Redmond Proficiency Academy’s (RPA) high school graduation rate for the class of 2019 cohort was 94.19 percent – its highest ever, and an almost three percentage point increase over the previous year, marking the sixth straight year of improvement. RPA’s graduation exceeds the Oregon average by over 14 percentage points.
“I’m continuously impressed with how RPA students are not only graduating in record numbers but also how they’re thriving during high school in our proficiency-based model,” said Jon Bullock, RPA’s Executive Director. “Our students are not merely checking boxes, rather they’re deeply invested in their education and receiving the most out of their time here. Our graduation rate reveals that our students are connecting to their educations in meaningful ways that are unique to who they are as young people.”
RPA features a College Prep program that utilizes a university model scheduling system in which students take advanced courses and learn to be effective university students by learning in seminar environments –– emulating a college campus experience. This flexible scheduling model works well for students and families seeking a choice in their educational experience, one that allows them to focus on additional interests outside of school, including downhill and cross country ski racing, equestrian events, rodeo circuits, and many other activities.
The cumulative experience of seven years at RPA is preparation for life after high school, Bullock explained. The conversations start in middle school when faculty and staff encourage students to explore their interests and talents, and ways they can apply them to future careers.
The tuition-free public charter school offers courses in award-winning robotics, arts and theatre programs, in addition to computer science, digital filmmaking, rock climbing, Spanish language immersion and many others.
RPA’s graduation rate of 94.19 percent is based on the 2018-19 four-year cohort, which is comprised of students who began high school in the 2015-16 school year and who graduated during the 2018-19 school year.
Bullock attributes the success of RPA students to several factors:
- Implementation of an intensive senior support program of graduation coaches
- Development of academic support programs for seniors to move them towards graduation
- A focus on college pathways and career readiness programs to increase student engagement
- A data-focused system to identify students who need intervention and who may be at risk of falling behind
As with the last two graduating classes, Measure 98 funding supported additional graduation coaches and built a career and technical education program to increase student engagement in their education and to reach graduation.
Along with graduation coaches, each grade level implemented a comprehensive achievement team made up of advisors, administrators, and counselors meeting biweekly to discuss the needs of students and working to keep them on track towards graduation.
“Our work is never done, not even with a 100 percent graduation rate,” Bullock said. “Our ongoing mission is to provide an individualized, comprehensive educational experience for every student that walks through our doors. We’re proud to offer that experience at RPA and to continually help all of our students succeed during their time with us.”