Academic Innovations

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Changing a School’s Academic Culture


Like so many other schools, Indio High School struggled with helping 9th graders succeed; they were failing classes at too high a rate, having attendance problems and discipline issues, and just not being as academic as needed.

In 2008, Principal Rudy Ramirez and team decided to make freshmen a priority at Indio High School. In fall 2009, implementation of a freshman seminar course called Success 101 began with the award-winning Career Choices curriculum, providing 9th graders with the aptitudes, attitudes, and skills to be successful in school and in life.

In the ensuing years, attendance improved, discipline problems decreased, and failure rates declined. In addition, AP participation numbers went up, the graduation rate improved, and fewer students dropped out.

THE RESULTS


Indio High School has an enrollment of 1,910 students in grades 9-12. The population is 95% Hispanic with 88% eligible for free and reduced lunch. Below is some of the data that emerged in the years following the implementation of Success 101, which began in fall 2009

Graduation


Dropout Rate (four year)


9th Grade Students Ending First Semester With 50% or More Fs


Participation in AP Exams



Year

Students Taking
AP Exams


AP Exams Taken


% of Students in 10th, 11th,
and 12th Taking AP Exams
2008 (prior to start)1782469.4%
201142575625.5%
201336873126.1%
201439985927.3%
201640172823.2%

The number of 9th graders who were absent all day went from 46.3% in 2008-2009 to 17% in 2010-2011.

Overall school attendance hit 96.21% in 2015-2016.

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