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Building Effective Smaller Learning Communities Across Disciplines

Building Effective Smaller Learning Communities Across Disciplines

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Building Effective Smaller Learning Communities Across Disciplines

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  1. 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 sloftus@lausd.net

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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”

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. Who are your students? • Use of data will help identify and analyze needs. • SLC Identification • Special Education • EL Learners • ESL • Intervention Needs • Honors & AP

  9. 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?

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. How do you staff small schools to assure equity and meet the diverse student needs?

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Other Requirements • Intervention classes • Teacher credentials • Double block English & Math support • Support for English Learners • Multiple Pathways for technical arts

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. Additional Scheduling Options • Regional Occupational Program (ROP) • Community College and University Partnerships • Adult School • LAUSD Virtual Academy (LAVA) • Independent Study • Skills Centers

  22. The Balancing ActPrioritizing small school benefits • What compromises are acceptable? • What are you not willing to give up? • How do you ensure academic rigor?

  23. Middle School Sample Schedule Personalized Learning Environments Cores and Teams

  24. High School Sample Schedule Small Schools, Magnets, Small Learning Communities (SLC’s)

  25. Tasks and Timelines • Determine needs and priorities • Determine participants to build the master • Agree on timeline and publicize

  26. The dream revisited… What have your heard today that will help you to build a master schedule for small schools?

  27. Additional Questions What questions, clarifications or concerns do you have?