Archive for Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Seniors satisfied with their education at BHS

May 14, 2003

Anna Skaggs feels she is prepared for life beyond high school.

But the Baldwin High School senior credits her time in high school for getting her ready for the future.

"It is what you make it," Skaggs said. "Baldwin has all the courses that can prepare you."

She said she would definitely grade her education high based on the classes offered, the extracurricular activities and, maybe most importantly, the teachers.

"The teachers are really good," she said. "I think every teacher knows you."

Skaggs isn't the only one in the class of 2003 satisfied with her high school education.

A little more than 30 percent of the seniors who completed the Signal's survey said they would give their high school education an A grade. Nearly 50 percent of the class said they would rate the education received as a B. Only 20 percent of the seniors said they received an average C-grade education.

BHS principal Allen Poplin said he's not surprised with the outcome of the survey. The high school has been conducting it's own survey -- at graduation, one year after graduation and six years after graduation -- for several years, he said, in an attempt to give students the best education possible.

"Our answers didn't look like that 10 years ago," Poplin said. "We've been changing things along the way because of it."

He said when the school first started the survey, former students said they had wished there had been higher expectations in class work and homework, that they had been better prepared in reading and just better prepared for the rigors of college life.

"It's one thing to ask at the time of commencement if they're satisfied," he said. "It's another thing to ask if they're satisfied a year or two later."

Poplin said the school has made several changes, like modifying the attendance policy, keeping appropriate class sizes for the subjects being taught and adding more class options, in an attempt to improve the quality of education the students receive.

"We incorporated a lot of the comments into changes we made," he said.

The size of the high school -- 450 students -- also plays a part into the improvements made, he said.

"Our size is large enough to offer several opportunities for students," he said. "We've been able to offer advanced maths, advanced sciences and multiple foreign languages. But we're also small enough that students can participate in a number of activities."

Now, after changes at BHS, Poplin said more and more students seem pleased with the education they've received, including BHS senior Scott Mitchell.

"I felt it was pretty good," Mitchell said of his high school education. "The teachers are good. The sizes of the classes are really good."

He said he also liked the opportunity he had to take a lot of advanced classes.

"I took more than I would have at a smaller school," he said.

BHS senior Jordan Schaecher said he was also able to take a number of different classes that prepared him for college, including AP and architecture classes.

"I haven't been limited on classes I could take," he said. "I've been able to take classes that prepared me the best for college."

Poplin said he expects to continue to see from former students the same satisfied results about their education.

"Baldwin is doing some good things and has a history of success and tradition," he said.

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