College Board Honors Woodbury Jr./Sr. High
The College Board has annoucned that Woodbury Junior/Senior High School in Woodbury, NJ is one of three schools nationwide to receive the Gaston Caperton Inspiration Award for improving its academic environments and helping underserved students achieve equitable access to higher education. The school will receive a $25,000 award to apply toward programs that encourage students to attend college. The other two winners were the Johnny G. Ecomedes high School in Edinburg, TX and Fort Lauderdale High School in Florida.
“Inspiration Schools help show us that all students, regardless of background, can achieve success in the classroom,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “At a time when higher education is absolutely critical to restoring our nation’s economy, these schools are providing a pathway to college and giving all their students a greater chance at achieving the American dream."
"The students, teachers and administrators at each of the Inspiration Award–winning schools have put in extraordinary effort to improve their schools, raise their standards and instill a culture of learning. Today, we salute them, we thank them and we offer their example to the nation,” says Caperton, who is president of the College Board. He will personally present the award on Thurs., May 17 at the school.
According to the award announcement, "Faced with a high rate of student mobility and almost 60 percent of Woodbury students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, administrators and faculty have created a breadth of effective programming to promote and support students’ successful transition from middle school to high school and into college. Despite the socioeconomic challenges, the result of these efforts has been immensely rewarding: 95 percent of Woodbury’s class of 2011 graduated, and 89 percent were accepted to college."
Woodbury offers a multitude of academic opportunities, including “The Workplace,” an after-school teacher-staffed homework and student assistance center that helps between 50 and 100 students daily with class assignments; math and literacy support classes to increase student success in advanced-level course work with additional instruction; summer enrichment programs to provide a collaborative environment for completing summer assignments; algebra for all eighth-grade students, with a double period offered for additional support; and personalized education plans that allow students to receive credit for relevant and challenging out-of-school experiences.
“The narrowing and ultimate elimination of the achievement gap — the crux of our strategic plan — is the impetus for the work that is done on behalf of our students,” says Woodbury Principal Denise Dunham. “The strategy to remove instructional barriers so that every student is provided the most rigorous instruction has manifested a multitude of successes for all of our students. The credit is equally shared by stakeholders inside and outside our school walls.”