Dr. Sandra Martinez - Superintendent
Looking back at the successes and challenges of the 2011-12 school year provides a clear picture of where we are and helps us determine where we go from here during the new school year. The successes are the result of a team effort. Foremost are our students. Our kids are as good as any kids anywhere. Our goal is always to put the interests of our children first in every decision that is made. This is the reason why the School City of Whiting has received wonderful support from the Board of School Trustees, the teachers and staff, and our school/business community. All have worked together to provide a quality education for all our children and this should be applauded. They all give so freely of their time and expertise to support and enhance the many facets of school life.
I’d like to briefly share with you where we are with the School City of Whiting. This is a phenomenally good urban school district. In fact, it may be one of the best in the state of Indiana. This past year, under the leadership of our principals, all schools made Adequate Yearly Progress, received Exemplary or Recognized school ratings, andincreased ISTEP+ and ECA student performance. We had more students taking dual-credit and Advanced Placement courses through our community colleges and local universities than in any other time int he history of our district. The WHS graduation rate surpassed the state average and the drop-out rate was below the state average. Our curriculum is transitioning into an alignment with the common core standards. We continue to create new opportunities for students who are at risk. These programs include credit recovery, new career technology courses that are designed for 21stcentury skills, and increased technology such as wireless mobile labs, IPads,and SmartBoards. We also make sure we are serving our higher-achieving students by offering programs such as Project Lead the Way, the Science Olympiad Program starting at the elementary level and offering summer enrichment courses. Our expectations are not fully achieved, but we continue to follow the right path.
While we should reflect on our success and give praise for these accomplishments, we should also acknowledge our challenges. Our graduation rates and drop-out rates should improve to the point where every WHS student leaves with a diploma. We have to push every student in our school district to reach their maximum potential and continually improve academically based on the state assessments. We have to continue to make changes with our curriculum so that it is rigorous and engaging. We have a hard job with a long road ahead of us. Yet,we continue to make steady progress with the help of our quality teaching staff and fine administrative leaders.
With the competition for students coming from the charter schools and voucher school programs, the School City of Whiting is on a mission to provide the best educational opportunities in Lake County so that families “choose the School City of Whiting”. With our small student enrollment, our challenging curriculum, our many extra-curricular offerings, and the safe and secure learning environment, the question is “Why not Choose Whiting?”