Wasc initial Visit Application/School Description California Public Schools

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Part III: The Criteria

As you answer the following questions, please strive to base your answers on objective evidence and data that is available at the school. Please remember that this is an Initial Visit Application and not a full self-study. Try to answer questions with one to two paragraphs. Please refer to the rubrics in the WASC Initial Visit Procedures Manuals for California Public Schools (www.acswasc.org/ pdf_cde/InitialVisitProcedures_WASCCDE_manual.pdf) for areas to review prior to responding to the questions below.

Category A

A1. Vision and Purpose Criterion: Does the school have a clearly stated vision or purpose based on its student needs, current educational research, and the belief that all students can achieve at high levels? Supported by the governing board and the central administration, to what extent is the school’s purpose further defined by expected schoolwide learning results and the academic standards? Do the expected schoolwide learning results stress attainment of the academic standards?
In the spring of 2010, a steering committee was established to guide the vision and mission of Eastin-Arcola High School. Consisting of staff members representing both Mountain Vista and Ripperdan High Schools, the steering committee identified desired outcomes to direct the work of EAHS. A guiding principle that resonated throughout the structure established to support student learning was “failure is not an option.” This foundational belief has become rooted in the organizational operations of Eastin-Arcola.
In the spring of 2011, stakeholder representatives gathered to facilitate a mission, vision and expected school-wide learning results. The collective input was synthesized into a draft mission, vision and ESLRs. Eastin-Arcola’s mission, vision, and ESLRs reflect the school’s purpose to inspire struggling high school students to reconnect to school culture and achieve their academic goals. The stakeholders at Eastin-Arcola recognize that the first step toward high achievement of academic standards is having students believe both that they are academically capable and that investment in learning is worth their time and effort. Prior to the 2011-12 school year, all stakeholders will revisit and firmly establish Eastin-Arcola’s mission, vision and ESLR’s.
As a part of Eastin-Arcola’s on-going training and development through the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) model, the school has created a school motto: ROAR. The elements of ROAR were used to develop ESLRs that encapsulate the social, life skills, and academic goals that will lead to both high student achievement of academic standards and positive post secondary outcomes.
Mission Statement

“Preparing students for life by providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to access life-long learning in pursuit of post-secondary goals.”

Vision Statement

“Inspiring and mentoring students to recognize, respect, and realize their potential. ”


Expected School wide Learning Results drive the curriculum at Eastin-Arcola High School.

  • Eastin-Arcola High School graduates will be expected to R.O.A.R.:

Expected Schoolwide Learning Results

Measurement Indicators

RESPECT -Respect self, others, property and environment.

  • SWIS (referral tracking system) Data

  • Attendance Data

  • ROAR Student Recognition Lists

ORGANIZATION –Organize time, obligations, and goal attainment through preparation and planning.

  • Grade/ Credit Data

  • Common Formative Assessment Data

  • Intervention/Grade Recovery

  • Credit Recovery Tracking

  • Credit Eligible Graduation Rates

AWARENESS -Aware of how our decisions and actions impact others and influence our ability to meet goals and expectations.

  • Advisory Surveys

  • Development and monitoring of individualized learning plans

  • SWIS Data

  • Attendance Data

  • ROAR Student Recognition Lists

  • Common Formative Assessment Data

RESPONSIBILITY –Responsibility for all obligations including our obligation to live up to our potential.

  • Grade/Credit Data

  • Common Formative Assessment Data

  • District Performance Data

  • CAHSEE pass/proficiency rates

  • CELDT Results

  • Reclassification Data

  • Mock Interview Rubric Scores

  • CST Data

A2. Governance Criterion: Does the governing board (a) have policies and bylaws that are aligned with the school’s purpose and support the achievement of the expected schoolwide learning results and academic standards based on data-driven instructional decisions for the school; (b) delegate implementation of these policies to the professional staff; and (c) monitor results regularly and approves the single schoolwide action plan and its relationship to the Local Educational Agency (LEA) plan?
Madera Unified School District has adopted local school policies that direct and support the mission and purpose of Eastin-Arcola High School. The local graduation requirement policy requires all MUSD graduates to successfully complete 230 credits, possess a 2.0 grade point average as well as successfully completing on the California High School Exit Exam.
The adopted grading policy is required of all secondary schools and encourages academic achievement versus successful completion of work alone. Monitoring of student achievement is multi-layered with Common Formative Assessment administration and evaluation, District Progress Assessments that are not graded, however used to monitor student progress toward essential standards in all core curriculums, and on-going feedback from the Chief Academic Officers and through district-wide collaborations. MUSD also has elected to implement Alternative Governance Boards for Program Improvement schools, which serve as accountability for implementation of initiatives aligned with the Essential Program Components.
Eastin-Arcola’s School Site Council, with input from an English Learner Advisory Committee, develops and monitors the Single Plan for Student Achievement which requires review and approval from the Madera Unified Board of Trustees.
A3. Leadership and Staff Criterion: Based on student achievement data, to what extent does the school leadership and staff make decisions and initiate activities that focus on all students achieving the expected schoolwide learning results and academic standards?
EAHS has established an organizational structure dependent upon the on-going evaluation of student achievement data. The Single Plan for Student Achievement is annually reviewed and developed to meet the needs of our students. Weekly department meetings are focused upon the collaborative effort to identify learning goals based on essential standards, shared strategies and common evaluation of student achievement.
Our three-week grading terms are concurrent with our Tuesday through Friday intervention program. The thirty-minute intervention block enables departments to identify students who are struggling academically as indicated by non-proficient performance on three-week common formative assessments. These students are required to attend an intervention for the three-week period to receive additional instruction and opportunities to demonstrate mastery of the standards.
During the 2010-11 school year, EAHS staff participated in the Big Read, evaluating student essays in preparation of the census CAHSEE administration. In 2011-12, additional local data will be generated and reviewed to evaluate student achievement in preparation for the CELDT as well as the CAHSEE.
Does the school leadership and staff annually monitor and refine the single schoolwide action plan based on analysis of data to ensure alignment with student needs?
Each year, EAHS structures several means to evaluate, monitor and refine the single schoolwide action plan. School Site Council, English Language Advisory Committees, and Curricular Departments review state achievement data to determine how to best use resources to meet student needs. During the fall and spring semesters, WASC Focus on Learning committees convene to review and revise the Self Study. Individual departments use weekly collaboration time on Mondays to provide on-going monitoring of student achievement as well as conducting cycles of inquiry to refine and recommend strategies and tactics for meeting student needs.
During each three-week term, department heads meet in our Instructional Leadership Team meetings to monitoring implementation of initiatives, and conduct cycles of inquiry of school-wide student achievement data. School Leadership meets during each term to discuss input from other collaborative teams, provide accountability for implementation of the action plan, and discuss any necessary revisions to the overall plan.
Describe the process used to make educational decisions and to initiate activities that focus on all students achieving the expected schoolwide learning results and academic standards?
2010-11 was the baseline year for Eastin-Arcola High School. The process for decision-making was primarily determined during the initial preparation for the opening of the new school during the Eastin-Arcola High School Steering Committee meetings.
The current process has been clarified to enable shared leadership initiated during department collaboration and brought to the Instructional Leadership Team meetings. The ILT’s recommendations are reviewed by the site Leadership Team for reporting to community stakeholders or immediate implementation into the site plan.
Recommendations that are not aligned with the District Instructional Action Plan are subject to review from district administration and the Alternative Governance Board.
A4. Qualified Staff Criterion: To what extent does a qualified staff facilitate achievement of the academic standards and the expected schoolwide learning results through a system of preparation, induction, and ongoing professional development?
Eastin-Arcola High School’s staff is 100% highly qualified. Several teachers have gained 32 HQT status through the VPSS certification process which is specific for alterative education settings. All EAHS teachers receive professional development through site and district level trainings inclusive of coaching support for the implementation of Explicit Direct Instructional strategies.
Site activities, supported by district academic coaches, included curricular mapping based upon the CST blueprints. Our collaborative teams continually review and refine the instructional planning and lessons to address student academic needs as determined by student performance data.
List by course those instances where teachers are not teaching in their areas of major or minor preparation, and specify the related preparation, interest, experience, or ability qualifying them to teach in the areas assigned.
Does not apply.
Attach a copy of the school’s master schedule indicating staff assignment and length of period or module.
See attachment.
Describe any use made of regularly employed instructional assistants.
Upon opening in the fall of 2010, EAHS had one full time and two part-time Special Education Instructional Aides. For the 2011-12 school year, Eastin-Arcola will have one six-hour Special Education Instructional Aide working primarily with our Reading Lab Class. Each of the two Special Education teachers will provide one period of collaborative instruction.
Describe any regular use made of community volunteers.
Eastin-Arcola High School is continually reaching out to community resources to support the academic, post-secondary and social-emotional needs of our students. Community volunteers provide extended learning opportunities through the Teach One to Lead One program, which assists students in developing leadership traits, self-identity and moral character.
A partnership with Madera County Behavioral Health Services enables Madera Unified School District to refer students for substance abuse counseling and some social-emotional services. Additionally Madera County Behavioral Health staff members are available and are used to provide presentations to EAHS students. Lessons include sex education and relationships.
Madera Unified School District requires each high school graduate to successfully complete Occupational Employment training including a Mock Interview. Members of the community, many from the business sector, volunteer to serve as interviewers for this process.
A strong relationship is established with the Madera Center Community College exists, specifically with Dan Riviera who assists and facilitates Eastin-Arcola students transitioning from high school to the community college. This includes a campus tour and Reg-to-Go, an early registration opportunity for alternative education students.
The local chapter of Dollars for Scholars coordinates donations and sponsors a scholarship night exclusive for alternative education students of Madera Unified.
The Madera Chamber of Commerce conducts an annual Salute to Education, recognizing an educator from each site selected by their peers for excellence, a business partner for each school and a Friend of Education. During the 2010-11 school year, Eastin-Arcola High School recognized Tom Pilloud and his local business, Cool Hand Luke’s restaurant for the contributions for recognizing students during the year as well as volunteering at and sponsoring our Senior Picnic.
EAHS is also fortunate for the volunteer efforts of Juan Avitia, an EAHS teacher, who arranges for students to visit local colleges and participate in leadership activities within the community.
Give the student-teacher ratio: total student enrollment as of October 1 divided by the total number of teaching personnel.
As of October 1, 2010, the average student-teacher ratio at Eastin-Arcola High School is 17.2 to 1.
Describe the staff evaluation process.
New unit members shall be evaluated as often as is constructive and no less than once each semester, not later than December 1st of any school year. If the evaluation rating is “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” a second evaluation shall be completed not later than March 1 of that year. Probationary unit members shall be evaluated as often as is constructive and not less than once each year. Permanent unit members shall be evaluated as often as is constructive and not less than once every two years. All formal evaluations for new/probationary/permanent unit members shall be completed on the negotiated evaluation forms and given to the unit member at least 30 days prior to the end of the school year for the unit member being evaluated. Any timeline addressed in the evaluation section may be extended with concurrence of both parties. Any unit member, who submits an irrevocable letter of intent to retire for that particular year, will not be evaluated by site administration.
For the Eastin-Arcola’s first year, the administration made an effort to conduct formal evaluations of all teachers. This effort allowed the administrators to build the foundation for instructional leadership at Eastin-Arcola. One focus of our school improvement efforts is ensuring that students are provided good first instruction using researched based strategies. Feedback from evaluations were centered around improved use of Explicit Direct Instruction strategies.
A5. Ongoing Professional Development Criterion: How does the school ensure that the leadership and staff are involved in ongoing professional development that focuses on identified student learning needs?
Eastin-Arcola High School is fully included in all professional development conducted by Madera Unified School District. Core curriculum teachers are required to participate in trainings such as AB 471 when new curriculum materials are adopted. All secondary English Language Arts and Mathematics teachers have been and continue to receive training in DataWorks Explicit Direct Instruction with on-going support by district academic coaches.
Site and district curricular teams collaborate to develop common pacing, curriculum guides and assessments for specific curriculums.
EAHS also has a team entering the second year with the first cohort of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports through the Fresno County Office of Education; part of a three year commitment. Our Behavioral Response to Intervention is a school wide initiative with ongoing professional development.
Most of the staff has attended one or more Professional Learning Community conferences and continues to monitor and strengthen our professional learning community on campus. As a result of these experiences we continue to refine our Academic Response to Interventions strategies, which much of our collaborative work is centered upon.
Describe the ongoing professional development at the school? How is it initiated?
The Eastin-Arcola staff continues to develop professionally through site training and collaborative activities aligned with our District Instructional Action Plan. These strategies and tactics are focused upon Explicit Direct Instruction, Professional Learning Communities, and Response to Intervention. The site based professional development is orchestrated by site leadership and implemented during weekly curriculum team meetings as well as monthly staff meetings. Our professional development needs are continually assessed by data collection from instructional focus walks and collaborative surveys.
A6. Resources Criterion: To what extent are the human, material, physical, and financial resources sufficient and utilized effectively to support students in accomplishing the academic standards and the expected schoolwide learning results?
As with most educational institutions, resources are extremely limited, however the utilization of time has been revisited and revamped to directly increase support for student achievement. Eastin-Arcola High School teachers have elected to include an Advisory period into the instructional day to provide guidance, monitoring, and motivation for each EAHS student. Additionally, the instructional day includes thirty minutes of supervision during which teachers can volunteer to teach an academic intervention or. effective during the 2011-12 school year, an enrichment opportunity to address the essential questions of “what do we do when students don’t learn” and “what do we do when students do learn.”
With support from the Madera Unified School District administration, EAHS is staffed with a smaller student to teacher ratio formula to enable small group instruction and more frequent individualized instruction. Likewise our support staff minimizes the clerical responsibilities that are often characteristic of alternative education settings.
Eastin-Arcola is fortunate to have extensive access to technology and technological resources. Each classroom is equipped with interactive whiteboards, student computers, and an online learning program by PLATO Learning. The facilities were modernized in 2008, and are exceptionally well maintained. Upon opening in the fall of 2010, facility modifications were appropriately made to accommodate high school age students as well as the instructional needs of the required courses including science labs.
MUSD ensures that Eastin-Arcola receives adequate categorical funding to support student achievement which is currently utilized to provide an Intervention Specialist and a 46% Teacher on Special Assignment to serve as an instructional coach.
Major Achievements/Accomplishments: Develop a list of major achievements/ accomplishments (within the past three years) of students, staff, and school.

  • School wide implementation of instructional strategies

  • began establishment of PLC

  • schoolwide clarity of goals

  • progress towards meeting AGB recommendations

  • advisory to meeting student needs

  • use of time to meeting collaboration

  • advisory and intervention

  • academic RTI

  • behavioral RTI.

Major School Needs: Develop a list of major school needs, focusing on student achievement.

  • Student government

  • systematic accountability

  • setting goals as a site

  • more effective communication

  • professional development for data analysis

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