Salem Reporter: How will distance learning impact Salem-Keizer students? No one really knows.

Salem-Keizer teachers and principals have seen online class participation fall in recent weeks as some families have burned out on remote schooling. With no grading or in-class tests, educators say it’s hard to measure how students are learning, or what gaps will exist when classes resume in-person.

By Rachel Alexander – Salem Reporter

June 8, 2020 at 9:50am

Jared Vergara Santana, left, Evelyn Francis, right, Iris Johnson, right back and Lillyana Green, back left, work on newspaper articles at Hoover Elementary School. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

In late May, about 10 teachers and classroom aides from Judson Middle School gathered online to plan for the end of the school year. They talked about final projects, which for many students included a video presentation about an African country, and swapped ideas on how to recognize and say goodbye to students without doing so in person.

The discussion included bright spots for distance learning, the largely online schooling which began in mid-April, after Oregon’s students had been out of school for one month.

Danyelle Thomas, who teaches sixth and seventh grade language arts and social studies, said they’ve gotten to know more about students’ home lives through calls home and one-on-one help.

But teachers also reported struggling with sometimes low participation and said it’s been difficult learning how best to teach individual students in a completely new environment. “Trying to figure out what works best has been such a challenge,” said Kim Daniels, who teaches seventh grade language arts and social studies.

The impacts of mass school closures related to the coronavirus will be the subject of education research for years to come, but early results suggest a grim forecast for kids, especially those who were already struggling before schools shut down.

Researchers at McKinsey & Company estimated low-income students could return to school a year behind where they would have been had schools not closed, assuming in-person classes resume in January 2021. An average student would be about seven months behind.

Black and Latino students will also lose more ground than white students, because they’re more likely to attend schools where the quality of remote instruction has been poor and less likely to be able to access classes, researchers found. “In short, the hastily assembled online education currently available is likely to be both less effective, in general, than traditional schooling and to reach fewer students as well,” researchers wrote.

Oregon may suffer less because state officials required districts to offer some form of distance learning, while 28 states required no instruction after schools closed. In the Salem-Keizer School District, administrators had embraced data as a tool for tracking both individual students’ learning and the needs of schools and the district as a whole.

Now, they’re largely blind to how students are doing.

By state mandate, schoolwork now is optional for students and ungraded. State standardized tests in the spring were canceled, and district tests used to measure elementary schoolers’ progress in reading and math weren’t done.

Administrators know educators have been in touch with about 96% of elementary school students at some point since schools closed in mid-March, assistant superintendent Kraig Sproles said. That still leaves about 700 kids with no contact with teachers at all.

The percentage for middle schools are similar, and about 100 high schoolers haven’t been in touch with their schools. Sproles said Salem-Keizer doesn’t have demographic data about the kids it hasn’t reached, but he knows anecdotally the same kids who were struggling before schools closed. Homeless students or those with unstable home lives were especially unlikely to tune in, he said.

Despite large laptop distributions at every high school in the district, schools were still passing out Chromebooks in late May – seven weeks after the start of remote classes.

Teacher track “engagement” in online classes, a measure teachers said doesn’t capture whether students are actually learning. “We have to count them as engaged if they breathe in Google Classroom, not if they do work,” Daniels said.

Other teachers described a similar pattern. The first two weeks of distance learning in April were hectic as students got Chromebooks, parents adjusted schedules and everybody figured out how classes would work.

“It was chaos,” said Lucia Sanchez, a parent of two Salem-Keizer students, speaking in Spanish.

Sanchez is a parent educator at the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality, which works with Latino parents. She and other coalition staff called about 500 families to assess needs and connected with about 300. Many reported they didn’t know how to get online or use the computers the district had sent home. Some were caring for nieces and nephews while their parents worked or were managing schedules for four children at the same time.

“We realized that many families were dealing with depression, anxiety, panic, stress but said ‘I don’t have anyone to talk to,’” Sanchez said. Many were concerned about their kids falling behind in school. Coalition workers suggested a daily schedule for parents of young children and talked through problems over the phone, delivering Chromebooks for families who couldn’t drive and printed packets of schoolwork for families who couldn’t get online. They also helped parents reach school counselors and principals for direct help.

Sanchez said she’s seen many parents become more confident working with their kids as the closure stretched on. “We as parents are the first and most important teachers of our kids,” she said.

Educators said they’ve seen many parents make Herculean efforts to keep kids engaged in school.

Jessica Brenden, principal of Hallman Elementary School, said student engagement has been higher in the school’s Spanish-English bilingual classrooms than in English-only ones. The northeast Salem school has among the highest poverty rates in the district.

Daily, between 30% and 60% of Hallman’s students participated in school, she said. Over the course of a week, teachers report nearly every student was in class.

Some parents said the new format was a positive experience. Flora Galindo is the mother of three Hallman students in kindergarten, second and third grade. She was let go from her job in a children’s clothing store in Salem because of the pandemic, so she’s worked through classes with her kids.

Galindo said she’s learned more about how one son’s ADHD impacts his learning and thinks she’ll be better able to help him with school in the future. She’s also brushed up her own understanding of math. “We were stuck on fractions for a good two days maybe,” she said. “We all taught ourselves and we all learned together as a single bunch.”

But Brenden and teachers said they’ve seen less engagement as the spring has worn on. Some parents have given up, exhausted by the demands of balancing schedules for multiple students.

At Judson, Thomas said her students’ engagement has dropped weekly. Daniels reported a dip in weeks three and four, followed by some improvement. By late May, about two-thirds of her students were regularly completing assignments, she said. Brenden said she’s talked to parents who have stopped sending kids to classes entirely because they were burned out or overwhelmed.

Superintendent Christy Perry said she’s asked educators to prioritize relationships with students and is optimistic the connections built under challenging circumstances will lead to teachers to connect better with students once classes resume in the fall.

“Every kid’s going to be coming back with a gap of some sort,” she said.

Brenden said at Hallman, educators see kids who struggle with behavior in class shine in online classes, while some students who do well in regular school have trouble staying focused online. She said those observations are leading teachers to discuss how they can better tailor school to serve everyone when classes resume.

“It’s given us a really great experiment to see what would happen if school weren’t mandatory,” she said. “What we’ve learned is that … we always want to have schools that kids want to be at, but we’ve got work to do to make sure that happens.”

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: or 503-575-1241.



¿Cómo afectará el aprendizaje a distancia a los estudiantes de Salem-Keizer? Nadie lo sabe realmente.

Los maestros y directores de Salem-Keizer han visto caer la participación en clase en línea en las últimas semanas, ya que algunas familias se han consumido en la educación remota. Sin calificaciones ni exámenes en clase, los educadores dicen que es difícil medir cómo aprenden los estudiantes o qué brechas existirán cuando las clases se reanuden en persona.

Por Rachel Alexander, reportera de Salem

8 de junio de 2020 a las 9:50 a.m.

A fines de mayo, alrededor de 10 maestros y ayudantes de la escuela secundaria Judson se reunieron en línea para planificar el final del año escolar.

Hablaron sobre proyectos finales, que para muchos estudiantes incluyeron una presentación en video sobre un país africano, e intercambiaron ideas sobre cómo reconocer y decir adiós a los estudiantes sin hacerlo en persona.

La discusión incluyó puntos brillantes para el aprendizaje a distancia, la educación en gran parte en línea que comenzó a mediados de abril, después de que los estudiantes de Oregon habían estado fuera de la escuela durante un mes.

Danyelle Thomas, que enseña artes del lenguaje y estudios sociales en sexto y séptimo grado, dijo que han llegado a conocer más sobre la vida en el hogar de los estudiantes a través de llamadas a domicilio y ayuda personalizada.

Pero los maestros también informaron que tenían dificultades con una participación a veces baja y dijeron que ha sido difícil aprender la mejor manera de enseñar a estudiantes individuales en un entorno completamente nuevo.

“Tratar de descubrir qué funciona mejor ha sido un gran desafío”, dijo Kim Daniels, quien enseña artes del lenguaje y estudios sociales de séptimo grado.

Los impactos de los cierres masivos de escuelas relacionados con el coronavirus serán objeto de investigación educativa en los próximos años, pero los primeros resultados sugieren un pronóstico sombrío para los niños, especialmente aquellos que ya estaban luchando antes de que cerraran las escuelas.

Los investigadores de McKinsey & Company estimaron que los estudiantes de bajos ingresos podrían regresar a la escuela un año antes, donde no habrían cerrado las escuelas, suponiendo que las clases en persona se reanudarían en enero de 2021. Un estudiante promedio estaría atrasado unos siete meses.

Los estudiantes negros y latinos también perderán más terreno que los estudiantes blancos, porque es más probable que asistan a escuelas donde la calidad de la instrucción remota ha sido deficiente y es menos probable que puedan acceder a las clases, hallaron los investigadores.

“En resumen, la educación en línea rápidamente disponible actualmente es probable que sea menos efectiva, en general, que la educación tradicional y que llegue a menos estudiantes”, escribieron los investigadores.

Oregon puede sufrir menos porque los funcionarios estatales requieren que los distritos ofrezcan algún tipo de educación a distancia, mientras que 28 estados no requieren instrucción después del cierre de las escuelas.

En el Distrito Escolar de Salem-Keizer, los administradores adoptaron los datos como una herramienta para rastrear tanto el aprendizaje de los estudiantes individuales como las necesidades de las escuelas y del distrito en general.

Ahora, son en gran medida ciegos a cómo están los estudiantes.

Por mandato estatal, el trabajo escolar ahora es opcional para los estudiantes y no está calificado. Las pruebas estandarizadas del estado en la primavera fueron canceladas, y las pruebas del distrito solían medir el progreso de los estudiantes de primaria en lectura y matemáticas.

Los administradores saben que los educadores han estado en contacto con aproximadamente el 96% de los estudiantes de primaria en algún momento desde que las escuelas cerraron a mediados de marzo, dijo el superintendente asistente Kraig Sproles. Eso todavía deja a unos 700 niños sin contacto con los maestros.

El porcentaje para las escuelas intermedias es similar, y alrededor de 100 estudiantes de secundaria no han estado en contacto con sus escuelas.

Sproles dijo que Salem-Keizer no tiene datos demográficos sobre los niños a los que no ha llegado, pero conoce anecdóticamente a los mismos niños que estaban luchando antes de que cerraran las escuelas. Los estudiantes sin hogar o aquellos con una vida familiar inestable eran especialmente improbables de sintonizar, dijo.

A pesar de las grandes distribuciones de computadoras portátiles en todas las escuelas secundarias del distrito, las escuelas aún distribuían Chromebooks a fines de mayo, siete semanas después del comienzo de las clases remotas.

Los docentes hacen un seguimiento del “compromiso” en las clases en línea, una medida que los docentes dijeron que no captura si los estudiantes realmente están aprendiendo.

“Tenemos que contarlos como comprometidos si respiran en Google Classroom, no si trabajan”, dijo Daniels.

Otros maestros describieron un patrón similar. Las primeras dos semanas de aprendizaje a distancia en abril fueron agitadas cuando los estudiantes obtuvieron Chromebooks, los padres ajustaron los horarios y todos descubrieron cómo funcionarían las clases.

“Fue un caos”, dijo Lucía Sánchez, madre de dos estudiantes de Salem-Keizer, hablando en español.

Sánchez es educador de padres en la Coalición por la Igualdad de Salem-Keizer, que trabaja con padres latinos. Ella y otro personal de la coalición llamaron a unas 500 familias para evaluar las necesidades y se conectaron con unas 300.

Muchos informaron que no sabían cómo conectarse o usar las computadoras que el distrito había enviado a casa. Algunos cuidaban a sobrinas y sobrinos mientras sus padres trabajaban o administraban horarios para cuatro niños al mismo tiempo.

“Nos dimos cuenta de que muchas familias estaban lidiando con la depresión, la ansiedad, el pánico, el estrés, pero dijeron” no tengo con quién hablar “”, dijo Sánchez. Muchos estaban preocupados por el retraso de sus hijos en la escuela.

Los trabajadores de la coalición sugirieron un horario diario para padres de niños pequeños y hablaron sobre los problemas por teléfono, entregando Chromebooks para familias que no podían conducir e imprimieron paquetes de tareas escolares para familias que no podían conectarse. También ayudaron a los padres a comunicarse con los consejeros y directores escolares para obtener ayuda directa.

Sánchez dijo que ha visto a muchos padres tener más confianza trabajando con sus hijos a medida que el cierre se prolongaba.

“Nosotros, como padres, somos los primeros y más importantes maestros de nuestros hijos”, dijo.

Los educadores dijeron que han visto a muchos padres hacer esfuerzos hercúleos para mantener a los niños interesados ​​en la escuela.

Jessica Brenden, directora de la Escuela Primaria Hallman, dijo que la participación de los estudiantes ha sido mayor en las aulas bilingües español-inglés de la escuela que en las que solo están en inglés. La escuela del noreste de Salem tiene una de las tasas de pobreza más altas del distrito.

Diariamente, entre el 30% y el 60% de los estudiantes de Hallman participaban en la escuela. En el transcurso de una semana, los maestros informan que casi todos los estudiantes estaban en clase.

Algunos padres dijeron que el nuevo formato fue una experiencia positiva. Flora Galindo es madre de tres estudiantes de Hallman en jardín de infantes, segundo y tercer grado. Fue despedida de su trabajo en una tienda de ropa para niños en Salem debido a la pandemia, por lo que trabajó durante las clases con sus hijos.

Galindo dijo que aprendió más sobre cómo el TDAH de un hijo afecta su aprendizaje y cree que será más capaz de ayudarlo con la escuela en el futuro. También ha repasado su propia comprensión de las matemáticas.

“Estuvimos atrapados en fracciones durante unos dos días, tal vez”, dijo. “Todos nos enseñamos a nosotros mismos y todos aprendimos juntos como un solo grupo”.

Pero Brenden y los maestros dijeron que han visto menos compromiso a medida que avanza la primavera. Algunos padres se han rendido, agotados por las exigencias de equilibrar los horarios de varios estudiantes.

En Judson, Thomas dijo que el compromiso de sus alumnos se ha reducido semanalmente. Daniels reportó un descenso en las semanas tres y cuatro, seguido de algunas mejoras. A fines de mayo, alrededor de dos tercios de sus estudiantes completaban tareas regularmente, dijo.

Brenden dijo que habló con padres que dejaron de enviar a los niños a clases por completo porque estaban agotados o abrumados.

La superintendente Christy Perry dijo que ha pedido a los educadores que prioricen las relaciones con los estudiantes y es optimista de que las conexiones creadas en circunstancias difíciles llevarán a los maestros a conectarse mejor con los estudiantes una vez que las clases se reanuden en el otoño.

“Todos los niños volverán con una brecha de algún tipo”, dijo.

Brenden dijo en Hallman que los educadores ven a los niños que luchan con el comportamiento en clase brillar en las clases en línea, mientras que algunos estudiantes que obtienen buenos resultados en la escuela regular tienen problemas para mantenerse concentrados en línea.

Ella dijo que esas observaciones están llevando a los maestros a discutir cómo pueden adaptar mejor la escuela para servir a todos cuando se reanuden las clases.

“Nos ha dado un gran experimento para ver qué pasaría si la escuela no fuera obligatoria”, dijo. “Lo que hemos aprendido es que … siempre queremos tener escuelas en las que los niños quieran estar, pero tenemos trabajo que hacer para asegurarnos de que eso suceda”.

Comuníquese con la reportera Rachel Alexander: o 503-575-1241.

Aprenda cómo hacemos nuestro trabajo en Salem Reporter: lea nuestros principios.


Salem Reporter coverage of the our parent leaders priorities


Latino groups push for improved bilingual education, mental health support in budget

With budget cuts on the horizon, Latino organizations in Salem are urging Salem-Keizer administrators and the school board to move forward with plans to better serve students.

By Rachel Alexander – Salem Reporter

June 1, 2020 at 9:20am

Students organized by Latinos Unidos Siempre urged the new Salem-Keizer School Board to address the mental health needs of immigrant students and stop policies that disproportionately punish students of color at a July 2019 meeting. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Latino community organizations are calling on Salem-Keizer School District leaders to push ahead with plans to improve bilingual education and mental health services next school year, even with budget cuts on the horizon.

“We all must work together to ensure that our children do not lose ground, and instead continue the upward trend of closing the achievement gap and increasing graduation. In the next few months, please reach out and include us in your decision-making processes,” wrote Annalivia Palazzo-Angulo, executive director of the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality.

Leaders of eight other organizations, including Latinos Unidos Siempre and PCUN, Oregon’s farmworker union, signed on in support. The May 26 letter was addressed to the Salem-Keizer School Board and the district budget committee.

The letter is an effort to salvage for students of color some of the school improvements that Salem-Keizer planned with money from the Oregon’s Student Investment Account. The account was intended to enhance local school budgets to tackle a variety of issues.

The district was to receive $36 million in the fall to be used for better serving students who have historically struggled in local schools, including bilingual students, those with disabilities, students of color and homeless students.

But as Oregon confronts budget shortfalls and significant drops in tax revenue from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s almost certain school districts won’t get the full amount they were expecting.

Districts are also facing significant drops in allocations they normally get from the state. Superintendent Christy Perry said the state’s latest projection would mean about $38 million less for Salem-Keizer next year without legislative action.

Perry said in an interview she expected much of what the Latino groups asked for would be possible. She and other administrators are looking for ways to include new initiatives but on a smaller scale.

Perry said she’s committed to not cut employees whose work is to close gaps for students, like the black and Pacific Islander graduation coaches who have helped boost graduation rates for both ethnic groups to historic highs in Salem-Keizer.

“Those positions have to be held harmless first,” she said.

Palazzo-Angulo said she knows the district can’t do everything it had planned, but outlined four priorities she wants in next year’s plans, based on discussion with Latino parents involved in the coalition.

Improving the district’s bilingual education in elementary school is a top priority, ensuring native Spanish speaking students learn to read proficiently in English while keeping their Spanish fluency.

Salem-Keizer’s plan called for hiring more coaches and mentors to help teachers at eight elementary schools improve English instruction for bilingual students. In the letter, community leaders urge the district to continue that plan on a smaller scale, with at least one elementary school that could serve as a model for bilingual teaching.

Mental health support is another priority, including hiring behavior specialists, counselors and social workers who “understand the intersection between race, ethnicity, language and poverty with adults’ perceptions of good and bad behavior.”

Palazzo-Angulo said district employees need to understand the school-to-prison pipeline, a term used to describe how students of color are more likely to face discipline at school than their white peers and may ultimately end up facing criminal prosecution.

That concern is heightened as students are expected to return to school this fall after months of stress from social isolation and the economic impacts of the pandemic.

“The stress and trauma both adults and children are going through, both at home and at school, can and will lead to negative interactions. The results will be devastating if we are not proactive,” the letter said.

The other two priorities cited by the group are continuing programs to recruit and retain more teachers and educators of color and bilingual teachers, and working to improve partnerships with youth while continuing to build connections with families.

“It’s an appropriate time to have a strong voice on the things you don’t want people to forget, the most important things out there, since there are going to be cuts,” Palazzo-Angulo said in an interview.

The district budget committee last week approved the budget for the 2020-2021 year that starts July 1, but it is certainly going to change. The approved budget, which by law must be approved before the new fiscal year starts, doesn’t account for the expected cuts or costs of the pandemic.

Any cuts in the new budget year will likely come later in the summer once the Oregon Legislature convenes and Gov. Kate Brown has decided how state spending should be reduced to account for steep drops in tax revenue.

Perry and district administrators would then propose cuts if needed, but school board and budget committee members would likely vote on a final plan.

Board chair Marty Heyen said it’s too early to speculate about what might be possible to save since the full impact of the state revenue slump on the district is unknown. She said she’d like to see the coalition’s priorities preserved so long as doing so doesn’t require cuts elsewhere to harm reduce services to students.

“The needs that were laid out by the coalition really are not necessarily needs for a particular group of children. All behavior issues and things they refer to in their document run through all cultures and societies, all our kids, all the different groups,” she said.

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Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: or 503-575-1241.

For the full Salem Reporter news article with credits click here.


Kaiser Permanente Partners with SKCE and Salem Keizer Public Schools to Tackle Chronic Absenteeism

“In 2018, Kaiser Permanente awarded more than $1 million in grants to five nonprofits and two school service districts in the Northwest. One of those partnerships involves the Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality. The nonprofit utilizes funding support to provide workshops for Marion County Latino parents to encourage involvement in their child’s education while highlighting the importance of regular attendance.”


“The collective efforts supported by Kaiser Permanente to address absenteeism are making an impact. This year, 75% of Salem-Keizer Public Schools grew their attendance rates when comparing the 2017-18 to the 2018-19 school years. At the same time, more than 400 additional students are now considered to be regular attenders.”


Read the full article:

Another way to keep children from being absent: back-to-school medical checkups help keep Mid-Willamette Valley kids in school Why a wellness check is important to your child’s academic future


Student Attendance in Salem Keizer schools Improves and SKCE was a Part of This Improvement

Here’s the notice from Salem Keizer Public Schools

Press Release

For Immediate Release

June 21, 2019



More Than 400 Additional Students Attended School Regularly in 2018-19
Seventy-five percent of SKPS schools increased their attendance rates from the previous year


SALEM, Ore. – In Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS), 49 of the district’s 65 schools grew their attendance rates since the 2017-18 school year, and more than 400 additional students are considered to be regular attenders.

At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, SKPS launched “Every Day 24J” to raise awareness with students and families, schools, community organizations and local officials regarding chronic absenteeism. Since the start of the campaign, schools and community organizations have been collaborating to identify barriers to attendance for students across the district. The work has centered around connecting students and families to community resources, providing incentives for positive attendance trends and most importantly, building relationships with each and every student.

“We know that students succeed when they know that there is someone who believes in them,” said Superintendent Christy Perry. “Regular attendance is a key indicator of student success and habits start with our very youngest learners in pre-kindergarten. Building connections with students from day one and encouraging them to be there every day is the first step toward helping our students reach the graduation stage.”

Chronic absenteeism is defined by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) as missing 10 percent or more of the school year. In SKPS that equates to as little as two days a month–18 days a year.

Across the district schools are working to improve their attendance rates through identifying resources for their students, community engagement and more. At Highland Elementary School, students improved their attendance rate since the 2017-18 school year by nearly nine percentage points.

“We worked to find the root cause of our attendance challenges,” said Principal Christi Cheever. “As we continued to make personal calls each day, we identified barriers for our students such as transportation and lack of housing or clothes that made it difficult for our students to be at school. We worked with the district and our community partners to wraparound and support our students’ needs, and ultimately help boost attendance.”

Through a grant with Kaiser Permanente, the Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality is also working to develop attendance supports for families in the North Salem High feeder system. At North, students improved their attendance rate this year by 6.3 percentage points.

“The sense of urgency regarding attendance has never been stronger,” said Assistant Principal Carlos Ruiz. “Our strengths are making relationships, which are foundational in education. It doesn’t matter what your title is; we all have the capacity and power to connect with kids.”

During the summer, the district will continue to collaborate with community organizations to develop additional supports and resources for families, students and educators to continue to improve attendance.

“The improvements to our attendance rates across the district are so encouraging,” said Perry. “However, we still have a lot of work to do, and this is work that we will continue to do until we help each and every student be there every day in District 24J.”

Four Corners, Phil Decker and SKCE in the Salem Reporter

The second article in the Salem Reporter focuses on Four Corners Elementary School, and the challenges that they have in providing education to their students. Annalivia Palazzo, the SKCE Executive Director, also comments on some of the challenges.

Read the article here.

Four Corners Elementary principal Phil Decker photographed on the playground students Wednesday March 13, 2019. Salem-Keizer schools for Rachel Alexander/The Salem Reporter Wednesday 3/13/19. 2019 Fred Joe /

2017 Improvements in Overall and Latino Student Graduation Rate

The Improvement in the Latino Student Graduation Rate was “impressive”

In a Statesman Journal article, two interviews discussed the improvement in the graduation rates for Oregon students over the last few years. Acting Superintendent for the State of Oregon Department of Education, Colt Gill, and Annalivia Palazzo-Angulo, the Executive Director of SKCE, were interviewed about graduation rates.

Superintendent Gill discussed overall graduation rates and different ways to view the graduation rate data. Annalivia Palazzo-Angulo also discussed graduation rate data, but her information was more specific to the Latino student graduation rate, which was described as an “impressive” gain in the last few years.

“Class of 2017 Graduation” Salem Keizer School District

There was also discussion of how graduation rates change when graduation time is increased beyond 4 years, and when students who graduate through GED, online classes, or other methods are included.

On the Salem Keizer School District website, graduation rates are also discussed. The first paragraph leads to a more in-depth discussion of graduation rates, “According to the Oregon Department of Education’s recently released graduation rates for the 2016-17 academic year, Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) increased its graduation rate by nearly two percentage points. Additionally, the drop-out rate decreased by nearly one percentage point. The graduation rates were based on a four- and five-year cohort of students entering the ninth grade in the 2013-14 or 12-13 academic year. The dropout rate reports on students in grades 9-12.”

The increase in the number of students graduating was led by the Latino student graduation rate

In 2012, 59.5% of Latino students graduated. In 2017, 72.5% graduated. This is a substantial improvement of 13% in 3 years. Seen in number of students instead of percentages, for every 100 Latino students who should have graduated in 2012, only 59 graduated. However, for every 100 Latino students who should have graduated in 2017, 72 graduated. That’s 13 more out of 100 who graduated in 2017 than graduated in 2012.

Graduation rates must increase for Oregon

However, even with the good news, Oregon didn’t reach a 78% graduation rate. For the present, that means the state Department of Education goal of a 90% graduation rate by 2024 is not on track. (The state legislature has instructed the Oregon Department of Education to have a 100% graduation rate by 2025.) Our graduation rate is currently 49th in the nation.



Annalivia and Angel testify before the Salem Keizer School Board

Annalivia Palazzo-Angulo, the SKCE Executive Director, and Angel Reyes, one of the SKCE Educa Inspira Facilitators both testified at the Salem-Keizer School Board meeting on May 23rd, 2017.  Annalivia’s testimony is from 3:32 minutes until 7:54 minutes and her testimony discusses both the school district working within poor state school funding and the importance of maintaining diversity in both hiring and school programs. Angel’s testimony is from 7:54 minutes to 11:35 minutes, and he testifies about the importance of speaking and learning Spanish. Angel’s testimony is in Spanish, with an English translation.


Statesman Journal Interview – Goals for SKCE

Annalivia Palazzo-Angulo, the Executive Director and a co-founder of SKCE, discusses her goals and plans for the future with Statesman Journal newspaper reporter, Kaellen Hessel.

Annalivia Palazzo-Angulo, Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality executive director, greets Elianna Castro, 10, during a Spanish literacy class, hosted by SKCE, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at Hallman Elementary School in Salem. Also pictured (from left): Gabriela Valenzuela, Jaylene Oropeza Castro, 5, Veronica Carlos and Yaret Carlos, 6.   (Photo: DANIELLE PETERSON / Statesman Journal)

Read the full article: “What’s new at the Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality?” Statesman Journal May 2, 2015