PORT CHESTER, N.Y. Port Chester High School Principal Mitchell Combs delivered his state of the school address to the Port Chester School District Board of Education on Thursday inside Port Chester High School.
"Tonight I'm delighted to report that the state of our high school is strong," Combs said in the opening of his presentation. He said that since 2004 the high schools performance has increased dramatically across the board.
Combs said there was a staggering increase in the number of students both enrolled in and passing honors, advanced placement (AP) and college level classes. According to Combs, that number has improved from 207 in 2004 to 443 last year.
"We have done this by eliminating unnecessary prerequisites, partnering with Westchester Community College and Syracuse University by offering more college level classes, and by adding AP classes where we can," Combs said. "Rising expectations and increased opportunities mean more and more students taking these advanced courses. This also proves are students are capable of rigorous work."
In addition to reporting an increase in performance across the board, Combs added that the schools failure rates have fallen as well. Combs reported that the freshman failure rate, which counts how many students fail at least one class, has decreased from 63 percent in 2002, all the way down to 28 percent. Meanwhile, the failure rate throughout the school has dropped from 48 percent in 2002 to 26 percent.
"That's nothing short of a transformation to that fall that much," Combs said. "We're rightfully very proud of the positive direction student classroom performance has taken this past decade."
Combs also reported a steady improvement in the schools Regents exams and presented a graph comparing Port Chester High School to schools with similar demographics, size and spending.
"Port Chester High School has trended dramatically higher, and I'm pleased to report that the average this year was the same as last year," Combs said. "Our edge then must be the result of hard work and smart work, by dedicated, caring, skillful and effective educators. Special things have happened here to create these improvements."
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