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    May, 2013

    Dear Families,

    I am happy to report that Nathan Hale High School is a recipient of the 2012 Washington Achievement Award for special recognition in Closing Achievement Gaps.

    This is an extraordinary accomplishment and is a direct reflection of the hard work of our students, the dedication of our teachers, and the support and guidance of our parents and families. We especially appreciate Nathan Hale’s recognition in this specific area because closing achievement gaps has been a main focus for us in improving our school. In recent years we have implemented several interventions that have improved the achievement of our students:

    • All of our staff members have engaged in numerous professional development activities to increase cultural competence as well as improve skills at effectively teaching students based on their different individual needs.
    • We have kept class sizes small in the 9th grade Academies to give all 9th graders a strong start to their high school educational experience.
    • We have provided students who need extra support in Algebra and Geometry an additional math “lab” class that they take during the school day.
    • We also have provided students with additional math instruction and practice for state assessments in our After School Homework Center.
    • We meet with students who are not achieving at expected levels to develop a plan for improving their achievement.
    • We have all 9th and 10th grade students take a full year of science in 9th grade Academies and 10th grade Integrated Studies teams and require all students to take 3 years of science.
    • Create a learning plan and provide additional after school support to students who are struggling in science.

    We would also like to thank the Nathan Hale Foundation for the funding that they have provided which has helped to bridge the gap between budget cuts and the money needed to keep our educational programs at their current high level.

    The Washington Achievement Awards (WAA) celebrate the state’s top performing schools and are sponsored by the Washington State Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. This highly selective award is based on our school’s performance on the Achievement Index and uses criteria set by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver.

    You can visit the OSPI Washington Achievement Awards site to learn more about the awards, the criteria for selection, and the Accountability Index.

    The selection process for the WAA is very rigorous and all of us can take great pride in this accomplishment.

    Take care,

    Jill Hudson, Ed.D.