Las Vegas High Schools Make Significant Progress

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Three Clark County schools ravaged by violence and blight are now setting the example as turnaround schools.

Chaparral, Mojave and Western High Schools have been transformed and principals and students are amazed by the progress in just one year.

Mojave High School was home to more than the Rattlers a year ago. It was also home to violence, graffiti, and poor test scores. Principal Antonio Rael said almost half of the glass on campus was etched and had to be replaced.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were poured into Mojave to make it look nearly news. Last year, it was designated as one of the district's turnaround schools which meant the school got a new principal and more than half of the staff was replaced.

Now one year later, the school looks cleaner and students are achieving again. Rael said it was due, in part, to a three-prong approach.

"When we started this, we had a three-tier approach. The first thing we had to do was get the physical appearance to a place where students could take pride in it," Rael said. "The second was we had to have really firm student expectations."

The third goal was to improve test scores. Half of the Mojave seniors who were behind on credits at the beginning of the year, were able to make them up and will graduate on time.

More than 75 percent of Mojave's first year "turnaround" freshman will enter their sophomore year on track to graduate on time.


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