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Charter Schools and Early College High Schools – A Perfect Match!. Pineywoods Community Academy PARAMUS Early College High School December 11, 2013. Not that long ago, in a place not too far from here, something really unexpected happened….
Pineywoods Community Academy
PARAMUS Early College High School
December 11, 2013
Not that long ago, in a place not too far from here, something really unexpected happened…
A PCA Timberwolf came knocking on the Angelina College Roadrunner’s door!
Began application process in 2009-2010 school year
Obtained letters of support from Angelina College Board of Regents and Pineywoods Board of Directors
Provisionally designated as an ECHS for the 2010-2011 school year
Started with 44 students
Currently 143 students participate in the ECHS program
To target at-risk students and provide them with an opportunity to earn 60 college credit hours or an Associates degree at an institute of higher education (IHE)
Create a means to higher education, focusing on
Classes are taught at the junior college or university
Students are provided with academic counseling and support to help them to be successful
Students are taught study and organizational skills essential for post secondary readiness
All in order to provide dual credit at no cost to all students!
Are served using high-stakes strategies such as
Smaller class sizes
Lasting peer and teacher relationships
Providing a “college-going” culture
A blended high school and college curriculum
Exposure to all educational disciplines
Strong partnership with a solid MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the IHE
Opportunities (spelled out in the MOU) for the ECHS and IHE to collaborate through planning, teaching, and professional development
Comprehensive evaluation is conducted each semester to examine student performance
Performance is evaluated by student, by course, and by instructional arrangement
Instructional arrangements include traditional (face to face) courses, online courses, and hybrid courses (online course with a weekly seminar)
HB 5 has added some flexibility to the course articulation, especially in regards to the 4th English class as well as 4th science and math classes
Fall 2013 Semester Charges - $100,089 for 124 students taking an average of 9 semester hours = $807 per student
9 semester hours is equivalent to 3 high school classes; 3 classes x 104 students = 3.5 teachers (approximate load of 20 students per high school class)
3.5 teachers @ $47,000 annually = $164,500 or $82,250 per semester
For PCA, four additional classrooms would need to be leased x $500/month = $24,000 annually/$12,000 per semester
Per semester cost $82,250+$12,000 = $94,250,000/124 = $760 per student
Compared to ECHS cost of $807 per student, ECHS costs PCA $47 more per student than traditional HS program – it’s worth it!
Cost per student doesn’t include sub costs and any other facility overhead expenses.
Program is paid out of 420 (Charter School General Revenue Fund)
Staff Development is paid out of 255 (Title IIA) funds
Spending part of the day at Angelina College, we realized that our students had to have access to technology to complete assignments
We leased 105 laptops from Lenovo for $1300 per month for a 36 month lease using REAP funds (equates to $445 per laptop total cost)
$1 buyout per machine at the end of the lease
Some AC instructors think high school students don’t belong in college
ECHS must provide social and emotional support
Blackboard system not used by all teachers
ECHS has limited access to grade reports
FERPAs are signed and maintained for all students
Communication and feedback—early alerts for failing grades are essential
Avoiding failing grades and course drops is the goal of early alerts
Academic, social, and emotional safety is the key
Bullying happens – even at the college level
To be treated like college students, you have to act like college students. Juniors and seniors can wear regular dress; freshman and sophomores must wear uniform dress to be identified as PCA students
There are lots of ways to take attendance – and we have tried them all.
It’s challenging to know where your students are all the time.
104 students in enrolled in online coursework as well as face to face classes
6 students (sophomores and juniors invited to Phi Beta Kappa, National Junior College Honor Society
5 students (out of 20 graduates) earned Associates degree in 2013
7 students are slated for dual degree in 2014
Students will also earn certificates in welding, diesel mechanics, and cosmetology