Welcome back as we get 2019 started off with the beginning of a new term! I hope everyone was able to enjoy some rest and relaxation over the break to get recharged as we return to the routine of school for the start of second semester.
With the end of the calendar year comes the release of several school data points used as metrics to help schools identify areas of strength within current programming and guide our work going forward where improvements can be made. The first of these metrics is our graduation rate. Here at Southwest the graduation rate for the class of 2018 was 94.9% for the 452 students served. By comparison, the graduation rate for the class of 2017 was 93.9% for 411 students served and in 2016 it was 93.3% for 436 students served.
While we know that perpetual growth is challenging and difficult to sustain, we take great pride in the work that we do for students and we are pleased to see that as our enrollment has grown, we have continued to maintain a strong graduation rate. Our staff are life-long learners who are driven to continually seek opportunities to improve by engaging in purposeful reflection. This information will help us with that. We know that complacency is dangerous so we will dig into the data to evaluate the programs and processes that are helping us achieve our goals while also objectively identifying areas where we are not hitting our objectives so that we can pivot with purpose towards innovative ways to meet the needs of all of our students.
A second metric that was recently released by the Nebraska Department of Education was our AQuESTT rating. This is the accountability system used by NDE to evaluate schools and it stands for Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow. AQuESTT looks at school systems as they align with the six tenets of Positive Partnerships, Relationships and Success, Transitions, Educational Opportunities and Access, College Career and Civic Ready, Assessment and Educator Effectiveness. Schools are given a rating of 1-4 and this year we received a 3. Just as with our graduation rate, we will use the results of our evaluation to expand upon the programs that are proving to be effective at supporting students and identify areas where we may have gaps in success so that we can make changes to improve our programming and the corresponding student outcomes.
Our focus is always to strive for excellence in our craft. I often remind students and staff that we will always celebrate success, but we should expect excellence from ourselves and from those we work with each and every day.
As we reflect on 2018 while preparing for 2019, we are again reminded that none of the work we do would be possible without such a wonderful community dedicated to supporting all of our Silver Hawks. Thank you all for your support during the first semester. We look forward to carrying our momentum forward into second semester.
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.