By the time this column is published, the Fallbrook Union High School District will have completed half of the 2009-2010 school year. It provides a good time for reflection of the past and clarifying focus for the future.
I am convinced that in many ways, the quality of our educational program has improved this year. Fallbrook High School implemented a freshman intervention program that is showing signs of helping students disrupt the failure cycle and make progress towards graduation. English language learner students are more appropriately placed in classes and there is evidence that the rigor and quality of the curriculum for students has improved. At Ivy High School, an online computer program is supporting student efforts to makeup failed classes and to get on track for graduation. At Oasis High School, accreditation and the development of classes that meet University of California a – g requirements have contributed to greater enrollment and a more rigorous curriculum.
As we look to the spring semester and the remainder of the 2009-2010 school year, my anticipation is that we will engage more staff and students in an educational program that is committed to 21st century learning. For students, this should mean that technological resources are more effectively used to support learning and that students find classes more interesting.
My desire also is that we both increase the frequency of quality student work done on a daily basis and that we implement strategies to help students meet these higher expectations. Our students need to understand that they will be competing with students outside of our community for future educational and career opportunities. Meeting minimum requirements is not enough.
As parents, I encourage you to look with your student at her/his performance during the fall semester and determine if the decisions that each of you are making are results in the academic achievement that you desire. If the answer is yes, congratulations and keep up the good work. If the answer is no, now is the time to make changes. As Einstein once said, “Don’t expect different results doing the same thing.”