Hug High School is Starting to Make the Grade - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Hug High School is Starting to Make the Grade

Jen Jackson
Channel 2 News

Hug High School has had a bad reputation, inside and outside the classroom.

But, things are changing.

Recently, results of the Adequate Yearly Progress tests have moved the school from "needs improvement" to "making adequate progress."

It's not just one thing, but several factors including a collaboration between the district, administrators, staff and finally, the students.

This is the second year the school made Adequate Yearly Progress and it wants to stay there.

32 red cells in a spreadsheet signify the areas Hug High was unsuccessful in the 2004-2005 school year.

"In the beginning, we were failing in almost everything," says Andy Kelly, Principal of Hug High.

That was the first year Kelly took over as Hug's principal.

The failing rates are on the federal No Child Left Behind Act and its Adequate Yearly Progress tests. "I don't think politicans and laws change lives, I think people change lives. And I think the thing that's happened at Hug is that we've got an incredible group of teachers that are highly committed to a common goal and a common focus," says Kelly.

Tammy White teaches math at Hug and says, "What I've seen in the last 3 years, from my first year to the end of last semester is how the students have changed. They are more engaged and they believe they can be high achieving."

Kelly says making the improvements to move into a progressive status is a collaborative effort, including a few changes to make sure his students are ready for college, if that's what they want to do. "I believe we have the most rigorous 9th and 10th grade cirriculum of any school in the district. Where every single one of our 9th graders is in algebra and biology every single one of our 10th graders is in geometry and chemistry," adds Kelly.

"As a teacher, I already know my students are making progress because I'm reading the work they're doing. I'm talking to them every day," says Keith Roberts, an english teacher at Hug.

But, having the validation that Hug High School is a quality school, can make a difference in how the community views the school and the pride the students feel in attending Hug.

Kelly says the school is no longer on the federal watch list, but, the work isn't done. "We want all of our kids to be successful."

Hug High staff says it wants to move up to the most improved high school in the state and then keep it at that level.

They say then, that would mean success.

Until then it and the entire district wants to work on improving graduation rates.

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