Posted: Monday, May 8, 2017
Wade Hampton High School is among 26 schools nationwide that have been re-designated a Breakthrough School by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Wade Hampton High first received the designation in 2012. To earn re-designation status, the school was required to demonstrate collaborative leadership, personalization, and growth and reduced achievement gaps on state assessments over time.
The Breakthrough Schools program, initiated in 2007, identifies, recognizes, and showcases middle level and high schools that serve large numbers of students living in poverty and are high achieving or dramatically improving student achievement.
Personalization is the binding factor in Wade Hampton High’s school culture of over 1,700 students. To ensure that students are prepared to enter and succeed in college or careers, teachers collaborate in professional learning communities. A Freshman Academy encourages focus on responsibility and perseverance for ninth graders, and a school-wide character-building program, led by faculty advisors, educates and inspires students to be productive citizens. These efforts were rewarded last fall as the school was named a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School.
Selection criteria for Breakthrough Schools are based on the school's documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of Breaking Ranks II for middle level and high schools that have led to improved student achievement, and include the following:
- Collaborative leadership: professional learning communities, shared leadership, and student and staff leadership development
- Personalization: attention to all students, mentoring, and school/community connections
- Curriculum, instruction, and assessment: access to rigorous coursework for all students, differentiated instruction with multiple assessments, data-based decision making, and opportunities for career development