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April 19, 2015

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The Turnaround:

Science, technology set students up for future

Principal Neddy Alvarez at Western High School on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

Principal Neddy Alvarez at Western High School on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

The administration and staff at Western High School are excited about the new adventures and challenges that await us this school year.

Western was selected this year to be a turnaround school, which means we received additional federal funding through the School Improvement Grant program. As part of the grant we will be instituting many initiatives to improve student achievement.

Our school theme is “Mapping the Road for Student College and Career Readiness,” which we are emphasizing with the implementation of our science and engineering academy as well as offering courses that can be taken for college credit. We believe focusing on science and technology will set our students up for success in high school and beyond as they obtain real-world skills.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy will be open to freshmen and sophomores. Three tracks of study will be offered:

• The science track includes health information technology, sports medicine and biomedicine courses.

• The technology track includes broadcast journalism, 3-D animation and computer science courses.

• The engineering track includes transportation/auto, computer-assisted design architecture and pre-engineering/robotics courses.

We are also changing our schedule in an effort to improve learning. An additional 20 minutes has been tacked onto the school day, which now has seven periods instead of six. This new schedule will allow students to take project-based classes where they can experience what it’s like to work through real-life problems. Each grade level will also be grouped together to improve class unity and school pride.

Western High School teachers, counselors, support staff, and the administrative team are working together to build a foundation which will prepare students for future educational endeavors and lifelong learning experiences in the workforce and in society. For this reason, Western High School values and emphasizes a well-rounded educational program.

Our students must succeed, otherwise we all fail.

I’m excited about this new school year and look forward to making it a successful one for the Western High community as we embark on this endeavor. I truly believe engagement and commitment to the successful completion of our students’ course of study is one of the greatest contributions our families and the community can make to our students’ future.

Only by working together as partners will we be able to ensure that all students will be ready for graduation and beyond, which is vital not only for those of us at Western, but to our whole community.

Neddy Alvarez is the principal at Western High School.

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