The Big Picture: A Strategic Plan
Grand Canyon University
October 12, 2010
To any prospective parent, a school needs to present all the facts about itself, so as the parent may make the choice that is best for their child. Thirty years ago, when I was in school. There was no concern about scores, diversity, etc. You just went to your local elementary, middle and high school. Today parents are much more informed and curious about where their child is going to go. To some parents, it is quite important to have their children attend a culturally diverse school. “There is a richness that comes from students working side by side with others who are not of the same cookie-cutter mold,” notes Jean Snell. (Great
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It has proved to be a tremendous success. The school has seen a vast improvement in this community building process. There are now outreach groups made up of staff and both groups of parents that are going into the lower socio-economic neighborhoods to talk about Davidson and what is needed from both sides to improve this relationship. When I first came to Davidson, the gap between these two groups (Caucasian and Latino) was huge. The principal was basically focused on meeting the needs of the Caucasian’s and ignoring the needs of those that needed it most. The lack of empathy was the key cause in the CST scores in dropping. He implemented no intervention or support programs to help those who really needed it. He was so afraid of “white flight” that he totally ignored the Latino community. The staff is made up of 48 teachers. The class sizes are on average 24:1, except the 6th grade core, which is at 20:1. The staff is also made up of 98% NCLB compliant teachers, with all 98% deemed highly qualified. DMS has been in program improvement (PI) for six years now. It is only because the state’s requirements for level 1 ELD kids are so unrealistic. We are constantly getting kids throughout the school year who come from Mexico or Central America, unable to speak English and often with very little formal education. Theses kids are then asked to participate in the CST and their scores are what constantly bring the scores down.