Why innovate in your school? What is the real reason to change education? We have great test scores, we have great teachers, we have great students, so why do we have to change what we do? We are a top 10 school in our state, we received an OEP award for literacy scores, our ACT is one of the highest in the area, so why do we have to change what we do?
Our students were successful, data would tell you that, right? Here is some data from our first 2 years at PRHS:
We have a great number of students enrolling in AP courses.
We graduate approximately 90% of our students.
Approximately 60% of our graduates enroll in post secondary.
Our average EOC literacy scores were +80% A/P.
Our average ACT was almost 22.
So why change what we are doing? On paper we are a high achieving school. What doesn’t show there is that our school believes #ALLKIDSMATTER. We knew that out of that 60-65% enrolling in college or technical programs, only 30-35% stayed after year 1. We also knew most of the kids not enrolling in post secondary were working minimum wage jobs.
Thus the challenge: Change to help our students… Improve outcomes for all students, innovate, engage, and prepare students for the 21st Century. We have changed a lot in 3 years, here is a short summary of the journey we have taken.
Added technology to create a 1-1 environment (Chrome books)
Create a new relevant mission
Embedded professional improvement by adding master teachers and PLC’s
Creating and opening an innovative Charter High School using “School within a School” model
Focusing on critical “soft skills”, relationships and technology
Training and implementing PBL
Designing and implementing “Agency” based grading rubrics K-12
We added a 21st century “Flex Mod” Schedule for our students to improve accountability, personalized education, differentiate, and allow our students to pursue their passions!
What and awesome district leadership team we have had the privilege to work with! The most amazing part of our district is the awesome teachers who are up to the challenge to change for STUDENTS! Our teachers are willing to sacrifice their own professional comfort to create an educational environment that is student driven. We are lucky to have such “selfless” leaders for our students!
We changed to meet this mission written by our staff:
Pea Ridge High School is a College & Career Readiness institution that blends technology, innovation, education, and professional preparation in a student-centered environment emphasizing soft skills, quality teaching, and student learning.
WHY INNOVATE? TO SERVE YOUR STUDENTS. Isn’t that our job?