The vision of the SAGE is to sharpen the skills of each of its students through a distinctive and standards-based curriculum focusing on the most currently researched methods of teaching. We believe that studying new methods, then bringing them into our own community to discuss and
debate them, will help us to continually modify what works best for students and teachers together.
In carrying out or mission, curriculum and instruction will be particularly organized around
to meet: 1) the California State Content and Performance Standards in all appropriate high school subjects, 2) district graduation and university admission (A-G) requirements, 3) the individual learning needs of special education students and English Language Learners, and 4) our SLC’s core theme of “global awareness.” The organization of these benchmarks will facilitate a smooth transition of SAGE students from the middle to high school environment and ultimately into university life after graduation.
In addition to the above, a broader goal of our SLC will be to promote partnerships. We focus on partnerships across all disciplines. The community service requirements expected at graduation by all students will be modified to include jobs and management issues related to SAGE administration, events, and even discipline.
In a school where student participation is mandatory, we expect that students will have something to say about how things are done; our goal is to create student buy-in in order to form an SLC-wide student led government that will have a place in all student related activities. Some concerns already suggested by interested students: graduation ceremonies, dances, recycling drives, mentoring, decorating classrooms, and keeping track of classes taken, are among the promising ideas.
It is essential to the development and future existence of our SLC to involve students in the development of our curriculum and extracurricular activities. With such input we hope to embed academic interventions that are structured and will meet the needs of our students. On this front, we will embark on utilizing current SIS systems information provided to us by our site’s SIS Coordinator. Additionally, we will seek student input through quarterly surveys requesting their feedback on options for academic projects and activities by subject, types of assessments they would prefer to take, and which forms of instructional technologies (audio, visual, film, documentary, art, etc.) would aid them best in learning content subject matter. In all, collecting and using SIS and student feedback data in new ways will help the SAGE administrators move students who are advanced, or at risk, up through the crucial early years of transition between middle school and high school.
Specific to the needs of our student populations is the reform of Homeroom. Homeroom is a time to make school-wide announcements and keep ‘official’ record of student attendance. With the advent of the internet has come combined school-wide and district-wide attendance recording; with this in mind, as well as, the fact that learning is harder for the developing mind in the earlier hours of the day SAGE has designed a program that keeps to the traditional bell schedule and makes useful, long term, project-based learning skills for students. In laymen’s terms, a new twenty-minute Leadership course will give students the opportunity to complete at the least one
rigorous, standards-based activity per week such as update their school career portfolios. They will be kept both on paper and, ultimately digitally, resulting in a cumulative goal of creating a college application.
SAGE will be administered by one Lead Teacher and two Coordinating Teachers. These positions (the Leads) will have two conference periods to facilitate academy needs. Additionally, the Design Team will break up into committees that will manage the governance of academy programs and behavior and conduct of students that work independently from our meetings as a group. Every teacher and administrator in SAGE is a part of our team and contributes to issues of community safety. The three leads take responsibility for decisions about budget, implementation, and facilities. Additionally, because we are a community of teachers supporting the goals of our SLC, we accept a collective responsibility for the behavior and conduct of students and achieving our vision as a school.
Leadership of an SLC is more than three Leads can guarantee, for this reason that we turn to the experience and support of the Principal (Mr. Gary Yoshinubu) our SLC Administrator (Ms. Dianne Pinosian), and Belmont’s pupil support staff. It is with their help that we communicate about opportunities for students that the District offers. They are an important source of the data we need to regularly evaluate and modify plans as we move forward. When students, parents, and staff all commit to a common set of expectations it is a very large undertaking. We know what we are getting ourselves into, and we rely on the resourcefulness of the entire community to land on our feet and march forward. We have agreed to do this because we want the young people we work with to succeed.
B. Collaboration with Parents & Community
The partners who are included in SAGE’s growth are the L.A.U.S.D.’s Local District #4, and the entire community that interacts with us. We have invited, and adapted, ideas from students & parents, administrators, teachers, and community sources from the beginning. Forming alliances
with Regional Occupational Program (ROP) classes like that of Belmont’s own Mr. Jose Camacho who has allowed us to add to our curriculum a one year long Automotive Technology course. He
has a broad network of businesses that place his students in steady jobs. Further outreach to the community has put us in touch with organizations such as: Aztec Rising and Mentor LA that counsel and engage our at-risk-youth. It is our larger goal to reach out to colleges and universities, and the downtown business community, as well as, civic institutions such as City Hall.
Promoting partnerships is a broad goal within the SAGE. We focus on partnerships across all disciplines. The community service requirements expected at graduation by all students will be modified to include jobs and management issues related to SAGE administration, events, and even discipline. Other issues, such as: attendance, maintaining grade point average, completion of required units are all things that our entire community will be involved with. Some concerns already suggested by interested students: graduation ceremonies, dances, recycling drives, mentoring, decorating classrooms, and keeping track of classes taken, are among the promising ideas. In a school where student participation is mandatory, we expect that students will have something to say about how things are done; our goal is to create student buy-in in order to form an SLC-wide student led government that will have a place in all student related activities.
SAGE meets formally on a bi-monthly basis, these meetings are open to all. Student and parent involvement is always encouraged, as well, administrative guests are welcome. These meetings while operated by SAGE team members are open to partners and parents to gather and infuse new ideas into the core curriculum.