Principal's Message

 

Mr. Sean Gorman

Mr Sean Gorman
 

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

     Another school year is upon us. I look forward to sharing the developments and shared successes at our high school.  Each school year, we enthusiastically introduce new curricular offerings to our students.  This year’s new offerings include course work in Forensics, Statistics, The Holocaust & Genocide, and Trends in Modern United States History, as well as expansions of our Pre-AP, TV & Film Production, Weight Training, Aerobic Fitness, and Engineering programs.  Additionally, we have never been more eager to introduce a new program at GHS than we are of the AVID program this year.

     AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.  The program was created in 1980 by a former English teacher in California with 32 students in her high school.  AVID now impacts more than 1.5 millions students in 6,000 schools across the world.  The program’s mission is to “close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.”  AVID is designed to primarily focus on serving students in the “academic middle” (with the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard) by requiring them to enroll in rigorous course work and providing them with additional support in critical areas such as organization and study skills, reading, writing, analysis and critical thinking.  These critical areas delve deeply to hone the crucial skills necessary to achieve a college diploma.  In its first year at GHS, the AVID program features a cohort of 9th grade students who applied and interviewed for acceptance into the program.  These students have pledged to take at least one honors or AP level course throughout their high school career and to enroll in the daily AVID elective class.  The AVID elective class features lead instruction provided by one of our staff members supplemented by small-group instruction sessions led each week by currently enrolled college students.

     Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a summary of the findings of their study titled “Recover:  Job Growth and Education Requirement Through 2020.”  The findings are noteworthy for all United States students, families, and educators.  This study projects that 65% of all jobs in the United States economy will require a postsecondary education and training beyond high school by 2020.  Furthermore, 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree and 30 percent will require some college or an associate’s degree.  Job openings in healthcare, community service, and Science Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) are expected to grow the fastest among occupational clusters.  Alarmingly, the study projected that the United States is on path to fall short by 5 million workers with the necessary postsecondary education---at the current production rate---by 2020.

     We are confident that introducing AVID at GHS will increase the number of our graduates who complete their career, associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate degree programs.  Of the international AVID Class of 2016, 94% reported plans to attend a postsecondary institution.  AVID has also quantitatively proven that national graduates who participate in their program persist into year 2 of college at an 85% rate versus a 78% rate across all United States students based on a study of the Class of 2014.  The partnership of GHS with the AVID program is certain to make a lasting impact on our school community.