Philomath students outperformed statewide averages in several categories, according to data reported last week through the Oregon Department of Education’s annual “At-A-Glance” district and school profiles.
The report cards include information on how schools are performing in various areas, including academics, attendance and graduation rates.
“I’m in no way satisfied with where these results are,” Charlene Williams, ODE director, said through a press release in reference to statewide results. “I took this role to make a difference, we need to see what the data are telling us and be responsive to that.”
Philomath freshmen on track to graduate in four years came in at 85% in 2022-23 — a percentage point higher than the state average of 84%. The Philomath percentage is down from 91% in 2021-22. In neighboring districts, Corvallis was also at 85%, Monroe at 95% and Alsea at 62%.
The on-track-to-graduate percentage is based on freshmen earning at least a fourth of their required credits as they head into their sophomore year. The data serves as one way to help educators identify students that may need additional support.
Regular attendance figures — defined as students who attended more than 90% of their enrolled school days — showed Philomath at 63%, compared to Corvallis at 60%, Monroe at 58% and Alsea at 51%. The statewide average was 62%.
“It’s a good sign that the ninth-grade on-track figure, a key metric in making sure students are on track to graduate from high school, is rising,” Williams said. “The decrease in attendance, however, is a signal that we need to continue removing barriers to attendance by making our schools engaging and welcoming for students.”
For Class of 2022 students graduating on time, Philomath saw a 12% dip from 90% in 2021-22 to 78% in 2022-23. Corvallis came in at 89%, Monroe at 85% and Alsea at 41%. This was an area where Philomath lagged behind the statewide average, which came in at 81%.
However, for students earning a high school diploma or GED within five years, Philomath came in at 95% compared to the 87% statewide average.
Among the academic measurements, 54% of Philomath third graders met state grade-level expectations, a 4% increase from the previous academic year and above the statewide average of 40%. In eighth-grade math, 36% of Philomath students — 3% higher than 2021-22 — were considered proficient on the state’s standardized assessment compared to 26% statewide.
The data showed that 73% of Philomath students were enrolled in a two- or four-year college within 16 months of completing high school in 2020-21 — well above the state average of 56%.
A few campus-specific numbers revealed through the data:
- Median class size — Clemens Primary 21, Philomath Elementary 24, Philomath Middle 20, Philomath High 20, Philomath Academy 44.5, Kings Valley 13.5, Statewide 22.
- Regular attenders — Clemens Primary 58%, Philomath Elementary 67%, Philomath Middle 67%, Philomath High 69%, Philomath Academy 42%, Kings Valley 51%, Statewide 62%.
- English language arts (proficiency) — Philomath Elementary 52%, Philomath Middle 52%, Statewide 43%.
- Mathematics — Philomath Elementary 42%, Philomath Middle 30%, Statewide 29%.
- Science — Philomath Elementary 35%, Philomath Middle 43%, Statewide 27%.
In the district overall, 14% of students were identified as those with disabilities, 14% were mobile students and 31% were on the free or reduced lunch program.
As far as staff in the district, the 2022-23 numbers showed 12 administrators, 101 teachers, 45 educational assistants, six counselors and one license librarian. And 85% of licensed teachers had three or more years of experience.
The report card data will be a likely topic of conversation at the Philomath School Board’s Nov. 16 meeting. The superintendent typically provides insight in the assessment’s various areas for a big-picture perspective for the board members and community.
The school and district profiles are available on the ODE’s website and school districts are required to make them available to the community.