In the 2007-08 school year, our high schools faced many challenges and potential changes:
- Students were required to demonstrate mastery of reading, writing, and math via the WASL or an approved alternative as a graduation requirement.
- At the state level, the Board of Education approved a
draft high-school credit framework called CORE 24 that could become mandatory depending on the Legislature's ability and willingness to fund the plan.
- The state (and our School Board, correspondingly) added another math credit to minimum graduation requirements.
- Students continued to ask for more core and elective course options offered in a variety of formats. The traditional six-period day packed with required courses did not seem to fully meet many students' needs.
- The District's community process to implement new school boundaries raised many questions about the distribution of resources and class offerings among our high schools.
- We began to evaluate best-practices for freshmen in a comprehensive high school environment in light of Pacific Freshman Campus' conversion to a middle school in 2010 and Liberty's ongoing inclusion of freshmen.
- The Superintendent proposed changing Liberty's block schedule to a traditional six-period schedule in order to offer students there daily exposure to critical core subjects. In the resulting community tumult and dialogue, it became apparent to the Superintendent and high school principals that the main objective was not about a particular bell schedule-it was about improving student learning and the optimal high school experience.
Connecting the dots on all of these issues, the Superintendent called for the District to unite to study high schools in their entirety. His original "Plan and Timeline" have been adjusted as the OHSE Leadership Team has refined its process and focus, but the ultimate goal remains the same: To produce a philosophy that guides our approach to learning, decision-making, and allocation of resources to shape a quality high school experience to meet our students' unique needs and prepare them for post-graduation opportunities.