When people ask, why Ashland is such a special place, it doesn’t take long for someone to answer that it is partly because we have people who chose to live here that hold educational attainment in high regard. It’s true. Education is deeply valued by residents and supported through all levels from preschool to K-12, to higher education and life-long learning programs.
According to the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, Ashland’s residents are highly-educated. The charts illustrate the distribution of population over 25 years by education level completed and compares Ashland to Jackson County and Oregon.
In 2011-2015, an estimated 96.8 percent of people in Ashland, 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 57.2 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Only 2.3 percent have never received a high school diploma. An estimated 88.8 percent of people in Jackson County, 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 25.6 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. 7.4 percent have never received a high school diploma. And finally, an estimated 89.8 percent of people in Oregon, 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 30.8 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. 6.2 percent have never received a high school diploma.
One of Ashland’s greatest treasures is its public school system. Ashland schools consistently score above the national average on state and national assessments and other measures of student achievement. Ashland High School has earned Silver Medals from US News and World Report in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017 which ranks it in the top 10% of all high schools in the United States. The graduating class of 2015 sent 88% of its graduates on to two and four year colleges. This information points out what Ashlanders already know - quality schools enhance the strength of the community.
Three elementary schools, Bellview, Helman, and Walker, serve students in grades K-5. An average class size of 25 combined with outstanding teachers result in student success. Music and PE specialists, reading teachers, and Child Development Specialists provide additional support to ensure that students reach their highest potential.
Bellview Elementary – 1070 Tolman Creek Road, (541) 482-1310
Helman Elmentary – 705 Helman Street, (541) 482-5620
Walker Elementary - 364 Walker Avenue, (541) 482-1516
John Muir is a K-8 magnet school that serves the entire school district. It has an emphasis on environmental science and art to teach the core curriculum.
John Muir School – 100 Walker Avenue, (541) 482-8577
Willow Wind Community Learning Center is an alternative program that supports families that home school their children and also offers a full-time alternative program known as Parents as Partners that tailors the educational day to the needs of families.
Willow Wind Community Learning Center – 1497 East Main Street, (541) 488-2684
Ashland Middle School serves students in grades 6-8. Small independent teaching teams are organized around the needs of emerging adolescent students. Teachers meet daily to discuss the academic program and student progress, ensuring that all students are well known and encouraged to achieve at a high level.
Ashland Middle School – 100 Walker Avenue, (541) 482-1611
Ashland High School serves students in grades 9-12. Fully accredited by AdvancED. AHS students excel in academics, athletics, and the arts. AHS provides a full range of academic and elective classes to ensure the well-rounded development of each student. Ashland High has a drop-out rate of under 2%, and is consistently ranked at the top of all Oregon high schools.
Ashland High School – 201 South Mountain Avenue, (541) 482-8771
The District’s Open Enrollment Policy allows families from across the Rogue Valley to attend Ashland Schools, regardless of their resident school district. Open Enrollment registration occurs only in March of the previous school year.
The Youth Activities and Academics Levy is a local option levy passed by the residents of Ashland. This important funding source allows Ashland Schools District to fund both extra-curricular and athletic programs, along with supporting academics. Our generous community ensures that Ashland students have access to high quality education above the funding available from the State of Oregon.
We are enriched by the many volunteers and community partnerships in our schools. Asante Ashland Community Hospital provides school nurses in our middle and elementary schools, and Rogue Community Health operates a School Based Health Center at AHS. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival partners with the high school drama department, resulting in high quality theater and musical productions. The SMART program and a local Rotary Club make sure that elementary school students have support in mastering reading. These are just a few examples of how our community supports our schools.
Ashland Schools Foundation
The mission of the Ashland Schools Foundation (ASF) is to support quality education in Ashland public schools through fundraising in the community. ASF is an independent, non-profit, public benefit corporation, organized in 1989 exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. The committed volunteers at ASF work in our community to raise much needed funds to support the academic operations of the school district. ASF also funds classroom based grants to support enrichment activities across the curriculum.
Ashland and the Rogue Valley have several private and alternative schools:
SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY (SOU) provides career-focused and comprehensive educational experiences to over 6,200 students on both its Ashland and Medford campuses. Along with an emphasis on student success and intellectual growth, the SOU community is committed to diversity, inclusion and sustainability. SOU primarily serves the state of Oregon with a focus on southern Oregon and the northernmost counties of California.
Theoretical and experiential learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. At SOU, about 6,200 students explore the arts, sciences, humanities, social sciences, and professional programs offered by SOU. North Campus Village provides gorgeous, comfortable residential facilities and a dining hall featuring home-style classics, ethnic cuisine and healthy entrees.
We think about more than statistics and research when it comes to our students. We think about real life.
You’re Home at SOU.
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Boulevard
Ashland, OR 97520
Don’t forget to cheer for the fearless SOU Raiders as they compete in football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, volleyball and other valley sports. SOU won the 2014 NAIA National Championship in Daytona, Florida. #RaiderUp! souraiders.com
OREGON CENTER FOR THE ARTS
The Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU is an important pillar of the Ashland community, bringing distinguished luminaries to the Southern Oregon University campus as well as presenting their own highly acclaimed music, theatre, art exhibitions, and other public events. The Schneider Museum of Art, part of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, houses four galleries comprising of 4,000 square feet of exhibition space. The Museum is a vital force in the intellectual life of Southern Oregon University that promotes an understanding of the visual arts within a liberal arts education.
Serving both an academic and community audience, it builds a challenging environment that engages with the visual arts through exhibitions and programs supporting interdisciplinary study, research, and discourse. Please check out their seasonal contemporary art exhibitions, free docent-led Tuesday Tours at noon, FREE Family Days, artist and curator lectures, and performances by visiting sma.sou.edu. The Museum is open Monday–Saturday, 10 am–4 pm. Free and open to the public.
The Center for Visual Arts (CVA) Galleries, located in the Art Building and the Marion Ady Building, give students and community artists the opportunity to exhibit their current work. Visit the CVA Galleries Monday–Friday. Their Theater and Music concert events feature faculty, students, alumni, and visiting artists. See events listing and purchase tickets online at oca.sou.edu or in person at their Box Office located in the Music Building.
oca.sou.edu • sma.sou.edu
THE JOURNEY TOWARD LEADERSHIP:
The Honors College at SOU
Students of the Honors College of SOU experience an intensive education that provides challenges to help identify true passions and preparation for graduate school and rewarding careers. Their students begin making a difference the day they set foot on campus.
Small classes are taught by faculty who actively engage students and push them to exceed their own expectations. The Honors College at Southern Oregon University provides opportunities for students to transform themselves from learners into leaders.
Hannon Library is one of the cultural and intellectual centers of the university, advocating the advancement of knowledge by providing access to quality information and actively guiding the discovery process. In support of the diverse programs available at SOU, the library cultivates extensive resources in each area of study. Students can find a designated librarian that specializes in whatever subject they are studying and receive one-on-one research assistance. The library also provides numerous services ranging from tutoring, career advising, and special event venues. It is a dynamic institution that embraces new technologies and trends, responding to the evolving needs of the campus.
Rogue Community College offers a full range of educational opportunities at convenient locations in Jackson and Josephine counties. A statewide leader in educational outcomes, the College plays a key role in the heart of downtown Medford, where the RCC Riverside Campus is located. Rogue Community College offers over 80 degree and certificate programs, including five two-year degrees, 39 professional/technical programs, a variety of workforce and short-term trainings, and small business development. In addition, the college offers academic skills classes, community education, GED classes, and services to local businesses.
The Riverside Campus is located at 117 S. Central Ave., Medford. (541) 245-7500.
The Table Rock Campus is at 7800 Pacific Ave., White City.