SoWashCo Schools: When Two Schools Become Three—Redesign at the District Level. Aaron Harper & Linda Plante August 11th, 2008
Objectives • Discuss the Research—A Reason to Change • Introduce the 4 Core Principles of Change • Present Framework of Redesign • Summarize Essential Elements and Implementation
Who Is District 833? • Large metro area district serving communities of • Afton • Cottage Grove • Denmark Township • Newport • St. Paul Park • Woodbury • Approximately 17000 students
SoWashCo Continued… • Demographics • 78% Caucasian • 8% Asian American • 7% African American • 6% Hispanic • 1% Pacific Islander • Socio-economics • Free/Reduced = 14%
SoWashCo Continue… • Structure • 14 Elementary Schools • 4 Junior High Schools • 2 High Schools, grades 10-12 • In 2009, Transitioning to … • 3 Middle Schools • 3 High Schools, grades 9-12
“Our high schools are obsolete. By obsolete, I don’t just mean broken, flawed and under funded although I can’t argue with any of those descriptions. What I mean is that they were designed to meet the needs of another age.” Why Change? Bill Gates at the National Governors Association National Summit on High Schools, February 2005
High Schools Are Obsolete Today, even when they work exactly as designed, our high schools cannot teach our kids what they need to know.
Calculation of the Percent of MN Students Graduating in 2006 Using the 50-State Compact NGA Model All students 73% American Indian 39.1% Asian 67.4% Black 37.8% Hispanic 38.3% White 80.1%
Are We Educating Everyone’s Children? • Half of all African-American and Hispanic students will drop out, and only 18% will graduate from high school ready for college • 80% of prison inmates are high school dropouts
Take a Moment to Reflect • Turn to a neighbor and discuss • Are American high schools obsolete? • How are we doing? • Be prepared to provide to share Fist of Five ranking
Are High Schools Obsolete? Fist to Five: How good are you already? How much do you want it / need it?
National Crisis • In 2001, 32% of jobs in America were filled by college graduates, 28% by individuals with some college, 31% by high school graduates, and only 9% were filled by high school drop outs.
For every 100 - 9th graders 68 will graduate from high school on time 40 will enter college 27 will still be enrolled in their sophomore year Only 18 will graduate within six years of entering college! The National Crisis Continued
Crisis Continued… • Current trends will drop the United States to 18th in high school completion rates!
Crisis Continued… • Most of those who do finish are poorly prepared for what lies ahead: 68% of graduates aren’t ready for college or a family-wage job • “Ready for college” means that all students are prepared for a range of post-secondary options
“The high school of the 21st Century must be much more student-centered and above all much more personalized in programs, support services and intellectual rigor.” Breaking Ranks: Changing an American Institution
20% Jobs requiring at least some post-secondary education. A Case for ChangeJob Market By 2012, Minnesota will see a 20% increase in jobs requiring at least some post-secondary education. Source: America’s Career Information Network, Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2004)
A Case for ChangeInternational Competition Students Enrolled in Postsecondary (in millions) UNESCO, 2003
Expectations are the same for both college and “good jobs” • American Diploma Project found a high degree of convergence. • The knowledge and skills that high school graduates will need to be successful in college are the same as those they will need to be successful in a job that: • pays enough to support a family well above the poverty level, • provides benefits, and • offers clear pathways for career advancement through further education and training. http://achieve.org.
Ready for College and Ready for Work The levels of readiness that high school graduates need to be prepared for college and for workforce training programs are comparable. (ACT Study 2006)
A Case for ChangeEducation Level / Workforce Participation/ Income Unemployment Rate in 2003 Median Earnings in 2003 Doctorate Professional Degree Master’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree Associate Degree Some College High School Graduate Less Than High School Note: Earnings for year-round full-time workers 25 years and over; unemployment rate for those 25 and over Source: Bureau of the Census; Bureau of Labor Statistics – Current Population Survey
SoWashCo Is Asking • How do we promote academic growth for ALL students? • How do we provide the academic rigor to meet the challenges of the 21st Century? • How do we personalize the learning environment? • How do we make the curriculum relevant?
SoWashCo Is Asking • Review and recommend changes in current high school practices and programming; and • Develop a plan for implementation of approved recommendations beginning fall, 2009.
Redesign • What does redesign mean to you? • Why is it appropriate to redesign? • Local, State, and National push to reevaluate the function of our high schools • Best practice • Timing is right
Break Ranks: Seven Cornerstone Strategies • Establish essential learnings • Reduce the number of students for which any adult or group of adults is responsible. • Implement a comprehensive advisory program • Use a variety of instructional strategies and assessments. 5. Implement flexible schedules. 6. Institute inclusive leadership changes. 7. Align professional development.
Description Application Pool Staff, parents, school board member(s), union representatives, students, post-secondary institution, and community members Oversight Task Force Cross section of interested students, staff, and community members to review current practices and develop recommendations for the redesign of our high schools using the 4 R’s of ‘rigor, relevance, relationships and results’ as guiding principles. High School Redesign Committee Rigor Sub-Committee Relevance Sub-Committee Relationships Sub-Committee Results Sub-Committee
Rigor • Advanced Placement • International Baccalaureate • College in the Schools • Graduation requirements • College admissions exams • Articulated credits
Relevance • Career planning • Internships/job shadowing • Community connections • Course offerings and Curriculum
Relationships • Personalization • Advisory programs • House concept • 9th grade transition • Adult advocacy • Peer mentoring
Results • Instructional pedagogy • Academic expectations • state • national • international
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Positive relationships in a high school setting result from coordinating expectations, programs, and procedures to develop a sense of belonging among students, staff, and community. Core Principle: Essential Element: Creation of a safe and orderly school environment. Optional Strategies: • Earned incentives for positive behaviors • Progressive interventions • High staff visibility • Consistently communicated and enforced expectations • Mentorship strategies
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Positive relationships in a high school setting result from coordinating expectations, programs, and procedures to develop a sense of belonging among students, staff, and community. Core Principle: Essential Element: Students will feel a strong sense of connection to each other. Optional Strategies: • SLC • Mentorship programs such as cross-level and tutoring • Freshman Transition, mentorship, and advisory programs mandatory • Advisories at all levels • Extensive and coordinated co-curricular activities • Student Support Groups • Student led announcements/broadcasts/publications • Collaboration between student led organizations
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Positive relationships in a high school setting result from coordinating expectations, programs, and procedures to develop a sense of belonging among students, staff, and community. Core Principle: Essential Element: Students will feel a strong sense of connection to at least one adult. Optional Strategies: • SLC • Staff-Student Mentorship • Expectation of staff participation in co-curricular offerings • Advisories at all levels • Adult advocates and support strategiesfor new, at risk, or other identified students
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Positive relationships in a high school setting result from coordinating expectations, programs, and procedures to develop a sense of belonging among students, staff, and community. Core Principle: Essential Element: Staff will work to foster supportive professional relationships . Optional Strategies: • SLC • PLC or Community of Experts • Cross departmental collaboration such as common prep time • Extensive professional development opportunities • Staff – Staff observations • Staff affirmation programs • Support staff involvement at all levels
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Positive relationships in a high school setting result from coordinating expectations, programs, and procedures to develop a sense of belonging among students, staff, and community. Core Principle: Essential Element: Students, staff, parents and the community will foster productive partnerships. Optional Strategies: • SLC • Incorporation of technology to facilitate and improve communication between stakeholders • Stakeholders periodically review and publicly describe the state of the high school • Development of partnerships between community youth organizations and school • Student led conferences • Local business, post secondary, and community organization partnerships • Site Council with parent and/or community representation • Utilization of strategies to involve all community stakeholders
Relevance Is….. A term used to describe how pertinent, connected, or applicable some information is to a given matter. Relevance has unique significance in a variety of fields. It’s the ability to engage students in the pursuit of higher standards and ensure students can use what have they learned. Students taking relevant classes are more motivated to learn. Students taking relevant classes retain more of what they learn.
Core Principle: Relevance- Application to the real world Essential Element: Connect curriculum designs with real-life knowledge and 21st century skills, with a global outlook to help students link their education to their future Optional Strategies: • Establish essential learnings for graduation, including 21st century skills (global awareness; technology, financial, economic, business, civic and entrepreneurial literacy; health and wellness awareness) • Establish close relationships with post-secondary learning institutions to align curriculum and meet their standards, also exploring PSEO, College in the Schools, and other dual enrollment options; CLEP testing; and curricular/extracurricular opportunities. • Establish close relationships with local businesses for internships, job sharing/shadowing, cognitive apprenticeships and other career exploration opportunities Action Plan: (to be created by the building)
Core Principle: Relevance- Application to the real world Essential Element: Ensure that each student is an active participant in the planning and execution of his or her high school learning experience Optional Strategies: 1. Personalized Learning/Career Plans 2. Senior Project/Prospectus 3. Structured Independent Study 4. Internships 5. Job Shadowing 6. Cognitive Apprenticeships 7. Online Learning Action Plan: (to be created by the building) Implement a program like Navigation 101 (a life skills and planning curriculum for students in grades 6-12), helping students make clear, careful and creative plans for life beyond high school.
Core Principle: Relevance- Application to the real world Essential Element: Build meaningful external partnerships with parents and the communities of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and Woodbury to gain trust and support for not only the educational opportunities available to all high school students in our district, but also the high expectations that are set for students. Optional Strategies: • Parents – promote their role in Personalized Learning/Career Plans; promote accelerated curriculum options/benefits; invite, inform and encourage parents to participate in academic recognition programs, college planning sessions, etc. • 2. Communities – develop community recognition for excellence in education with an honor roll listing and other student achievements published both within the high schools and externally in local newspapers; invite the community into the high schools for exhibitions, performances, etc. Action Plan: (to be created by the building)
Core Principle: Relevance- Application to the real world Essential Element: Structure the organizational design of high schools to support a flexible, collaborative-spirit environment for both students and staff. Optional Strategies: • Promote a less divisive and more supportive climate amongst staff, creating a spirit of collaborative learning. • Create flexibility in scheduling to allow for 1) meaningful collaboration amongst teachers in the same or different disciplines and 2) students to experience more meaningful in-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences. • Provide a system of accountability for the application of these recommendations. • 2. Encourage staff and students to develop projects and opportunities that are innovative and promote higher level thinking skills Action Plan: (to be created by the building)
Core Principle: Relevance- Application to the real world Essential Element: Ensure that staff is trained and supported in carrying out each essential element in order to build a professional, stable community with a collaborative spirit and the ability to grow and expand. Optional Strategies: • Hire an on-site staff development/technology integration specialist to work with staff at a more intimate level. • Encourage all staff to develop a philosophy of continual professional development, with support and encouragement from administration for both internal and external staff development. Action Plan: (to be created by the building)
Rigor Rigor: Challenging all students to prepare for post-secondary education without the need for remediation at the post-secondary level
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Core Principle:Challenging all students to prepare for post-secondary education without the need for remediation at the post-secondary level Essential Element: All curricular offerings are challenging and are designed to elevate individual student achievement. • Optional Strategies: • Review course handbook, eliminating non-challenging courses. • Incorporate CIS or IB or AP courses. • Incorporate Plato or Read 180 courses to increase proficiency. • All curricular offerings are aligned with state standards. • Encourage students to take part in state/national competition. • Use the Arts as a framework to teach math and literacy skills. • Review all courses for overlap. Action Plan: (to be created by the building)
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Core Principle: Essential Element: Intentional interventions are automatically implemented to assure student success in every area. • Optional Strategies: • Safety nets like AVID or Link Crew are available to students. • Each department develops strategies to intentionally help students. • Develop resource rooms by departments. • Develop a study hall/study room program in schools. • Develop tutorial programs. • Establish scheduled office time for teachers. • Establish meaningful dialogue with colleges. Action Plan: (to be created by the building)
High School Redesign Sub-Committee Recommendations Core Principle: Rigor Essential Element: All teachers are prepared to implement the full scope of coursework in their curricular area. • Optional Strategies: • Rotate courses among staff members in core areas ( 3 year rotation) • Peer observations required • Encourage staff development around lesson study. • Flexible scheduling to encourage teaching in strength area, • Training seminars available to improve methodology ( job embedded). Action Plan: (to be created by the building)