Editor's note: This is the sixth report in a seven-part series on the goals of each campus of the Graham Independent School District.
Graham High School has a long list of priorities for the 2013-14 school year, all of which focus on increasing the academic achievement of its students.
Teachers are achieving this through a number of ground-breaking techniques, employing research-based methods with a focus on higher-order thinking instruction through initiatives such as Project Lead the Way and a method informally known as classroom flipping, all concepts designed to prepare students for the next level of education.
“If (students) want to get college level coursework they can at every level,” said Robert Loomis, principal at Graham High School. “As a freshman (in English), you start off with Pre-AP, and as a sophomore you take a Pre-AP class. As a junior you take the real AP class, which is a college board, college approved class, in a very high level.”
Graham High School also continues to foster a relationship with North Central Texas College, a two-year local university offering college level curricula to high schooers in the form of Dual Credit agreement.
“For the most part, students will follow an AP tract, or a dual credit tract,” Loomis said.
Additionally, GHS offers an engineering class and biomedical science class in a program called Project Lead the Way, a national program forming partnerships among schools that allows students to shape their own learning. The teacher in the classroom acts more as a guide than the main source of instruction.
“If you come to our school and you are a good math and science student, (the engineering class) is the place to go,” Loomis said. “Plus, you take those AP classes or the college level dual credit classes. It's tough and rigorous. They'll create a notebook with their coursework in it, and some state colleges in Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas will accept those classes and give you three hours of college engineering credit.”
For students interested in the medical field, GHS offers its biomedical sciences class.
“It' a good program, solid in nursing, terminology and teaches students how to look at things differently,” Loomis said.
Along the lines of improving education, GHS has data-driven intervention for students who have been identified as having gaps in learning.
Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.