Lincoln High on probation


Rhett Acosta, Staff writer

Update (May 8, 2019)

This week members of The Western Association for Schools and Colleges visited San Joaquin County’s largest high school, Lincoln as promised months ago.  Sources close to the WASC visit tells The Lincolnian that Monday and Tuesday’s visits went so well that the team from WASC left early before making a presentation to staff members on their findings.  According to theses sources and teachers in the WASC presentation, the results of their visit were encouraging possible to land Lincoln High outside of its initial probationary period.  Check back here and see our next issue of The Lincolnian in late May for updates.



In the spring of 2017 The Western Association for Schools and Colleges visited Lincoln High School to check up and make sure that the high school was fulfilling all the requirements set by WASC. The committee found that the school was failing in some areas of the requirements put in place by WASC. They placed the high school on probation, and said that the committee would return in May of 2019 to review and check that all the areas of concern were fixed or have bettered.

The Lincolnian was able to obtain a copy of the Probationary Progress Report. The report was created by Lincoln High School, and it outlined all the areas in need of improvement.

“The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is the accrediting body for the western region of the United States. Accreditation is the process for evaluating and assuring the quality of educational institutions and programs” Said Principal Lori Green. If a school or college were to lose its accreditation it may not be eligible for state and federal funding.

One of the issues that WASC had with Lincoln High School was the lack of diversity among its teaching staff. It stated that 71.6 percent of the teachers at the high school for the 2017-2018 school year were Caucasian. However, only 24 percent of the schools enrolled students were Caucasian.

“Research shows that minority students often perform better on standardized tests, have improved attendance, and are suspended less frequently when they have at least one same-race teacher.”According to the report. Both Principal Green and Superintendent Kelly Dextraze say that recruiting a more diverse staff is a goal of the school and district.

Another issue that the school is facing is the amount of students being suspended and expelled. In the 2017-2018 school year, 10.8 percent of the students enrolled at Lincoln High School were suspended. Out of those suspended, 17.4 percent were Caucasian, 35.8 percent were Hispanic/Latino and 38.1 percent were African American, yet they make up 13 percent of the school’s total population. This disparity was a concern from WASC.

In the report the school outlined that, “There is a need to train all school staff to apply school discipline policies and practices in a fair and equitable manner as to not disproportionately impact students of color, students with disabilities, or at-risk students.” Principal Green said that the staff has had training in Restorative Justice and Restorative Practice. Instead of suspending students the school has focused its resources on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The Focus Center is a direct result of these training. The Focus Center is more about Restorative Justice.

An area that was in need of improvement outlined by WASC were students grades. Over the 2017-2018 school year, 16 courses on campus had a D or F rate higher than 30 percent. For example, in Math 9 T, 40.4 percent of those enrolled in the course had an F. In Math 9 I, 25.1 percent of the students were failing. English 9 had a 23 percent failing rate. Art 1 had a 20.9 percent failing rate.

The school recognizes this as an issue and addresses it in the report. “Many staff members report students with D’s and F’s struggle due to lack of engagement.” Stated the report. “Underclassmen tend to struggle most with organization and time management with six or seven classes worth of expectations and assignments,” Said Green.    

Losing accreditation is a serious issue, however the school is insistent that it will not happen. “At this point there is no concern regarding losing accreditation,” Noted Green.   Dextraze said, “It would be very unusual for a school to lose its accreditation, and we do not anticipate that this will happen… We expect that the visiting committee will see significant improvement.”  

The visiting committee is set to visit Lincoln High School’s campus May 6th and 7th. Then the committee will decide whether or not the school retains the accreditation.