Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Principals on the Class of 2008

Today, State Superintendent Terry Bergeson asked a group of high school principals to talk with her about the pending graduation of the class of 2008. This was a great opportunity for AWSP members to share their thoughts on the critical issues facing their schools, students and staff in the wake of the first graduation of kids under the (now not so) new graduation requirements. Today's participants included:
  • Stacey Locke, principal, Eisenhower High (Yakima P.S.)
  • Whitney Meissner, principal, Chimacum Middle/High (Chimacum S.D.)
  • Vicki Puckett, principal, Woodinville High (Northshore S.D.)
  • Scott Seaman, principal, Tumwater High (Tumwater S.D.)
These folks were candid with the superintendent and shared some gritty examples of students on the bubble - and not just because of WASL deficiencies. In fact, credit shortages are more likely to prevent kids from graduating in June than WASL. Here's some of the exchanges I captured during today's session:
  • "There's been a lot of extra work on the part of assistant principals and counselors to track each member of this class."
  • "There are two things that keep me awake at night: I'm afraid I've missed someone and the fact that WASL tracking and administration is a full-time job."
  • "It feels like the kids [this year's seniors] are really taking this seriously. It's interesting to watch this year's juniors and sophomores and how they've all of a sudden stepped into the planning."
  • "We've put a lot of responsibility on these kids and have tried to build the structures to help them. "
  • "The focus we've had on these students for the last 12 years -- on trying to prepare them for success once they leave -- it's clearer than it's ever been before."
It's clear from listening to these leaders that they deeply care about the success of every student in their schools and that they are concerned for the adults in the system who are trying to make sure no students slip through the cracks.

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