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Jake Weigler, (503) 947-5650

October 27, 2009

Five Schools Placed on Oregon’s Safety “Watch List”

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that five Oregon public schools have been placed on this year’s federal No Child Left Behind safety watch list. No Oregon schools were identified this year as persistently dangerous under the federal reporting requirements.

Second Year on List
Reynolds School District - Reynolds Middle School

First Year on List
Medford School District – Hedrick Middle School, McLoughlin Middle School
Klamath Falls City Schools District – Ponderosa Junior High School
Reynolds School District - Reynolds Learning Academy

“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 persistently 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.”

Schools meeting Oregon’s definition of an unsafe school are placed on a watch list and must develop a corrective action plan that is filed with the state under No Child Left Behind. Schools that remain on the watch list a second year must provide revisions to their corrective plan that are subject to review by the Oregon Department of Education. Institutions that remain on the list a third year are labeled “persistently dangerous” and students at that school are given the option to transfer to another school.

Every school on last year’s list was removed this year, except for Reynolds Middle School. Those schools removed from the list were:

Eagle Point School District - Eagle Point Middle School and Eagle Point High School
Three Rivers/Josephine County School District - Fleming Middle School, Lorna Byrne Middle School, and Illinois Valley High School
Klamath Falls City Schools - Mazama High School
Salem-Keizer School District - McKay High School and Stephens Middle School
Bend-LaPine School District - Marshall High School
Portland Public Schools - Alliance High School

In response to feedback from school districts, education stakeholders, and legislators, the Oregon Department of Education convened a workgroup in December 2008 to update Oregon’s criteria for unsafe schools. The changes, that will be effective for the upcoming 2009-2010 school year, include clarifying that only expulsions for weapons or expulsions based on arrests for violent criminal offenses count towards a school’s identification on the watch list or as persistently dangerous and that expulsions are counted on a “per incident” basis rather than on a “per student basis.” A full explanation of the revisions can be found on the Department’s website here: http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?=4867

In Oregon, effective in the 2009-2010 school year, a public elementary or secondary school will be defined as “persistently dangerous” if the following conditions exist (at the rates noted below) for three-consecutive school years:

1. Expulsions for weapons (ORS 339.250(6)) and/or
2. Expulsions for students arrested for any of the following violent criminal offenses on school grounds, on school sponsored transportation and/or school sponsored activities:

• Assault (ORS 163.160, ORS 163.165, ORS 163.175, ORS 163.185)
• Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance (ORS 475.992 (1-3))
• Sexual crimes using force, threatened use of force or against incapacitated person (ORS 163.375, ORS 163.395, ORS 163.411, ORS 163.427)
• Arson (ORS 164.315, ORS 164.325)
• Robbery (ORS 164.395, ORS 164.405, ORS 164.415)
• Hate/Bias Crime (ORS 166.155, ORS 166.165)
• Coercion (ORS 163.275),
• Kidnapping (ORS 163.225, ORS 163.235).

The total number of expulsions for these combined categories will have to meet or exceed one of the following rates per year: (school with fewer than 300 students) 5 expulsions; (larger school) three expulsions for every 100 enrolled students or fraction thereof.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jake Weigler, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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