Westminster High School
Principals Newsletter - Winter 2012
Westminster High School Demonstrates Continued Growth
As the theme has been over the past few years, Westminster High School continues to demonstrate growth in many areas throughout the school. We continue to see further gains in academic achievement thus greater opportunities for our students. Earlier this month, we received our official state accountability progress report which indicated that our API score grew another 8 points this year. Our API score is now at the all-time high of 798. This marks the thirteenth consecutive year that WHS has demonstrated positive growth on its API score. During this time span, our API score has increased 245 points which is the most growth of all the outstanding schools in our district. Due to our continued API growth, we were awarded a perfect 10 out of 10 in our similar schools ranking. Westminster High School is now at the top of the list when compared to schools with similar demographics. Additionally, the percentage of students passing the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), the first time they take the test, rose once again-90% of our students passed the English-Language Arts portion and 92% passed the mathematics portion. Both of these numbers are well above the state average.
In addition to the growth we have seen in these traditional indicators of academic achievement, we have also made positive strides in our college and career readiness indicators. We use measures such as Advanced Placement data, a-g information, SAT and PSAT data to measure how well our students are being prepared for college or the workforce. I am happy to say that we continue to see growth in these areas as well. 43% of our graduating seniors met the a-g requirements which is an increase from the prior year and above the state average. This means that more of our students are leaving Westminster High School meeting the rigorous eligible requirements needed to enter any of the University of California or California State University schools. This past year we saw the number of students taking AP classes increase along with the number of students passing AP exams. Our SAT data indicates that more of our students took the SAT test last year then ever before, and their achievement has grown for the fourth consecutive year. One final indicator of our continued growth is the number of students taking the PSAT exam. Last year 171 sophomores and juniors took this practice SAT test and this year we recently tested 518 sophomores and juniors. This is a 203% increase from the previous year.
The tremendous academic success that our school has demonstrated has been possible through the collaborative efforts of our outstanding staff, dedicated students, and supportive parents and community members. Through the united efforts of all our shareholders, Westminster High School is as healthy as it has ever been; and it is producing more students ready for postsecondary success than ever before. I am certainly proud to say that I am a Westminster Lion, and I hope that you are as well.
Owen Crosby, Principal
Do you want to learn more about the CAHSEE? Visit the California Department of Education website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/index.asp For those who would like to provide their student with a little extra opportunity to pass, you will find Released Test Questions (RTQ)items that have been used on past CAHSEE testsat the following websites: For math RTQ, go to: h t t p : / / w w w . c d e . c a . g o v / t a / t g / h s / d o c u m e n t s /math08rtq.pdf For English RTQ, go to: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/documents/ela08rtq.pdf
Our API Grows!! Keep on increasing!
Westminster High School scored 798 on the Academic Performance Index (API). API is the measure of progress made by all schools in the state under the California Public Schools
Accountability Act (PSAA). In the spring each year, students are tested on their mastery of the California content standards for English Language Arts, math, science and social science. After all tests have been scored, a very complex formula is used to determine an API score for each school. We are extremely proud of the hard-working, dedicated Lion staff for their efforts that resulted in this tremendous progress, and congratulations to our students for their outstanding efforts in academic achievement.
WANT TO GET YOUR DRIVER LICENSE?
Take the drivers education & traffic safety class offered at Westminster High School. You could be driving in less than 3 months! This class meets all the California DMV requirements to get a driver license and you can earn 5 credits at the same time. The traffic safety class is free to all students! You must be at least 15 years old to take the class! See your Guidance Specialist to sign up today!
California High School Exit Exam Offered 4 Times This Year. In California all students are required to pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in order to be eligible to receive a diploma. The exam tests two areas of knowledge: math and English. Language Arts students must achieve a score of 350 or higher on each section of the test to earn a passing score. For WHS to satisfy federally mandated criteria under the No Child Left Behind Act, WHS 10th grade students must score Proficient or Advanced on CAHSEEa score of at least 380.
The test will be offered four times this year: Staff and students have been working hard to prepare students for the CAHSEE. In addition to the daily lessons in the classroomlessons based on content standards established by the state for each subjectadditional preparation efforts include: a) providing additional math shadow class; b) a CAHSEE acceleration class for selected students; and c) Saturday CAHSEE boot camp.
Parents can help in the effort to prepare their students for success on this important exam in the following ways: Make sure your child completes all their assigned homework especially work assigned in their English and math classes. Attend Saturday CAHSEE Bootcamp starting January 12, 2013 Students who are struggling in those two subjects can be encouraged to seek the extra help from their teachers. Additional tutoring is available in the Title I office, (K-11), before and after school. (Schedule is on the next page) Encourage your student to read at least 15 minutes a day. Research indicates that daily reading increases student academic achievement. Make sure your student gets plenty of rest in the days leading up to the test. Make sure your student eats a good breakfast before he/she comes to school on the day of the test.
If you have questions about the CAHSEE, please call Assistant Principal, Jessica Kwek, at (714)893-1381 x4404.
November 6 & 7, 2012
Only for students in grades 11 & 12 who have not yet passed or taken the exam.
February 5 & 6, 2013
Only for students in grade 12 who have not yet passed the exam.
March 12 & 13, 2013
All 10th grade students must take it. Also, students in grades 11 & 12 who have not yet passed the exam.
May 14 & 15, 2013
10th grade students who were absent for the March test. Also, students in grade 12 who have not yet passed the exam.
Be Present! Be On Time! Be On Task!
Those are the three keys to a successful academic journey. Mountains of evidence have demonstrated over and over again that students who show up for school on time and ready to learn are the most likely to succeed in school as well as in their post high school pursuits. California law requires all children between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend school. Furthermore, the law allows for students to be excused for the following reasons only: Illness Medical appointments during school hours (these should be avoided whenever possible) To attend funeral services for the students immediate family member To appear in court Performance of jury duty by the student. Observance of a religious holiday. Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer. All other absences are considered unexcused under state law, even if the parent knows where the student was and contacted the school regarding the absence. For unexcused absences, teachers have the option to allow or not allow the student to make up work missed. Students with three or more unexcused absences are considered to be a habitual truant under the California Education Code. Disciplinary consequences may include the following for habitual truants: Transfer to an alternative educational program Referral to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Referral to probation (can result in a $500 fee to the parent) Prosecution of the student, the parents, or both in court by the Orange County District Attorney
this may result in fines and legal fees Incarceration Suspension, restriction or delay of the students driving privilege Attendance matters to EVERYBODY in the community. Increased learning, greater academic achievement, brighter social prospects, a better economic future, and less delinquencythere are among the countless benefits that accompany regular or increased student attendance. Parents play an important role in how students cope with school and the decisions they make. Studies confirm that strong relationships between parents and students and parents and schools are key factors in promoting high student attendance and decreasing the likelihood of dropping out of school at any level. For more informatio