Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back to school...

It's Spring Break time for a lot of schools around my area. Most colleges and universities were closed either last week or this one, and I'm sure the elementary and secondary schools are heading for school vacation soon. So with education on the brain, I decided to do a post on good news coming out of high schools.

CBS News reported on Natalie Robinson, the new head football coach at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School in Washington, D.C. The biology and environmental sciences teacher used to play wide receiver and special teams for the D.C. Divas, the capital's pro women's football team. Robinson's students, athletes and school community seems to be behind her so far. So is her fiance, a football coach at a rival area school...

There is good news coming out of President Obama's hometown of Chicago as well. All 107 members of the Urban Prep Academy for Young Men senior class have been accepted to college. According to the Chicago Tribune, the academy is the city's only public, all-male, all African-American high school, and graduating its students to college has long been central to its mission statement. Urban Prep Academy's students come from the poorest neighborhoods in the area and are kids for whom college was simply a noun, not a goal. But incoming freshmen are assigned a college counselor immediately, and before even starting their first year, they are required to take a field trip to nearby Northwestern.

Urban Prep Academy has extended school hours and requires more English credits than most high schools in order to graduate. Loyola High School in Los Angeles, Calif., also demands its students go above and beyond. In order to graduate, the students are required to do 150 hours of community service. Over the years, the school has donated millions of hours to the area, so much so, as NBC Nightly News notes, the charities, schools, and public service organizations have come to depend on the kids' help for essential tasks.

(Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

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