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Salem-Keizer School Board Sets New Academic Priorities

A student in a graduation cap and gown smiles during a ceremony

The Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Directors adopted a new results policy that articulates their vision for academic achievement.

Unanimous Board Support

During their business meeting on September 12, 2023, all seven board directors worked together on the development of the policy and voted unanimously in support of it.

“I am proud that all seven of us agreed upon how we define the academic priorities for the students we serve,” said School Board Chairperson Karina Guzmán Ortiz. “We spent time learning together and discussing these goals, and firmly believe that the action we took tonight will lead to great outcomes for our students, families, staff and community.”

Focus On Students 

The updated policy focuses on improving the following metrics:
  • Regular attendance rate
  • Third graders reading at grade level
  • Ninth graders on track to graduate high school
  • Four-year cohort graduation rate
  • Student sense of belonging for students

The first four metrics above align with the Longitudinal Performance Growth Targets required by each Oregon school district as part of the Student Success Act. The Oregon Department of Education and Salem-Keizer Public Schools co-created growth targets for each longitudinal growth goal.

Student Sense Of Belonging

Student sense of belonging goals were identified by board directors, student advisors, and district staff as another area of critical importance.

“Students feeling a sense of belonging within their school community is a foundation for learning. When students feel they belong, students are better able to focus on their learning and, as a result, achievement generally increases,” said Director of Strategic Initiatives Suzanne West. “The clear focus of these priorities will guide us as we engage with the community about the tough fiscal years we are anticipating.”

Upcoming Community Engagement Events

The district is planning several community engagement events this fall to share information about the priorities identified in the results policy and to hear from families and the community about what matters for students and schools.