Opinion: Education 411: Laurel High students make strides every year

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“Improving the world, one student at a time” is the motto of Laurel High School.

We are a community of learners with a focus on helping our students attain the skills necessary to transition to college and ultimately to prepare our students for independent living.

We have many activities throughout the year designed to complement and enhance the academic opportunities offered to our students.

Our school year is divided into six, six-week “cycles.”

I am so proud of the effort our students put forth each and every day and at Laurel we reward those efforts every six weeks at our Cycle Award ceremony.

For example, in February, at our Cycle 3 award event, we were able to congratulate many students who demonstrated superior accomplishments including: two students who earned their diploma, a student who completed 30 credits in one cycle, two students who had perfect attendance and an award for a student who is always positive regardless of any personal obstacles.

Our local partners in the community play a big role in helping honor Laurel students, and for that, we are extremely grateful.

At Laurel, we believe it is important to build character and show concern for others in their community. To that end, we have developed a relationship with McGaugh Elementary School special needs students.

Earlier this year our students worked side by side with one of the special education classes helping students create an artistic expression of a book they had read together in class.

Being strong academic achievers is at the top of our Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (or ESLRs).

At the end of the first semester, our students participated in the 2nd Annual Laurel Alive and On Stage event. Students performed several short plays based on myths they were reading in their English class following a Readers Theatre format.

By utilizing the Readers Theatre format students can improve their reading skills.

Acting out dialogue (rather than just memorizing lines) forces the reader to work more closely with the text to project and interpret meaning into the reading experience.

As a result, students have the ability to gain improvement in vocabulary, comprehension and retention.

Research has shown that Readers Theatre can help students develop their reading fluency, word choice and comprehension.

Helping our students become strong candidates for employment and post-secondary education is another one of our ESLRs.

In our Discovery course, students prepare rigorously for this transition.

This dynamic class helps students navigate all aspects of the college registration process; it prepares them for financial independence.

Every student is required to design an individual budget and fill out the FAFSA form (which is needed for student aid or scholarships for college).

This course teaches our students career skills by encouraging them to take the ASVAB (career exploration test), by learning resume writing skills, by asking students to participate in a job shadowing experience and by having students practice applying for a job complete with a letter of recommendation and a mock interview.

Laurel High School’s mission is to enable all students to earn a high school diploma and attain our Expected Schoolwide Learning Results. The Laurel Knights are well on the road towards meeting that goal.

Sherry Kropp is superintendent of Los Alamitos Unified School District.

Opinion: Education 411: Laurel High students make strides every year