We have developed a variety of strateies to support our diverse community of learners that represents the range of student sub-groups. Our commitment to equality and admissions means that SAGE will not shy away from serving all students, regardless of learning abilities. Our goal is to form multidisciplinary teams to meet the academic, social, and behavioral, needs of our student population including gifted students, English language learners, students with special needs, students at risk, and our regular education population. The teams will develop support systems such as the creation of intervention strategies for teachers, tutoring programs before and after school, teaching with differentiated instruction, having teachers adopt multiple assessments with Response To Intervention (RTI) Models, using Specially-Designed Academic-Instruction in English (SDAIE) methods of teaching, and early intervention programs. In addition, the teams will alternate to keep open a SAGE Literacy Lab designed for all students as a tutoring center before and after school.
Frequently lead teachers, in conjunction with design team members, work together to ensure our student outcome is aligned with the mission, vision, goals, and objectives of SAGE set forth in this proposal. We ensure this mechanism through bi-monthly meetings where we discuss past goals and identify new objectives as our budget permits. Our SLC currently conducts bi-monthly meetings to discuss and delegate responsibility relating to student conduct and behavior, facilities, scheduling and programming, as well as issues pertaining to the safety of our students inside and outside of the class and school environment. Equitable distribution is guaranteed through SAGE’s collective 88 years of teaching experience.
To be sure that our students receive personal instruction that incorporates their skills and cultural intelligence into the real world each subject taught while at SAGE will have lessons that are geared toward the bearing of popular culture and what is happening in the world around them. Additionally, we make the commitment to our students that they will travel to places in Los
Angeles that illustrate how they are part of a larger region. Through our extensive field trips planned most students will travel off-site at least two times a year.
1.Attendance: The school attendance rate is 89.08%, when adjusted for transiency and stability; this means only that those percentages of seats are filled. Many of the families with students at Belmont face more problems than just raising teenagers. In fact, it is poverty that is the number one hindrance to student achievment.2 Through building a network with parents we aim to increase the attendance percentage. Offering challenging courses for students that include opportunities for parents to connect with teachers, we strive to create an added sense of belonging in our academy. We are continually working to improve our program for our students and we are working on better communication with our parents. For example, our Design Team Parent Advisor, Mr. Manuel Herrera, who works in the Parent Center, has made helpful suggestions on how we can expand communications between our parents and our faculty.
2. Grades: Our goal is a 100% graduation rate. In addition to passing all classes, we work individually with juniors and seniors who need help passing the high school exit exam. We plan to offer an Essentials of English section in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades to supplement those students who are deficient in certain Language Arts and/or Mathematics skills. However, the goal of Global English, the 9th grade block Language Arts section is to raise the skill level of all incoming students at SAGE, thereby avoiding the need for supplemental class of this kind.
3. Low Motivation and Self-Esteem: Personal relationships are very important, working with Belmont’s dedicated administrative team to have ready and timely access to academic and behavioral data for each student helps us build ‘networks of opportunity’ for students that do not respond well when questioned by out of classroom personnel. Historically, Belmont students have been reticent with their responses to direct questions, and slow to voice their ideas, of what they think would help them or their school. This does not mean that our students think poorly of themselves, or are not interested in where they are headed in life. It is another arrow that points to
the differences about the population that Belmont serves. Jonathan Kozol, in his book Shame of A Nation says: “Our students live with an economical, linguistic, and academic disadvantage.”3 At
SAGE we recognize this to be an effect of cultural adjustment. Furthermore, it is understandable that when a student unfamiliar in the ways of American culture is approached by someone whom s/he does not know, and is questioned, any response is likely to be shy and hesitant.
4. English Language Learners: Students of Belmont have historically been largely 1st and 2nd generation migrants; many are children born as citizens of the U.S. The mixture of Latin American, Asian, Pacific Islander, and African American cultures is rapidly becoming a greater influence in every aspect of all our lives, (see Belmont’s population distribution in appendix A). Families of these groups are often dual language speakers, using one language at home and amongst friends and family, while speaking English only at school or work. It should come as no surprise that our students need more English language instruction in order to succeed. One case in this point is our strategy to increase skills, remediate, and mainstream second language learners from the outset by requiring a mandatory two-hour block English curriculum for the 9th grade, (see: sec. IV, B, 1).
5. Economically disadvantaged students: The population of students and families that Belmont Senior high school, and by association we at SAGE, serve has been recognized as ‘economically disadvantaged’ for years. The neighborhood has historically been a first landing place for people new to Los Angeles since the founding of the city. We at the School of Awareness And Global Education do not discriminate. We treat all people and groups without prejudice regarding race, learning ability, ethnic group, religion, or gender. The environment we live in affects how we live, the environment our students’ live in affects how they learn. We argue that while there are difficulties we and our students face, we have in our community some of the best and brightest young people Los Angeles has to offer.