Wow, it’s already December! I guess the old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” really is true! We have had a great year so far. Our staff has been working harder than ever and as a result student achievement has continued to increase. Great things are happening at David Douglas High School!
As most of you know the requirements for a student to graduate are continuing to rise while at the same time accountability for raising overall achievement at the school level is increasing as well. As a result, we must do everything we can to provide our students with the best education possible so that they can graduate on time and be successful at whatever they choose to do beyond high school.
Besides putting into place several intervention and enrichment programs we have instituted a new policy that raises the bar for students who must make up a core class due to failing. In the past students who had failed a course had three options to make it up. They could retake the class during the regular school day, take after school credit retrieval, or complete a two-week summer school course. What we have noticed over the past few years is an increase in the number of students who are gaining core credit as a result of attending a shortened computerized course rather than during the regular class. Many students simply have given up during the teacher taught class and opted for summer school. Given the increasingly high demand for academic achievement we can no longer use a two-week summer course to replace the learning that takes place in an 18-week course.
Our policy, known as the 50/70 Rule, simply puts a minimum grade percentage and attendance level on a core course. Students who do not achieve above a 50% in a class and/or attend at a 70% or higher rate will not be allowed to make up a core course in credit retrieval. The reason for this is that we feel the student has not demonstrated a sufficient level of competence in a given course if they have not gained at least half of the points. We hope that by setting this limit students will continue to work hard in class throughout the entire semester and thereby gain enough knowledge to make credit retrieval a viable option.
Graduating from high school is becoming increasingly rigorous. Gone are the days of merely gaining a certain number of credits. Today’s students are required to demonstrate their knowledge by successfully passing tests and/or work samples as well. This demands a certain competency be attained within a classroom. We feel that the implementation of the 50/70 Rule will, in the long run, help students achieve that knowledge base.