WASC Wraps Up Natomas High Visit

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges committee concluded a four-day study of the Natomas High School campus last week Wednesday with a report to the school community.

This report, given by the seve-member  of the WASC committee, was presented to the “read out” attendees March 21 in the Natomas High theater.

The report commended Natomas High for its “campus culture” of educational values, ambitious goals, and strong teacher and student relationships. Student diversity was repeatedly applauded by the WASC committee.

“The dedicated and committed students and teachers at NHS who take great pride in their school and recognize the strength found in their diversity,” read the WASC report.

Natomas High School was recognized by the WASC committee for its intervention programs, after-school homework center, the PIQE program which supports parents’ connection to school, the 81-point jump in the school’s overall standardized test scores, and award-winning programs that encourage student growth such as Science Bowl, MESA, Mock Trial, Video Occupations, and various campus clubs.

“I’ve yet to visit a school as honest in their reflection as Natomas High,” said Robert Hulbert, WASC visiting committee chairman as he referred to the school’s self evaluation report, “and neither have I seen a school embark on their path for change so enthusiastically and quickly.”

Students were heartened by the report.

“The visitors had a lot of good things to say about our school and it sounds like we exceeded their expectations,” said Natomas High Senior Allison Peneda. “We should all be proud.”

WASC committee members said the goal of any school should be to provide an environment for successful student learning. The purpose of accreditation is meant to encourage standardization of secondary school programs, which helps ensure graduating high school students are prepared to attend college.

A WASC accreditation continues the trust placed in the school and the expectation to provide high quality learning opportunities, but with the added requirement that the school clearly demonstrates a continual desire for self-improvement.

“This was an opportunity for self-reflection, and WASC was a validation of that self-reflection,” said Principal John Eick, “The WASC committee did not add a single item to our agenda that we were not already working on.”

Natomas High is expected to be notified of its accreditation status by summer.

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