February 19, 2018

Corbett School District: An Education Destination

An Ad from an Educational Traveler Magazine

“Seekers of an amazing educational experience should travel out the beautiful Columbia River Gorge to find Corbett School District!  Two Schools, Corbett School and Corbett Charter School, share one campus and together they will serve about 1100 students during the 2011-2012 school year.   Students in both schools enjoy multi-age classroom experiences in grades K-8 and a challenging academic experience in the ‘AP for All’ program in grades 9-12.  Place-based education and thematic instruction offer the perfect platform from which to deliver instruction to students in grades K-8.  Student progress is assessed based upon a continuous progress model where students are kept in their ‘zone of proximal development’ rather than forcing every student into the confines of scripted grade level expectations.  The result of Corbett School District’s efforts in the earlier grades are students who are able to engage in the ‘AP for All’ program that places the average Corbett graduate well into the 99th percentile of all seniors in the country with regard to AP participation.  The demand for Corbett is high.  So, if you want to be part of something special you will either need to buy a home there, pay tuition, be granted a transfer from your home district, or hope you can get in through the Corbett Charter School lottery which currently has a wait list of over 200 students.”

Is this Ad Real? Sort of!

Ads like this do not exist in print, but they do exist in the minds of people.  Corbett School District is an Education Destination.  More people want to get into our schools than we can possibly accommodate with our current facilities.  All kinds of students want to come to Corbett.  Themes in the imaginary ad resonate with families seeking small schools.  They resonate with families who are looking for a program that culminates in giving high school students options to go to almost any school in the nation or pursue any other career option.  Corbett School District resonates with families of special education students who understand that in a system where all students are kept at their ‘zone of proximal development’, their student will blend right in with the general education population.

Some Historical Perspective for Corbett Schools

I first started in Corbett during the 2004-05 school year.  We had 529 resident students that year.  Those 529 students were served by 32.8 teacher FTE (Full Time Equivalent), for a ratio of 16.1 students/FTE. Also that year 26 resident students transferred out, or about 5% of our resident population.

This year we expect to have 665 resident students at Corbett Schools when the doors open, a 25% increase in our resident student population.  We will serve those students with 27.4 teacher FTE, for a ratio of 24.3 students/FTE.  This represents a 51% increase in the number of students per FTE.  Further, our transfer request rate out for this year stands at about 2.3%.  This represents a 54% decrease in our transfer out request rate.

To summarize, Corbett is a destination district for people who want to move to Corbett.  Further, over the last eight years the number of people who have wanted to leave the district has dropped by more than half to a transfer out request rate that is astoundingly low.  Also, during that time we have asked our staff to do more; we educate more kids with fewer resources.

Other Evidence that Corbett Is an Education Destination

Clearly, Corbett Charter School (CCS) demonstrates that people want in to Corbett School District.  CCS expects to serve about 450 students and enjoys a wait list of more than 200.  The $700,000 dollars CCS pays to Corbett School District for rent and services helps fill the resource gap our district faces.

A quick perusal of a few real estate ads for Corbett further speaks to Corbett School District’s station as an education destination:

  • 931 NE Rohrbach “Near Outstanding Schools”
  • 34550 NE Chamberlain “Corbett High top 5 of all public schools in the US”
  • 43005 E. Larch Mountain Road “High Demand Public Schools”
  • 37049 SE Louden Road “Near TOP rated schools”
  • 43846 E Larch Mountain Road “Award Winning Corbett Schools”
  • 312 SE Hemlock “Send your kids to highly rated Corbett Schools”
  • 40430 SE Trout Creek “IN CORBETT SCHOOLS”


If Corbett School District were not an education destination things would be very different.  Property values in the area would be lower. We would have even fewer resources which would impact our programming.  The loss of more resources would drive class size up, which would drive more people away.   Instead of being an Education Destination we would be an Educational Ghost Town.

Corbett School District: An Education Destination
By Randy Trani


Randy Trani About Randy Trani

A science teacher at heart, Dr. Trani loves the Corbett school community and the Corbett community at large. As a resident of Corbett Dr. Trani is committed to delivering quality education to Corbett students. Dr. Trani became the principal of Corbett Schools in 2004, promoted to Superintendent of Corbett School District #39 in 2010.