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Managing Fundamental Change in High School Reform. Presentation by: Kathleen A. Mullin, Director Boston Public Schools Office of High School Renewal. Under Performing High Schools. Key indicators: Low achievement Low test scores Low attendance High Incidents High SPED population

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managing fundamental change in high school reform
Managing Fundamental Change in High School Reform

Presentation by: Kathleen A. Mullin, DirectorBoston Public Schools Office of High School Renewal

under performing high schools
Under Performing High Schools
  • Key indicators:
    • Low achievement
    • Low test scores
    • Low attendance
    • High Incidents
    • High SPED population
    • High DYS population
theory of action
Theory of Action
  • Something has got to change.
    • small schools must, by their vary nature, be different than their predecessors, and demands that we all make adjustments and provide the conditions for these changes
  • Small in and of itself does not make schools successful. It is what small allows:
    • More personalization and improved instruction
    • A strong focus on academics ; equal emphasis on relationships
    • Accountability/ownership for success or failure
    • Encourage stronger adult-adult, student-student, adult-student relationships
    • Close the achievement gap for all students
financial support
Carnegie Corporation

of New York

Small Learning Communities


Student Alienation

Collaborative Coaching and Learning (CCL)

Funds held centrally and brought to

schools via literacy coaching and

Student as Researcher projects.

Bill and Melinda Gates


Small Schools


Instructional Materials

Technical Assistance

Student Achievement

Key Student Activities



Funds go directly to the schools

Financial Support
hsr collaborating partners
HSR Collaborating Partners

Boston Plan for Excellence

Boston Private Industry Council

Center for Collaborative Education

Jobs for the Future

key elements
Small Schools


Single Leader




Real Estate (Portions of a building)

Size (no larger than 400 students)

Small Learning Communities

Within a comprehensive high school

May have an SLC leader

Staff assigned

Students assigned (9-12)

Budget (?)

Real Estate

Size = 275 -> 400 students

Key Elements
slc policy
SLC Policy
  • Supt. Payzant instituted a policy: high schools to be structured into SLCs. The format was not clearly defined.
  • SY 03-04 HSR Work Group completed a study to assess how high schools were instituting the SLC policy.
    • There were SLCs, but no uniformity, no solid structures.
    • HSR Work Group made recommendations to the Supt. To change the SLC policy to mandate that all small schools be vertically aligned grade 9 – 12.
  • Supt. presented findings and made recommendation to the Boston School Committee. School Committee voted in favor of recommendation.
slc policy update 2004
SLC Policy Update - 2004

By September 2005, All Boston Public

High Schools will institute a vertical

framework (grades 9 – 12) as one of

the following models:

  • small schools
  • small learning communities
SLC Rollout



East Boston



Small School Rollout






Quincy Upper

Orchard Garden

New Boston Pilot Middle

Community Academy

Boston Day Academy


rollout for september 2005



East Boston




Small Schools


5 design teams competing for 4 small schools


5 design teams competing for 3 small schools

Rollout for September 2005
bps now 2005
BPS Now (2005)

Education Complexes

  • Dorchester Ed Complex
    • Academy of Public Service
    • Economics & Business Academy
    • TechBoston Academy*
  • South Boston Ed Complex
    • Excel
    • Monument
    • Odyssey
  • Taft Ed Complex
    • Another Course to College
    • Boston Community Leadership Academy
  • Hyde Park High School
    • TBD
    • TBD
    • TBD
  • West Roxbury High School
    • TBD
    • TBD
    • TBD
    • TBD

High Schools with SLCs

  • Brighton
  • Burke
  • Charlestown
  • East Boston
  • English
  • Madison Park
  • Snowden

Pilot High Schools

  • New Mission High
  • Boston Arts Academy
  • Fenway High School
  • Quincy Upper School
  • Boston Day & Evening Academy
  • Health Careers Academy
  • Greater Egleston

International High School

  • Boston International High School

Exam Schools

  • Latin School
  • Latin Academy
  • O’Bryant
graduation policy
Graduation Policy
  • Ungraded policy
    • Students who fail courses are not held back; they repeat only the courses that they fail.
    • Students who need more time to finish high school can take it.
      • Alternative Ed
      • DYS
      • New Comers
hsr projects
HSR Projects
  • Policy Development/Changes
    • High School small school/SLC policy
    • Ungraded policy/Graduation policy
    • Alternative Ed Network
    • DYS
    • Student Assignment
      • Over-age student analysis
      • Small School Selection Process
    • SPED – SCAN/Universal Design/Partnership
  • Design Team Coordination
  • Study Groups – Research and Due Diligence
  • Student Voice/BSAC
student voice
Student Voice
  • Boston Plan for Excellence hired high school students to survey their peers.
    • Students as Researchers
  • HSR has contracts with two youth voice organizations to work with schools around creating a more active student voice within schools.
    • Youth on Board

    • Teen Empowerment

technical support to small schools
Technical Support to Small Schools
  • Design Team Coordination
  • Building Conveners and Capacity Coaching
  • Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC)
  • Gates grant management
  • Program development (grants)
  • Curriculum development (signature courses)
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Professional Development
    • Small School Leaders
    • Middle Managers
    • Design Teams
    • Central Office
small school design teams
Small School Design Teams
  • RFP
  • Rubric
  • Design Team PD
  • Co-facilitation of team activity
  • Align proposal review committees
  • Make recommendation to Supt.
  • Technical assistance for proposal writing
    • HSR bulletin board
small school development areas of work
Small School Development Areas of Work
  • School Vision and Culture
  • School Organization
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Student Assessment and Performance
  • Special Education
  • Family and Community Involvement
  • Professional Culture
  • Student Support
  • Student Voice and Engagement
  • Staffing
  • Governance Structure
networks and affiliations
Networks and Affiliations
  • National
    • Gates
    • Carnegie (Schools for a New Society)
    • New England Small Schools Network/CES
  • BPS
    • HSR Coordinating Group
    • HSR Work Group
    • Boston Small Schools Network
    • Small School Leaders
    • Pilot School Network
    • Alternative Ed Network
    • Community Engagement Work Group