Congratulations to the T-Birds
A very memorable event happened on May 21, at the World Arena. The last graduating class of Roy J. Wasson High School tossed their mortar boards high in the air as confetti rained down on them. I have been privileged to be a part of their lives for the last three years as a Wasson staff member.
When I began I told my Freshman class that I would not retire until I saw them walk as graduating Thunderbirds. That will not happen. To all T-Birds I say remember your T-Bird traits and that "Once a T-Bird, always a T-Bird". Way to go, Class of 2013.
Brenda White, Colorado Springs
On the way to being a great school
It is with great sadness that we walk away from Wasson High School this week. With school closures happening in Chicago, targeting minorities and low income families, it is no wonder Wasson apparently had been on the chopping block for quite a while. We serve a population of students who fit into both of those categories. We've have had the privilege of being allowed to know the stories of students here at Wasson; kids who feel unloved at home, kids who have parents addicted to various substances, kids who come to school because it is a safe place.
All of the teachers at Wasson have their own stories to tell. The lives they have impacted, the students who have become part of the fabric of their classrooms, even their lives. But we also serve families who have a long history at Wasson, brothers and sisters have come before them, building a Wasson legacy.
The saddest piece of this story is that our school was making a turn-around; not only academically but culturally. Under the leadership of our principal our students were held to a higher standard both academically and socially. Boys required to actually keep their pants up, girls required to cover up their inappropriate attire, students expected to speak politely to adults and conduct themselves with dignity in the halls. In addition to a cultural change, student achievement was rising. The math department reported that after the first semester the passing rate for math was 75%-85%, unheard of in the district.
Current release of ACT scores shows an increase in scores for Wasson. The drop-out rate had been cut in half, required school testing shows gains and data has been gathered on every student every week to track student writing, the school-wide goal for Wasson for the 2012-2013 school year . Finally TAP, a nationally recognized program shown to effectively improve teacher effectiveness to improve student achievement, began to take hold this year.
So it is with sadness that we walk away from a good school on the verge of becoming a great school. It is sad that public education worships the almighty dollar and not the academic and social needs of students. Public education has become the money pot for district personnel with limited classroom experience and no regard for teaching the whole child, providing the same opportunities for all children, and never asking themselves, "Is what we are doing in the best interest of students?" It makes me think of congress, wipe the slate clean and start over with people who have pure motives and desire to serve others. I know this is a novel idea, serving others, but one I think is worthy of pursuing.
Wasson High School teachers
It is the way to the future
It is about time Colorado Springs gets on line with the rest of the civilized world when it comes to public transportation. It is the way to the future and Colorado Springs is already decades behind on the issue: reduction in traffic, fuel emission, affordable, fast, convenient for all - especially the larger number of our seniors.