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Louisiana High School Redesign Summit Lonnie Luce, PhD, Deputy Superintendent of Schools May 2, 2007. Agenda. Who are Greenville County Schools? High School Reform in South Carolina – the Three R’s Why 9 th Grade Redesign in GCS? District Leadership What is Next?

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Louisiana High School Redesign Summit Lonnie Luce, PhD, Deputy Superintendent of Schools

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Louisiana High School Redesign Summit

Lonnie Luce, PhD, Deputy Superintendent of Schools

May 2, 2007


  • Who are Greenville County Schools?

  • High School Reform in South Carolina – the Three R’s

  • Why 9th Grade Redesign in GCS?

  • District Leadership

  • What is Next?

  • Wade Hampton High School’s Freshman Academy

  • Questions

JH Bonds Career Center – 425


Career Center – 350

Golden Strip

Career Center – 512


Career Center – 450

High School Reform in South Carolina – the Three R’s2006 SC High School Redesign Commission Report

I. Building Rigor

  • High Expectations

  • High Academic Standards

  • Rigorous Course Work

  • Personalized Support

  • Varied Learning Styles

High School Reform in South Carolina – the Three R’s2006 SC High School Redesign Commission Report

II. Building Relevance

  • Create a high school curriculum meaningful to students and tied to a real-world knowledge and skills

  • Ability for students to choose a curriculum that fits their interests, everyday lives, and future plans

High School Reform in South Carolina – the Three R’s2006 SC High School Redesign Commission Report

III. Building Relationships

  • Students academically perform better when they are known, valued, and contributing members of a learning community.

Rigor in GCS

  • Increased number of AP, IB, and Honor course offerings

  • High academic standards

  • Professional Development support

  • Curriculum Resource Teachers at all high schools

  • New Uniform Grading Scale (2007-2008)

Relevance in GCS

  • Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) Implementation

  • Dual Credit Offerings

  • Virtual High School

  • Twilight Schools

  • Distance Learning

  • Credit Recovery

  • Technology Integration

Relationships in GCS

  • Smaller Learning Communities (6 sites)

  • High Schools That Work (8 sites)

  • Vertical Teams

  • Graduate Greenville

  • Alternative pathways to graduation

Why 9th Grade Redesign in GCS?

  • Only 5% of retained 9th graders will go on to graduate.

  • More students fail ninth grade than any other grade of school.

  • Students who repeat at least one year are three times more likely to drop out of school than students who have not failed a grade.

  • 60% of students with multiple risk factors in eighth grade graduate from high school on time, compared to 90% of other students.

Why 9th Grade Redesign in GCS?

  • The performance of students in Algebra I is the single most reliable indicator of their earnings at age 25.

  • A study of 56 Georgia and Florida high schools found that schools with extensive transition programs had significantly lower failure and dropout rates than those schools that did not offer comprehensive programs.

Berea High2004-052005-06

9th Graders Retained15151

Attendance Rate92.38%92.93%


JL Mann High2004-052005-06

9th Graders Retained5560

Attendance Rate96.3%96.5%


Freshman Academy Results

Hillcrest High2004-052005-06

9th Graders Retained20883

Attendance Rate93.38%93.41%


Mauldin High2004-052005-06

9th Graders Retained9564

Attendance Rate - -


Wade Hampton High2004-052005-06

9th Graders Retained7551

Attendance Rate92.05%93.58%


Freshman Academy Results

Travelers Rest High2004-052005-06

9th Graders Retained14478

Attendance Rate--


District Approach

  • Applied for Small Learning Communities Grant (Awarded $2.1M for SY04-05 to SY06-07)

  • Decentralized implementation (see goals)

  • District level meetings to discuss best practices with other SLC schools

7 Period Day




J. L. Mann




Travelers Rest

8 Opportunity Block


Blue Ridge



Wade Hampton


High School Schedules 07-08

What is Next?

  • Implement HSTW district-wide

  • Transition 9th grade Small Learning Communities into Clusters and Majors

  • Offer dual credit courses for more Carnegie Credit

  • Continue implementation of standards-based curriculum

  • Increase number of Distance Learning opportunities

  • Increase the percentage of students taking honors, IB, and AP courses

  • Expand the “possibilities” of the Twilight Schools

  • Educate middle-grades students, parents, and teachers about rigorous high school studies

  • Establish a “Parental Involvement” training for schools

Lance Radford, Principal

What Are We?

  • Grades 9-12 (389 Freshmen)

  • 1300 students

  • Gender

    • Male = 642 Female = 658

  • Ethnicity

    • A = 2%

    • B = 25%

    • H = 7%

    • O = 1%

    • W = 65%

  • Poverty Index (FARMS) approx. 35%

  • Zoning

  • School of choice (21%)



Reduce the 9th grade retention rate

WHHS Freshman Stats


9th Graders Retained1117551

Attendance Rate92.92%92.05%93.58%




HSAP Pass RateN/A68.9%75.6%

District Support

  • One size does not fit all

  • Flexibility

  • Things are not done in isolation

  • District level meetings with other schools that have 9th grade academies

  • Take chances

  • OK to throw out what didn’t work (even though you may have spent a lot of money on the effort)

SREB: HSTW Freshman Academy Philosophy

  • Isolate the first year freshmen in major academic classes

  • Dedicated Freshman Academy Coordinator

  • Dedicated Guidance Counselor & Administrator

  • Dedicated Freshman Academy Faculty with time for collaboration built into the day

  • Incentive Programs for Teachers and Students

SREB: HSTW Freshman Academy Philosophy

  • Tutoring programs

  • Double blocking classes

  • Small class sizes

  • Teaming & Collaboration of teachers

  • Professional Development for teachers

  • Summer Bridge Program

Wade Hampton High School’s

Formula for Success

  • Hire and retain quality teachers

  • It must be the Teachers choice to be a part of the Freshmen Academy

  • Teacher Incentive program

What Worked?

  • Personnel

  • Dedicated AP, Coordinator & Guidance Counselor

  • The School Principal must be involved

  • Choosing teachers that want to be in the academy

  • Professional Development specific to the needs of FA Teachers

    • 2-day Pre-School Retreat

  • United Philosophy

    • all 9th graders can be successful

    • 9th graders must not fail

    • High expectations for all students

    • Consistency when enforcing rules

    • Keep students in class & disruptions to a minimum

  • Incentive program

  • Curriculum

  • Common Teaching Practices (Agenda & EQ on the board)

  • Common Course Syllabi (Horizontal Alignment)

  • MAP Testing for placement decisions

  • Student Support

  • During the school day tutoring

  • 9th grade hallway

  • Small Class Sizes

  • Peer African American Male mentoring program

  • Increased Rigor, 25% of freshmen now take AP classes

  • AP pass rate is 44%

  • Double blocking lowest achieving students in English and math

  • 4X4 schedule with only 2 academic classes per semester

  • PTSA sponsored summer school

  • Free credit recovery

  • First Friday

  • Student of the Month

  • Back-to-School Kits

  • Communication

  • Weekly Freshmen Academy teacher meetings/planning

  • Constant contact with parents (grades / attendance)

  • Spring Fling Information Thing

What Didn’t Work?

  • Curriculum

  • Freshmen Success classes

  • Common planning for teachers

  • Double blocking all freshmen in math classes

  • Delayed start (traditional schedule)

  • Personnel

  • Part Time Coordinator

  • Part Time Administrator

  • Assigning teachers to teach Freshman Academy classes

  • Communication

  • Transition programs with feeder middle schools

  • Monthly newsletter mailed home

  • Student Support

  • Teaming

  • Double blocking all freshmen in English and math

  • Freshmen lunch

  • Using ISS as the primary discipline action for 9th graders

  • Rescheduling students who were not successful in English or math

  • Excessive levels within courses

  • After school tutoring (transportation problems)

What’s Next?

  • Wall to wall Career Academies

  • The new focus on 10th grade

  • South Carolina – The Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA)

    • 16 Career Clusters (With Majors)

    • Personal Pathways to Success

    • Transition from Middle School to High School to College/Workforce

    • Individualized Graduation Plan (IGP)



Louisiana High School Redesign Summit

May 2, 2007

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