High school students throwing graduation caps in the air

Since 2016, the Elkhorn Area School District has leveraged Redefining Ready (redefiningready.org) benchmarks to drive district and school-wide improvement. Standardized test scores have traditionally been used as the primary readiness indicator in schools, but they don’t necessarily provide an accurate representation of our students’ potential. Like the global economy, today’s students are driven by ideas and innovations. They should not be reduced down to or defined by a single test score. Thus our shift to focusing on Redefining Ready indicators. 

 This shift has resulted in significant increases in students earning stackable credentials: dual-credit courses, industry-recognized credentials, work-based learning experiences (Youth Apprenticeships), and co-curricular involvement. I want to take a moment to highlight some of these significant gains and recognize the exceptional work of our staff and students that lead to these incredible results.

Co-curricular opportunities (sports, clubs, professional organizations) have expanded. Over 80% of our students are involved in a co-curricular program of some type compared to just over 60% in 2015-2016. 

We have increased Advanced Placement participation from 143 seats in 2015-2016 to 481 in 2020-2021 while increasing the percentage of students passing the exam.

Student seats enrolled in classes that earn high school and college credit have increased from 473 in 2015-2016 to 2,381 in 2020-2021. This prepares students for post-secondary experiences and potentially saves families thousands of dollars in tuition costs. 

Last but not least, our industry-based certifications have increased tenfold. Going from just 30 in 2015-2016 to 399 in 2020-2021. 

Great Work, EASD!