The National Alliance on the American High School’s (HS Alliance) recently held its Spring Partners Meeting in Washington, D.C. The site visits allowed the HS Alliance’s over 40 partners, including the Alliance for Excellent Education, to witness first-hand the wide-range of programs and practices underway in these schools.
On March 20, participants in the meetings divided into three groups and visited three area high schools in the Washington, D.C. area. One site visit was held at J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Va. J.E.B. Stuart High School opened in Falls Church, Virginia, in 1959. At the time the school possessed a student body of 1,616-virtually all Caucasian. Today, due largely to an influx of immigrants to the United States, two-thirds of its 1,400 students are second language learners from over 70 countries. Despite facing the normal challenges associated with such a diverse enrollment, Stuart is a model of excellence. It has been cited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, referred to as a model of diversity and harbinger of America’s future in the 21st century by former-President Bill Clinton, and profiled in a 2001 edition of National Geographic magazine.
The school prides itself on being a “comprehensive high school with an international student body and a world class curriculum.” Partners of the HS Alliance were able to learn about the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a rigorous college preparatory course of study that leads to examinations which challenge the most highly motivated high school students. The school also uses literacy coaches and teaches literacy across the curriculum within small classes.
Two other site visits were held at Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va. and the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. This is the third meeting of the HS Alliance’s national partners; the last two were held in Chicago and Providence where participants toured exemplary high schools in the area.
The mission of the National Alliance on the American High School is to mobilize the resources, knowledge, and capacity of individuals and organizations to work collectively in shaping policy, practice, and public engagement that foster high achievement, close the achievement gap, and promote civic and personal growth among all youth in our high schools and communities.
Learn more about the HS Alliance at: http://www.hsalliance.org
Read an excerpt of the National Geographic article on J.E.B. Stuart High School at:http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/data/2001/09/01/html/ft_20010901.3.html