2005/06 Smaller Learning Communities Thus Far… Lansing Eastern High School Lansing, Michigan
Thanks … • The work and effort reflected in this presentation is due solely to collaboration between Quaker faculty & staff. Many thanks to 9th grade faculty, administrators & security, upper level faculty & conference attendees. You all ROCK! A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
What we started with … • Eastern has a history of over half of 9th graders being retained (49 % in 01-02, 52% for 02-03, 51% 03 –04 & 62% in 04-05). Between 2000-2005, 40-47 % of 9th grade students retained in the district were Black, 31-35% White & 19-26% were Hispanic. LSD’s Office of Research, Evaluation and Testing February 2006
Discipline… • Of the district’s 54% of discipline incidents in the 1st semester of 2004-05, 52% (518) were Eastern’s. 15% (148) were reportedly Sexton’s & 34% (338) were Everett’s. Our out-of-school suspension rate for the 1st semester of 2004-05 was 44%. District-wide, the 2004-05 1st semester data indicated 18% of reasons for suspension were due to “persistent misconduct”, 20% to “disorderly conduct”. LSD’s Office of Research, Evaluation and Testing February 2006
Academics … • 38% of Eastern 9th grade Math students failed the 1st semester for 04-05. 26% of Language Arts 9th graders did the same. LSD’s Office of Research, Evaluation and Testing February 2006
Who We Are … • 10% LEP (Limited English Proficiency) 20% Special Education 50% On Free or Reduced Lunch 8% Asian/Other Ethnicity 32% Black 23% Hispanic 46% Caucasian
Eastern’s SLC- What Does It Look Like? • Eastern Freshman Academy (FA) is in Year 2 of the SLC grant, Year 1 of full implementation. • FA faculty have common planning time & central location • FA course limited to new incoming 9th graders only; “freshmores” in separate classes • Pre & Post Student/Parent & Staff Surveys on Eastern’s Environment eastern.lansingschools.net
Eastern’s SLC- What Does It Look Like? • 4 Freshman Academy (FA) Teams; 1 SE inclusion, 1 IB (International Baccalaureate)/Honors • Advisor/Advisee support implementation varies by team (voted down narrowly by faculty in ’04-’05) • Behavior Specialist & “Time Out” Room (ISS) added fall of 2005 eastern.lansingschools.net
What Eastern’s SLC Looks Like Continued… • MSU & NHS tutoring 9th Grade Team-Building Days & Parent Day Return of Peer Mediation 9th Grade Administrator, Coordinator & Security centrally located on 2nd floor eastern.lansingschools.net
What’s worked … Team Teaching: Overwhelmingly, 9th grade faculty, parents, students & Quaker staff have indicated their satisfaction with Team Teaching this year. FA Location: Again, all stakeholders (including non-9th grade staff) report benefits in placing 9th grade classes & Admin. Staff on one floor as much as possible. Common planning hour for Teaching Teams (not whole FA): 9th grade faculty & staff use this time for consultation, parent meetings and collaboration.
What’s worked continued… Surveys & Focus Groups: Although this needs development, these measures have provided important feedback that will shape the next years. Research indicates reform is most effective when all stakeholders are involved. Pre & Post Assessments/Data: This year the Math department used their own assessments to place students, measure progress & guide instruction. Quaker 9th graders showed an increase of 7% in passing grades in the 1st semester of 05-06.
What’s worked continued… Team-Building Days: Parents, students & staff report benefits of activities designed to activate leadership, communication, inclusion & problem-solving. Special Education Inclusion: SE students & parents say they’re pleased with results of inclusion. SE students not on a team have asked to be. eastern.lansingschools.net
Some numbers… Discipline incidents down at Eastern: from 52% in 04-05 to 40% 1st semester of this year. Eastern’s school suspensions are down; from 44% (200) in 04-05 to 30% (125) this year’s 1st semester. District data on reasons for suspensions shows disorderly conduct is down to 13% from 20% (54 reports from 94). Eastern’s 9th grade passing grades have increased by 7%. Not statistically significant, but stakeholders say it can’t be dismissed in light of other data . Eastern’s Math & Language Arts grades are increased for 9th graders. Office of Research, Evaluation & Testing February, 2006
& what hasn’t worked… (these components will be eliminated next fall) Common Planning for all FA staff All FA courses offered 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 6th hours Honors courses offered on only one team; next year plans are in place to offer honors classes on all 3 FA Teams eastern.lansingschools.net
what hasn’t worked, continued… (these components are being considered for a best action plan) Dividing Teams by academic ability: student focus group participants reported dissatisfaction with what they referred to as “smart” & “dumb” teams. Further development of Career Houses eastern.lansingschools.net
The following feedback & observations are from Eastern staff who have attended SLC workshops & conferences in Atlanta, San Jose, Chicago & St. Petersburg. Staff Input From Other SLC Schools in the US Students at Edison HS were equitably distributed over “schools”. Administration was careful to evenly distribute number of ELL, SE, grade level, academic ability, etc. over each ‘school within a school’. Students were not grouped by career choice; it was reported that this “did not work”.
Input From Other SLC Schools in the US • Eastern staff who attended the Atlanta conference stated the Advisor/Advisee program was used to increase connection between parents/teachers & students. Advisory also provided an organized way to distribute information & provide the “small community” environment. eastern.lansingschools.net
Input continued… • Diverse electives offered at Edison • Edison HS has two full-time police officers • Block scheduling did not work there • All staff who attended the San Jose conference noted the reports from students & staff regarding the strong relationship between young adults & staff maintained, they said through small communities. • Comments from conference participants…
Next year… • Maintain successes we’ve had with current strategies; continue 9th grade Academy (3 Teams) • Implement GRAD Program, if staff votes to • Hold progress on developing Career Houses • Next year’s 10th grade will be an “Exploratory Year” to gain skills & assess career needs through GRAD
The GRAD Program vote The GRAD curriculum is available to review on Eastern’s website: click staff links & SLC. GRAD period occurs for all students, six times each semester. Eastern’s GRAD program will be implemented as approved for 1 year & reviewed by staff at the end of the 2006/07 academic year to evaluate its success. Per results of the staff survey, the GRAD Program will not count towards the contractual limit of 3 preps. Student’s attendance counts as a class assignment (per survey results) & can be structured to be taken in Web Attendance. The GRAD period will always alternate between 2nd & 6th hours (to increase attendance & reduce skipping) and the schedule will be adjusted so all classes meet that day. eastern.lansingschools.net
The GRAD Program vote • Staff would not lose 1 planning period per semester as all classes will meet (shortened schedule) the day of GRAD. • Staff will be compensated by their choice of being excused from 1 records day OR exchange for duty time (per staff survey). • Assignments for the GRAD period would accompany an extra credit voucher to be used at teacher’s discretion in their class(es). Teachers could decide & set an agreed value for the vouchers. • SLC grant monies can be used for Senior Seminar or other grade-level special GRAD speakers or programs,as approved. • Eastern staff will vote beginning today through Monday on the GRAD Program. Lee Howell will distribute ballots in your boxes. Return completed ballots to Mr. Howell. Thanks! eastern.lansingschools.net
Again, thanks. eastern.lansingschools.net