Wasilla High School
|Wasilla High School|
|701 East Bogard Road
Wasilla, Alaska, 99654
|School type||Public secondary school|
|Motto||To Strive, To Seek, To Find and Not To Yield!|
|School district||Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District|
|Faculty||68.20 (FTE) (2012)|
|Enrollment||1242 (September 2012)|
|Student to teacher ratio||18:21 (2012)|
|Color(s)||Red and White|
Wasilla High School (WHS) is a public secondary school in Wasilla, Alaska, serving students in grades 9–12. The school is part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, with admission based primarily on students' place of residence.
Classes are run on a semester schedule, subjects include; fine arts, language arts, mathematics, physical education, social studies, world language, technology and science. As of the 2010-2011 school year, there are ten AP classes offered. WHS also participates in the University of Alaska Anchorage's Tech Prep program, allowing students to receive college credit for automotive technology classes.
WHS is a 4A member school of the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), the governing body for high school athletics in Alaska. The fall sports offered at WHS are cross country running, football, cheerleading (football), powderpuff, swimming, and volleyball. The winter sports offered are basketball, hockey, Native Youth Olympics, cross country skiing, cheerleading (basketball), and wrestling. The spring sports offered are baseball, soccer, softball, and track and field.
In 2000, Wasilla High School received a $5000 environmental education grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The school worked in partnership with local government agencies and businesses to raise awareness of groundwater issues in the school and the community, and many projects informing the community on saving the environment.
WHS offers a wide assortment of extracurricular activities. Band, Choir, Drama, Debate and Forensics are governed by ASAA. Other activities include: Battle of the Books, Dance squad, National Honor Society, Student Government, and Teens Against Tobacco Use. Several other activities are closely associated with academic departments: Business Professionals of America, Car Club, Drumline, International Cultural Club, Japanese National Honors Society, Science Olympiad, SkillsUSA, Thespian Society, and Yearbook. Close-Up is program that takes students to study in Washington D.C. for one week. The Rose Urban Rural Exchange program is a one week student exchange program between students in urban and rural Alaska. Other activities include: Battle of the Books, Dance Team, National Honor Society, Student Government, and Teens Against Tobacco Use.
A Johns Hopkins University study named Wasilla High School as a "dropout factory". Wasilla's dropout rate was 6.5 percent in 2006, a number that was much higher than most of the schools in the Mat-Su district. The study was conducted by finding the difference between a class with 400 freshman students which ended up with 260 seniors four years later. However, the Johns Hopkins study did not follow specific students. If a student started school at Wasilla High and then graduated from another high school, the study would consider him or her a dropout. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has an open enrollment policy and it is fairly common for students to transfer from one school to another when their parents found new jobs in other areas. The School Board President Sarah Welton said that the study was flawed and that the false impression made on others in the country would be very unfortunate. Only 58% of incoming freshman graduate as seniors.
In spring of 2009, the students of Wasilla High School took a qualifying exam for graduation. The subjects tested were math, writing, and reading. In math, 87 percent of Wasilla's students received a proficient score. Statewide, 80.2 percent of tenth graders received a proficient score. In writing, 78.1 percent of Wasilla's students received a proficient score. Statewide, 78.8 percent of tenth graders received a proficient score. In reading, 94.1 percent of Wasilla's students received a proficient score. Statewide, 90.0 percent of tenth graders received a proficient score. As of the 2008-2009 school year, Wasilla's graduation rate is 77.8 percent, higher than the statewide graduation rate of 67.6 percent.
- Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and former Republican vice presidential nominee.
- Todd Palin, husband of Sarah Palin and a former champion snowmobile racer.
- Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin.
- Levi Johnston, former fiancé of Bristol Palin, left after his junior year.
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- Rose Urban Rural Exchange (2011). "Sister School Exchange: About". Alaska Humanities Forum.
- Tipton, Lori (2007-10-30). "Study gives Wasilla High School failing grade". KTUU. Archived periodical at WebCite
- Moses, John R. (2007-10-03). "WHS not 'dropout factory'". Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Archived periodical at WebCite
- "Dropout Factories: Take a Closer Look at failing Schools Across the Country". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31.
- "Wasilla High School: School Report Card for 2008-2009 School Year". Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. 2009.[dead link]
- "2008-2009 Report Cart to the Public". Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. 2009.