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Graduation rates on the rise

The Oregon Department of Education announced on Jan. 25, 2024 that the statewide high school graduation remains the second highest in Oregon’s history.

South Umpqua School District is thrilled to announce that South Umpqua High School and South Umpqua Online Academy graduation rates continue to improve. For the district’s four-year cohort, the rate increased from 74.1% in the four-year cohort in 2022 to 80.4% in 2023. For the five-year cohort, the rate climbed from 76.1% to 77.3%.

A high school diploma represents students’ K-12 learning journey. Students can feel proud of their accomplishments as they begin their next phase of life.

“Our increased graduation rates stem from a multitude of factors, notably the resilience within our families, the diligent efforts of our students, and the steadfast dedication demonstrated by our teachers, staff and broader community,” said South Umpqua High School Principal Carl Simpson.

Students on track to graduate by the end of their freshman year is the greatest indication of future graduation rates. The transition from middle school to high school is critical and we have invested much time and effort to ensure our freshman students have the tools they need to have a successful high school experience. These factors along with an inclusive encouraging school environment that deeply values healthy positive relationships built between families and the entire South Umpqua High School staff make increased graduation rates possible.

Simpson also pointed out that there are other factors that, when combined, support a highly successful learning environment. “We have worked methodically with the Oregon Center for High School Success for the last three years to put multiple systems in place to give our students the greatest opportunity to be successful. Our graduation coach, counselor, teachers, and staff have worked tirelessly to implement these systems to support our students and families,” he said. “All of us at South Umpqua High School are dedicated to ensuring that every student has the greatest educational experience possible, that will give them the most potential opportunities for their future.”

To earn a diploma recognized by the state of Oregon, students must earn 24 credits, which include language arts, mathematics, science, social students, health, physical education, world languages, arts, career and technical education, personal financial education, higher education and career path skills and electives.

High school graduates have skills from critical thinking to communication skills, which are necessary in any future plans. Also, high school graduates have the potential to earn more money than people who don’t have a high school diploma.

South Umpqua School District is focused on a very important mission: Unlocking the Potential in Every Student. “Working together, this mission is more than just words. It is a focus that plays out in classrooms every day” said the district’s Superintendent, Dr. Paul Hillyer. The district’s vision is helping all students do their best work and become their best selves.