Stanfield schools are “outstanding,” according to the Oregon Department of Education.

Each year, ODE releases report cards that track success of schools and districts across the state. As part of the report, schools receive a rating of “In Need of Improvement,” “Satisfactory” or “Outstanding.”

This year, both Stanfield Elementary and Stanfield Secondary schools were rated “Outstanding.”

“It’s great to have our schools be ‘Outstanding,’” Superintendent Kevin Headings, also the elementary principal, said Tuesday. “The bottom line is at both our elementary school and secondary school, we’ve had a focus on improving instruction with our teachers and accentuating the positives and fixing the negatives. We’ve developed this mantra of ‘Doing what we do, but doing it better.’”

Headings said this is the first time Stanfield Elementary received the top rating, although the school has been close to the cutoff in the past. Over the past five years, the school has maintained a focus on student instruction, continued programs and seen a consistent increase in student achievement in both reading and math.

“We haven’t changed programs, we’re just trying to do what we do better, and I think that’s why we’ve seen that trend,” Headings said. “We’ve become more and more confident in what we’re doing as we see those results.”

With the 2011-12 ratings, Stanfield Secondary school has hit the highest rating three of the past four years. A testing mistake cost the school its rating last year and dropped Stanfield Secondary to an “In Need of Improvement” title. That mistake corrected, Stanfield Secondary climbed back to “Outstanding” status this year.

Principal Bryan Johnson, who took over the school this year after the retirement of Steve Ellis, said the score reflects a commitment to students.

“The credit really goes to our staff as a whole,” he said. “It’s a combination of strong staff, motivated students and strong parental involvement.”

The high school will continue its focus on post-secondary education opportunities and offering dual credit classes and college readiness programs.

Headings said teachers at both schools will continue to meet in collaborative groups and the district will continue to focus on intervention and student instruction.

The superintendent said he does, however, expect to see a score decrease next year when the school implements common core standards. Although schools across the state are implementing the new federal guidelines, Oregon will not test students on common core until the 2014-15 school year.

“One thing that had made a huge difference and will continue to is we have tremendously skilled staff and teachers in both our secondary school and our elementary school,” he said. “We have strong leaders in both buildings who are able to focus and lead the staff in doing the right things, and we’re going to continue doing what we do, and doing it better.”

Copies of the 2011-12 report cards are available on the district website: www.stanfield.k12.or.us.

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