Education in the Salem area
Salem-Keizer Public Schools
Salem has the state's second largest public school system, with the Willamette University as the first university established in the west, and one of Oregon's largest community colleges. A number of private colleges are nearby. Oregon State University is 40-miles south in Corvallis, and the University of Oregon is 75-miles south in Eugene.
Salem-Keizer Public School District (24-J), the second largest district in the state with more than 34,5000 students, provides a sound educational foundation for students covering kindergarten through 12th grade. More than 1,700 teachers and 1,000 support personnel work in the school district, which comprises 39 elementary, nine middle, five high schools and several alternative programs. A sixth high school opened in Fall 2002 in West Salem and four additional elementary schools are under construction.
Salem-Keizer SAT scores averaged 1,059 or 50 points higher than the national average and above the Oregon average for the second consecutive year. A number of Salem schools have been honored in recent years for a variety of programs and events by the U.S. Department of Education. The district's music programs and some science programs are considered world-class.
The school district has also received national recognition for its Business Partnership Program. The program matches area schools with local businesses, government agencies or nonprofit organizations so the partners may share resources, expertise and facilities.
Salem's education qualifications rank high among Oregon communities. Education Service Districts (ESDs) provide back-up services to 49 school districts in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. Salem is the headquarters for the Marion ESD.
Private Schools and Christian Schools
A number of parochial and private schools, including Blanchet High School, a private Catholic high school, also fulfill the educational needs of Salem area families. Blanchet, open just six years boasts two National Merit Finalists, an appointee to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a varsity basketball team which placed 4th in the state in 2001, and a 2001 graduating class with 100 percent of its graduates attending the universities of their choice.
Salem Academy Christian Schools is a private Christian school in Salem, Oregon,and has been accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International since 2003,and by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools since 1959.