Thursday, June 26, 2003

Little Miami school crunches numbers on college-bound grads

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

HAMILTON TWP. - Nearly two-thirds of the 117 members of Little Miami High School's Class of 2002 went on to either college or technical school.

And all but six of those students - 92 percent - completed their first year of studies, compared with the 50 percent national average for high school grads.

The information was gleaned this month after teacher Roger Levo and four students from his senior probability and stats class spent five hours calling former students or their parents.

The survey also showed that between 83 percent and 92 percent of those polled believed their high school English, math, science and social studies classes prepared them for college work.

The highest percent, 92, was for English classes, followed by math, 89 percent; social studies, 88 percent; and science, 83 percent.

Curriculum director Ruth Mitchell said she was pleased with the participation. In past written surveys, the schools got responses from fewer than 30 percent of graduates. She said the data would be shared with teachers and others during an August retreat.

A few years ago the district dropped its general level classes. All students in the high school take college prep or advanced placement level classes.

Over the last four years, the average grade-point average has increased on a 4.0 scale from 2.31 to 2.67, equivalent to a B-minus, Mitchell said.

"Are we preparing them? That should be our question all the time,'' Mitchell said.

Nineteen-year-old Heather Wolfe, who just finished her freshman year at Xavier University, said she felt very prepared for college after leaving Little Miami High School in 2002.

"I was in honors and (advanced placement) classes. They really push you and push you to the limit,'' Wolfe said. "Looking back, I'm glad I had to do hours and hours of homework every night. At the time I didn't like it, though.''

Levo said the data collected from the phone survey and a written survey being mailed to all students in the Class of 2002 will be analyzed by his probability and stats students when school resumes in August. It will be compared with results from previous surveys for a report by year's end.

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