LHS gets 6-year accreditation, again

By Nancy Gutierrez

Lindsay High School Principal Mike Henson announced to the Lindsay Unified School District Board at the last meeting that the high school was granted a six-year term of accreditation.

This is the second year that LHS has received a six-year accreditation, the maximum amount of time a school can receive. It is an honor that many schools never get the opportunity to enjoy.

"At the end of the third year we will have a progress review," Henson said. "But that is standard for any year of accreditation."

The midterm review will consist of a written report from the school outlining progress made in implementing the school wide action plan. The action plan was created prior to the initial three-day visit from the accreditation committee. There will also be a one day visit by a two-member team.

In a letter sent to Henson from the Accrediting Commission Chair Christina Dyer, Henson and school employees were commended on the quality of instruction being offered at the school. It also stated that the six-year accreditation was the result of several laudable aspects of the school.

Henson also reported that the last two seniors needing to pass the Northwest Evaluation Assesment (NEA), after some remediation, did finally pass the test. LHS adopted the NEA as a replacement for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), which legislators postponed as a graduation requirement in July. LHS administration wanted to hold seniors accountable to a viable assessment for proficiency in state standards. They established proficiencly levels based on the CAHSEE and tested those students who had not yet passed the state exit exam. LHS seniors were required to receive a passing score in order to graduate.

"No seniors have been kept from graduation due to the exit exam. Every senior met the criteria," Henson said.

LHS administration and teaching staff are already looking at next year's enrollment. Henson said there are already 979 student requests in for next year.

He added that there are significant gains in the number of students enrolled in vocational education classes, especially in the guitar classes. There were 166 requests for the beginning guitar class. Unfortunately there is only room for approximately 120 students.

In other business:

  • The board approved the adoption of a textbook series for 9-12 grades. The series, Wright Group's McGraw Hill Fast Track textbook, is a reading intervention program that aligns with the state English language development standards. Assistant Superintendent Frances Holdbrooks said there has been a lot of success with the series while it was used at J.J Cairns Continuation High School.

  • A second reading intervention program was adopted by the board. The Scholastic Read 180 program includes software and individual instruction methods. Holdbrooks said if adopted a training session would be held in June for teachers who should be using the program. This is a state approved intervention program.

  • The board approved the application for Model Program Replication Grants for each site in the district. The grant provides funds to site employees who have been selected to attend the SB65 state conference. Conference attendance is required training for SB65 outreach consultants and principals from each site.

  • The board approved a new policy regarding the education of foster children in the district. The new policy aligns the district with a state requirement that mirrors the No Child Left Behind law regarding homeless children. The policy states that students in foster care within the district shall be provided access to educational opportunities and other services necessary to help them achieve district performance standards. It also states that decisions regarding placement of foster youth be based on the students best interest.

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