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I’d like to take a moment to deviate from my monthly look at the work we do as a part of our School Improvement Process to highlight a few of the many bright spots that helped 2016 close out on a positive note for our school and our district.
LPS released their district and building level graduation rates and our graduation rate as a district rose slightly to 85.6 percent for the class of 2016 compared to 85.2 percent the previous year. The LPS rate is calculated for students who start in LPS as ninth graders and graduate in four years.
Our graduation rate here at Southwest rose slightly, increasing to 93.3 percent for the class of 2016 compared to 92.7 percent for the class of 2015. The class of 2016 was also the largest class of seniors to come through LSW since 2013 and was forty-one students larger than the class of 2015.
We are always happy to see our graduation rate go up as a school and as a district but our commitment to improvement remains the same either way. We maintain our expectation of excellence by reflecting on our practices, maximizing our strengths and exploring new ways to improve how we meet the ever-changing needs of our students. That will always be the case.
Another positive note of recognition announced in December was that LPS was one of two districts in Nebraska to be included on the 7th Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll. To earn the distinction, a school district must, "simultaneously achieve increases in access to Advanced Placement® courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP® students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam. AP District Honor Roll recipients are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.”
We take a lot of pride in providing our students with wide array of Advanced Placement courses to choose from here at Southwest. While the potential to earn college credit is a great opportunity for students, the most meaningful value comes in the form of the rigorous, college-level work that students experience in Advanced Placement courses to help prepare them for their post-secondary education.
A final positive note of thanks goes out to everyone who helps support the LSW Adopt-A-Hawk program. Our students, staff and families originally established this program as a way to give back to Silver Hawks in need of some extra help and support beyond the classroom. Our community has maintained a strong commitment to this program that I am extremely proud of. Examples of support for the program include a $3,000 donation from our booster club, Thanksgiving meals donated to families from local business partners, vendors who donated at least 25 percent of their sales from the annual Holiday Boutique, and several donations to the LSW Fund for Excellence through the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools. These are just a few examples of the generosity that takes place within our community. It takes a village to raise a child, and we are humbled and grateful to be surrounded by such a caring community.
Thank you for making 2016 a great year, and we look forward to continuing our celebrations of success and expectation of excellence into 2017.
Mike Gillotti – Principal
“Southwest High School Mission Statement—Lincoln Southwest High School will inspire an academic, creative, and flexible learning environment. Students, faculty, staff, and patrons will be challenged as a COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS to reach their maximum potential in a safe, caring, multicultural, and technological environment.
The Lincoln Public Schools District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status or economic status in its programs, activities and employment.