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Exclusive by The East High Alumni Page April 7, 2017 - "Of course, right now, when I look at the data, when I look at the numbers, it's daunting, downright scary. So I put the numbers to the side then I just look at the people, " says East High's Executive Principal Lischa Barrett ('91), now Lischa Brooks.
East High's overall academic performance has been dismal for many years.
Despite these efforts, the academic achievement for the East High student body as a whole has not made significant progress, according to ACT scores.
Barrett believes that additional outside involvement will help turn the tide.
Barrett was appointed Executive Principal February 20 to lead East High into its transition into an admission-by-application-only optional (magnet) school using the transportation industry as a focus for a science, technology, engineering, and math oriented curriculum, or T-STEM for short.
The conversion will take place over the next four years, with the ninth graders starting in August, 2017, being the first group of all optional students.
It is not known whether the lower number now being used repeatedly by various sources represents an actual pull back by some outfits or, probably more likely, a more realistic assessment of what kind of support an entity is likely to give.
With the broader approach, Barrett emphatically proclaims, "I believe in wrap around services!
Those experiences are what make me forget about the data and just see the children as children...
Yeah, it is, so that's when I go walk the halls and see children it kind of reminds me of why I came into this business in the first place.
Despite her relating to the children as people instead of numbers, Barrett admits, "There's a lot of work to be done but I can't forget we're talking about people and we're talking about a community." The new leader at East High hopes to take a broader approach to education than just East High and Maxine Smith STEAM Academy.
Barrett thinks the wider scope of services should extend beyond the East High families.
" I believe reaching to the middle schools that should feed East.