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Building a Freshman Center from the Ground up -Traci Hammes, Principal -Emily Stueve, Teacher Seaman Freshman Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Building a Freshman Center from the Ground up -Traci Hammes, Principal -Emily Stueve, Teacher Seaman Freshman Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a Freshman Center from the Ground up -Traci Hammes, Principal -Emily Stueve, Teacher Seaman Freshman Center Topeka, Kansas

2 The way it used to be…

3 Now…

4 Research Some high schools are failing 42% of ninth graders (nationwide average 25%) Most high schools offer students little or no academic and social support Ninth graders can feel that high school is “pointless and endless” Even in well managed high schools, something was missing—connections between students and teachers

5 Before construction even started… Teachers were selected Vision was created Summer retreats Staff development for new technology

6 SFC Framework

7 “They don’t care what you know until they know that you care…”

8 Relationships Seminar Transition Activities Careers Mentoring Stuco ASAP Circle of Friends/Friends of Rachael

9 Relationships

10 How does seminar work?

11 Seminar Every teacher has a seminar - low numbers One at risk seminar per team - even lower numbers 90 minutes twice a week 15 minutes SSR 35 minutes Seminar Lesson 40 minutes Academic time Mentoring program AIP - Academic Intervention Plan

12 AIP

13 Transition Activities Curriculum Fair Pre-enrollment 8th Grade graduation tour Orientation Freshmen teachers visit with 8th grade teachers about student needs

14 Success 101

15 Careers Every student must take Success 101 Class Community Service Kansas Career Pipeline  10 year plan  Interest Surveys  Career Clusters

16 What students have said about community service… “What I learned while I was doing my community service was that even the smallest of acts will make a difference in your community.” “Volunteering makes you feel good inside, because you know you are doing something worthwhile in your community,”

17 What do students accomplish in Success 101?

18 How did Success 101 help you?

19 Stuco Selected by students at the beginning of the year Meet with principal every month Meet with food service to decide on menu item Public service announcements Serve treats to ASAP students during finals week

20 Stuco Officers 2009 - 2010

21 Stuco Officers Visit Atria Hearthstone Nursing Home

22 Stuco Officers serve coffee before finals

23 ASAP After School Academic Program Times available with each core teacher Morning and afternoon times One on one time with teacher


25 Circle of Friends/Friends of Rachel Counselor leads both groups Circle of Friends  Focus is on building relationships  New students to the district  Students who may need improvement with social skills Friends of Rachel - anti-bullying group  Mix-it-up days  Community Service  Game nights

26 Teaming


28 How does teaming affect students?

29 Teaming Norms Roles SIT Schedule Principal and Counselor meet with teams once per week

30 Team Norms Each team has different norms - team decides Some examples:  Start and end on time  Don’t bring grading to team  Focus on the solution, not the problem  Talk about the same issue more than once - solve it or move on  Celebrate successes

31 What are the roles of the teachers on your team?

32 Team Roles Leader Secretary SIT/Data person Seminar liaison

33 Why is teaming so important?

34 SIT Student Improvement Team Identify students who need additional assistance Come up with a plan to increase student success Whatever it takes!

35 Schedule Typical week - one Viking Day and 4 Block Days Viking Day - 7 period schedule Block Day - 4 period schedule Teacher teams have common plan time. Departments have common plan time for PLCs


37 Why is communication so important?

38 Communication Open House Phone/email/texts Webpages/wikis/twitter Newsletter Student team meetings Parent Teacher Conferences

39 Open House Parents are encouraged to attend Go through student schedule Meet teachers Learn about classroom expectations Introduced to school policies and procedures

40 What are some ways you communicate with parents?

41 Phone/email/texts Seminar teachers are expected to contact the parents of their seminar students before the first month of school Weekly emails about what is going on in class Email to text to students’ and parents’ phones

42 What has the response been to your communication efforts?

43 Webpages/wikis/twitter Teacher webpages-informational Wikis used for in class activities as well as resources for students outside of class Students following teachers on twitter




47 Newsletter Upcoming events Suggestions for parents Pictures/stories about classroom/seminar activities Sent out once a month

48 Parent Communication

49 Student team meetings Monthly meetings Announcements Additional seminar lessons/activities Team Competitions Wear team colors

50 What technology was used at SFC?

51 Technology Interwrite boards - interactive white boards in each classroom Mobile labs - 4 teachers share 25 computers Dedicated computer technology lab Clickers - remote devices Blackboard - Advanced English Document cameras

52 What are clickers?

53 How do you use your interwrite board?

54 Technology

55 How has the technology affected your teaching?

56 How much did the technology help you learn?

57 Data

58 Suggested Reading/Bibliography National Middle School Association Conzemius, Anne. Handbook for SMART School Teams. Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service, 2002. Print. Eaker, Robert E. Getting Started Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities. Bloomington, Ind: National Educational Service, 2002. Print. Forte, and Imogene Forte. Advisory Plus! Standards-Based Sessions with Character Education, Learning Styles, and Assessment Components (Kids' Stuff). Minneapolis: Incentive Publications, 2004. Print. Jones, Laurie Beth. The Path; Creating your Mission Statement for Work and for Life. New York: Hyperion, 1998. Print.Merenbloom, Elliot Y. The Team Process; A Handbook for Teachers. Washington D.C.: National Middle School Association, 1991. Print. Queen, J. Allen. Student Transitions from Middle to High School; Improving Achievement and Creating a Safer Environment. Upper Saddle River: Eye on Education,, 2002. Print. Rottier, Jerry. Implementing and Improving Teaming A Handbook for Middle Level Leaders. Washington D.C.: National Middle School Association, 2001. Print. Stronge, James H. Qualities of Effective Teachers. Alexandria: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve, 2002. Print. Thompson, Randy, and Dorothy Vander Jagt. Wow, What a Team! Essential Components for Successful Teaming. Minneapolis: Incentive Publications, 2001. Print.

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