Lake Oswego, OR (PRWEB) April 15, 2012
It started 10 years ago with a community-wide commitment to transformational reform.
Now Forest Grove High School is considered a national model for improved academic achievement, lower dropout rates and higher reading and math levels across the board. Forest Grove students are outperforming their peers at the district and state levels, and reaping the benefits when it comes time for college.
For the discerning new-home shopper, schools matter. And with two new-home communities in Forest Grove — The Parks at Forest Grove and Pacific Crossing — Stone Bridge Homes NW is invested in the success of local schools.
"If you're someone who's raising a family, you're going to care about the quality of schools where you live," said Kelly Ritz, president of Stone Bridge Homes NW. "For some people, that's the number one thing."
According the district superintendent Yvonne Curtis, the commitment of local parents and the leadership from teachers and school administrators has changed the culture in Forest Grove schools.
"Our teachers have made a more concerted effort to make sure our students are performing at their grade level," Curtis said. "We've focused on personalization. The students need access to grade-level content and also the support to understand the material."
In 2011, Forest Grove High School was named a Continuing Success School for boosting student achievement. It marked the fifth time the school has been recognized for improved test scores and achievement. The school currently holds a score of 8 (out of 10) from greatschools.org based on test results in comparison to all schools in the state.
Students in the Class of 2011 garnered $3.5 million in college scholarships. Three of the school's athletic teams were ranked in the top ten in the state for academic achievement. And 70 percent of the Class of 2010 attended a two- or four-year college.
Forest Grove High School offers 20 advanced places (AP) classes, one of the largest selections of any school in the state. The district is also offering AP classes in middle schools as well as music and language immersion as early as third and fourth grade.
"We believe all students can achieve at a high level, and we think everybody can take AP classes," Curtis said.
Forest Grove High School also features strong vocational learning programs in variety of areas, from welding to culinary arts to web design. Students receive experience in both the shop and in the field, including horticultural and agricultural programs.
The school's Viking House program allows selected students to develop and apply their vocational and carpentry skills in the annual building a new, single-family home. The program, started in 1975, is going strong with its 38th project currently underway.
This year, the Viking House — a three-bedroom, two-bath, single-level home — will be featured in the Street of Affordable Homes show at Pacific Crossing from July 5-29.
"The school system in Forest Grove is truly committed and trying to do better all the time," Ritz said. "That's why we invited them to be part of the show."
For Curtis, it's another part of helping students from kindergarten on up improve as they grow and reach for their dreams.
"All of it's connected," Curtis said. "The goal is that every student reaches a certain level of school can also achieve a higher