Kennedy must prepare and train to be qualified for WASC’s visit

by Valeria Torres (Staff Writer) – 3/11/15

                 Counting down the days until WASC comes
                                                                             Counting down the days until WASC comes

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, also known as WASC, is expected to visit John F. Kennedy High School on Sunday, April 12, 2015; therefore the school must undergo training and preparation. WASC is not something that only concerns the staff at JFK; it is equally important to the students.

WASC is made up of a variety of different people such as other county’s administrators, teachers, parents, and alumni. They evaluate the school based on the strongest areas, what they need to improve on, and overall academic performance in the classrooms.

There are a huge amount of things the school is doing to prepare for WASC’s visit. For example, as assistant principal Robert Clarke admitted, “We are preparing by looking over the areas we need improvement on and training our staff and students to reach and demonstrate their highest potential.” Teachers and students are expected to engage in strong learning activities and be on their best behavior.

According to principal Richard Chavez, Kennedy’s goals once WASC comes is to “remain an accredited high school so that the diplomas of our graduates will be valued.” That means it is critical for the school to display its strongest areas.

The significance of WASC’s visit is being highly embraced in the classrooms. Junior Jessica Fleury mentioned, “In my U.S. History class, along with my other classes, we have been trained to know our common core standards and lessons every day in case we are asked questions by the members of WASC.” Students are also expected to be able to relate what they are learning back to the standards.

In addition to this, a social contract has been added to each classroom on campus, showing an agreement of each student with their classroom teacher. Spanish teacher Maria Prado said, “We as teachers have been attending focus groups depending on our department and have been told to pick a class ambassador from each individual class to greet WASC.”

If one is in a foreign language, it is expected for the ambassador to greet visitors in whatever language they are learning. That is another thing Kennedy is trying to accomplish, which is to make visitors feel welcomed into their learning environments when they arrive.

Also, students involved in JFK school sports and clubs are highly encouraged to attend the Sunday WASC member’s first visit so that they show their support and appreciation for their school and help the school keep on getting accredited as it has been since its inception.