COOS COUNTY — The Bandon School District is thriving, according to recently broken down SAT scores sent out by the Oregon Department of Education.
Though ODE announced last month that the state came in above the national average in overall SAT scores, the numbers were broken down by district and reflected which schools excelled or need improvement.
The Bandon School District scored 565 in English Reading and Writing, when the state average was 555 and the national average being 527. The district also did well in math, scoring 539. Though it isn’t higher than the state average of 543, it is well above the national average of 517.
Because the SATs are voluntary for students interested in attending a four-year college, the scores only reflect those who took the test. In Bandon, 12 students participated.
The North Bend School District also did well, bringing in a score of 549 in English Reading and Writing and 537 in math. It had the largest student participation in the county at 98 students who took the test.
The Coos Bay School District scored 543 in English Reading and Writing, but came in low for math at 494. Of its student body, 61 individuals took the test.
The Myrtle Point School District scored 492 in English Reading and Writing, and 491 in math. Only 11 students participated.
In the Powers School District, six students took the test. Because there wasn’t enough participation, scores aren’t available.
At the Coquille School District, scores came in at 501 for English Reading and Writing, and 474 in math. There were 22 students who took the test.
"Our district has worked diligently over the past couple of years to align our math and language arts curriculum both vertically and horizontally," said Bandon High School Principal Sabrina Belletti. "Doing this has helped us eliminate knowledge gaps that may have resulted when students would transition from elementary to middle school, or middle to high school."
In addition, Belletti said, the district has adopted a new math curriculum that is making a big difference, and teachers in the district participate in professional development opportunities.
"For example, our math and language arts departments participated in an essential skills training through our partnership with ESD," Belletti said. "Overall, we continue working towards offering increased course rigor options for our students, with this being our first year offering AP English, and we are currently working to expand our dual credit partnership with Southwestern Oregon Community College to include math."
Erin Robertson, academic adviser for BHS, said educators at the high school have seen an increased desire for students to challenge themselves both inside and outside the classroom.
"Our teachers and support staff have really come together over the last few years to raise post-secondary awareness among our students," Robertson said.
"Every year we offer PSAT testing to our 10th and 11th graders," she added. "A few years ago, it was typical for only 15-20 students to participate in PSAT testing, this year we have almost 60 students signed up. It’s wonderful to see students engaging and focused on carving a path that is relevant for them."