What Makes You Get Out of Bed?

March 9th, 2011

Category: News

We’ve featured a few reports on this blog from recent site visits that the Delaware Department of Education has offered to educators statewide as part of its LEA support program. On Thursday, March 3 I had the opportunity to join the group that traveled to the High School of Engineering and Science (HSES), a public, magnet high school in Philadelphia.

In two separate conversations, I heard staff members from HSES explain that they try to provide something that will make every single student want to get out of bed and come to school every day. One of their main offerings is their strong curriculum in engineering and science. HSES is a Project Lead the Way certified school, and offers courses in digital electronics, civil engineering and architecture, and more. The building houses seven state-of the-art, newly renovated labs, including an Environmental Science lab and a greenhouse. Students can even apply to participate in a Biomed Program, and many of the 10th and 11th graders I talked to already had specific aspirations to be pediatric surgeons, physician assistants, and medical doctors.

All students that attend HSES have a demonstrated aptitude for math and science, yet some aren’t necessarily planning careers in those fields. To provide extra motivation and enrichment, the school offers a wide variety of clubs, activities, and athletics that provide an opportunity for engagement to nearly every student. There is a clear philosophy to encourage students to become citizens of their school, and therefore have ownership of and enjoyment in their school experience.

Students at HSES are excelling, and boast a 100% graduation rate and a 100% college acceptance rate. Grade 11 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) results show that 85% of students are advanced or proficient in math, 88% in reading, and 94% in writing. The school, the population of which is 57.4% economically disadvantaged, has been designated a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

HSES is getting it right – offering stellar academic programs and preparing well-rounded leaders that are excited about going to school.   

Sarah Grunewald




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