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Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School Superintendent’s Urban Principal Initiative Research Team: Karen L. Robinson Karen L. Robinson Lisa B. Garcia Lisa.

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Presentation on theme: "Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School Superintendent’s Urban Principal Initiative Research Team: Karen L. Robinson Karen L. Robinson Lisa B. Garcia Lisa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School Superintendent’s Urban Principal Initiative Research Team: Karen L. Robinson Karen L. Robinson Lisa B. Garcia Lisa B. Garcia Stephen E. Papp Stephen E. Papp2007-2008 The Effect of Small Learning Communities With 9 th Graders

2 Abstract of the Study A Small Learning Community (SLC) was developed with our ninth grade students in order to improve reading and attendance at Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School. Over a period of eight months the small learning community helped to increase reading scores and improve attendance with our ninth grade students.

3 Abstract Continued The Trojan Academy was established in two self contained buildings, where all core classes and Freshman Experience classes were offered. An Administrator was also housed in the Academy to offer teachers additional support. Teachers were involved in collaborative planning and participated in biweekly academy meetings in order to develop and implement goals and strategies for the Trojan Academy.

4 Introduction/Background Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School is located in the city of Hialeah proper with approximately 2,400 students in grades 9 to 12. HML draws from three diverse socio-economic areas: the northwestern portion of the city of Hialeah, The town of Miami Lakes, and the city of Opa-Locka. The composition of the student population is 67% Hispanic, 28% Black, 4% White and 1% other. Our special needs population 14.2%, economically disadvantaged is 53%, and 11% English Language Learners. HML has a 56% graduation rate among students who graduated within four years of initial entry into grade nine. Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School is located in the city of Hialeah proper with approximately 2,400 students in grades 9 to 12. HML draws from three diverse socio-economic areas: the northwestern portion of the city of Hialeah, The town of Miami Lakes, and the city of Opa-Locka. The composition of the student population is 67% Hispanic, 28% Black, 4% White and 1% other. Our special needs population 14.2%, economically disadvantaged is 53%, and 11% English Language Learners. HML has a 56% graduation rate among students who graduated within four years of initial entry into grade nine.

5 Introduction/Background Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School Faculty and Administration have noticed that 9 th grade students have difficultly transitioning to high school from middle school. School data revealed below average attendance among 9 th grade students. FCAT reading scores ranging from 2004 through 2007 indicate that our 9 th grade students have not performed on a consistent basis in the reading content clusters. HML has a total of 509 ninth grade students. Of those,193 are level 1 students in reading and 129, rank in the school’s lowest 25%. Based on these two critical factors the implementation of a 9 th Grade Academy was crucial.

6 Research Question How will the SLC teaching approach affect performance in 9 th grade reading at Hialeah- Miami Lakes Senior High School? How will the SLC teaching approach affect performance in 9 th grade reading at Hialeah- Miami Lakes Senior High School? How will the SLC teaching approach affect attendance in 9 th grade at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School? How will the SLC teaching approach affect attendance in 9 th grade at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School?

7 Literature Review According to Pappas (2001), ninth grade can be a difficult transition for many students, and the Academy is designed to give students more structure and oversight to assist with the transition to high school. According to Pappas (2001), ninth grade can be a difficult transition for many students, and the Academy is designed to give students more structure and oversight to assist with the transition to high school. Multiple studies have associated small schools with students' positive attitudes toward school, as well as the lower incidence of negative social behaviors such as truancy, classroom disruption, vandalism, aggressive behavior, theft, substance abuse and gang participation (Anonymous, 2002). Multiple studies have associated small schools with students' positive attitudes toward school, as well as the lower incidence of negative social behaviors such as truancy, classroom disruption, vandalism, aggressive behavior, theft, substance abuse and gang participation (Anonymous, 2002).

8 Literature Review In many large, non-selective urban high schools, fewer than half the students who enter the ninth grade go on to graduate. Research suggests that the largest leak in the educational pipeline (that is, the point at which most students fail to move on) occurs in the transition from the ninth to the 10 th grade. As many as 40 percent of students in urban high schools fail to get promoted from ninth to 10 th grade on time, and fewer than 20 percent of those students recover from the failure and go on to graduate. (Kemple, J., Connell, J., Klem, A., Legters, N. and Eccles, J. 2006)

9 Literature Review Large high schools can become impersonal. When [schools] are organized around small learning communities, there is a chance for students and teachers to get to know one another better. (Delisio, 2001) Large high schools can become impersonal. When [schools] are organized around small learning communities, there is a chance for students and teachers to get to know one another better. (Delisio, 2001) Small learning communities provide opportunities for meaningful participation, encouraging students to take responsibility for learning. (California Department of Education, 2006) Small learning communities provide opportunities for meaningful participation, encouraging students to take responsibility for learning. (California Department of Education, 2006)

10 Literature Review The outcomes typically produced by SLC’s, in contrast to large schools, include: Higher achievement Higher achievement Reduction of the negative affects of poverty on achievement Reduction of the negative affects of poverty on achievement Increased student affiliation with their school community Increased student affiliation with their school community Greater safety and order Greater safety and order Much less truancy and many fewer drop-outs Much less truancy and many fewer drop-outs Similar college entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, GPAs, and completion Similar college entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, GPAs, and completion Higher levels of parent and community involvement, and greater satisfaction Higher levels of parent and community involvement, and greater satisfaction More positive teacher attitudes and satisfaction More positive teacher attitudes and satisfaction Comparable core curricula Comparable core curricula Lower costs per student graduation Lower costs per student graduation (Cotton, 2001)

11 Intervention All 9 th grade students were housed in two self contained buildings, and all core classes were offered, including a Freshman Experience course. All 9 th grade students were housed in two self contained buildings, and all core classes were offered, including a Freshman Experience course. An Administrator was housed in the 9 th grade Trojan academy. An Administrator was housed in the 9 th grade Trojan academy. Teacher teams were developed. Teacher teams were developed. Teacher teams were placed in close physical proximity to each other. Teacher teams were placed in close physical proximity to each other.

12 Intervention Numerous student, parent and team conferences took place to discuss student academic and behavioral progress. Numerous student, parent and team conferences took place to discuss student academic and behavioral progress. Students were provided after school and Saturday tutoring. Students were provided after school and Saturday tutoring. Trust Counselor and Career Specialist had multiple student presentations on the following: Career choices, employability skills, bullying, conflict resolution and school safety. Trust Counselor and Career Specialist had multiple student presentations on the following: Career choices, employability skills, bullying, conflict resolution and school safety.

13 Intervention The entire 9 th grade academy participated in a cross curriculum activity with the creation of their “Diligence” notebooks. The entire 9 th grade academy participated in a cross curriculum activity with the creation of their “Diligence” notebooks. Teams worked in conjunction with ninth grade administrator to manage referrals, attendance and other student concerns. Teams worked in conjunction with ninth grade administrator to manage referrals, attendance and other student concerns. All students in the 9 th grade academy were provided with student planners, which were utilized in all classrooms. All students in the 9 th grade academy were provided with student planners, which were utilized in all classrooms. Bi-weekly teacher academy meetings. Bi-weekly teacher academy meetings.

14 Data Collection District 9 th grade attendance reports District 9 th grade attendance reports District interim assessments District interim assessments School Improvement Zone assessments (SIZ) School Improvement Zone assessments (SIZ) SRI scores SRI scores Teacher/student surveys Teacher/student surveys

15 Data Analysis

16

17 District Reading Assessment Benchmark Assessments Words & Phrases

18 District Reading Assessment Main Idea & Purpose Benchmark Assessments

19 District Reading Assessment Comparisons Benchmark Assessments

20 District Reading Assessment Reference & Research Benchmark Assessments

21 Results of District Assessments The third Reading Benchmark assessment when compared to the first benchmark assessment illustrated an overall improvement in all four clusters. The following increases were noted: Words & Phrases by 33%, Main Idea & Purpose 8%, Comparisons 13%, and Reference & Research 2%. Upon review of the data it is evident that the 9 th Grade experienced positive growth with respect to their reading scores. The third Reading Benchmark assessment when compared to the first benchmark assessment illustrated an overall improvement in all four clusters. The following increases were noted: Words & Phrases by 33%, Main Idea & Purpose 8%, Comparisons 13%, and Reference & Research 2%. Upon review of the data it is evident that the 9 th Grade experienced positive growth with respect to their reading scores.

22 School Improvement Zone Assessment Words & Phrases

23 School Improvement Zone Assessment Main Idea & Purpose

24 School Improvement Zone Assessment Comparisons

25 School Improvement Zone Assessment Reference & Research

26 Results of School Improvement Zone Assessments Upon comparisons of the 1 st Benchmark Assessment to the SIZ Mock Assessment, there was an increase in all clusters except for Reference & Research. There was an increase of 11% in Words & Phrases, 3% Main Idea & Purpose, and 1% in Comparisons. Upon comparisons of the 1 st Benchmark Assessment to the SIZ Mock Assessment, there was an increase in all clusters except for Reference & Research. There was an increase of 11% in Words & Phrases, 3% Main Idea & Purpose, and 1% in Comparisons.

27 Grade 9 SRI Results

28 Results of 9 th Grade SRI Based on the 9 th grade SRI results, our 9 th grade students increased 3 percent at the basic level. The number of 9 th grade students at the below basic level, decreased by 3 percent. Based on the 9 th grade SRI results, our 9 th grade students increased 3 percent at the basic level. The number of 9 th grade students at the below basic level, decreased by 3 percent.

29 Teacher Survey Questions 1. Do you feel the 9 th grade Trojan Academy made a difference in student attendance? 2. Do you feel the 9 th grade Trojan Academy made a difference in student behavior? 3. Do you feel the 9 th grade Trojan Academy made a difference in student academic improvement? 4. Do you feel the 9 th grade Trojan Academy meetings were productive?

30 Results of Teacher Survey

31 Student Survey Questions 1. Was the 9 th grade Trojan academy helpful in your transition to high school? 2. Would you have done as well in the 9 th grade if you were not in the 9 th grade Trojan Academy? 3. Do you feel it was beneficial to be housed in buildings separate from the school? 4. Did the 9 th grade Trojan Academy allow you to have closer relationships with your teachers? 5. Do you feel you were successful as a student because you were placed in the 9 th grade Trojan Academy?

32 Results of Student Survey

33 Findings and Results The teacher surveys and district attendance reports revealed that student attendance improved as a result of the 9 th grade Trojan academy. The teacher surveys and district attendance reports revealed that student attendance improved as a result of the 9 th grade Trojan academy. The teacher surveys also revealed an improvement in academic performance and student behavior in the 9 th grade. District assessments also demonstrated an improvement in reading scores throughout the year. The teacher surveys also revealed an improvement in academic performance and student behavior in the 9 th grade. District assessments also demonstrated an improvement in reading scores throughout the year. The results of the teacher surveys also indicated that teachers found the bi-weekly academy meetings to be productive. The results of the teacher surveys also indicated that teachers found the bi-weekly academy meetings to be productive.

34 Findings and Results Although students felt that it was not beneficial to be housed separately, they indicated they would not have been as successful if they had not been in the academy. Although students felt that it was not beneficial to be housed separately, they indicated they would not have been as successful if they had not been in the academy. Students also reported having closer relationships with their teachers. Students also reported having closer relationships with their teachers. Overall findings showed that the Small Learning Community had a positive impact on our ninth grade students. Overall findings showed that the Small Learning Community had a positive impact on our ninth grade students.

35 Implications Academy teams need to be better structured. Academy teams need to be better structured. Schedule common planning for all members on the same team. Schedule common planning for all members on the same team. Increase parent involvement and participation in the academy. Increase parent involvement and participation in the academy. Increase community based projects and opportunities for all students to participate. Increase community based projects and opportunities for all students to participate. More cross curriculum projects within team members. More cross curriculum projects within team members. Add a counselor to the ninth grade “Trojan” academy. Add a counselor to the ninth grade “Trojan” academy.

36 References Resilience & Youth Development ModuleResilience & Youth Development Module (2002). Prepared by WestEd and the Safe and Healthy Kids Program Office. Sacramento: California Department of Education, 2002, p. 8. Resilience & Youth Development Module Retrieved April 28, 2008 from http://www.wested.org/chks/pdf/rydm_aggregate.pdf http://www.wested.org/chks/pdf/rydm_aggregate.pdf Anonymous. (2002). National Conference of State Legislatures: The Forum for America’s Ideas. “Small Learning Communities”. Retrieved April 29, 2008 from http://www.ncsl.org/programs/employ/slc.htm http://www.ncsl.org/programs/employ/slc.htm Pappas, P. (2001-9). Small Learning Communities that Work. Retrieved April 29, 2008 from http://www.edteck.com/slc/ http://www.edteck.com/slc/ Delisio, E. (2001).“Grants Allow Students to Develop Small Communities”. Education World. Retrieved on April 28, 2008 from http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues166.shtml http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues166.shtml Cotton, K. (2001). New Small Learning Communities: Findings from Recent Literature (PDF; Outside Source) Retrieved on April 29, 2008 from http://www3.scasd.org/small_schools/nlsc.pdf http://www3.scasd.org/small_schools/nlsc.pdf Kemple, J. (2006). Making the Move: How Freshman Academies and Themaetic Small Learning Communities can Support Sucessful Transitions to and through High School. Kemple, J. (2006). Making the Move: How Freshman Academies and Themaetic Small Learning Communities can Support Sucessful Transitions to and through High School. U.S. Department of Education.


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