Bethel has reason to celebrate!
Graduation rate data released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education showed that the Bethel School District saw high rates of on-time graduation in the 2021-22 school year, with 81.7 percent of high school seniors graduating district-wide.
The rate topped overall district graduation rates of neighboring Eugene 4J and Springfield districts, as well as statewide graduation rates.
Willamette High School, the largest comprehensive high school in Lane County, saw 88.3 percent of its high school seniors graduate on time. This is following Willamette’s highest ever on-time graduation rate of 90.3 percent last school year.
In 2022, Willamette had the second highest graduation rate of all high schools in Eugene and Springfield and more than 15 percentage points higher than area high schools with a similar student demographics.
“We are thrilled with these graduation rates,” said Bethel Superintendent Kraig Sproles. “These numbers reflect the culmination of work being done by dedicated educators across our district and a cohort of incredibly resilient students. Willamette had the second-highest graduation rate of all seven area high schools, just barely behind South Eugene. In many cases, the social-economic backgrounds for students predict graduation rates. This is not the case with the graduation numbers in the Bethel School District and is evidence that the work being done at both Willamette and Kalapuya is changing the trajectory of our students’ lives.”
Kalapuya High School also has the highest graduation rate among alternative high schools of the three major metro-area districts with 45.3 percent of students graduating on time in the 2020-2021 school year. That’s compared with an about 28 percent 26 percent graduation rate for alternative high schools in the Eugene and Springfield School Districts, respectively.
Over the last four years, Bethel School District staff have successfully implemented systems of support that allow staff to better understand the specific needs of students based on academics, grades and attendance, among other data points. In addition to creating systems of support for all students, the district in recent years has implemented programs to provide additional support to historically marginalized groups such as students with disabilities, students facing housing and food insecurity, navigating homelessness, or experiencing poverty. Bethel has also focused on offering comprehensive career technical education (CTE) courses and hands-on learning experiences at both high schools, which directly correlate with higher graduation rates.