Principal's Message

 

Mr. Sean Gorman

Mr Sean Gorman
 

Principal’s Corner
(Originally featured in the Gloucester City News)

New Jersey's Department of Education releases their "School Performance Summary" Report each year to provide families, educators and the public valuable information about how a school is doing across many elements.  In the guide to these reports, the Department of Education encourages families, educators and broader community members to use the performance reports to help start conversations by asking questions such as, 'How is our school doing relative to other schools?'"  Although these statistical analyses have their shortcomings, it's important for us as a school community to be transparent and proactive about data that highlights our strengths and points to some areas in need of improvement.

      There are 31 public high schools throughout both Camden and Gloucester Counties (not including technical and charter schools).  The 2016-2017 School Performance Summaries provide insights about our last school year.  Of the 31 high schools, we have the 5th highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students.  Despite our socioeconomic challenges, GHS ranks 7th out of 31 high schools in total English Proficiency and 11th in total Math Proficiency on our state standardized tests. Our school's participation in college readiness activities indicates that we are progressing quickly and surpassing State averages. Our PSAT participation rate is 100%.  Now we have turned our efforts into raising the number of GHS students taking the SAT. We are encouraged by our current school year data and should improve immensely in this metric by next year. Gloucester High's 49.8% Advanced Placement course participation rate and 44.5% AP test rate are above the state averages.

     The greatest value in this data is its potential to exhibit the "why" behind many of our focuses and efforts.  Our continual evaluation of our curriculum will provide benefits moving forward.  We work diligently  to ensure that our curriculum aligns with national standards (including content and design on the SAT and AP assessments). We are adding Engineering and Computer Science courses to ensure that our program offerings remain "second to none."  We have added four AP courses and three Pre-AP courses at GHS and I am proud to announce that our staff will teach AP Statistics, AP Environmental Science, and AP Human Geography for the first time in the 2018-19 school year, bringing the total number of AP courses offered at GHS to 13.  Although our graduation rate took a slight dip, we hope to remedy that by offering free summer school courses, evening credit completion programs, and aggressive expansion of our State-endorsed Option II program (permitting students to earn credit for "structured learning experiences" including college course completion while in high school -our Rowan College at Gloucester County partner program), employment, internships, and volunteerism.

     Some of the initiatives that are most critical for us right now result from the need for us to improve the percentage of our graduates who remain enrolled in college sixteen months after high school graduation.  Last year's data indicates that 49.3% of graduates from the Class of 2016 were still enrolled.  This problem is not unique to Gloucester.  Bill Gates has said that “U.S. college dropout rates are tragic." Only 54.8% of American students who enroll in college have graduated within six years.  Our AP program has expanded  to provide all of our students with the opportunity to prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead of them college by taking on the most rigorous high school courses offered nationally in the content areas of a student's choice.  Additionally, this is the second year that a bus leaves our school two days a week to provide seniors with the opportunity to enroll in two courses at Rowan College at Gloucester County at no cost to them or their family.  Our commitment to the AVID program promises to increase the number of local students who not only enroll in college but achieve a college diploma. Our commitment to the Give Something Back Foundation has already resulted in 7 current GHS sophomores and juniors achieving the promise of a full college scholarship. This program is exceptional.  Finally, our weekly electronic parent newsletter, alumni spotlight, and college acceptance celebrations all aim to further cultivate a "college going culture.”  We are calculating all decisions and efforts towards making GHS a nationally-recognized school in a host of positive areas.

       The Department of Education "believes that the greatest potential to improve school performance and student outcomes is through parents, educators, and community members working together."