Have You Heard About Roosevelt International Middle School Lately?
If you were a resident of UpTown prior to about 2005, or with a business attuned to local school reputations, you sadly may recall hearing comments about Roosevelt’s weak academic history and problems with gang and drug activity. Today, if you talk with parents of students who are attending or matriculated from Roosevelt you may hear that it:
- It has assimilated the IB curriculum program, which has spread to over 5000 K-12 schools world wide, features best practices in curriculum and education approaches from around the world and emphasizes striving for World Peace
- Has achieved test scores on the Academic Performance Index approaching California’s definition of high achieving schools. Since the new Common Core, is embracing the many of the same principals as IB, scores should grow more rapidly.
- Has one of the most diverse student populations in San Diego in terms of socio-economic and cultural diversity with over 72% qualifying for free lunch and about 50 homeless, foster care or group shelter students.
- Has a strict policy requiring students to wear uniforms which has helped remove “fences” between culture, race and economics.
- Requires a language and offers art and music in addition to standard curriculum
- Is partnering with technology businesses such as Qualcomm and Solar Turbine to expose kids to opportunities in a wide range of fields.
- Has strong, long-term partnerships with the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park museums, and the Junior Theater
The proof of the pudding is that Roosevelt enrolled about 750 students ten years ago and 1000 today, whereas San Diego Unified enrollment is stable, demonstrating that Roosevelt is a magnet to parents who want a rigorous public education for their kids.
And our kids are challenged: these students come from diverse backgrounds. In the 2015-16 school year among the students 62% are latino, 17% caucasian, 14% African American and 7% other. 19% were english learners, 16% have special needs and 72% of students’ families qualified for free or reduced cost lunch.
Much of this progress is the attributable to dedicated teachers and staff and modest improvement in public funding. But a lot is due to parent and community involvement via the former PTSA and Friends of Roosevelt Foundation, which contributes to student enrichment programs.
If you find these accolades suspect, see for yourselves and ask your important questions by joining a campus tour any Friday, October through November (future student recruitment months) at 9:00am. Visit sandi.net/Roosevelt to sign up.
(Updated 9/1/17, R. Harris)