Last week, a team of WASC (Western Association for Schools and Colleges) officials toured , interviewing students and staff about their experience at the school. The WASC organization accredits schools across California, and essentially determines whether my high school diploma will mean anything or not.
If a school fails to become accredited, it diminishes one’s chance of attending college as well as impacts a teacher’s credibility throughout his or her career. Sequoia got reviewed last week in order to gain a six-year accreditation cycle. This means that the WASC officials will only visit every six years, and ensures Sequoia’s progress of a school itself, as well as validation that the school fosters a driven and intelligent student body.
Although it is true that Sequoia is constantly rebuilding its reputation from the school’s previous years, upon my arrival at Sequoia however, I realized that the rumors of inhabiting only unfriendly, grungy high school students are far from true.
The environment at Sequoia is akin to ambition. There’s a certain strive to learn in the classroom that can be felt throughout the entire school. A feeling unique to a student body that is ready and willing to absorb the knowledge that the teachers provide for us.
The accreditation process proves to colleges and the government that we are constantly improving and steadily working towards a goal of graduating responsible students to become productive members of the Redwood City community, a key aspect of WASC philosophy. However, it also proves to ourselves that despite the apprehensiveness one may have of attending a public high school, Sequoia was the right choice.
By gaining our six-year accreditation cycle, I have solidified my choice of attending public high school, and granted it was a choice that I was not keen on upon my enrollment at Sequoia.
Public high school has always had a frightening connotation for me, through media, rumors and movies, I was lead to blindly believe that public schools were merely catalysts for drug deals, fights, sex crazed teenagers and harsh teachers. I thought that my graduation from middle school also meant a graduation from the empowering character trait posters that graced the halls and the groups of holiday sweater clad teachers sipping coffee together at recess.
However, after attending Sequoia for a short period of time, I have since learned that although the environment has changed, matured in a sense, the ideas are the same as they were in elementary and middle school.
We are all here to learn and share a wonderful experience with each other, with one goal in mind: to come out of our time at Sequoia with a vast knowledge not only of American history and calculus, but an array of life skills that we are ready and eager to present to the community.
Redwood City should feel proud to have such a credible and incomparable public high school. And with a WASC approved six year accreditation cycle, and Redwood City citizens should also feel secure knowing that Sequoia graduates hundreds of earnest students into the society each year.
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