With term one officially in the books, term two brings with it an opportunity to reflect on our goals as a school and as individuals that were set forth at the beginning of the year. As a part of that reflection we have lots and lots of data points available to us. We can sort through spreadsheets with failing grades, truancies, tardies and the various levels of proficiency that exist within every area of the curriculum. We use a lot of local data on a regular basis to help guide our instruction and our school wide systems.
This is also the time of year when we review the data that we are responsible for as a part of the federal and statewide external accountability process. Late October signifies the beginning of peak “data season” when different data points are released to the public each month through the end of the calendar year. The next such report is our Adequate Yearly Progress information. Given that the federal expectation is for 100% of students to reach 100% proficient in math and reading, we were not surprised to find ourselves listed as a “Not Met” and “Needs Improvement” school. In the coming months we will also learn about our most recent graduation rates, and how we faired as a part of AQuESTT, a new statewide accountability system that stands for Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow.
With all of the data coming at us, it is important to remember that education is about people. In a highly individualized field, standardized metrics only tell part of the story. Students have different areas of strength and weakness. They have different life experiences that shape their resiliency and their hope. Our focus is always to meet students where they are and develop their knowledge and skill set going forward. I’m very proud of the level of rigor and the instructional practices that take place on a daily basis here at LSW. I’m even more proud of the work our staff does to connect to students as individuals. Our commitment to our community goes far beyond the content that we teach. We certainly want 100% of our students to graduate on time and to be proficient in reading and math. We also want them to develop other skills, such as how to handle adversity, to demonstrate good judgment, and to challenge themselves and those around them to think beyond a single perspective. As we work to achieve these goals, we will continue to use the data points available to us as tools for reflection and progress monitoring, but this will always be done within the context provided by the relationships we develop with each student we encounter. This ensures that we remain focused on supporting the needs of the whole student, not just the parts connected to a data point.
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.