Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
I am truly looking forward to the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. After reflecting on data from the 2011-2012 school year, I am proud of how well Red Jacket High School students continue to do compared to their peers across the state and even the country. As you may know, Red Jacket was recently named one of the Best High Schools in America by US News and World Report. One factor in this ranking is participation and performance in college level courses. Though we’re a small school, we are able to offer students many opportunities to earn college credit in high school. In 11-12, nearly one-third of Red Jacket students participated in the six AP classes and seven Gemini classes we offer. Parents of college students can tell you that taking these courses often leads to substantial savings when students enroll in college. Another factor in our ranking is our performance on state tests. Last year, six of the ten Regents Exams administered at Red Jacket saw proficiency ratings (65% or above) over90% and four of ten saw mastery rates (85% or above) over 40%. Those statistics are great, and we will work hard to make sure that they continue to improve in the coming years. More importantly, though,we will continue to work to ensure that students graduate from Red Jacket emotionally and intellectually ready for colleges and careers.
To that end, the Red Jacket High School Building Council, a shared decision-making team made up of students, staff, and parents, has developed three overarching goals for the12-13 school year:
- We will focus on making Red Jacket High School an attractive, safe, and respectful learning environment for all students.This year, new legislation called the Dignity for All Students Act goes into effect. This law demands that we redouble efforts to rid the school environment of harassing behavior that negatively impacts academic performance and makes students fear being at school. I encourage you to visit our website throughout the year to learn more about what our school will do to make RJ a better place to be.
- Red Jacket students should strive for academic excellence by participating in challenging course work. They will not settle for less than they are capable of achieving. In today’s job market, it isn’t enough to merely graduate with a high school diploma. Colleges and employers are looking for students who have challenged themselves by going beyond minimum requirements in math, science, and foreign languages. It is also important that students don’t settle for a 65. This year, many of our initiatives will focus on encouraging students to take more rigorous courses and put forth more effort in the courses in which they are enrolled.
- Red Jacket staff will applaud academic and social leaders in the student body. We have great students at Red Jacket, but we often focus on negative issues. This year, we will continue to work toward making sure that students who exhibit exemplary behavior and excel in classes are recognized.
James A. Niedermeier
High School Principal