grads throwing caps in air

The Oregon Department of Education released statewide graduation rate data for the Class of 2022 on Thursday, January 26. The statewide rate for 21-22 students is 81.3%, which is the second highest graduation rate ever recorded in Oregon. The data also indicate gains for every student group compared to the previous year (20-21).

North Powder School District’s rate is 94.74%, quite a bit higher than the statewide rate and a significant increase over the year before (20-21) of 80%. These rates are for the four-year cohort (students who began their high school career in 18-19 and earned their diploma in four years).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in Oregon and across the nation graduating in 2022 experienced interruptions to their learning, which brough a variety of challenges to students and school staffs alike.

Lance Dixon, district Superintendent, said he is pleased about the positive graduation rate, which shows how dedicated teachers were in rising to the challenges of teaching during that time and shows the determination of North Powder students to succeed.

“I would like to thank our community, students and staff for being supportive, resilient and working together during a very challenging time. The 2021–2022 graduation rate is a true testament of what can be accomplished when a community as a whole comes together to do what’s best for children. North Powder School District is blessed to have a great school board, great staff, great students and an amazing community,” Dixon said.

North Powder Principal Molly Smith said she is proud of the Class of 2022 and how they worked to get across the finish line while grappling with challenges nobody had faced before in education and in the world in general. The district and the high school continue to look for new ways to support student learning as well as overall student wellbeing. “While we always strive to help our students succeed academically, we also know that good social emotional health is important to success beyond high school,” Smith said.