This program is open to all students from both the local and traveling communities.
Provide all levels of English Language Development, Sheltered Instruction and English Language Arts throughout the high school years.
Develop social and academic fluency in English.
Respect, acknowledge and integrate students’ culture into the curriculum.
Demonstrate the commonalties between cultures non-native to the United States and U.S. culture in order to facilitate the integration of all students into this society.
Help students become active and productive members of this culture and community.
Support high expectations for all students with culturally relevant and linguistically responsive teaching.
Provide appropriate instruction to students below grade level to begin to close the achievement gaps.
Lay the foundation for the acquisition of skills necessary to succeed in A through G courses.
Provide Advanced Placement courses for all qualifying students.
Provide appropriate instruction in all academic areas for designated Special Education students.
Seek parental and student feedback in courses and programming policies.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP Accountability is as equally important as responsibility and within the community it is our intention to keep ourselves accountable. The best way to do this is to communicate expectations of everyone to everyone. Our community will outline common expectations for students and teachers so that students know what to expect from their teachers and what the teachers expect of them.
In addition, it is the responsibility of all LAIHS members to support one another. This support has taken shape as part of the behavior intervention plan where teachers send students to another teacher’s room in lieu of the dean’s office. Teachers on their conference period keep the halls free of wandering students by escorting them to their classrooms. Teachers check in on substitutes of other teachers. Finally, teachers will participate in formal and informal discussions about curriculum and vertically/horizontally plan when time is provided to do so.
Accountability is as equally important as responsibility and within the SLC and it is our intention to keep ourselves accountable by communicating expectations to everyone.
Resources and budgets must have the input of all stakeholders by a prioritized list and the decisions for distribution must be made collaboratively.
In addition to the informal, mutual accountability process, we will also maintain accountability by committing to the following strategies:
Data-driven knowledge will supplement human-driven decision making in the management of school change and improvement.
The SLC staff will use the resources available to collect and analyze student achievement data to address issues of academic achievement, student equity, student development and professional development
Key decisions will be made as democratically involving all stakeholders.
From the first day of school, students will be made to feel welcome. A week before school begins we plan to have an “Orientation” with all our ninth graders and their families to familiarize them with the school. We will introduce the structure of the school, the program’s expectations and the personnel from whom they can receive assistance. Essential topics to be introduced include: school mission, calendar and daily schedule, and introduction of advisement model. It is recognized that parents will not necessarily absorb all information given, particularly the immigrant parents, and the concept of on -going communication through grade level parent meetings and conferences with student advisors will be introduced as a means to prepare them for their role as partners with the school in educating their child.
At the beginning of the school year, an Advisory Program will be implemented within each homeroom. Each teacher will be responsible for advising a number of students, which is proportionate to the teacher student/ratio in their Career Path area of emphasis. Advisories will be assigned and organized around specific groups of students.
In this advisory period, ninth graders will develop a written plan for their high school career and this plan will be kept in their cumulative record. If changes are needed, student program modifications will be undertaken in consultation with the Student Advisor. The purpose of advisement is to take into account student interest, progress and achievement in grades and test scores, a review of any pertinent disciplinary or behavior issues, and personal factors such as emotional issues or family concerns.
In the middle of each semester, advisors will contact parents of their advisees who are receiving Ds or Fails in any of their classes. Parents will be asked to help develop and sign off on a plan to remediate the situation. The consequences of receiving D’s and F’s will be clearly articulated by the Advisor at this time. Resultant involuntary program changes will be made at the discretion of the Advisor, in accordance with minimum GPA standards associated with each career path.
Two types of peer mentoring opportunities will be made available to students in the Education Career path. One will consist of a voluntary partnership between students in the eleventh or twelfth grade and a third or fourth year college student enrolled in an accredited education department credential program. The student advisor will arrange the pairing. The purpose is to expose high school students to successful role models who will be able to assist with both logistical and motivational aspects of seeking a college degree in education. Most meetings will be arranged to take place on the LAIHS Campus, but excursions will be planned a minimum of one time per semester, and will follow LAUSD Field Trip protocol. The second type of peer mentoring is to be established between lower (freshman/sophomore) and upper (junior/senior) classmates. The purpose of this peer tutoring is to provide underclassmen opportunities to learn from the personal and successful experiences of upperclassmen, both from direct academic tutoring and personal sharing. It also allows the older students to build self-esteem as well as establish a commitment to their chosen career path as a product of their mentoring role. To assist the upperclassmen in learning their role, a training program will be organized in the idle of fall semester. Interview protocols will also be developed to teach mentors the principles of supportive listening and peer teaching. The School Counselor will coordinate this program.
Individualized Instruction will be facilitated primarily through the relationship shared between student and their core teachers. Weekly meetings will take place each Monday, during sixth period, and both individual and group sharing regarding school progress will be the program to be followed during these meetings. Staff and students will develop the agenda for meetings together. Since core teachers will be following students up through their high school career, it is anticipated that the nature of meeting discussions will be increasingly personalized and could include non-academic topics related to family, friends, drug/alcohol, anger management, sexuality etc. The School Counselor will act as resource in providing teachers with information and outside referrals for specific issues rose.
Personalized Interventions are developed as a result of teachers meetings, which will take place after school immediately following the sixth period Monday weekly student meetings. Here staff will share concerns regarding specific students and develop strategies for remediating both academic and counseling difficulties. Among the academic remedies, recommendations may include after school tutoring, tutoring with mentors, counseling referrals, parent conferences, daily contracting for behavior and academic tracking and planning make-up work.
We will continue to provide and expand a Tutoring Intervention Program. The tutoring program will be open to all students, but those who are receiving Ds or Fails will be required to attend. Both Math and Language Arts teachers will be available during these sessions. Parents of students who are receiving Ds and Fails will be informed of their sons/daughters low academic achievement.
Besides the scheduling of classes, our counselor will be part of our Attendance Intervention Program. He will be notified when a student is absent from any class for a long number of days. Routine and non-excessive absence and tardy excuses will be handled by the office clerks.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP All decisions regarding curriculum, materials and staffing will be collectively made based on the analysis of student needs, progress and achievement.
SLC Leadership, Duties, Responsibilities and Qualifications
Our student body will elect representatives including one president to oversee all grade levels, and one vice president, secretary, treasurer and historian from each grade in order to give students a voice as key stakeholders in the proposed SLC. One selected member will represent the student body at each School Site Council meeting. The student body representatives committee is designed to keep the student body well informed of school and community events, and to take part in school decisions as a whole. Student Government is open to any student who maintains a 2.5 GPA and satisfactory citizenship.
School Site Council
The School Site Council within the SLC will be comprised of the administrator, a teacher representative from different disciplines or teams from each grade level, a student representative and a parent representative. The group will be responsible for the allocation and disbursement of categorical funds, and scheduling.
The Curricula Committee is comprised of one representative from each discipline or team. Its primary focus is to ensure that educational standards are being followed in order to achieve our vision of educating our student population. Responsibilities include ensuring that each discipline team follows a rigorous and relevant curriculum, which follows state standards, standardized testing within each department and maintaining relevant, linguistically responsible textbooks for each subject matter. Additional duties include overseeing Teacher Assessment Portfolios. Members include tenured faculty representatives from each department.
Faculty Accountability Procedures and Policies Teacher Assessment Portfolios
Each faculty member will be responsible for maintaining an annual portfolio in order to ensure growth and development of the teaching staff, thereby enhancing the students’ education. The portfolio should include a self-evaluation, a peer evaluation, and student evaluations. The purpose of the portfolio is constructive and meant to help faculty members determine their needs for professional development. The Curricula Committee will oversee the Teacher Assessment Portfolios. The portfolio requires faculty members to present their work each year to a faculty committee. This process not only holds teachers responsible for demonstrating continued growth and improvement. It also provides a valuable forum for sharing best practices.
COLLABORATION, PARENT AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
This refers most specifically to partnering of students with off-site work/career locations. We plan to develop such partnerships both on and off site. Since our major career path emphasis is Education and Training, we will develop work situations and partnerships within our school, while building and maintaining positive experiences with other occupational groups. Educational internships will be arranged in conjunction with Belmont Attendance Zone Early Education Centers and elementary and secondary school. Other opportunities will be fostered through: the Abe Friedman Occupational Center, East LA Skill Center, LA Occupational Center.
We will develop a job-shadowing program within our school and other schools where students interested in Education and Training get on the job experience in the field. This may take the form of service learning experiences, teacher assistants, and other related work within the school.
We will develop a mentoringprogram in conjunction with various Education Departments at the four year and community college level, as well as the LAUSD Teacher Training Program. Students will be paired with either University students or LAUSD teachers for the purpose of goal setting in the field of education, identifying and resolving possible barriers to attainment of these goals.
We see parent engagement as multi-faceted, to include not only the student-parent-teacher relationship, but the relationship of the family to the school as well. Since we anticipate the majority of our students will be from other countries, we currently provide or provide for “language appropriate” services for the students and their families. We have had a successful relationship and connection to LAUSD’s Immigration Student Assessment and Placement Center, which has provided us with a committed psychologist, Brad Pilon. Under his direct assistance and guidance, he has developed perpetual relationships with such community outreach organizations as the Chinatown Service Center, Korean Youth and Community Services, Search To Involve Pilipino Americans, and Asian Pacific Counseling Center. Mr. Pilon has also provided regular individual and small group counseling, Special Education Assessments, and IEP meeting coordination. The Immigrant center also provided Interpreter Aides, School Nurses, and CHAMP workers, all who either assist students or their families with health, personal, and technical issues. It is our firm intention to obtain these services as a regular part of our engagement process.
This third aspect could be seen as a sub-section of Parent Engagement. We see this as our efforts to develop collaboration between teachers, teachers and students, teachers and parents, and parents and the school district. We held our first Welcome and Orientation Program for parents this last fall, and plan to refine and expand the scope of this program to begin the process of successful partnering of students. We also have begun relationships with the Families In Schools organization to help build connections to families, students, and other service agencies in the community. We plan to organize more activities to bring teachers, parents, and communities together. Along with our advisory program, we will form, develop and maintain grade level parent groups whose purpose will include communicating district information to all families, provide and open forum for questions and sharing by parents. Our overall goal is to get the families to realize their important role in the success of their children’s educational life as well as their personal and professional life, and provide avenues for the families to become involved.
We will develop a process of regular collaboration among teachers, so that every teacher has a more rounded perception of each student, their strengths, weaknesses, family situations, so they can provide for areas of improvement, growth, and understanding to their students.
We need to continually improve our professional practices based upon our assessment of student needs and contemporary pedagogical research shown to be effective for the demographics of our student population. Our professional development will evolve progressively with daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and biannual meetings. We will also organize planning periods to allow teachers to meet in groups of interdisciplinary grade level.
As an autonomous school we would like to bank professional development days and meet for an entire day once a month. In this way, we could address whole community issues, address content area issues, and to review the curriculum to ensure its alignment to the academic state standards.
plan cross-curricular, thematic lessons during common planning sessions
provide scaffolding within departments to ensure students’ success from one class to the next.
Cross-curricular teaching for specific lessons
On-going Professional Development For All Staff
Instructional team of teachers responsible for informing teachers of professional development opportunities such as classes, conferences, and seminars
Peer evaluation recommendations for specific professional development areas
Staff ensures membership/participation in professional associations
School funding provides some allocations for professional development in the form of stipends to facilitate attending classes/conferences
Professional Development (other than the ones mandated by local or central districts) should be chosen by needs analysis based on a review of student teaching/learning techniques in the areas of the identified need, if it has been proven effective in other schools or districts. In order to continue to improve our practice and focus on student needs, we would like to implement teacher evaluations completed by peers and students bi-annually. This would help develop a culture of consistent, transparent reflections. In order to create and maintain a true community, we need to share the responsibility of reflection and improvement personally in a transparent and positive manner.
SCHOOL IMPACT REPORT: BELMONT HS
The Belmont High School Impact Report reflects the understanding among the six small learning communities and the comprehensive high school of how the various entities will function within the host school site. Special attention will focus on Planning and Organization; Common spaces; Time schedules and Calendars; Staffing of Teachers; School-wide programs and services; and Student Choices.
PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION: Ensure autonomy between SLCs and small autonomous schools.
Autonomy is an essential component of the success of SLCs and small schools. Autonomy supports the intimate, caring and safe learning environments that SLCs strive to create. In a shared building, SLCs will be as separate as possible.
SLCs should have physical separate areas of the building that belong to their own school. Each SLC should have its own entrance, gathering areas, administration office, teachers’ workroom, and any other amenity necessary. This physical separation creates a sense of ownership and identity within the larger school building.
School Location Code
Each SLC should have its own school location code (like the magnet schools that exist within larger schools).
Number of SLCs per Track
In an attempt to balance the number of SLCs on each track, the Building Council will determine the movement of SLCs to a more appropriate track.
Configuration of Design Teams
Design Teams were formed by each SLC using LAUSD Board Bulletin 1600. Design Teams consisted of teachers, students, parents, and community partners.
School of Awareness and Global Education
Los Angeles Academy of Medical and Public Service
Computer Science Academy
Los Angeles International High School
Dispute Resolution Process All staff members in Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs are expected to engage in professional behavior with fellow employees, students, parents, and others with whom interaction is made on behalf of or while representing the Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs. Unprofessional behavior includes unlawful harassment including, but not limited to jokes, threats, put-downs, decorations, and innuendoes related to gender, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. Staff is expected to refrain from such activity and to report alleged improprieties in accordance with state and federal laws.
The Belmont High School Building Council will adopt policies and processes for airing and resolving internal and external disputes that include the use of facilities, scheduling, building resources, student discipline, etc. Disputes arising among teaching staff and/or teachers and administrators will be resolved through procedures established by the collective bargaining agreement between LAUSD and UTLA and between LAUSD and AALA. The Building Council agrees to resolve complaints regarding the school’s operations in accordance with the school’s adopted policies.
The intent of this dispute resolution process is to:
Resolve disputes within Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities pursuant to the school’s policies.
Minimize the oversight burden on LAUSD.
Ensure a fair and timely resolution to disputes.
Disputes Arising Within Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities
Disputes arising within the Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities including all disputes among and between students, staff, parents, volunteers, advisors, and partner organizations will be resolved by the respective small learning community where the dispute originated in collaboration with school principal. When necessary, the school principal in collaboration with the SLC will request assistance from any of the following entities—collective bargaining units, local district office, staff relations office, and any other appropriate unit.
General Complaint procedures to address internal issues or internal disputes that may arise between staff, an SLC, and parents:
Parent Internal Complaint Resolution Procedures Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will provide the following recourses to resolve parent complaints:
Meet with Lead Teacher and then Principal Depending on Situation
Meet with Teacher to Resolve
Meet with Lead Teacher and then with Principal to Resolve
Local District on Unresolved School-wide Impact Issues.
Principal on Unresolved School-wide Impact Issues.
Local District if Unresolved - As needed and Depending Situation and/or Upon Request.
Disputes Between Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities
The staff of Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities agree to attempt to resolve all disputes pursuant to the terms of this section. SLCs will refrain from public commentary regarding any disputes until the matter has progressed through the dispute resolution process.
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will respond promptly to all inquiries, including but not limited to, inquiries regarding financial records.
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will respond within three weeks of the receipt of any written inquiry. In the event of a dispute among small learning communities, the persons agree to first frame the issue in written format.
SPACE: Location of SLCs
Belmont High School – Contiguous spaces are being identified with assistance from Architects of Achievement in an effort to provide conducive spaces to each SLC. SLC triads will be formed in order to allow three SLCs to rotate within a “ZONE” when they exit and enter a track.
HS #10 Educational Complex – The School Site Council approved the movement of three SLCs from Belmont HS to New HS #10 Educational Complex.
Use of shared spaces
Establishment of a Neutral Facilities Coordinator – A shared facilities situation is most effective in a context where each SLC within a building has its own leadership, yet a separate person who is not affiliated with any particular SLC acts as a neutral Facilities Coordinator to assist in the scheduling of shared spaces between each SLC and the comprehensive high school. The Facilities Coordinator acts as a neutral scheduler of space, mediates disagreements among SLCs and between the comprehensive school, and allows for an equal power dynamic between the principals.
Shared Spaces and Services
The following “shared spaces” will be accessed equally by all students, staff and teachers in small learning communities and in the comprehensive high school:
The following “shared services” will be accessed equally by all students, staff and teachers in small learning communities and in the comprehensive high school:
Competitive Sports Teams
Specially Funded Categorical Programs
Create a Shared Facilities Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – For SLCs using the same building, a shared facilities MOU will be created to provide essential structure and guidance to the principals in time of decision-making. The MOU will include the following:
Mutually agreed upon principles among the SLCs and the comprehensive school – Everyone should agree that all students in the building should have equal access to the school facilities, regardless of which school in the building they attend. The schools should also agree to an equitable division of resources within the school building.
Governance of the facility – The MOU should outline how the building will be maintained, who is in charge of maintenance and operations, emergency repairs, communications with District’s M&O, etc.
TIME: Small Learning Communities will have the flexibility to redesign their class schedules, professional development agendas, and matrices providing that they all meet LAUSD and State’s Education Code policies. Waivers from existing policies will be requested from collective bargaining units and LAUSD when necessary.
Careful consideration will be given to avoid conflicts and/or disruptions to other SLCs and the comprehensive school on site in the event class schedules differ. To avoid ringing of bells at different schedules, we anticipate using a “bell-less” internal system within each respective SLC to trigger student movement.
Teachers on SLC Design Teams will follow their students. If teachers choose not to move, then an opening will be declared and will be filled by Belmont faculty based on seniority. If teachers at Belmont do not wish to apply for the position(s), then the opening(s) would be advertised throughout the District.
There are occasions when a less senior teacher can replace a senior teacher, it has to do with credentialing, certification, and school needs. Also, if a teacher is on a Design Team, a more senior teacher cannot displace them, if the senior teacher wishes to move into the SLC, they must wait for an opening.
Teachers at CAP receiver schools do not have bumping rights to Belmont High School.
Belmont High School teachers will apply to the new autonomous school on a voluntary basis. If teachers at Belmont HS do not wish to apply for the position(s), then the opening(s) would be advertised throughout the District.
If there is an opening, teachers may move from one SLC to another. Selection will be made by the SLC.
Comprehensive and Small Learning Communities Governance Model
Local District Superintendent
Physical Education • ROTC • Athletics • Cheerleading • Band
Special Education Resource Center • Specially Funded Categorical Programs
Selected AP and Elective Courses • Computer Labs • Other School-wide Services (pending agreement of SLCs)
Counselors will be assigned equally across the SLC and comprehensive school based on student population served. SLCs will have the option of dollarizing the position(s) in order to hire more teachers in order to reduce class size.
Deans will be assigned equally across the SLC and comprehensive school based on student population served. In the future, SLCs will have the option of dollarizing positions to increase FTE aimed at lowering class size.
Support staff/aides and related positions will be assigned equally across the SLC and comprehensive school based on student population served. Pending approval of a waiver, SLCs will have the option of dollarizing the position(s) in order to hire more teachers in order to reduce class size.
Clerical staff will be assigned equally across the SLCs and comprehensive school based on student population served.
Custodial staff will report to Plant Manger who in turn reports to Building Principal. Custodians will be assigned to specific contiguous zone spaces.
Building Council will discuss the possibility of creating multiple lunch periods to serve all students.
SCHOOL-WIDE PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES:
AP Classes – SLCs will determine the subject and number of AP courses. SLCs will have the option of joining with community partners—colleges and universities—to offer college level courses that will count toward college credit. On rare occasions, SLCs may allow their students to enroll in an AP courses offered by an adjoining SLC.
Electives – Each SLC will determine the subject and number of elective courses. SLCs will have the option of joining with community partners—colleges and universities—to offer college level elective courses that will count toward college credit. On rare occasions, SLCs may allow their students to enroll in an elective course offered by an adjoining SLC.
Intervention – SLCs have the responsibility to offer necessary interventions to ensure that their students will succeed in graduating from high school and are prepared to enter college. SLCs will determine the subject and number of intervention opportunities. SLCs will have the option of joining with community partners—community organizations—to offer academic enrichment programs. On rare occasions, SLCs may allow their students to enroll in an intervention program offered by an adjoining SLC.
Athletics – SLCs will determine the extent of competitive athletics participation by SLC students based on their school’s mission and vision.
ROTC - Students in SLCs who are meeting A-G requirements and are on graduation pathway, are permitted to enroll in the ROTC program as long as those requirements do not interfere with full participation in their chosen SLC.
ROP - Students in SLCs who are meeting A-G requirements and are on the graduation pathway, are permitted to enroll in the ROP program as long as those requirements do not interfere with full participation in their chosen SLC.
Extracurricular Activities - Students in SLCs who are meeting A-G requirements and are on thre graduation pathway, are permitted to enroll in the extracurricular activities as long as those requirements do not interfere with full participation in their chosen SLC.
Student Leadership – Each SLC will have their own student leadership class and offer freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior dances, fieldtrips, internships, and other related extracurricular activities.
Physical Education – 2-years of physical education is required for graduation, SLC students may take their PE classes anytime between the 9th and 12th grade.
Recruitment Protocol – Belmont HS will publish a bilingual brochure describing the focus of study of each SLC, their goals, and benefits students will receive by enrolling in their school of choice. Belmont will send this brochure to all eighth graders at Berendo, Virgil, and King middle schools. In addition, brochures will be sent to all CAP students bussed to various schools in the District. Belmont HS will sponsor an SLC Registration Fair aimed at informing all students of the opportunity to enroll in the various SLCs. Each SLC will present their school, its emphasis, goals and attributes. Each SLC will be given guidelines to follow in representing their SLC at the Fair—Banners, number of recruiters, etc. A letter will be sent to each family confirming the enrollment of their son/daughter into their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. choice.
Transfer policy-The principal goal of all SLCs is to create a more personalized educational environment; therefore, student transfer requests will be taken seriously and considered on a case-by-case basis.
Only students may initiate a transfer; no teacher or administrator may transfer a student to another SLC. Dumping of students will not be tolerated.
All students should participate in an SLC for at least one year; mid-year transfers will not be considered.
A student may not transfer to another SLC once he or she has reached his or her junior year; a student may only transfer at the end of his or her freshman or sophomore year.
If, at the end of a school year, the student feels that the SLC is not a right match, he or she needs to take the following steps:
Make an appointment with the SLC lead teacher and two or more current grade level teacher (teacher team) to discuss the nature of the dissatisfaction. If, after this meeting, the teacher team deems the student has a valid reason for leaving the SLC, the teacher team may release the student to another SLC, pending approval and space availability in the desired SLC.
If the SLC teacher team does not feel that the student has valid reasons to leave the SLC, a parent or guardian must meet with the SLC teacher team to discuss the student’s future.
SLC transfers should be limited to no more than 4 or 5 per year; all SLCs should work together to ensure equal trading.
The student did not understand the nature of the SLCs focus and later finds that he or she is not interested.
Small Learning Communities in the Belmont Zone of Choice will provide a sound educational program for all students in attendance through their rigorous college preparatory curriculum, its culture of high expectations for all students, highly qualified teachers, and its principal leadership in a small and personalized learning environment where students know their teachers well and are well known by adults.
Who will the Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities Educate? Small Learning Communities in the Belmont Zone of Choice will serve students in grades 9-12 providing a choice of quality education in the Pico Union community of Los Angeles. The community is composed of a large, underserved, urban student population. High schools and middle schools students in the surrounding area attend overcrowded schools, many on a multi-track year round schedules. Small Learning Communities seek to recruit students from the schools listed and to relieve overcrowding and improve academic performance as a priority.
API State Rank, 2004
API Similar School Rank, 2004
Met All AYP
Program Improvement, ‘05
3 -Track, 180 days
%H - 68%B
Yes -Yr 5
3-Track, 163 days
%H - 3%B
Yes -Yr 5
3-Track, 163 days
%H - 23%B
Yes -Yr 3
Single Track, 180 days
%H - 52%B
Yes -Yr 5
Dominant Ethnicity: Hispanic (H), Black (B) The ethnicity of the students in the community is predominately Hispanic and African American. Historically, schools in this community have performed at API State rank 1 or 2 and generally are not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress requirements.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs anticipate enrolling 400 students in grades 9-12. It is expected that each grade level will serve approximately 100 students with an academic pupil/teacher ratio of 25:1.
Selection of Instructional Materials / Adequacy of Textbooks
Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs attests that each pupil in their schoosl will have sufficient current textbooks and instructional materials in each subject area consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum frameworks adopted by the California Department of Education. Each spring, the Teacher Leads, in consultation with the staff, will identify areas of need and order texts and materials for the following year.
Educating Students for the 21st Century
As the world becomes more complex, the skills that students need to acquire and master are quickly changing. The rise of the global economy, an increasingly multicultural society, and rapid changes in technology require students to learn and apply new skills in their academic and career endeavors. Students need to learn to communicate more effectively, both through speech and the written word. They need to learn how to work with others to find new and better ways to solve problems and meet the challenges of everyday life. They need to develop skills they can use in college or the workforce.4
A well-educated person in the 21st Century must be highly proficient in a rigorous set of competencies in language, reasoning/problem solving, reading, writing, computation, interpersonal relationships, social/ economic studies, the use of technology, and personal work habits to succeed in a global economy. A well-educated person recognizes that the world is constantly changing, knows how to learn and is a self-directed lifelong learner prepared to continually adapt to changes that require new skills and competencies to be successful in their lifetime. An educated person understands that creative thinking leads to opportunity, understands that talents can be turned into true skill, and that all human beings are equal and important.
The core curriculum, instructional methodology, and environment in each of the Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs while may look different, will prepare all students to be self-directed lifelong learner who are highly skilled critical thinkers and effective communicators.
How Learning Best Occurs in the Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities
We believe that learning occurs best:
When there are consistent high expectations for 100% success for all students with 5clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do and how well; where students are actively engaged in their learning and where academic expectations are rigorous.
100% college readiness as a goal for all students.
Focus on developing proficiency in interpersonal skills; communication skills; critical thinking and high level proficiency in core content standards.
When each classroom in the school creates a thirst for learning through inquiry-based learning designed to help students learn how to learn and designed to adapt to students’ diverse learning styles.
When learning is personalized to students’ needs in a small school structure where students and teachers work together in small learning communities. When there are individual learning plans for students with additional learning time for students to accelerate or to enrich their learning and when assessment of what is taught and learned is ongoing to inform students, teachers, and parents about student progress.
In a school that functions as an educational laboratory that seeks to create a dynamic learning community by embodying the best practices of teaching and learning in a small, supportive environment, where staff and students know and respect each other and each other’s similarities and differences.
When the instructional methodology used helps students see the real-life relevance of the material they are studying and is relevant to students’ real world. When instructional methods include strategies that provide opportunities for project-based learning where the curriculum is integrated and students see the relationship of the various academic courses to each other and to the real world. When students apply their skills to real-life situations through the use of technology as a tool, through participation in internships, and though service learning.
When guidance and support are provided for all students through highly qualified inspiring teachers, exemplary principals, and through parents as partners in their child’s education.
The Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities students, staff and community will embrace these core values in the establishing the culture of our schools:
Appreciation of knowledge as power that is worth pursuing for its own sake and recognition that it takes personal effort to acquire meaningful knowledge.
Recognition that all students can acquire the necessary skills to be lifelong learners and to be ready for college.
Goodwill and a supportive attitude towards others, toward their respective SLC’s spirit and community pride as a statement of belonging to something larger than oneself.
Participation in school sponsored or approved service opportunities as a means of developing a caring and compassionate spirit and making a positive difference in the school, family and community.
Respect for the dignity of others to the highest ethical standards, recognizing at all persons are equal and avoiding any behavior that would discriminate, belittle, tease, or harass others.
Curriculum and Instructional Methods to Ensure that Standards Are Met
The educational model for curriculum and instruction at Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities are guided by our core values, our beliefs about how learning best occurs and by 6best practices researched in high performing high schools that consistently produce well-educated students prepared to successfully enter and succeed in college. The philosophical base and the organizational structure for Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities’ curriculum are student centered and are in accordance with accountability for achieving proficient to advanced performance on core state standards.
College-Readiness for All Students - All students, including students with a history of under-achievement will learn successfully at high levels and have a fundamental right to high expectations and quality instruction that will prepare them to enter and succeed in college. All students will take and pass A-G college course requirements and be proficient in core academic standards (reading, writing, math, science, history/social science) to be ready for success in college. Our students will demonstrate the following competencies as evidence of readiness for success in college.
All Students will demonstrate proficient to advanced performance as measured by California content standards tests and in analysis of student work portfolios in core academic subjects.
All students will pass the California High School Exit Exam as a graduation requirement.
Students will demonstrate proficiency in A-G California State University (CSU)/University of California (UC) required coursework including three years of laboratory science; three years of math including algebra and geometry; two years of history/social science; 4 years of college preparatory English; one year of foreign language; one year of visual/performing arts; and will participate in a college orientation preparatory summer institute during their junior or senior year.
All A-G courses of Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will be transferable to colleges/universities or other public schools. Parents will receive notification of course transferability in all student recruitment and student enrollment materials.
Students in their junior year will take the CSU Early Assessment section of the STAR test in English and Math. Students who demonstrate proficiency on CSU standards will be exempt from taking the CSU Placement Test and will be eligible to enroll in CSU courses as regular students before graduation if they chose to attend a CSU campus. An individual learning plan will be provided to assist students during their senior year in areas of need diagnosed by the early assessment to prepare them for the CSU Placement Test.
Student performance data from the results of college-readiness exams (i.e. PSAT, SAT I, SAT II) will be collected and analyzed to monitor student preparation for college level coursework.
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will maintain a “college going culture” for all students and their families by providing college information materials, including individual college-planning student portfolios, brochures, respective SLC’s college-readiness web page and other resource materials.
Programs regarding career and college information (through organizations including Acción, College-Match, University of California College Prep Initiative which includes variety of online AP and A-G courses taught by qualified teachers and meet California subject and UC admissions requirements; online tutoring provided by upper-class UC undergraduates and subject experts; AP exam prep sessions; access to free SAT/ACT test prep, and UC Gateways which offers career assessment and general college information) will be presented to students, parents, and community members in parent academies, and through respective SLC’s College-Bound Counselors in individual and group student counseling. Through the Small Learning Communities’ Parent Center workshop will be offered to include the following topics: college and university options, required college-entrance courses, financial aid opportunities, college majors linked to careers, majors in college, visits from college representatives and student field trips to colleges, college entrance tests, PSAT program and ongoing access to information regarding college outreach programs.
University of California College Prep Online (UCCP) - http://www.uccp.org
Small Learning Communities’ students will have the opportunity to participate in sponsored online coursework, mentoring, tutoring and planning for college using online electronic portfolios through UCCP online. Access to college-readiness and intervention support will include
- Online Advanced Placement and A-G Courses as supplemental or virtual classes
- Tutoring Online for A-G College Prep and AP Courses
- SAT/ACT test prep
- California Exit Exam Prep
- Teacher Training
- Online Student Portfolios for College-Prep Planning
- Credit “recapturing” through summer coursework online
College-readiness and awareness will be a priority content focus in daily teacher led advisory groups for all students with the support of counselors serving as a resource to classroom teachers and principals.
Personalized Learning Environment - 7Students learn best in small learning communities where their education is personalized, where they know their teachers, where their teachers and all adults in the school know them, where advisory structures connect each student with a personal learning team, and where there is student voice in all aspects of the school that directly affect them.
Through the small schools of 400 students, Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs will create relationships between adults and students are sustained over time ensuring that no child falls through the cracks.
Student learning will be personalized so that each student’s individual needs are recognized and met.
Personalized connections between teachers and students will be increased in several of the Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs through looping where students remain with the same team of teachers for two to three years creating a strong sense of community. Teacher teams sharing responsibility for a group of students will limit daily teacher-student contacts to not more than 75 in core content classes, increasing teacher time to focus on students as individuals.
Student Engagement - Student voice will be included in all aspects of the Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs that directly affect student learning, interests and needs through advisory groups that connect
each student with a personal learning team and through student participation in the development of their individual student learning plans.
All students will be well known and supported through advisory groups of 15-20 students. A credentialed teacher will serve as advisor and will work with the same students from grade 9 through graduation. The advisory structure will provide a small focused support group to motivate and support each student’s progress. Each student will also have a personal learning team consisting of their teacher advisor, a parent, and a mentor that meets throughout the year to provide guidance and assess progress. The student mentor may be a teacher, a qualified community leader, a parent volunteer or other member of the staff. The teacher advisor will monitor each student’s individual learning plan to address individual interests and needs.
Increased Time for Learning – All students will have sufficient time in school to learn successfully with 180 days of instruction and up to 20 days ongoing opportunity for extended learning time for intervention or enrichment to meet individual student needs. Daily instructional learning time will be structured in longer uninterrupted blocks of time to allow for focused in-depth learning.
Instructional time will be increased in Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs with 180 days of instruction and up to 20 days extended learning and a longer instructional day for all students. Daily instructional time in some SLCs will be increased to allow for in depth learning through 7 hours of instruction.
Schedules in some SLCs will be structured to provide longer uninterrupted blocks of time of up to 120 minutes or double period blocks of time for accelerated math and English language arts.
Increased instructional time for all students, as part of the core program will include time for intervention and/or enrichment to meet individual student learning needs.
English Learners – College Readiness requires proficiency in English for all students. Structured English language development curriculum and instructional strategies will be provided for all students enrolled in the Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities, learning to speak English as a second language and English only students who speak non-standard English.
Second-language learners and non-standard English speakers will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in English language development after three years of instruction.
Teachers will participate in training to continually develop expertise in focused English language development (ELD) instructional strategies as well as sheltered ELD strategies in core subjects for non-standard English only speakers and students learning to speak English.
Instructional Methods - Students learn best when there is a rigorous standards based curriculum with high thinking demand that challenges students to test their understanding of concepts through real life applications; when students know clearly the expectations and criteria they are trying to meet and can judge their own work; and when students participate actively in classroom talk about the concepts and standards they are learning.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLC students will learn at higher levels in classrooms where teaching strategies reflect high expectations for all students. Proficiency in core subject areas will be based on grade-level expectations for rigorous standards.
Students will apply skills and concepts learned to real world projects, service learning, and community internships that require problem solving, critical thinking and active engagement in classroom talk around the concepts and standards they are learning.
Through 8project based instruction, Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs will transform the learning environment from a system of teacher output and student input to a self directed learning environment in which teachers are facilitators and students are learners and doers.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLC classrooms will engage students in developing clear understandings of criteria for high performance, how to judge and improve their own work – so that students know how good is good enough for proficient and advanced performance.
Integrated Technology - Students and teachers will have adequate access to technology to use it effectively in student learning, classroom instruction, data management and communication. We believe that technology used as an effective tool in high-performing schools must provide electronic assessment and electronic student portfolios that provide immediate access to student progress data for teachers, students and their parents.
A target ratio of 1 computer for every 3 students will be available to have adequate access to use technology as a tool integrated with student learning. Students will use technology to access research information on the Internet, to develop standards-based multimedia projects and presentations and to maintain individual portfolios of their work. Students will submit quarterly writing samples to the CSU writing assessment system for scoring.
Classroom teachers will be provided a computer and will use consistent data system for managing grades, student performance data, and internal school and network communication with other schools.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs will use a data management system to access individual student and classroom data. Ultimately, classrooms will be networked with each other, with the school office and with the LAUSD Secondary ISIS.
Principal Leadership – An exemplary principal will be selected who is a capable instructional leader and entrepreneur in managing resources whose skills and capacity will be developed through in-depth leadership training and through apprenticeship with principals who have demonstrated success in their schools.
The principal will be selected from among the best talented leaders who demonstrate commitment to the belief that all students can learn successfully through professional organizations, local and national school districts, and university graduate school programs.
The principal will participate in leadership training for 3 months before the beginning of the school year. Leadership development will include apprenticeship with a successful principal with a track record of successful student results who demonstrates the core values and beliefs.
Professional Development and Highly Qualified Teachers – Students learn best with teachers who are knowledgeable of their subject field; are well trained to deliver rigorous instruction as well as to attend to the diverse needs of each student as an individual. Belmont Zone of Choice SLC teachers will work in small collaborative teams with common planning time where lessons are studied as a learning community and where accountability for student success is a shared responsibility.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs who will be led by Teacher Leaders, will recruit highly qualified new and experienced credentialed or university intern teachers who fully meet the No Child Left Behind criteria as highly qualified teachers and who are committed to our core values and beliefs.
Teachers will participate in training and support seminar before the opening of school. Ongoing professional and personal growth opportunities will be provided based on ongoing analysis of student achievement data and student work portfolios as well as teacher identified growth needs and interests.
Teachers benefit most from professional development that provides time for teacher-to-teacher interaction in small learning communities focused on classroom practice. Our teachers will have
ongoing regular time for common planning, analysis of student work, and lesson study based on core content standards. Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs assure that their staffs shall attend and/or conduct professional development activities that support access by students with disabilities to its general education program.
Teachers working together in teams within small learning communities with the same students over two to three years will share accountability and responsibility for each student’s academic and personal growth.
The teacher leaders along with the principal will conduct individual teacher performance evaluations based on clear benchmarks for performance. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in performance-enhanced compensation that will be determined by student progress, principal performance evaluation, and a teacher peer evaluation committee. Teachers will participate in the design of the system.
Authentic Ongoing Assessment – Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities SLCs will provide multiple ongoing opportunities to measure student learning and to inform instruction through real life projects, analysis of student work portfolios, and interim assessments as well as standardized on-demand assessments.
An individual personal learning plan will be developed and maintained for each Belmont Zone of Choice SLC student to identify student needs, interests, and progress towards proficiency on core content standards, proficiency in English language development and college-readiness.
Student learning plans will include electronic portfolios of selected student work that demonstrates proficiency in applying skills and concepts in real life project-based learning.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs will implement interim assessments in core content standards in reading, math, science, and history/social science. Interim assessments will inform instruction and provide immediate individual student information on progress towards proficiency on State standards. Secondary students will take CSU 11th grade early entrance assessment and CSU placement tests as a key indicator of college-readiness.
Belmont Zone of Choice SLC students will participate in all mandated standardized assessments.
Accountability for Results – Principals and Teacher Leaders will be responsible and accountable to the school community for the same Title I accountability requirements as other public schools in California including Adequate Yearly Progress; implementing the core values, beliefs and best practices of the Belmont Zone of Choice SLC education models ensuring that each and every student gets what they need to achieve their individual and school performance goals. Individual SLCs will be responsible and accountable for guarantees made to Local District 4 that include monitoring progress, documenting and publishing results to the school community and the community of Los Angeles.
Local District 4 will monitor, document, evaluate and publish implementation results and student outcome results. The local district will contract with a third party evaluator to document and evaluate the implementation of the Belmont Zone of Choice SLC school model and results. Ongoing evaluation will serve to document best practices achieved, provide longitudinal data for continuous improvement, and most importantly, will inform parents and the community on the degree to which the Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs are achieving its stated goals for individual students.
The courses offered at Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs will be structured to prepare students to enter and succeed in college/university. Teachers will be actively involved in shaping and further evolving the courses to provide the most rewarding educational experiences in conjunction with assuring that each student meets the A-G requirements of the University of California/California State University (CSU) as well as develops proficiency in the California Subject Matter Standards. Per AB1994, all A-G courses will be transferable to colleges/universities or other public schools and parent notification regarding transferability for all courses offered will be included in enrollment materials, student recruitment materials, and on published course offerings.
Advanced Placement Courses will be available at all levels with a priority focus on 11th and 12th grades.
SLC COURSE REQUIREMENTS (Years)
UNIVERSITY COURSE REQUIREMENTS
2 (3 Recommended)
3 (4 Recommended)
Biological & Physical Science
2 (3 recommended)
History & Social Science
Visual & Performing Arts
1 (2 semesters art classes)
1 (2 semesters technology)
.5 (1 semester)
.5 (1 semester)
10.5 elective classes
1 (2 semesters of one College Prep Elective Course)