Principal's Message

​​​​​​​Dear Parents and Students:

Welcome to the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year!

A new school year presents opportunities for various beginnings: new courses, new classrooms, and, of course, new faces. At the start of each school year, we are inspired and motivated with a refreshed outlook and renewed spirit. This year I am anxious with anticipation and courage as we continue our journey into important and impactful work concerning the intersection of academic rigor and school culture. I have already begun work with teacher leaders, school administrators, the PTSO, and DCPS central office to create solutions to some of our most pressing academic and social issues. I have great optimism for what we will accomplish during the next school year and beyond.

We will continue the efforts of the last few years and shape our work around our core mission, vision, and values: “Wilson High School strives to build a safe, supportive, and welcoming community of dedicated and self-reflective learners, equipped to joyfully embrace opportunities for growth on the path of active citizenship.” To further drive our decision-making this year, we are using the results of the Panorama Survey, completed by 785 underclass students in the spring of 2019. The survey measures Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies. The district has targeted specific questions to create the Loved, Challenged and Prepared Index. The student responses to that index are below, using a 5-Point Likert Scale:

Sense of Belonging

How well do people at your school understand you as a person?

Completely understand - 8%

Understand quite a bit- 36%

Understand somewhat- 33%

Understand a little- 17%

Do not understand at all- 6%

Rigorous Expectations

When you feel like giving up on a difficult task, how likely is it that your teachers will make you keep trying?

Extremely likely- 15%

Quite likely- 45%

Somewhat likely- 28%

Slightly likely- 9%

Not at all likely- 2%


If you fail to reach an important goal, how likely are you to try again?

Extremely likely- 16%

Quite likely- 35%

Somewhat likely- 35%

Slightly likely- 12%

Not at all likely- 3%


During the past 30 days, how often did you remain calm, even when someone was bothering you or saying bad things?

Almost all the time- 27%

Frequently- 36%

Sometimes- 26%

Once in a while- 8%

Almost never- 3%


When complicated ideas are presented in class, how confident are you that you can understand them?

Extremely confident- 13%

Quite confident- 37%

Somewhat confident- 37%

Slightly confident- 9%

Not confident at all- 3%

We intend to work toward improving our SEL competencies, with a focus on Sense of Belonging. We know that SEL work is not easy. It requires honesty, courage, and self-reflection from all members of the community to build the academic climate and culture that we desire. Teachers will continue a deep focus on student engagement, through peer observations, lesson-plan support, and analyzing students’ work. These efforts are aligned with the work of our teacher leaders in LEAP and by our goal-setting process with the Comprehensive School Plan. 

There are many more exciting and engaging initiatives, events, and programs planned for the 2019-2020 school year. I will share more details with you as they emerge at our monthly Parent Coffees and through our weekly eNewsletters. I hope you’ve had a restful and restorative summer, and I look forward to working with you this school year!

All Best,

Kimberly J. Martin