The Dobbs Ferry High School was filled with roughly 25 people a mix of both parents and students -- Thursday night, as the Board of Education presented awards of recognition for high scores on the National Spanish exam to a total of nine students.
Principal Keith Yi was the main speaker of the night as he gave a strategic plan for the school over the last few years, dating back to the 2007-08 school year. During his approximately 30-minute presentation, Yi shared the improvements he said he hopes to see in the near future most notably, technological advancements in classrooms.
"[I have been] pushing to get Wi-Fi in classrooms for the last six years," he said, adding that he believes desktop computers will be obsolete within five to ten years. As a result, he announced that for the first time, Dobbs Ferry High School will have Wi-Fi by the start of next year.
Yi stated that the goal of his tenure was for Dobbs Ferry to "establish a world class, ivy class school."
Much of the meeting was focused on the successes and goals of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Dobbs Ferry High School. Yi presented statistics about the IB program over the last several years. Notably, he said that student participation in the IB program has increased from under 50 to approximately 200 over the last decade. According to Yi, the number of students merely enrolled in more difficult courses has grown rapidly, with 86 students taking the regent physics next year -- the highest in Yi's tenure and in his words the "hardest course offered" at the high school.
But not every category was up across the boards. Yi openly admitted that math was a weak point that needs to be addressed.
"This has been a moving target for the last ten years," said Dobbs Ferry Union Free School District Superintendant Debra Kaplan, in regards to the school districts attempts to tailor the curriculum to the different exams and demands of the state.
As his presentation came to a close, Yi reminded the board and those in attendance that the school must continue to expand community service initiatives along with intervention programs. "This is an objective we cannot lose sight of because we do have students that fail," he said.
Opportunities to support struggling students, especially those at risk of academic failure, are something that Yi continued to push for in his presentation. Unexcused absences were also said to be down exponentially, dropping from 971 last year to 354 this year.
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