EXCELS

The School Profile

The first step in our process was the development of the school profile. We used the following sources for this profile.

We surveyed parents, all 5th and 6th grade students, and all staff to gain views and opinions about Highland Academy and how our school could be improved. The survey was given to all parents. Approximately 75% of last year's sixth grade graduates were contacted; 25% moved or had no current telephone.

We studied the goals of the Omaha Public Schools, trends in education on a national basis, and sought other information about highly successful schools.

Data from the California Achievement Testing, Benchmark testing, success with OIP objectives, and overall student achievement were analyzed to reveal our areas of strengths and weaknesses.

 

Summary of Parents, Students and Staff Surveys

Parents, students and staff agreed that learning to get along with people from different backgrounds and learning about multicultural and gender issues are important and that Highland has been successful in these areas.

All groups identified study habits as an area for improvement.

Learning to read well and critically was identified by all groups as a high priority. Staff indicated that student performance in this area should improve.

Concern about issues related to computers and other technology was identified by parents and staff; concerns were especially noted in the comment section of the survey.

Learning to write and communicate clearly was identified as a need by all groups.

Learning to manage conflict and make good choices were identified as a priority by all three groups and as an area where there was a need for improved student performance.

Study habits and setting priorities were viewed as important by all three groups. Comments by parents and staff reflected concerns about study habits and goal setting.

Recognition of personal successes and accomplishments was viewed as a strength by all groups.

 

Conclusions of the School Profile Team

Expectation for academic achievement must be maintained and applied to all students.

Study skills need to be developed to enable students to succeed academically and promote life-long learning.

Being able to read well and critically needs to be an area of major focus. Communication both orally and in written language needs to be emphasized.

Basic skill areas need to be reinforced throughout the curriculum.

Students need to further develop interpersonal relationship skills such as conflict management, decision-making, and accepting responsibility and be able to transfer those skills beyond the school setting.

Technology, especially in the area of computer literacy, needs to be emphasized with more opportunities for hands-on experiences.

Due to the many multicultural backgrounds at Highland Academy, the entire school population and community viewed diversity as a strength.

 

Mission Statement for Highland Academy

Highland Academy is responsible for meeting the challenge of providing a comprehensive educational program in an atmosphere that is open, concerned, and responsive to the needs of students and the community. The following statements express the philosophy that guided Highland Academy in formation of its goals and objectives:

We believe...

  • all students have an inherent right to an education that will enable them to reach their highest possible intellectual, social, physical, and ethical development.
  • education must concentrate on the complete development of students as individuals who achieve well in reading comprehension and written and oral communication.
  • the responsibility of education in a democracy is to make it possible for all citizens to understand themselves and the world about them, so that they can live effectively in the world of expanding experiences and constant change related to the use of computers and related technology.
  • education requires systematic and sustained effort by students, staff, parents and the community to develop interpersonal relationship skills.

 

Focus Areas

After comparing the Mission Statement with the Student Profile, the following focus areas for learning were approved by the School Planning Council as a basis for strategic planning.

Student Achievement

  • Reading comprehension
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Use of computers and related technology

Student Participation

  • Study skills
  • Interpersonal relationship skills

 

School Learning Goals

Based on the five focus areas for Highland Academy, the following goals have been selected for student learning:

Achievement Goals

Goal 1

Students will increase their ability to read for meaning and to think critically about what is read.

Goal 2

Students will demonstrate improved written and oral communication skills in all areas of the curriculum.

Goal 3

Students will increase proficiency in the use of computers and related technology.

Participation in Learning Goals

Goal 4

Students will improve study skills to increase academic achievement.

Goal 5

Students will demonstrate interpersonal skills, focusing on conflict management, decision-making and accepting responsibility, according to the expectations established in the Highland Citizenship Plan and life skills goals.