Return to Headlines

Stayton Elementary is beating the odds!

Stayton Elementary is “beating the odds”!

In July, Stayton Elementary School Principal Wendy Moore, received an email from Holly Dalton, Early Literacy and Math Assessment Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).  Holly explained that ODE had recently conducted a study showing a correlation between Kindergarten Assessment and third-grade summative assessment scores. She went on to explain that for many of our historically underserved populations, the achievement gaps increase between those years (K-3).  “The good news is Stayton Elementary school’s data shows that the achievement gaps between the underserved students at your school are shrinking – your school is beating the odds!”

The achievement gap (sometimes called the opportunity gap) is the space between where the student is performing below grade level and the targeted performance level for a particular grade.  Third grade is an important benchmark for achieving academic skills. Research shows that students who are not reading proficiently at the 3rd-grade level by the end of 3rd grade, are less likely to graduate from high school.

Principal Moore was invited to participate, because of her school’s success, in a presentation titled ‘Linking Kindergarten and Third Grade Outcomes’, at the summer Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Conference held in Eugene.  “We wanted to highlight exceptional practices and show other schools that bringing students up to third-grade level is achievable.  We asked Wendy to share her experience and how Stayton Elementary has made a difference for these students.”

When asked how closing this gap was accomplished, Principal Moore explained that the foundation had been set by creating a meaningful mission and vision statement collaboratively with teachers and staff.  She noted other contributing factors included (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Utilizing 200 chromebooks and adaptive software.
  • Providing common teacher planning time in professional learning communities (PLC) during dedicated Monday morning (student) late start schedule.
  • Supporting high-quality teaching and learning in every classroom.
  • Providing new teachers with a high level of support through instructional coaching, mentoring, and professional development

“This achievement is significant,” says Superintendent Andy Gardner. “We are excited about teaching kids at all levels, and that all kids are showing instructional growth.  Stayton Elementary is to be commended for building a culture which is welcoming and focused on creating a positive learning environment for all kids.”


Article provided by Janine Moothart, communications project specialist

September 14, 2018