I have been working at Carson High School for eight years. My first thought when I started working here was, "Wow, this school is huge." How in the world can it be a good school being so large? Are kids just numbers? Do they know their teachers, and vice versa? Can a school this large offer competitive academic programs? How can they keep track of all these students and motivate them to do well?
And the thought even crossed my mind, do kids get lost in the halls? My background of teaching had been from a small rural school where everyone knew everyone.
It didn't take me long to realize that Carson High School, even as large as it is, has incredible success with its students and staff. Therefore, let me share with you the banner year of success we had this past year and why CHS is considered one of the top comprehensive high schools in the State of Nevada.
Under the No Child Left Behind Law, schools are measured by the amount of Adequate Yearly Progress that is being met. Only four schools out of 12 Northwestern Nevada 4A high schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2010-11 school year and I am proud to tell you that CHS is one of those.
This is no small feat, and I am honored to work alongside so many highly qualified instructors who spent endless time and energy helping students find success. Here are some of the highlights of CHS's success and progress:
• The state average graduation rate is 70.3 percent, but here at CHS we averaged 88.6 percent last year.
• The State average dropout rate is at 4.2 percent , but here at CHS we are well below that at 1.8 percent.
• On average, of the diplomas issued by all other schools in the state, 16.7 percent of them are advanced diplomas, but here at CHS, 45.6 percent of the diplomas issued are advanced diplomas (an advanced diploma means a student has earned 24 or more credits and only 22.5 are required for graduation).
On top of these statistics, what you should know is our students are challenging themselves daily to do well in school. CHS offers nine advanced-placement courses and another 21 honors classes, targeting our college- bound students. On average, those classes have 25 to 30 students in each of them.
Recent accreditation student survey results show that 88 percent of students believe teachers at CHS have high expectations for their academic success and 77 percent have high expectations for themselves.
Our school offers a multitude of competitive programs and by the large numbers in those classes; students are challenging themselves and not taking the easy way out.
Eight years ago, I was unsure at first about this large institution, but I can safely say now, with statistics to back me up, CHS is one of the best high schools in the state and an amazing place to learn, teach, and grow!
Freedom to Read
The CHS Library is promoting awareness of the First Amendment by celebrating Banned Books Week this week.
This annual event is cosponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, and several other organizations that are concerned about censorship and the protection of intellectual freedom. It is celebrated across the United States by drawing attention to actual and attempted bannings in schools and libraries.
Banned Books Week is the perfect time to teach students the importance of the First Amendment and its implications for a free society. It is based on the concept of intellectual freedom, defined by the American Library Association as "the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular."
A display has been set up in the library highlighting some of the most frequently banned and challenged books. Included in the display are several important works that are part of the curriculum, including "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and "A Brave New World" by Aldus Huxley.
For more information on Banned Books Week and to see a list of frequently challenged books, go to www.ala.org/bbooks.
This week's senior spotlight is on Justin Boyce. Justin has a weighted grade point average of 3.7. He is an excellent student and an integral part of our school.
He is a member the CHS Math Tutor team, involved in numerous church activities and involved in fundraisers for cancer. Justin plans to attend WNC and transfer to UNR and would like to become either a radiologist or architect. Carson High School is proud of the contributions Justin has made to our school.
Answer to last week's fact: Michelle Lewis, dean of students.
New Fact: In 2006, she was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Mother-Daughter division for the U.S. Tennis Association.
• Angila Golik is a government and sociology teacher at CHS and a member of Senator Pride.