Whale Branch Early College High School Narrative
Our school is helping all students develop the World Class skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by continuing to provide high-quality professional development for teachers and staff, focusing on improving student achievement, collaboration, and teamwork, critical and problem-solving through project-based learning and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) focused curriculum.
Whale Branch Early College High School completed its eleventh year of existence, and the number of college graduates has steadily increased. During the 2020-2021 unprecedented school year, Whale Branch Early College High School had 46 students earn certificates from the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Eight students earned double associate degrees. Teachers have collaborated to implement processes in teaching targeted skills for each student. As a result of differentiating instruction and CATE offerings, we had our third cohort of students pinned for completing the nurse’s aide program and two to earn their Certified Nursing Assistant licensure. We inducted 25 students into the National Honor Society.
To further meet the needs of all students, Whale Branch Early College High School implemented a school-wide thirty-minute daily block for Response to Intervention/Instruction and Enrichment (Warrior Time). Their teachers identified students if they did not meet the expectations set by the Warrior Team. These students received additional small-group instruction each period. Students identified as tier one received enrichment activities through their choice of Warrior Time activities. All students participated in Advisory Group lessons through Naviance and various service clubs throughout the week.
Data from MAP and NEWSELA assessments are used to assist students, faculty, and parents, noting areas of progress, identifying student academic needs, and providing professional development for teachers to meet student's academic needs. Within each content area, teachers and students focus on utilizing a disciplined approach to problem-solving and collaboration.
Students, staff, and parents continued to Practice Intelligent Behavior with our Warrior Matrix of Intelligent Behaviors along with Habits of Mind. The Warrior Matrix was posted throughout the school and clearly defined the behavioral expectations of our community of learners. Warriors are Worthy, Accountable, Respectful, Resilient, Intelligent, Open-Minded, Righteous, and practice Self-Control.
Because we cannot do anything alone, our efforts to build home and school relationships involved the following: Mentoring Clubs Empowering Young Men and Ladies First, Relay for Life, National Honor Society, Key Club, Art Club, Book Club, HOSA, ROTC, Warrior Café, etc., with parents and community members, strategic planning with feeder schools, website, and utilization of School Messenger.
In addition to academic success, Whale Branch Early College High School athletes added to their trophy case this year. All sports teams made the playoffs. Our football, girls' basketball, and boys' track teams won the Region Championships. Also, the girls’ track team was State-Runners up, the first in the school's history.
The staff, students, and parents of the Whale Branch Early College Community will continue to promote excellence, collaboration, STEAM, and school-wide growth. Through planning, implementation, and reflection, we strive for accuracy every day to ensure students are prepared for an ever-changing world. Warrior Nation is on the War Path for Excellence!