Westmont High School continues to be outstanding in the state
Aug 01, 2017 08:30AM
● By Ben Scott
It has been another excellent year at Westmont High School.
For the fourth year in a row we have had only one student not meet all
graduation requirements in four years. 100% of our African-American and Latino
students graduated on time in four years. Few high schools ever achieve this
feat, and Westmont High School has done it four years in a row.
Our Advanced Placement program is the most improved in Illinois and one of the top performing programs in the state and nation. We have gone from 29 exams passed in 2013 to 241 passed exams in 2016. We anxiously await the results from this year’s work which will arrive in July. Last year we were in the top 1% of high schools in Illinois for Advanced Placement Scholars (students passing three or more exams) per capita. We also ranked in the top 1% in Illinois and the nation for the percentage of students taking on the challenge of these rigorous courses. In an era when there is a renewed emphasis on hard work and resilience, Westmont students and teachers are the best at doing this difficult work.
Why is Advanced Placement important? This program is recognized internationally, and almost every university and college in the country privileges these courses during the admissions process and most offer college level credit for success on these exams. Students can begin earning college credit in high school, and the research is overwhelming that the rigor of these courses better prepares students for success at the collegiate level. We have many fine non-A.P. courses at Westmont, so we are not limited in our quality to just A.P. However, the positive impact this program has on students is undeniable and it is clear that few schools do Advanced Placement better than Westmont.
Our test score numbers are also positive. Illinois has changed their mandated state exam three times in the last four years. Today the S.A.T. is the test used by the state to evaluate schools. Our literacy scores are outstanding. Comparative data has not been released, but the last time we had scores like this we ranked in the top 1% in Illinois for Title One schools, and ranked in the top 4% in the state overall. Our math scores have improved but need further improvement. We are confident that this improvement will take place during the next year.
Beyond scores and numbers, we are most proud of our culture and climate. There has been only one physical altercation at our school in the last three years. Once again no fights this year. At prom there were zero disciplinary incidents. At graduation, our seniors were outstanding. There are too many service projects to mention. We tell our students they are the best and we believe that to be true. Thank you to our parents for teaching them to be good citizens and for supporting us as we work together to see our young people grow. They are sacred to all of us.
Westmont High School is an amazing place. We are tenaciously committed to continuous improvement, but we should celebrate the wonderful school we have built together.