The North Santiam School District 29J is located approximately 15 miles East of Salem along Highway 22, and includes the communities of Stayton, Sublimity, Lyons, and Mehema. Stayton is the largest community in the district, with a population of approximately 7,500 residents. It serves as the commercial and cultural center for the surrounding area. It is located near agriculture, timber, tourism, and other industry. The largest employers in the Stayton area include manufacturing, educational/healthcare/social services, and retail. Agriculture and timber processing are also large employers within the school district boundaries. The largest single employer is NORPAC foods. The communities have a good number of social services, groups, and activities for all ages. This includes a local YMCA, swimming pool, tennis courts, city parks, movie theater, library, and community center. Silver Falls State park, one of the most well-known natural wonders of Oregon, is only 20 minutes away. Also nearby are fishing, camping, hiking, swimming, skiing, and other outdoor recreational activities. Stayton and Sublimity have increasingly become bedroom communities of Salem, for people looking to be close to the offerings of Salem, but away from the city itself.
Stayton High School was built in 1949. It serves students grades nine through twelve. The student population currently rests at 665 in the traditional setting, and 54 in alternative settings. Stayton High School is supported by three administrators, 39 teachers, and 15 classified staff. The High School sits on over 17 acres, which include tennis courts, a football stadium and track complex, soccer field, baseball and softball fields, alternative education building, and transitions program building. It also includes the district maintenance shop. The facility has 33 classrooms, 2 gymnasiums, a weight room, a library, and three computer labs. Additional rooms include an auditorium, teen parent/day care area, wood shop, manufacturing shop, AG science classroom, green house, band and choir rooms, and a video productions studio.
Stayton High school has experienced significant positive change over the past several years. Bond construction, for the most part, was completed in 2014-15. This included several new classrooms, new science labs, a completely remodeled auditorium, and other upgrades. A new turf football and soccer playing field was completed in fall of 2016, and this has brought additional pride to the school community. These improvements, along with stability among administration and staff, has led to a significantly better climate and environment educationally. Data showed a drastic decrease in major discipline from 2014 to 2016, with data showing SHS to be in the lower 25% of schools for the number of referrals per day. Staff morale has increase dramatically as measured by the statewide TELL survey. For example, in 2014, less than 40% of teachers responded positively that the school was a good place to work and learn. In 2016, well over 90% agreed with that statement.
Stayton High is committed to offering a variety of classes and teaching a variety of skills to students. We have expanded our dual credit offerings significantly through the Mid-Willamette Valley Promise grant, in addition to our existing College Credit Now and AP offerings. We now offer Communications 111, Math 111, Spanish 101-1-3, Spanish 201-203, Biology 101, Chemistry 121, Math 70, Math 95, Math 111, Forestry and Fire, Writing 115/121/122, Computer Literacy, and CADD. AP class offerings include AP US History and AP Literature, and AP Calculus. New electives in the last two years include Intro to Engineering, Family and Consumer Science, Graphic Design, Intro to Law, Chemistry through the Ages, World Beat (geography, and a student technology helpdesk class. Additionally, through a partnership with OPAHEC (The Oregon Pacific Area Health Education Center), students are able to access a non-credit class several times a month (and related field trips) to explore medical careers. Courses were organized in 2015 into career pathways. Students who complete a certain list of courses as well as workplace or industry experience will be recognized at graduation, and gain valuable experience towards their chosen field of study.
In addition to college-level courses, SHS offers a wide variety of vocational skills courses. One additional opportunity beginning in 2016 is that our advanced construction class is building a residential home. This has taken a significant amount of work with the community and district. Overall, CTE courses include manufacturing, construction tech/woods, business classes, and agriculture classes. We offer extended opportunities for credit recovery and new coursework through our AVENTA online partnership, and also coordinate alternative programs with Chemeketa Community College. These include Early College High School, Winema Alternative High School, and GED completion.
In the fall of 2015, all Stayton High staff spent time creating and writing a vision statement for the school. This involved all SHS staff, Classified and Certified. After a process, the staff decided on the following vision statement: SHS is a community-focused environment where ALL students can pursue their passion and find success in a positive, supportive and safe environment in which high expectations and rigor are the norm.
Students at SHS have an opportunity to participate in career-related pathways, which allow them to take coursework and gain real-world experience towards future careers. Current pathways are the following:
Health Care Occupations (including OPAHEC class before school)
Manufacturing and Construction
Agricultural Science, STEM