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Building Effective Smaller Learning Communities Across Disciplines. April 29, 2009 New Performing Arts High School “Tips for Building A Master Schedule to Meet the Needs of Small Learning Communities” Presenter: Shelley Loftus

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Building effective smaller learning communities across disciplines
Building Effective Smaller Learning Communities Across Disciplines

April 29, 2009

New Performing Arts High School

“Tips for Building A Master Schedule to Meet the Needs of Small Learning Communities”

Presenter: Shelley Loftus

School Improvement Facilitator, District 2

[email protected]


Today s objectives
Today’s Objectives Disciplines

  • Determine needs of small schools and prioritize goals / actions.

  • Identify issues impacting the building of a master schedule for small schools / SLC/s and discuss strategies for addressing concerns.

  • Discuss tasks and timelines associated with building the master schedule.


Slc small school dreams and nightmares
SLC/ Small School Disciplines Dreams and Nightmares

Reflecting on today’s objectives, take a few moments to write down your:

  • Small School master nightmare

  • Dream come true master schedule success


Smallness and beyond
Smallness and Beyond Disciplines

  • How do we maintain “smallness” while adhering to the District Guidelines and requirements?

  • How do you balance personalization, academic rigor and pragmatism?

  • How and where do we compromise”


Slc attributes summer 2004
SLC Attributes – Summer 2004 Disciplines

LAUSD has a history of “SLC’s”

  • “School Within a School” programs – Humanitas, Perkins Programs, Magnets, Academies, and others

  • Goal for these programs was and is rigorous, personalized, thematic and interdisciplinary instruction


Bulletin 1600 and the 8
Bulletin 1600 and “The 8” Disciplines

  • October 2004 LAUSD Board of Education approved Bulletin 1600 to address the size and constraints of large high school campus life.

  • All High Schools were to create SLC’s.

  • Eight attributes were guidelines:

    • Unifying Vision

    • SLC Identity

    • Rigorous, Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

    • Professional Development

    • Equity and Access

    • Personalization

    • Accountability & Distributed Leadership

    • Collaboration, Parent & Community Engagement


What do we need to know to create a master
What do we need to know to Disciplinescreate a master?

  • Who are our students and what are their needs?

  • What classes must / can we offer?

  • What are our staffing and credential needs?

  • What are the issues at our school?


Who are your students
Who are your students? Disciplines

  • Use of data will help identify and analyze needs.

  • SLC Identification

  • Special Education

  • EL Learners

  • ESL

  • Intervention Needs

  • Honors & AP


What classes are needed
What classes are needed? Disciplines

  • SLC Vision

  • Personalization (9th grade house, advisories)

  • A – G ( Default Curriculum)

  • Career Pathways – CTE

  • Electives

  • Who determines what classes & electives will be offered?


A g curriculum
A-G Curriculum Disciplines

  • History: 2 years

  • English: 4 years

  • Mathematics: 3 yrs required, 4 recommended

  • Laboratory Science: 2 yrs req., 3 recommended

  • Foreign Language: 2 yrs req., 3 recommended

  • Visual & Performing Arts: 1 year required

  • College Prep Elective: 1 year required


A g lausd board resolution june 2005
A - G DisciplinesLAUSD Board Resolution June 2005

  • Adopted June 2005

  • 2006 2007 - access

  • Fall 2008 - must enroll

  • Fall 2012 - Entering 9th graders must complete to graduate in June 2016


Staffing small schools
Staffing Small Schools Disciplines

  • What credentials are needed?

    English Foreign Language

    Math Health

    Social Studies P.E.

    Science Visual and Performing Arts

    Technical/Business

    Issues: PE requires 400 minutes every 10 days

    Fitnessgram required


NCLB Disciplines

  • Federal legislation requires all teachers to be “highly qualified” in core subjects

  • Core subjects are:

    • English

    • Reading/ Language Arts

    • Mathematics

    • Science

    • Foreign Languages

    • Arts (includes dance, music, art)

    • Social Sciences (includes economics, history, geography, and civic/ government)



Staffing configurations middle schools ple s
Staffing Configurations diverse student needs?Middle Schools – PLE’s

Cores For Multiple Subj. Teachers (6th)

Teams Teachers w/secondary credentials

teaching students in their PLE

Help!Middle School Authorizations

Prob or Permanent teachers may

apply to teach a designated subject

gr. 9 or below; must verify 12 units in the

subject; good for 1 year; is renewable

(see www.teachinla.com)


Staffing configurations high school slc s
Staffing Configurations diverse student needs?High School – SLC’s

Subject Area Credentials

Help! Board Permits- allow prob. and perm.

teachers to teach a designated subject;

must verify 18 semester units; valid for 1

year; no cost.

Committee on Assignments – for

elective courses; verify special skills; valid 1 year; no cost. ( 2 per. prob, any perm)

One Period Coach – to coach one period of a

competitive sport


Demands on the master program
Demands on the Master Program diverse student needs?

  • Equal access to all graduation requirements

  • Students with special needs, including gifted, have additional instructional needs.

  • Class size - balance A-G with electives

  • Common Conferences

  • Teacher Preferences / Strengths


Other requirements
Other Requirements diverse student needs?

  • Intervention classes

  • Teacher credentials

  • Double block English & Math support

  • Support for English Learners

  • Multiple Pathways for technical arts


What to do
What to do?! diverse student needs?

  • Remember...the jobs our students will have in the future don’t even exist yet!

  • Goal: College and Career ready

  • Requires thoughtful discussion & planning


Compromise solutions
Compromise Solutions diverse student needs?

  • Passport classes

  • Partner with local community colleges to provide high level academic classes

  • Differentiate instruction using SDAIE

  • Explore 7-period day, 4x4, “zero” periods

  • Analyze data to build programs (ex: honors)

  • Encourage multiple credentials


Additional scheduling options
Additional Scheduling Options diverse student needs?

  • Regional Occupational Program (ROP)

  • Community College and University Partnerships

  • Adult School

  • LAUSD Virtual Academy (LAVA)

  • Independent Study

  • Skills Centers


The balancing act prioritizing small school benefits
The Balancing Act diverse student needs?Prioritizing small school benefits

  • What compromises are acceptable?

  • What are you not willing to give up?

  • How do you ensure academic rigor?


Middle school sample schedule
Middle School Sample Schedule diverse student needs?

Personalized Learning Environments

Cores and Teams


High school sample schedule
High School Sample Schedule diverse student needs?

Small Schools, Magnets,

Small Learning Communities (SLC’s)


Tasks and timelines
Tasks and Timelines diverse student needs?

  • Determine needs and priorities

  • Determine participants to build the master

  • Agree on timeline and publicize


The dream revisited
The dream revisited… diverse student needs?

What have your heard today that will help you to build a master schedule for small schools?


Additional questions
Additional Questions diverse student needs?

What questions, clarifications or concerns do you have?


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