D9 school improve, off “watch list”

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced last week that the two schools in District 9 that had been on the No Child Left Behind  “Safety watch list” were no longer on that list. Eagle Point Middle School and Eagle Point High School improvements were such that they have been removed from the list.

“Creating a safe learning environment is a cornerstone of our educational responsibilities to our children,” said Castillo. “I’m pleased to see several schools have come off our safety watch list and no schools being labeled as consistently dangerous this year. We will work with those schools on the list this year to make improvements and help ensure all of our children can attend school safely.”

The other schools removed from the list include Fleming Middle School, Lorna Byrne Middle School and Illinois Valley High School, in Three Rivers/Josephine county; Mazama High, Klamath City School District; Marshall High, McKay High and Stephens Middle School in the Salem-Keizer District  and Alliance High School in the Portland Public Schools area.

One district, Reynolds Middle School, is on the list for the second year.

First year districts include Hedrick Middle School and McLoughlin Middle School in Medford; Ponderosa Junior High in Klamath City district and the Reynolds Learning Academy in Reynolds district. 

Schools on the watch list must develop a corrective action plan and file it with the state. Schools that remain on the list a second year must provide plan revisions subject to review by the Oregon Department of Education. A school listed for the third year means students are given the option of transfering to another school.

Effective in this current school year, is clarification on expulsions, which is a key factor in being on the watch list. Now only expulsions for weapons or expulsions based on arrests for violent criminal offenses count toward a school’s listing and expulsions will be counted on a “per incident” basis rather than “per student basis.”

A school will be defined as “persistently dangerous” if the total number of expulsions meet or exceed one of the following rates per year: for school with fewer than 300 students, 95 expulsions; larger schools three expulsions for every 100 students enrolled or a fraction thereof.

Reasons for expulsions: Weapons or students arrested for any of the following violent criminal offenses on school grounds, on school sponsored transportation and/or school sponsored activities: assault, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, sexual crimes using force, threatened use of force or against incapacitated person, arson, robbery, hate/bias crime, coercion or kidnapping.

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