Five county high schools boast 2020 graduation rates of more than 90 percent
Five high schools in the Klamath County School District boasted graduation rates above 90 percent in 2020, and one of those – Lost River Junior-Senior High School – had a perfect graduation rate of 100 percent for the second year in a row.
Overall, the county school district’s four-year graduation rate of 83.89 percent represents a 1.52 percentage point boost from 2019, and remains above the state average of 82.63 percent, according to data released Jan. 21 by the Oregon Department of Education. KCSD’s overall rate includes Falcon Heights, an alternative high school for students who are behind on credits and at risk of dropping out.
The district’s four-year cohort completer rate, which includes students who finish high school with an extended diploma or GED, hit 90 percent for the second year in a row, more than 4 percentage points above the state average.
KCSD’s 2020 rate continues an upward trend, topping 2015 graduation rates by 8 percentage points and 2015 completer rates by more than 10 percentage points. Click here to see rates from all KCSD schools.
Klamath County School District administrators called the ongoing improvement a team effort.
“This is the sixth year in a row we have seen growth in these two numbers,” said Jeff Bullock, KCSD secondary curriculum director. “In both cases, we also exceeded the state average, and this is attributed to the remarkable work of our teachers, counselors, building administrators and the students themselves.”
KCSD Superintendent Glen Szymoniak thanked the district’s community partners for their support and credited students for their efforts.
“Ultimately, our students do the work. Nobody can do it for them,” he said. “Our graduation rates reflect their determination to successfully complete the challenge of high school.”
Lost River Principal Jamie Ongman celebrated his school’s 100 percent graduation rate by thanking his staff, students, parents, and community for their investment and dedication. The school graduated all 40 of its seniors who started in the high school’s four-year cohort as freshmen.
“It is a quite a feat, and it takes a lot of effort from our school community,” Ongman said. “Getting everyone moving in the same direction is not always easy, especially during a year like last year. It’s a big deal, and we’re pretty proud of those students.”
Henley High School had a near perfect graduation rate of 99.35 percent, the fifth year in a row the school has had rates above 97 percent. Bonanza Junior/Senior High School saw a significant year-over-year increase of 14.07 percentage points – graduating 92.86 of its 2020 senior cohort.
Bonanza Principal Jordan Osborn called the year-over-year jump in his school’s graduation rates “a true team effort.”
“We have worked hard on not only creating a positive culture and climate, but also one that pursues academic excellence,” he said. “All credit goes to our fantastic teaching and support staff who work so hard for our kids as well as Bonanza students and families. We are happy with the growth but still have work to do.”
Two other county high schools – Mazama and Chiloquin – logged rates of 90.58 percent and 92.31, respectively. Gilchrist Junior/Senior High School, which only had 11 students in its four-year cohort, had an 81.82 percent graduation rate. Two of those 11 students had left the cohort well before their senior year, said Gilchrist Principal Steve Prock. Rates at small schools like Gilchrist often see large rate changes because one student can represent 8-10 percentage points.
Some schools focus on completer rates as well as four-year cohort rates because they offer programs geared towards more at-risk students.
Mazama High School, for example, offers several district-wide programs for unique student needs. Some of these programs offer the extended diploma, which although recognized as a four-year diploma, does not factor into the regular four-year graduation rate. Like a GED, extended diplomas are defined as a “completer.” Completer rates at Mazama have risen more than 10 percentage points since 2014 to 94.2 percent in 2020.
Falcon Heights, the district’s alternative high school, saw a four-year cohort graduate rate of 39.13 percent, but a four-year completer rate of 65.38 percent. Both rates represent jumps of more than 10 percentage points from 2019. Since 2017, Falcon Heights’ four-year graduation rate has increased by more than 24 percentage points.