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 / www.fredjoephoto.com

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