Building Effective Smaller Learning Communities Across Disciplines April 29, 2009 New Performing Arts High School “Tips for Building A Master Schedule to Meet the Needs of Small Learning Communities” Presenter: Shelley Loftus School Improvement Facilitator, District 2 email@example.com
Today’s Objectives • Determine needs of small schools and prioritize goals / actions. • Identify issues impacting the building of a master schedule for small schools / SLC/s and discuss strategies for addressing concerns. • Discuss tasks and timelines associated with building the master schedule.
SLC/ Small School Dreams and Nightmares Reflecting on today’s objectives, take a few moments to write down your: • Small School master nightmare • Dream come true master schedule success
Smallness and Beyond • How do we maintain “smallness” while adhering to the District Guidelines and requirements? • How do you balance personalization, academic rigor and pragmatism? • How and where do we compromise”
SLC Attributes – Summer 2004 LAUSD has a history of “SLC’s” • “School Within a School” programs – Humanitas, Perkins Programs, Magnets, Academies, and others • Goal for these programs was and is rigorous, personalized, thematic and interdisciplinary instruction
Bulletin 1600 and “The 8” • October 2004 LAUSD Board of Education approved Bulletin 1600 to address the size and constraints of large high school campus life. • All High Schools were to create SLC’s. • Eight attributes were guidelines: • Unifying Vision • SLC Identity • Rigorous, Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment • Professional Development • Equity and Access • Personalization • Accountability & Distributed Leadership • Collaboration, Parent & Community Engagement
What do we need to know to create a master? • Who are our students and what are their needs? • What classes must / can we offer? • What are our staffing and credential needs? • What are the issues at our school?
Who are your students? • Use of data will help identify and analyze needs. • SLC Identification • Special Education • EL Learners • ESL • Intervention Needs • Honors & AP
What classes are needed? • SLC Vision • Personalization (9th grade house, advisories) • A – G ( Default Curriculum) • Career Pathways – CTE • Electives • Who determines what classes & electives will be offered?
A-G Curriculum • History: 2 years • English: 4 years • Mathematics: 3 yrs required, 4 recommended • Laboratory Science: 2 yrs req., 3 recommended • Foreign Language: 2 yrs req., 3 recommended • Visual & Performing Arts: 1 year required • College Prep Elective: 1 year required
A - G LAUSD Board Resolution June 2005 • Adopted June 2005 • 2006 2007 - access • Fall 2008 - must enroll • Fall 2012 - Entering 9th graders must complete to graduate in June 2016
Staffing Small Schools • What credentials are needed? English Foreign Language Math Health Social Studies P.E. Science Visual and Performing Arts Technical/Business Issues: PE requires 400 minutes every 10 days Fitnessgram required
NCLB • Federal legislation requires all teachers to be “highly qualified” in core subjects • Core subjects are: • English • Reading/ Language Arts • Mathematics • Science • Foreign Languages • Arts (includes dance, music, art) • Social Sciences (includes economics, history, geography, and civic/ government)
How do you staff small schools to assure equity and meet the diverse student needs?
Staffing ConfigurationsMiddle Schools – PLE’s Cores For Multiple Subj. Teachers (6th) Teams Teachers w/secondary credentials teaching students in their PLE Help!Middle School Authorizations Prob or Permanent teachers may apply to teach a designated subject gr. 9 or below; must verify 12 units in the subject; good for 1 year; is renewable (see www.teachinla.com)
Staffing Configurations High School – SLC’s Subject Area Credentials Help! Board Permits- allow prob. and perm. teachers to teach a designated subject; must verify 18 semester units; valid for 1 year; no cost. Committee on Assignments – for elective courses; verify special skills; valid 1 year; no cost. ( 2 per. prob, any perm) One Period Coach – to coach one period of a competitive sport
Demands on the Master Program • Equal access to all graduation requirements • Students with special needs, including gifted, have additional instructional needs. • Class size - balance A-G with electives • Common Conferences • Teacher Preferences / Strengths
Other Requirements • Intervention classes • Teacher credentials • Double block English & Math support • Support for English Learners • Multiple Pathways for technical arts
What to do?! • Remember...the jobs our students will have in the future don’t even exist yet! • Goal: College and Career ready • Requires thoughtful discussion & planning
Compromise Solutions • Passport classes • Partner with local community colleges to provide high level academic classes • Differentiate instruction using SDAIE • Explore 7-period day, 4x4, “zero” periods • Analyze data to build programs (ex: honors) • Encourage multiple credentials
Additional Scheduling Options • Regional Occupational Program (ROP) • Community College and University Partnerships • Adult School • LAUSD Virtual Academy (LAVA) • Independent Study • Skills Centers
The Balancing ActPrioritizing small school benefits • What compromises are acceptable? • What are you not willing to give up? • How do you ensure academic rigor?
Middle School Sample Schedule Personalized Learning Environments Cores and Teams
High School Sample Schedule Small Schools, Magnets, Small Learning Communities (SLC’s)
Tasks and Timelines • Determine needs and priorities • Determine participants to build the master • Agree on timeline and publicize
The dream revisited… What have your heard today that will help you to build a master schedule for small schools?
Additional Questions What questions, clarifications or concerns do you have?