Another side of Northwestern High
I talked to Jason Hartling, principal of Northwestern High School. He says there were between 12 and 14 girls involved in Friday's cafeteria fight. School police maintain that it was at least 30. Hartling said the situation was contained and students were back in classes learning within 15 minutes.
In any event: As some of the teachers mentioned in comments, there is reason to celebrate over the school's success with Bridge projects. When Liz wrote about Northwestern in October, 165 seniors had not met graduation requirements either by passing the HSAs or earning a minimum combined score. Since then, Northwestern seniors have submitted 561 projects -- more than any other school in the city and more than all the schools combined in some other districts.
With about a 90 percent pass rate on the projects, more than 200 of Northwestern's 278 seniors now meet the requirements for graduation, and Hartling said another 50 are close -- with another project or two to finish up. He estimates that only a handful of seniors won't graduate because of the HSA requirements, and they're the ones who have not done what they're supposed to do. Seniors are giving testimonials to underclassmen about the importance of taking the HSAs seriously so they won't have to do the projects next year.
Getting to this point has been a ton of work, by staff and students. "We’re here on Saturday; we’re here after school," Hartling said. "I would put my staff up against any staff in the state. They just work incredibly hard."
And while we're on the subject of Northwestern: I've mentioned here before how impressed I am with its student newspaper, The Compass. And now, The Compass is online. In the current issue, students take their administration to task in an editorial for not having more Black History Month activities. Stories include a first-person account of attending President Obama's inauguration and a piece questioning whether it's right to lock student bathrooms during the day.