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Cedar Rapids Community Schools Finding Alternatives that Work for Alternative Schools Cedar Rapids Community School District Metro Alternative High School.

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Presentation on theme: "Cedar Rapids Community Schools Finding Alternatives that Work for Alternative Schools Cedar Rapids Community School District Metro Alternative High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cedar Rapids Community Schools Finding Alternatives that Work for Alternative Schools Cedar Rapids Community School District Metro Alternative High School IASB Conference

2 CRCSD At A Glance  Second largest school district in State of Iowa  121 square miles  31 schools  $263.4 million budget  2,956 employees

3 CRCSD At A Glance  16,317 students (AK-12)  Over 40 Languages spoken  48% Free & Reduced students  25% Minority enrollment  2.7 million meals served annually  Dedicated business and community partner support

4 CRCSD High Schools High SchoolsEnrollment Jefferson 1,496 Kennedy 1,732 Metro 384 Washington 1,381

5 CRCSD Achievement – College Readiness Benchmark Scores ACT TestBenchmark ScoreDistrict Average 2013 State Average 2013 English Mathematics Reading22 (21 in 2012) Science23 (24 in 2012) Composite

6 CRCSD Achievement – Five Year Trend–Met All Four Benchmarks

7 District School Improvement Goal Statement Achievement Gap Goal By June 2015, the students in identified under-achieving subgroups will show a greater increase in the percent proficient and the percent making greater than expected growth as compared to all students in the Cedar Rapids Community School District as evidenced by the Iowa Assessment. Professional Learning Community Goal By June 2015, all Cedar Rapids Community School District Professional Learning Communities (PLC) will use the PLC framework to:  Align and implement the Student Learning Expectations with the Iowa Core Standards (PLC Question 1)  Use the formative assessment cycle to address student learning needs (PLC Question 2)  Utilize research based best practices to provide targeted instruction resulting in improved student performance. (PLC Question 3 and 4) Implementation of the Professional Learning Community Framework will be measured summatively by the annual PLC Survey and in a formative manner, as identified in action steps Quality of Instruction Goal By June 2015, all teachers will increase their knowledge and application of the Characteristics of Effective Instruction, as described by the Iowa Core, to improve the quality of instruction in all CRCSD classrooms. This goal will be measured through feedback from professional development, survey data and/or walkthrough data. Characteristics of Effective Instruction:  Student Centered Classrooms  Teaching for Understanding  Assessment for Learning  Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum  Teaching for Learner Differences

8 Cassandra Erkens, 2008 Anam Cara Consulting, Inc What do we want all Students To learn, know and be able to do? HOW do we know if they have learned it? What evidence do we have of the learning? How do we respond if they don’t learn? Have already learned?

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11 Response to Intervention (RTI) PLC Critical Learning Question #3 & 4 How will we respond when they don’t learn? 11

12 Tight and Loose What’s TightWhat’s Loose Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum – SLE’s and Iowa Core The instructional strategies used to deliver curriculum Collaborative Teams working together focused on data and student learning (PLC) Product Team configuration Schedule Products are different Use of the “Process for Common Assessments” to guide collaborative conversations Where a team is at in the process Identify the Interventions and Enrichments that are in place for RTI (pyramid) Resources, time, schedule, delivery model

13 What’s TightWhat’s Loose Staffing ratios for elementary, middle, and high school that reflect and support the needs of the learners in our District The manner in which a building deploys the teacher FTE Staffing Ratio at HS 27 to 1 Staffing ratio at Metro HS reflects the needs of the students and support necessary 358 students 32 FTE = ratio of to 1

14 Metro High School M ASTERING E DUCATIONAL T ASK R EGARDLESS OF O BSTACLES

15 ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION HISTORY Alternative Education  Remarkable Growth Since Late 1960s  Alternative, Career Theme Magnet, Charter Schools, On Line Schools  75% of School Districts Have Alternatives  Concept Has Proven Unusually Effective In Salvaging The Lives Of Poor and Minority Students  Most effective strategy for dropout prevention - Dr. ROBERT D. BARR, Secrets of Success of High Poverty/High-Performing Schools

16 ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION in CRCSD What CRCSD does is...  Make Metro an integral part of the school system  Support High Schools in understanding effective advice to students regarding variety of educational opportunities  Allow all schools to work together to serve students

17 METRO HIGH SCHOOL PURPOSE  OUR PHILOSOPHY Since 1974, Metro High School, provides an educational alternative for students in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Many of our students enter with negative perceptions of school or with circumstances in their lives that do not allow school to be a priority. The students and staff members at Metro make a conscious effort to provide a supportive and caring atmosphere. Each student is recognized and accepted as an individual with unique interests, abilities and learning styles. Metro’s educational program is designed to provide a variety of options for meeting the Cedar Rapids School District's graduation requirements. There is a continued effort to aid students in developing as total individuals.

18 METRO HIGH SCHOOL MISSION Metro’s Mission Statement We are Metro High School, working positively together to set goals, earn a high school diploma and be successful in life while respecting individuality & creativity. - created by students and staff 2007

19 METRO HIGH SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHICS* EnrollmentNumber of StudentsPercentage of Students 9th Grade8121% 10th Grade7018% 11th Grade6316% 12th Grade17044% Total Number of Students % Ethnic and SubgroupNumber of Students% of Students Total384100% Free/Reduced306 80% Non-Free Reduced7820% IEP8622% Non IEP29878% ELL00% Non ELL384100% African American 11931% White25165% Hispanic133% Asian 0 0% American Indian10% Other00% * Information from CRSD 2013 data

20 METRO Response To Intervention (RTI) CORE SUPPLEMENTAL & INTENSIVE SUPPORT SUPPLEMENTAL ADDITIONAL SUPPORT, STRATEGIES, SKILL BUILDING Whole Child Framework CO-TEACHING ADVISOR SYSTEM PBIS (TIER 1) LEARNING SUPPORT TEAM (LST) CHILDCARE MENTAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE SUBSTANCE ABUSE CARE BUS TICKETS PROVIDED 9 TH GRADE FACILITATOR INTENSIVE CORE FOCUS PBIS (TIER 2) HEALTH PLAN TRUANCY LETTER

21 METRO VS. COMPREHENSIVE HS UNIQUE VARIABLES allowed by the CRCSD Board of Education ORIENTATION PROCESS ADVISOR SYSTEM GRADING POLICY ATTENDANCE POLICIES (Health, Child Care, and Metro Plus) GRADUATION

22 METRO HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS... All entering students must participate in our Orientation program. During this 3 day mandatory Orientation, the Metro staff … 1.Provides an assessment of each students academic skills. 2.Teaches and provides models our behavior expectations within our Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) Framework. Example of PBIS video shown in Orientation: 3. Teaches a variety of positive methods for attaining their life and academic goals. Students must fully attend Orientation and meet the behavior expectations prior to their enrollment. Upon their successful completion of Orientation, students are assigned an advisor and receive a class schedule.

23 What the Research Says (Or Doesn’t Say): Advisory Programs Advisory programs (or advisories) are frequently implemented by schools as a way to strengthen connectedness between adults and students and foster a personalized and supportive school culture. Although advisories are set up in varying ways, they are generally characterized by regular meetings between an advisor and a student or group of students to provide academic and social support. Although surveys and self-reports attest to the value of these programs, there are very few rigorous studies from which to determine the effects on student outcomes. Schools developing advisories have “relied upon intuition and anecdotal evidence rather than empirical data” (Shulkind & Foote, 2009). - Education Northwest Magazine

24 Benefits of Advisor Programs “ The curriculum of advisory (at Souhegan High School) is really the experiences, interests, values, skills, hopes, and fears of all the individual members. It boils down to skills and process….Students….develop the ability to function in a heterogeneous group of their peers.” — Peggy Silva, Standards of Mind and Heart: Creating the Good High School

25 METRO HIGH SCHOOL Advisors UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS...  The heart of Metro is the advisor/advisee system. Each teacher serves as an advisor for students. The advisor is an advocate for their students’ educational programs. With the exception of new ninth graders, students retain the same advisor throughout their enrollment at Metro. New Ninth graders are assigned to our Ninth Grade Facilitator for initial term.  Advisors have the opportunity to formally meet and bond with their advisees weekly to discuss issues relevant to their educational program and lives for 30 minutes.

26 METRO HIGH SCHOOL Advisors con’t UNLIKE a High School counselor, an Advisor’s role is designed to provide maximum support to the student and assistance to the parents/guardians with a 15:1, instead of 400:1. The advisor will:  Maintain communication with parents or guardians supporting the student’s school success.  Monitor the classes their advisees are taking to ensure they are making progress toward graduation.  Assist in developing career and/or post-secondary education plans.  Assist in problem solving (mediate) when behaviors interfere with school success.

27 METRO HIGH SCHOOL GRADING UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS... Metro students do not receive letter grades. Our program uses a Variable Credit System allowing students to earn from 0 – 5 credits for each class per trimester. Credit is earned on the basis of: Attendance Those with 80% attendance get first choice for registering for classes Work performance Grading based on rubrics, Standards, and Iowa Core Alignment Behavior Following PBIS expectations Students may potentially earn 32.5 – 37.5 credits per trimester

28 Variable Grading ??? Language Arts Teacher Grading Example Days of Attendance Credit Earned Percentage on Assignments

29 METRO HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS... Metro students attend classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 8:15 - 2:35. Every Wednesday classes meet 8: :10 with a 30 minute Advisor Meeting. After dismissal on Wednesdays Advisors typically do HOME VISITS and/or make contact with families while maintaining a log in our Intervention system.

30 METRO HEALTH & ATTENDANCE UNLIKE, some School Nurses in the Comprehensive High School... METRO CARE CONNECTION INCREASES OUR ATTENDANCE RATE On a single day students are seen in the clinic for some type of service by our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Treatment for minor illnesses (ear infection, strep throat, etc.) Basic laboratory tests (i.e. throat cultures, urine tests) Prescriptions for medications Health education and counseling Referral for complex medical conditions Referral for counseling services Assistance for families needing a physician Assistance for families applying for Title 19 of Hawk-I

31 METRO HEALTH & ATTENDANCE Metro’s health care throughout the day creates a positive and caring relationship with the students they see. Many of the students get OTC medications for headaches or body aches, this allows the students to stay in school, and complete the school day. Many students rely on the Metro Care Connection for sports physical allowing them to participate in extracurricular sports activities.

32 METRO PARENT-CHILD CENTER (PCC)  An onsite daycare, serving infants and toddlers, is available for students and staff.  Parenting students are expected to participate in the Center for one 55-minute period each school day, in exchange for the care of their child. This allows parenting students an opportunity to continue their education while alleviating the cost of childcare.  The Center also provides a hands-on classroom for both parenting and non-parenting student to develop/enhance their childcare skills

33 METRO PLUS SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM  Metro Plus assesses students’ academic skills and progress towards graduation by using a variety of curriculum and materials on Tuesdays & Thursdays 4-6:30pm  The Metro Plus Program was developed for students who are:  Employed and not available for day courses OR  Potentially At-Risk for considering dropping out of high school and are considering obtaining a high school equivalent diploma (GED or HiSET)..  Tuesday’s classes emphasize skill development in Language Arts (Reading and Writing)  Thursday’s classes emphasize skill development in Mathematics and Science Since its inception in students attended. Nine of whom completed their entire GED. We have averaged over 7 students per session.

34 METRO GRADUATIONS UNLIKE MOST HIGH SCHOOLS... METRO hosts a graduation ceremony at the conclusion of each trimester ** METRO includes GED recipients that have had a connection to METRO ** Graduates choose 2 Staff they connect with to be either a SPEAKER or SHAKER for the ceremony SPEAKERS share anecdotes of their connectedness SHAKERS provide a ROSE and handshake as tokens of support


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