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Smoky Now

The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

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Is Smoky setting up students for academic success?

Students voice whether or not they believe the school is guiding them in curriculums

With the reputation and opportunities in curriculums at American public high schools, a question emerges- are students being set up for success in their prospective careers?

Statistics may show students’ performances in their academic advances that represent a school’s success or failure to prepare them to succeed.

According to The New York Times, “Studies revealed that two-thirds of American children were not proficient readers, and that the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening.”

Other sources have a firm stance that schooling truly is for the purpose of students.

“Many come to the conclusion that what teachers teach us won’t be useful for us in the future or won’t benefit us for the specific career path that we would like to go down but it shows us what we are strong and excel significantly at which can help us to see what we are truly fit best for,” stated by Solomon Ortiz in ‘Education is the Key to Success‘.

At Smoky, students have mixed reviews on what “success” means in the eyes of themselves.

“I definitely think especially in IB History and English there’s a lot more workload and homework in general,” Ariel Suoo (10) said, “It’s college-level classes, but it’s also harder than I think what it should be in high school. No college class is going to be that hard, it’s too much stress and I’d rather take normal classes.”

Students taking IB and AP courses, some of the most academically rigorous classes in the building, may believe that it is ultimately beneficial.

“[My parents] told me that [IB] was a really good program to be advanced to push myself to the next level. And I feel like it’s adequate for that,” Andre Becerra-Lopez (11) said, “It gives us a lot of curriculum, a lot of college-level stuff.”

With a popular post-graduate route to a college or university, numbers may support the views of whether the school is meeting necessary needs in being a resource for students.

Athletics Office Director Laurinda McIntosh said, “Class of 2023 had 567 seniors and a total of 516 graduates.” In the previous 2022-23 school year, an estimated percentage of 90% of seniors graduated. 50% of seniors attended a 4-year college; 12% a 2-year college; 7% to career/trade school; 4% apprenticeships; 9% employment; less than 1% military; 6% undecided, and 11% taking a gap year.

In comparison to other high schools in the district, numbers look different.

Cherry Creek High School reported 90% of students attending college- 91% to a 4-year and 9% to a 2-year university and career education program with no additional career/trade schools, employment, military, etc.

Cherokee Trail High School reported 71.2% of the graduated class of 2023 students attending a 4-year college; 12.6% attending a 2-year college; 2.5% attending Career and Technical Education, and 2.2% enlisted in the military.

Grandview High School and Eaglecrest High School did not respond per contra a college-acceptance rate request.

These statistics show the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) in a more general sense. It can be inferred that these numbers in recently graduated and college-attending seniors could possibly be a result of well-structured academic programs and resources provided by schools: teachers, coursework, funding, and student choice.

At Smoky, it is up to debate whether or not numbers in college-accepted and attending seniors are a result of the school’s ability to ensure a student’s success in whichever post-grad pathway they take. However, it can be concluded that Smoky specifically has lower numbers across the board in CCSD schools that responded accordingly.

Could there be a correlation between numbers in college-seeking seniors and the school’s competence to set students up for the steps they need to take in order to do so? Whether or not the school’s efficacy is enough for students is open for discussion.

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