WASC offers opportunities for student opinion

By Jasmine Kim

The school is currently undergoing an in-depth self-study on our school mission and programs in relation to student learning and well-being. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the accrediting commission for schools, is working with the California Department of Education to support accountability.

All staff members attend meetings to evaluate the strengths and areas for improvement of the school to determine if the school meets the needs of its students. The school has begun to hold student focus groups as well, which have received both positive and negative feedback. Student thoughts and opinions are crucial during the improvement process of the school’s program and standards as they are the largest population of stakeholders.

“I think that the least radical idea in the world is asking students what they think their school should be like and how it should operate,” IB Coordinator Sean Lewis said. “Yet in reality, adults in charge of this school and just about every other school in the country seem to believe that they know best what students want and need.”

Students have provided constructive feedback on what is working and what is not working to initiate goals to improve student learning and experiences.


GHC staff meet to discuss the vision and purpose of the school, the policies and bylaws of the governing board, the school leadership’s decisions based on data, the facilitation of qualified staff, and the human, material, physical, and financial resources.
Although teachers generally see student behavior becoming worse after the pandemic and seek a return to the rules and regulations from before, some students see the school as overly-regulated.

“I personally think [the rules] have nothing to do with the way we learn and see things,” senior Jacob Meyer said. “I’m pretty sure we are one of the only public schools that are this strict.”
However, other students understand the importance of rules for keeping the school organized and safe.

“To some extent, Granada’s rules have made me more responsible as a student by understanding why being on time and being focused in class is important,” senior Lelah Shapiro said. “Being in student leadership, I am able to see both sides: the students and the administration.”


To meet the curriculum criteria, GHC staff focus on whether or not all students participate in a relevant and rigorous curriculum that supports academic and college and career readiness standards to meet graduation requirements. Though the school offers many programs such as IB, STEM, and AP Capstone, these different programs allow for many students to set up a schedule that fits their interests.

“Teachers attend these meetings but still aren’t applying these ideas in the classroom,” senior Aryan Dwivedi said. “The issue arises from tenured teachers who are not adapting to students but forcing students to adapt to themselves.”

Learning and Teaching

For learning and teaching, staff members discuss student engagement in challenging and relevant learning experiences and student-centered instruction using a variety of strategies and resources. Staff members are asked to determine to what extent the school’s practices and curriculum are equitable, relatable, or innovative. Many discussions surround the diversity of our students’ experiences and whether or not they are voiced in our school practices.

“Granada does a good job in offering resources that can help students on a personal level, such as free tutoring sessions or after school programs,” senior Adarsh Mattappally said.

Assessment and Accountability

To meet the criteria for assessment and accountability, staff members are looking into how leadership uses effective processes to report student performance back to all the stakeholders and modify teaching practices to improve student learning. For this criteria, staff members may look at test-taking and intervention strategies for students with failing grades.

“Some teachers only use tests to assess students and sometimes the way they prepare for tests don’t accurately describe how much a student understands the knowledge in the class,” senior Uzoma Meremikwu said.

School Culture

Lastly, staff are discussing school culture and a nurturing learning environment as well as support for students’ personal, social-emotional, and academic growth.

The school is working to provide students with an environment that nurtures learning and develops a culture that is characterized by trust, professionalism, and high expectations for all students.

“Students underestimate the importance of school spirit and how much more fun it would make being here,” junior Martha Ha said. “I often hear people say ‘I didn’t even know we had that’ or ‘I would have gone if I’d known.’ The school needs to promote athletics and student events more. These events would bring more students together.”