for their regular board session where they discussed and voted on unfinished and new business, before talking about graduation rates.
Board Directors David Eusted and Kandice Lemhouse-Worsham were not present. Eusted’s absence was excused, while Lemhouse-Worsham’s was not.
Last meeting on Feb. 17 the board talked about the transfer caps and the sunsetting of the open enrollment statute. In unfinished business, the board voted on approving the 2019-21 transfer caps; it was moved by Board Director Lacey Risdal and seconded by Board Director Mike Anderson, passing unanimously.
In new business, the board approved resolution 1819-02 Lane Education Service District’s Local Service Plan for 2019-21 year one. Risdal moved and Anderson seconded the approval; it was passed unanimously.
The board also approved resolution 1819-03, in support of education funding to the level recommended by the Quality Education Model. Board Director Natalie Smathers moved to approve the resolution and it was seconded by Anderson, passing unanimously.
The 2018 audit report was completed, and there were no issues found in the four categories of: Financial statement findings, federal award findings and questioned costs, prior year financial statement findings and prior year federal award findings and questioned costs. Anderson moved to accept the audit report, Smathers seconded and the action passed unanimously.
Lastly, the board adopted the PACE joinder of Trust Agreement, which had changes to the language. Risdal moved to adopt the agreement, Anderson seconded and the action passed unanimously.
The board also adopted a resolution for the Classified Employees Appreciation, which would be held March 4 through 8.
Superintendent Todd Hamilton discussed a seminar he attended from the Oregon Department of Education, which unpacked the myths and realities surrounding Oregon’s graduation rate. In 2017-18 graduation rates were the highest they had ever been, with 78.7 percent of students graduating in four years; however, compared to other states, Oregon is among states with the lowest rate.
The reasoning behind that are state’s rates in general are not comparable, because every state sets their own graduation requirements. Where Oregon requires 24 credits to graduate, Iowa only requires 14. Oregon also requires ”exit exams” and is more diligent in accounting for transfers and dropouts. Unlike other States, Oregon doesn’t offer different tiers of diplomas.
”We set the bar high here,” Hamilton said. ”We could adjust things down but it doesn’t change anything but manipulate the data.”
In Creswell, graduation rates have been fluctuating over a five year span. In 2013-14 Creswell was at 72.5 percent four year graduation rate. In 2014-15 it increased up to 80 percent, but dipped back down to 75.56 in 2015-16. It increased again to 76.64 in 2016-17, and in 2017-18 the percentage rate was higher than ever at 86.75.
”At Creswell, we’re at or above state average, but we need to do heavy lifting to be closer to 100 percent,” Hamilton said.
The next board meeting with be held on March 13; the public is encouraged to attend.



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