- 27 students graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA
- 58 students were the first in their family to graduate from high school, setting a precedent for generations to come
- 56 students graduated with a seal of biliteracy
- 82 percent of this year’s seniors are continuing their studies at post-secondary schools across the country and internationally
We are closing in on the final year of our six-year strategic plan to deliver on our mission of “Excellence. Every student. Every day.” It’s an exciting opportunity to reflect on our collective accomplishments toward the lofty goals we focused on for the past five years.
We got a wake-up call in 2013 when our schools were highlighted in a series of articles in the Oregonian for having some of the lowest attendance rates in Oregon. We answered by systematically intervening early with students at-risk for chronic absenteeism, by building relationships with students, and by partnering with other community organizations. Together, our educators have made significant progress in ensuring students have the tools and the desire to attend school regularly.
- Six of our schools and the district office have bilingual staff in their front offices to welcome our linguistically diverse families. In fact, we’ve increased our bilingual staff by 52 percent since 2014.
- Our voter-supported capital bond has enabled us to remodel school entrances so they are safe and modern. We’ve been able to bring our bond projects in under budget, so we will be improving security at Hood River Middle School and adding career-tech learning spaces at the high school next summer.
- Our staff are trained in the latest, research-driven practices to support healthy social-emotional growth to contribute to a positive school culture (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Playworks).
- The school-based health center at our high school now serves all of our students, making it easier to access much needed health care, such as mental health services.
Thanks to our unwavering commitment to responsible budgeting and strategic investment, our administrators, budget committee, school board and fiscal office put together a positive, student-centered budget for the upcoming year. In summary, this budget:
- Adds 18.4 employees to lower class sizes, add electives, expand preschool and increase counseling, mental health and behavioral support.
- Fulfills a promise to only ask for money from our community when needed by lowering next year’s tax rate on the Local Option Levy for all households by 4 percent.
- Maintains a 13 percent reserve, providing stability and protection against recession and other potential funding shortfalls.
- Two consecutive Certificates of Excellence in fiscal transparency and accuracy.
- Newly increased bond ratings from S&P Global Ratings on its general obligation bonds
- Five consecutive years of clean financial audits.