Metro Tech High School has earned the A+ School of Excellence Award given by the Arizona Educational Foundation. The school will celebrate the award, Thursday, May 15 at 12:30 p.m. with school and District staff, students and representatives from the Foundation.
Only 34 schools state-wide, including nine high schools, were selected. The A+ designation is for a three-year period.
To qualify as an A+ School, schools must demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement through assessment data. Winning schools are recognized for their superior ability to identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their student population.
Principal Kate McDonald and staff had to complete an arduous 22-page narrative application, and a selection panel of education leaders conducted a two-day site visit, visiting every classroom, and interviewing students, parents, teachers, support staff, and the administrative team.
“We couldn’t be prouder of this acknowledgement of the all the hard work from our students and our staff. We are excited to exemplify the promise and the power of public education to prepare students for success in the 21st Century. Metro Tech works!” McDonald said.
“Your staff, your students and your community are to be commended for overall excellence and the hard work and collaborative effort it took to earn this award, “Arizona Educational Foundation Executive Director Bobbie O’Boyle said. “It is an honor and privilege to recognize, celebrate and focus on what is right with public education in Arizona.”
Metro Tech has also been named a 2014 Bronze School in the U.S. News and World Report Magazine’s Best High Schools list. In 2012-13 it was recognized as a Beat the Odds “Gold School,” by the Center for the Future of Arizona, and was a 2012-13 Arizona Higher Performing School according to the National Center for Educational Achievement annual report. Metro Tech was awarded a grant for $900,000, in 2009-12, to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects around sustainability. The school continues to promote project-based learning throughout academic and CTE programs, including a new STEMcore initiative for freshmen in 2014-2015.
Metro Tech has met or exceeded the state average on AIMS scores in math, reading and writing each of the last three years, and has maintained a B Letter Grade according to State Accountability rankings. The school offers honors, dual enrollment and AP courses; in fact, the number of students enrolled in an AP class has doubled over the past two years. For an urban school with a student body that is 98% minority and 82% low income, the school has a 90% four-year graduation rate and an annual dropout rate below 1%. Metro attracts students from all 13 partner elementary districts, and has over 500 Phoenix Union dual students who come to the school to take advantage of one of 18 Career and Technical Education programs.
The school has a current enrollment of 1650, but has increased its freshman class by 200 students this year and next year.