Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 | 6 a.m.
Like with any business, operating a state-sponsored public charter high school for the last five years has had its challenges.
In 2010, Wendi Hawk will implement a Regents Diploma and 21st Century Skills Assessment at Nevada State High School.
“These raise the standards of what it means to earn a diploma at Nevada State High School,” Hawk said. “It ensures that NSHS graduates are qualified to transition into college and can handle high-level employment options for businesses in the state.”
In 2004, the founding members of NSHS created a choice for motivated high school students to gain valuable college experience so that the transition from high school to college would be seamless. It was established as a small school that directly links expectations to performance.
Hawk left her administrative position in Clark County in fall 2004 to become the only employee at the 40-student school. That’s when she assumed the role of classroom teacher, counselor and administrator.
At NSHS, students have easy access to free tutoring, college planning, guidance and a real college experience. Motivated students have the flexibility to create their own schedules and have the opportunity to get an early start on college. The school’s financial plan maximizes the use of public dollars and saves money for families by paying for up to two years of college tuition and textbooks.
The charter school is part of a national initiative to create independent public schools that are free to be more innovative and is held accountable for improved student achievement. Since opening, NSHS has four times received the state’s highest designations of “High Achieving” (2006 and 2008) and “Exemplary” (2007 and 2009).
By Rob Langrell, Special publications editor