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Colton High School. Implementation of 2012 Diploma Requirements. OACOA/OASE Winter Conference Salishan, Oregon February 1, 2008. History. 1995-96: ODE initiative – small schools and CAM 1999-2002: ODE New Century Schools project

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Colton high school

Colton High School

Implementation of 2012 Diploma Requirements

OACOA/OASE Winter Conference

Salishan, Oregon

February 1, 2008



  • 1995-96: ODE initiative – small schools and CAM

  • 1999-2002: ODE New Century Schools project

  • 2002-2005: ODE Assessment Pilot Project (Extended Application and CRLS)

  • 2003-2006: ODE Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Cohort A

  • 2005-2010: International Center for Leadership in Education’s “From Promising to Proven” 5-year initiative

  • 2005: Allan Bruner named Oregon Teacher of the Year

  • 2005 OASE Excellence in Curriculum Leadership Award (Senior Seminar program)



  • Small, rural high school in SE Clackamas County approximately 35 miles SE of Portland

  • Unincorporated area; limited business (post office, market, telephone company, gas station, fire station, public schools)

  • School district encompasses 189 square miles

  • 230-250 student population at high school (includes 8 exchange students)

  • 15 certified teachers (2 part-time); 1 principal; 1 counselor

  • 26 credits required for diploma

  • 7 period day; 4 day week

Presentation highlights

Presentation Highlights

  • Challenges

  • What Worked

  • Culture

    • Student engagement in relevant learning

    • Student achievement at the highest levels

    • Student transitions to next steps

  • Future focus

    • Role of essential skills in learning process

    • Role of comprehensive guidance and counseling



  • 5 high school principals in the last 9 years

  • Decreasing budgets and enrollment

  • Staff buy-in early on

  • Communication with parents and community

What worked

What worked

  • Commitment and support of administrators

  • Focus on contextual/project-based learning

  • Dynamic administrator at the high school to lead the way (right person at the right time)

  • Core leadership group of “out of the box” thinkers

  • Consistent focus on “What’s best for kids.”

  • Continuous improvement model based on International Center for Leadership in Education/ Gates Initiative

  • Common use of language around rigor, relevance, and career-related learning

How colton is approaching the diploma requirements

How Colton is Approaching the Diploma Requirements

  • 8th grade semester long “Careers Exploration” class

  • Freshmen Focus class – 6 rotations of skill building courses

  • Guidance curriculum activities in classroom and small groups

  • Individual planning – guidance and career counselors

  • Advisory programs at both middle and high school

  • Senior project approach to “Extended Application”

  • “Post-secondary planning” guided activities component added to senior year

School improvement plan

School Improvement Plan

  • Four focus areas

    1. Belonging

    2. Transitions

    3. Data

    4. Technology

  • Specific outcomes embedded in teacher goals

  • Posted in main hallway

  • Included in student planners

Comprehensive guidance and counseling program k 12

Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program (K-12)

Cohort A: 2004-2007

Classroom instruction, large and small group activities and individual planning:

  • Academic preparation

  • Career development

  • Personal/social development

  • Community involvement


    Educational planning

Comprehensive guidance and counseling program continued

Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program (continued)

  • Personalized educational planning process

    • Focused on grade level

    • Included parent participation

    • Opportunities for one-on-one or small group interaction

    • Connected to students’ post-secondary goals

Student transition into high school

Student Transition into High School

  • Middle school preparation

    • Advisories – 7th grade

    • Career-Related Learning class – 8th grade

  • Freshmen Focus

  • Transition from CRLS language to “Essential Skills”

    • Multi-disciplinary approach among freshmen core teachers and Career/Technical Education programs

    • Focused around CRLS

    • Assessed using WorkKeys instrument

  • Advisory

    • My Voice survey

    • Goal setting

    • Big Buddy/Little Buddy program

Student engagement

Student Engagement

The extent to which students:

  • Are motivated and committed to learning

  • Have a sense of belonging and accomplishment

  • Have relationships with adults, peers and parents that support learning

    Measured through:

  • “My Voice” student survey

  • Graduation rates

  • Attendance

  • Participation in extra-curricular activities

  • Referrals

  • Forecasting into accelerated classes (stretch learning)

Student achievement

Student Achievement

Achievement in the coresubjects:

  • English

  • Reading

  • Math

  • Science

  • Social studies

    Measured through:

  • Statewide assessment

  • PSAT

  • SAT, ACT


Student achievement1

Student Achievement

Achievement in the stretch subjects:

  • AP classes

  • College articulated courses

  • Senior Seminar

    Measured through:

  • Credits earned from college

  • AP scores

  • SAT

    • SAT II subject area scores

  • ACT

Student transition to post secondary

Student Transition to Post-Secondary

  • High rigor/high relevance lesson plans

    • 9-12 across the curriculum

  • Incorporated into graduation requirements

    • Senior Culminating Project model

  • Community partnerships: Camp Colton (80 acre land lab), Colton Fire Department (internships), Colton Telephone Company, Boosters, Donate-2-Educate

  • Pathway development with 2- and 4-year post-secondary institutions

Role of essential skills in learning process

Role of Essential Skills in Learning Process

Professional development provided around:

  • Alignment of curriculum to new diploma requirements

    • FTE targeted toward mathematics

    • Stretch learning opportunities for students (increased AP offerings)

    • Strong focus toward inquiry-based science

  • Alignment across the curriculum; i.e., math, reading, etc.

Professional development

Professional Development

  • Support school improvement plan goals

  • 11 inservice days (including statewide inservice day)

  • 2006-07: focus on ICLE rigor and relevance framework

  • District supportive of teacher-initiated innovations; fosters a positive climate for risk-taking

Data driven decisions

Data-Driven Decisions

  • SIP goal: “Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected, analyzed and used in future educational decisions.”

  • Freshman Focus revamped based upon academic success/failure of 2006-07 freshmen

  • Advisory lesson plans focused on “My Voice” student survey results, particularly the characteristic of “Belonging”

  • Evolution of credit recovery program from community college summer program to local delivery program to web-based system

  • Data basis for development of CHS Learning Criteria goals and action plans around Core Learning, Stretch Learning, Personal Skill Development and Student Engagement

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