A Visiting Committee of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation Commission (WASC) completed their mid-cycle visit of Duarte High School on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
At the end of their three day visit observing in classrooms and speaking with students, staff and parents, the Committee members shared at the public read out session how impressed they were with the significant progress and meaningful staff development they had detected, especially in the areas of technology, Writing Across the Communities, Rigorous Curriculum Design, and engaging instructional strategies they noted had served to promote student learning.
“The Visiting Committee’s commendations validate the heightened focus on academic rigor the DHS administrators and staff have worked diligently to set in place so that our students are prepared for college, career and life as our district mission states,” said School Board President, Reyna Diaz.
The Visiting Committee also applauded all members of the school for creating a welcoming and safe campus with student feedback reflecting a “family” atmosphere. They acknowledged the school for creating a comprehensive plan for aligning content to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and literacy standards.
School Board Member Ken Bell shared, “As I sat there listening to the WASC committee members give their summation comments of their latest evaluations of the DHS staff, I was very proud. They were very complementary about what they observed. There was significant progress, especially in the peer tutoring and the overall campus atmosphere. They made a statement about the family atmosphere that was very evident.
“I could not help but think how important the high school is to DUSD. This is our flag ship institution for our school district. It is the facility that demonstrates the culmination of all we do for our students to prepare them for the world and the work force for tomorrow. I could not but reflect how proud I am to have had 5 children to have been educated in this school district. My children have been well prepared for the journey of life and the working world. Congratulation to Dr Mark Sims and his fantastic staff for the outstanding job they have done.”
Duarte High School will continue to focus on EL student achievement and monitoring, as well as creating common formative assessments in order to utilize the data to support the interventions in their unique Peer Tutoring model.
Members of the Visiting Committee were the same that also participated in the WASC visit in 2014. They stated they were amazed and impressed with the changes that have been put in place in such a short time.
After hearing the Visiting Committee’s report, School Board Member Reverend Doug Edwards stated,
“Some of the best Education in San Gabriel Valley is being served up fresh at Duarte High. It is being prepared and delivered by talented, creative staff with lots of local ingredients. The quality is never been better and the critics are raving about the changes. Common Core has never looked so appealing nor achieved such recognition.
“The WASC visit confirms what is becoming known across the region, that if you want a great high school education that prepares students for success in life, Duarte is the place!
“Just wait until the Fall when our menu expands to include some of the best performing arts education in the nation!”
The final recommendation from the WASC commission is expected in June.