Malheur County graduation rates climb overall

The number of high school students graduating across Malheur County climbed in 2018, according to data released Thursday morning by the Oregon Department of Education.

Across Malheur County, 84.6 percent of the 383 students who were expected to graduate high school did so in 2018. That’s a jump of 2 percent from the 2017 graduating class.

The county’s overall rate tops Oregon’s graduation rate, which reached almost 80 percent.

Additionally, there was an upward trend of graduation rates for Hispanic and migrant student groups in Malheur County. The graduation rate for Hispanic students is 83 percent, up from 80.6 percent the year before.

Migrant students graduated at a rate of 84.5 percent in 2017-18. Their rates climbed from 76.5 percent the previous year.

Among the school districts in Malheur County, Vale saw the largest jump from the previous year’s graduating class.

The four-year graduation rate at the school district – which includes Vale High School and the Oregon Trail Learning Academy alternative education program – now sits at 91.5 percent. But in 2017, Vale School District’s rate was 19 points lower, at 72 percent.

The sudden increase at Vale, however, was due to changes in tracking student data, according to Vale Superintendent Alisha McBride.

“There was a transition last year,” said McBride. “There were systems that we needed to improve with data tracking.”

She said the staff have since analyzed the previous year’s data and have included a validation process in the district’s data tracking.

“Our staff collectively work very hard to track students and make sure that all our students graduate on time,” said McBride.

However, the results were less positive for some of the area’s schools.

The Nyssa School District, which posted an 80 percent graduation rate in 2017, slid to a 71.6 percent rate last year. In Adrian, the school district fell from a 100 percent graduation rate to a rate of 88 percent.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s graduation rates stayed steady at 86.7 percent.

The Oregon Department of Education also released dropout rates on Thursday.

These numbers include students who transferred or left the school during the 2017-18 school year without providing adequate documentation, as well as students who do not re-enroll by the beginning of Oct. 2018.

Malheur County’s overall dropout rate is 1.58 percent, slightly up from last year’s 1.30 percent.

Nyssa School District’s overall dropout rate is 4.6 percent, up slightly from 2.8 percent the year before.

The state’s overall dropout rate dropout rate is 3.55 percent.