School moves ahead with WASC recommendations
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
Apr 26, 2012 | 940 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Del Puerto High School, the local school district’s alternative school, is moving ahead with recommendations from its Western Association of Schools and Colleges team visit March 5 through 7.

While the school received high marks for certain attributes, it was told to improve its reading scores and its math program, especially algebra.

Del Puerto Principal Tonya Bibbins told Patterson Joint Unified School District trustees April 2 that the school was trying to boost student’s reading achievement, increase attendance and motivation and gain more meaningful parent involvement.

On the whole, Bibbins and staff were happy with the school’s WASC self-study report, a document that evaluates all of a school’s programs with input from students, parents and school staff members.

“It is in their stamp of approval that validates the programs you provide,” Bibbins said. “We are really ecstatic. Just like any other visit, they give you the thumbs up and the things you need to work on.”

A WASC team of educators and retired educators visited the campus for two days, entering classrooms and meeting with teachers, parents and the principal.

The WASC report determined that students should have individualized learning plans, so parents and students know what they must do to complete academic goals. The English language arts program should include a reading specialist to work with students who read below a sixth-grade reading level, the report concluded. The math program also needed to be expanded to include an algebra-readiness course.

On a positive note, Del Puerto increased its numbers to an 89.92 percent graduation rate in the 2010-11 school year — way up from its 64 percent graduation rate in the 2007-08 year. Other commendations included praise for strong leadership and a teaching staff that provides attention to the personal and academic needs of the students.

Del Puerto was lauded for its well-organized enrollment and transfer procedures that include an orientation session and academic and behavioral expectations. Senior class projects were praised for guiding students through developing job skills and exploring career options and for giving them the opportunity to fulfill community service requirements.

WASC accreditation is required for a school to obtain state Cal-Grants. The University of California college system also requires public and private high schools to be accredited by WASC.

Del Puerto has had four principals and expanded its facilities since the WASC team visited the school six years ago. The administration and office have moved, and an enlarged cafeteria is in place. One classroom has been converted to a computer lab, and new classrooms have been added. The school also has gained math and English teachers and an art teacher. In addition, Del Puerto students may now earn credit for community service, and a community service requirement has been added to the existing senior project graduation requirement.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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