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ERIC Number: EJ851791
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Loris High School: The Sky's the Limit
Rourke, James; Hartzman, Marlene
Principal Leadership, v9 n10 p28-31 Jun 2009
In 2005, Loris (SC) High School was ranked near the bottom of all high schools in South Carolina. The newly appointed principal, Trevor Strawderman, had been the school's assistant principal. He knew that literacy presented the biggest challenge at Loris: 74% of the students in 9th and 10th grade were reading below grade level. Because of the low reading levels, students repeated classes and dropped out in alarming numbers. Many students could not handle the materials that were used in their classes and would not be able to pass the exit exams required for graduation. Since Strawderman became principal, the school has made significant cultural and structural changes that have led to dramatic improvement for every student. Strawderman realized that he could not make the necessary changes by himself; he knew that his role was to provide leadership and encouragement for his staff members. He envisioned a school of professional learning communities in which teachers worked together "to choose every day to make a difference in the lives of our students." Today, Loris is a model of strong leadership, focused teaching, and personal connections to students. The school's leadership team put together a total literacy program that is designed to meet the needs of each student. Professional learning communities that meet twice a month during the school day and are facilitated by an instructional coach have become the vehicle for teachers to analyze data, learn new strategies, and track improvements. Every teacher is expected to use student lexile levels from the Measures of Academic Progress-Reading (MAP-R) computerized assessments to gauge students' mastery of basic reading skills.
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: Grade 10; Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina