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ERIC Number: EJ1016777
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Trenton High School: Attitude Builds Community
Principal Leadership, v13 n9 p82-87 May 2013
High schools often are the anchor of their communities. Nowhere is this more so than in rural north-central Missouri where Trenton High School is the community. Over the last 10 years, this 400-student comprehensive high school mirrored the community's economic downturn and experienced a significant increase in students living in poverty--to the point where today, almost 60% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Instead of declining achievement as some would expect, however, student achievement started to grow. Proficiency rates on state assessments increased, and the graduation rate improved dramatically. Because the school demonstrated such a strong commitment to student achievement in the face of economic hardship, the community rallied its support to pass a bond issue that improved facilities and a tax extension that provided instructional resources. Community leaders know that what happened at Trenton is not the norm. Many of the local leaders are Trenton graduates, as are many of the teachers. They talk about "the dark days" when everyone at the school worked in isolation, and although the school was a community resource, there was no collaboration. Improved student achievement and creative use of resources has created pride and trust. The school shifted to become more inclusive, welcoming any and all local partnerships. Trenton has embraced the fact that everyone in the community knows each other. Preparing students to be participating, responsible community members is seen as an important aspect of the school's mission. Giving back is expected. So is working hard. Adults model this value by serving on local committees and speaking at various organizations. Students see their teachers being mentors, sponsors, coaches, Sunday school teachers, and choir directors. The students in turn work extensively in the community. Active student participation in such service organizations as the Key Club and the National Honor Society is evidence that students have learned this lesson.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A