Five Years Ago
The Spring Early College Academy (SECA) was located in temporary buildings on a small piece of land near Westfield HS, supported by a shoestring budget, and was named Southridge Early College Academy. The setting may have been modest, but the teachers and students were creating an environment where challenging academics and a culture of mutual support could flourish. Students went to high school classes in the T-buildings and rode a bus to Lone Star College North Harris County for their college classes. It was a long day for those hard-working students. The hard work began to be recognized locally, state-wide, and nationally.
Meanwhile…Dr. Rodney Watson was visiting an office building being renovated to house a new Spring ISD leadership center when he thought of the Early College students housed in T-buildings. He decided that the Spring ISD central administration could keep working in their old leadership center. He wanted SECA students to have the beautifully renovated building on TC Jester. After residence in that location, the Early College Academy was moved again, this time to Lone Star College North Harris County where students could walk to, not ride buses to their college classes. Throughout the moves, the student body was consistent in their teamwork and academic focus.
The TEA-rated “A” Spring Early College Academy is now settled into their own space at Lone Star College North Harris County thanks to a productive collaboration between Lone Star College and Spring ISD. SECA maintains an intensive academic program, while still maintaining a thriving culture of mutual support. SECA is not for every student. It does not offer band, choir, or athletics. It is Spring ISD’s smallest high school and has a long waiting list. For information about SECA, see https://www.springisd.org/Page/2820.
SECA IS inclusive and reflects the diversity of the Spring ISD student population. SECA demonstrates what Spring ISD students can do when they concentrate on academics, and what they can do is spectacular.
See the TEA Report Card for SECA: https://www.springisd.org/Page/2878See SECA in the Houston Business Journal’s ranking of top high schools: https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2017/03/08/ranking-best-houston-area-high-schools-for-college.html)
Students taking college credit courses at ALL our high schools would benefit from a support system similar to that of SECA, but designed for their needs. For instance, many of our secondary schools already use the AVID (www.avid.org) program to combat achievement gaps between racial and ethnic groups. We would like to offer AVID to all secondary students. We have long admired the high quality of Spring ISD’s performing and visual arts (PVA) programs. The summer camps, competitions, and booster clubs are all features that have benefited PVA programs and SECA. Students in all high schools who want to take Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses should have access to extracurricular academic activities to promote their success earning college credit. We have seen the academic awards that athletes, Tri-Club, ROTC, and PVA students earn. Let’s give these students extracurricular support for their academics, too.
Five Years Ago