UMATILLA HIGH SCHOOL ON-TIME GRAD RATES EXCEED STATE AVERAGES IN EVERY STUDENT CATEGORY
The class of 2022 had a challenging high school experience with multiple versions of COVID-19 learning interruptions, yet their strength and perseverance is clear. With tremendous support from staff, parents and the community, the class of 2022 exceeded the Oregon four year graduation averages in each and every student category.
Umatilla’s four-year cohort graduation rate for all students for 21-22 is 90.53%, well above the Oregon state rate of 81.3%. Each student group exceeded the state averages; however, the strength of bilingual education, and strong English Language Learning programs helped yield results of over 12% higher than the state average for Migrant, Hispanic/Latino and Underserved Races/Ethnicities.
Instead of lowering grading standards and grade scales to help students graduate post-pandemic, Umatilla High School Principal Bob Lorence and his staff instead decided to maintain high expectations for students and increase support systems. Students attended the STEAM Academy After-School program for tutoring and summer school opportunities to make up for lost learning time. The staff also worked with students and families on alternative schedules to assist students with employment needs during their high school years so families were not forced to choose between income and education. Principal Lorence states, "I want to commend my staff for all the extra efforts they took getting these students to graduation. This group of students will always hold a special place in our hearts because they endured and overcame so many obstacles during their four years of high school."
In addition to high school graduation success, the Umatilla High School Class of 2022 continued with college success as well. Two students completed their full AAOT degrees from Blue Mountain Community College and earned their high school diplomas concurrently. The class of 2022 collectively earned 1,219 college credits and $751,956 in scholarships. Seven students earned the Oregon Seal of Biliteracy in addition to their high school diplomas.
District Superintendent Heidi Sipe said that high school graduation reflects the work of students, families and staff throughout school buildings and academic levels. Early literacy efforts, dual language education, and English language development at McNary, foundational support at Clara Brownell Middle School and clear pathways at Umatilla High all lead to high school achievement and post-secondary success.
"Umatilla has high expectations for students, but believes in providing a strong network of support for students. It is exciting to see these results as they highlight the intense amount of work that has gone on over the past few years to locate students who had disengaged from school during the pandemic, re-enroll, and get back on track,” Sipe said.
She emphasized that the Umatilla High School staff has worked diligently to ensure that students succeed -- from home visits to check-in meetings and many individualized and creative solutions for students. Sipe said the care and support of all staff K-12 has had a profound impact on learning for students. “I appreciate the hard work of the students to reach these milestones and trust they will continue to be successful as they progress through the next stages of their lives," said Sipe.