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Hammond High School Named National School of Opportunity

January 22nd, 2018

Hammond High School has been designated a School of Opportunity by the National Education Policy Center. Hammond was recognized for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to equity and excellence by engaging in proven practices that close opportunity gaps and give all students the opportunity to succeed. Hammond is one of only eight schools in the country to earn this national recognition this year.

“Hammond exemplifies our Strategic Call to Action by providing equitable learning experiences so every student can be successful,” said HCPSS Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “This award illustrates that great things happen when we open access to enrichments, challenge students appropriately, and back them up with the supports that help them succeed.”

Hammond High School’s curriculum is grounded in rich, project-based learning. The school has encouraged students to take at least one course at a higher level each school year and has significantly increased African-American enrollment in its AP courses.

“Hammond’s recognition as a School of Opportunity helps us communicate how our efforts to challenge students, support teachers and connect with families create engaging learning opportunities and solid preparation for higher education,” said Hammond High School Principal John DiPaula.

Hammond has seen increases in graduation rates from 2010 to 2016. African-American students increased their graduation rate from 80 percent to 92 percent, Hispanic students from 81 to 95 percent, and students with special needs from 56 to 80 percent.

To be designated a School of Opportunity, high schools must demonstrate outstanding achievement in at least four of 10 criteria areas that include: broad and enriching learning opportunities; a healthy school culture; use of a variety of assessments; support for teachers as professionals; meeting the needs of students with disabilities and language minority students; services and supports including mental and physical health; challenging, culturally relevant curriculum; and parent/community engagement.

Schools of Opportunity is a project of the National Educational Policy Center, based at the University of Colorado. The center produces and disseminates peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions.

Read more about the Schools of Opportunity in this Washington Post article.