Corvallis Parent: School Rankings At-A-Glance, Successful Kid Outings, Effective Parenting Tips

School Rankings: If you’ve ever wanted to see how your child’s school is doing in one glance, then the Oregon Department of Education has been reading your mind… or reading your diary. Either way, ODE has taken the time to examine each school in the state and give it an At-A-Glance profile.   

For instance, did you know that the average classroom size for elementary schools in Oregon is 22 students, and that Garfield Elementary is right on target with 22 per classroom. How about Cheldelin Middle School which is ahead of the average in regular school attendance by 8%. Then there’s Crescent Valley High with an over 95% on-track to graduate rate where the state average is only 83%.   

Overall, Corvallis schools are looking really good, and you can see all of their rankings here.  

Metrics of Interest: One new metric the schools are tracking is the percentage of students who enroll into a college or university within 16 months of finishing high school. With 76% at Corvallis High and 81% at Crescent Valley High, this metric is looking good for the community. 

Another metric that is being tracked by the schools is the number of Ninth grade special education students who are on track to graduate. “While this measurement has increased from 71 percent to 78 percent, it is still below pre-pandemic levels, indicating there is a continued need for support to improve outcomes for all students,” according to Superintendent Ryan Noss. 

First Outings with the Kids: For football fans out there, the joy of taking your kid to a game at Reser Stadium might be somewhat diminished if the kid in question becomes overwhelmed, throws a tantrum, or just generally freaks out. So what can you do to avoid some of the problems? Here are three quick ideas. 

Prepare before the day. If your kiddo is old enough to understand, then explain things to them before the day of the event – and do this more than once if possible. They need to be aware that there will be a lot of other people and a lot of noise, that people may be shouting and even seem angry. If you can talk them through what will happen during a regular activity like driving to the store or to daycare, then repeat the details in approximately the same order, wording, and cadence, it becomes like a favorite book or song.  

While talking them through what to expect, tell them about the parking lot and about walking into the event, about the concession stand and whether or your family will be getting food, and about when they might expect food. Include what to do if they get separated and can’t find you – things like stay where you are, look for a security guard or police officer, or go to the closest person selling food and ask for help.  

By using this method, you’ll be better able to get them to remember what’s going to happen, to keep their expectations in line with yours, and hopefully keep them from interrupting your enjoyment of the day. 

Pack intelligently. To start off, find out what kind of bag you are allowed to carry into an event – many stadiums have switched to a clear bag policy to avoid someone bringing in contraband, but they may make exceptions for diapers bags. Make sure you bring:  

  1. Wipes for fingers as well as bottoms 
  2. Snacks that the kids like – maybe even ones they get to pick out for themselves 
  3. Activities like coloring books, note pads, or books – they might not be Beaver fans yet and a bored child is not a lot of fun to be around 
  4. Noise-canceling headphones – their ears are more sensitive than yours 
  5. Weather appropriate gear that can be layered in case it gets too warm in the crowd 
  6. Water or water bottles that can be filled at the event. 

Manage your expectations. You may love football and all the roar that comes with it, but Johnny over here might not understand a single thing about it. So what does Johnny like? Hotdogs? Then let him know that there will be hotdogs there. T-shirts? Then find him a shirt with a big logo that matches yours. If you can find one hook for the kiddo, then the kiddo will find others. 

And when it’s over, make sure your kids know that one of your favorite things about wherever you going was having them with you, because even if things don’t go exactly as planned there will be a day when you’ll remember even the very messiest of messy experiences fondly. 

Tips for Effective Parenting: Raising kids is tough. It’s also fulfilling and wonderful and loving and overwhelming – so, basically tough but great. Here are a few tips that might make the tough easier to handle. 

Boost Self Esteem: For the time they’re little and mimicking your actions back at you, your kids are seeing themselves through you – your tone of voice, your facial expressions, your responses to their actions. So when they color on the wall and all you want to do is scream because it’s the fourteenth time they’ve done that this month and their older sister never did that, remember to use words that don’t destroy them.  

Take a breath and say that while you love their artwork, they are still not allowed to create it on the walls. Never include a “your sister never did that” side remark, because not only will it hurt your younger child, it will make a friendship with their older sister that much harder when they’re adults.  

Set limits and be consistent. Things like limits and discipline are hard sometimes. You want your child to like you, and saying “no” is not a popular thing to do.  

You have to remember that you can’t try to be your child’s friend. They have friends who are their own age. You are their parent, and they only get so many parents in one lifetime. And, unfortunately, part of being a parent is setting a boundary and saying “no” to some things. It leaves the door open to say “yes” to other fun things though – like purple hair (after all, it will always grow back the color your gene pool gave them). 

You also have to remember that ultimately you’re raising an adult, and you want that adult to be the best darned one possible. And adults have to obey boundaries like driving laws and work rules. Childhood is a great place to begin those skills. 

Talk to your child. That seems kind of obvious, but it really isn’t, because we mean really-truly-actually talk to them. And listen to them as well.  

If they ask where babies come from and are old enough for some of the truth, give them that bit of truth. If they aren’t ready, then tell them you’ll explain it to them when they’re a little older. Then do that. 

Maybe the questions are more difficult – like what are stars made of or why do we say “bless you” after a sneeze. If you don’t know the answer, then tell them you don’t know, and look it up together. There are two lessons in one here – how to find an answer if you don’t know it, and Mom and Dad don’t know all the answers.  

Your child will remember many things throughout their growing up, and most important among them will be that their parents listened to them, heard what they said, and talked to them about it. 

Be willing to adjust. Not every book on parenting gives the reader the same advice. This is because every child comes to the world as a completely unique person with their own foibles. As you get to know your kid, you’ll learn what works for them and what doesn’t, and you need to be able to roll with it.  

A lot of parents out there will “should” all over you – “Billy should be potty trained by now” or “Becky should be reading at this age.” Don’t let them should you into a corner where you’re forcing your child into developmental changes they aren’t ready for. If you are worried about your child’s development, that’s something to take up with your pediatrician. 

And remember, parents from the Baby Boomer generation didn’t have to contend with many of the violent and scary things our kids today learn about, so they’d have no idea what to say to a child watching the news, afraid to go to school the next day. Listen to your gut instincts and your doctor, then adjust as needed. 

By Sally K Lehman 

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