We need diversity in academics so that we can get positive outcomes for all.
Currently, our school district’s sole focus on diversity has been on characteristics that none of us have control over to include one’s racial heritage and gender. Conversations and policies that result from them should address other aspects of diversity to include diversity of thought, ideas, and opinions. We should focus on improving the academic experience and directly related outcomes for all of the various groups of our students across the spectrum of lower level learners, on level learners, as well as accelerated learners. Approximately 13% of our NHCS students did not attain their learning growth objectives during the 2018-2019 school year as presented to the NHC school board in September 2021. Students who were identified as Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) comprised the largest group of our student population who did not meet their learning growth objectives. Challenging ALL of our students academically should be one of the hallmarks of our public school system. We need creative people and processes capable of employing critical thinking skills to identify programs and solutions to accomplish this while also conducting periodic reviews and evaluations that focus on more than just student demographics to define what is successful and what needs more attention. This will result collectively in increased learning opportunities for all of our students.
Achieving academic learning growth will not be successful if our schools sole focus is on lowering academic achievement standards. A variety of creative intervention strategies and programs can be created and implemented targeting different groups of students to ensure their academic needs are met and exceeded. Collaboration across our school district by identifying best practices and lessons learned by our teachers can be shared and will empower educators to find new and innovative ways that can benefit our entire student population.