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Professional Learning Communities: Staying the Course Whittier Union High School District Sandy Thorstenson Superintendent.

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Presentation on theme: "Professional Learning Communities: Staying the Course Whittier Union High School District Sandy Thorstenson Superintendent."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Professional Learning Communities: Staying the Course Whittier Union High School District Sandy Thorstenson Superintendent

3 Changes in the Past 12 Years in Students We Serve 13% English Learners 23% R-FEP 3% Other 22% White 73% Hispanic 31% Soc Econ Dis Then 4% Other 10% English Learners Now 16% White 80% Hispanic 80% Soc Econ Dis 20% R-FEP

4 Students Receiving Free or Reduced Meals

5 The Power of Measurable Targets for Coherent Continual Improvement Academic Performance Index (API) Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) CAHSEE: Pass and Proficient 4-Year Graduation Rate Grade Level Credits Towards Graduation: On-Target Rate College Eligibility: a-g Course Completion Advanced Placement: Exams & Enrollment Student Attendance Rate

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7 Actions Driven by Measurable Targets TeamEvidence Course-Alike TeachersSite and District Teams Analyze Data to Identify Gaps and Share Best Practices Data & Strategies posted on Moodle PrincipalsAnnual Reports What was plan to meet Target? How did you do? What are you going to do next year? Ed ServicesDivision Annual Report Fall Presentation to Board Shares Longitudinal Data on Targets broken down by site, teacher, and classroom SuperintendentDistrict Annual Report to the Board Superintendent’s Data Notebook Board Weekly Updates

8 Comprehensive Strategy to Increase Performance on Measurable Targets Professional Learning Communities We are committed to doing WHATEVER IT TAKES

9 Pyramid of Prevention & Interventions RESULTS

10 District Growth API

11 Staying the Course: Growth over the Past 7 Years If we add up the API Growth Points from each of the past seven years, how have we done? WUHSD = 187 growth points State of California = 56 growth points How do our High Schools compare to the 925 Comprehensive High Schools in CA?

12 School Growth Points Percentile in CA (925 HS) Cal 18196% LS 16292% PHS 17295% SF 17195% WHS 21999% Staying the Course: Growth Points over the Past 7 Years

13 800 Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Gaining on the Goal of 800

14 AP Tests Taken & Percent of 10 th – 12 th Enrollment

15 WUHSD On-Target Rates 02/0303/0404/0505/0606/0707/0808/0909/10 10/11 9 th 79.0%77.9%76.3%76.8%79.8%83.4%86.4%86.1%86.3% 10 th 74.3%75.4%76.9%75.3%79.5%84.3%84.7%86.9%87.1% 11 th 87.6% 86.3%87.7%89.0%92.6%94.0%93.1%95.0%

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17 NCES Four-Year Dropout Rate

18 CAHSEE Senior Pass Rates ELA Math % 99.7% % %99.5% %99.8% %99.8% %100%

19 College Eligibility: A-G Course Completion Rate

20 WUHSD Actual College Enrollment within 2 years HS Grad Class WUHSD Student Tracker Data, 2010

21 WUHSD’s Shared Values 1. Collaboration 2. Common Assessments 3. Directed Intervention

22 Key Questions Addressed by PLCs 1.What do we want students to know? 2.How do we know when they learn it? 3.How do we respond when they do not learn it? 4.How do we enrich and extend the learning for those students who have demonstrated mastery?

23 #1 What do we want students to know? CA State Content Standards WUHSD Essential Standards Course Notebooks Pacing Guides Collaboration & Sharing Teachers Doing it Together

24 #2 How do we know when they learn it? Formative & Summative Assessments –Districtwide Common Assessments (4 or more per year) –Site-based Interim Assessments Collaborative –Protocol for Collaborative Analysis of Results –Annual CSTs Collaborative Analysis of Data –Analysis of transparent & timely student performance data within & between schools Best Practices –Treasure Hunt in search of Best Practices

25 #3 How do we respond when they do not learn it? Building a Systematic Response

26 Pyramid of Prevention & Intervention Prevention Intervention

27 Whatever it Takes Guiding Principles Intervention rather than remediation Intervention that is systematic Intervention that is provided in a timely manner Intervention that is directed rather than invited Prevention is the best Intervention

28 Focus on Freshman Parent Partnership Campus Watch Link Crew Freshman First Day Summer Bridge Program ELA and Math Placement

29 Time & Support Alternative Bell Schedules –Student-Centered, Teacher Driven –Teacher Collaboration Distributed Leadership Network –Intervention Specialists/Clerk –Course Leads –Link Crew Facilitators

30 Alternative Block Schedule: Not Allowing Students to Choose Failure BREAKLUNCH HOME Embedded Support to Ensure Mastery 120 minutes Period 1 or 2 Period 3 or 4 Period 5 or min 20 min 120 minutes 100 min 20 min 100 min 20 min 120 minutes

31 Prevention Practices Revision of Grading Policies –Retesting: Ensuring students learn content –Case Against the Zero Increased Feedback to Parents –Grading Period every 4.5 weeks –Teleparent  Parents as Partners –Zangle Parent Portal & Teachers’ Websites

32 The Best Prevention is the Best First Instruction

33 New Positions to Meet Challenges Revised Dept. Chair Description Subject Course Leads District Curriculum Assessment Coaches EADMS On-Site Technology Support Zangle On-Site Support Teachers Intervention Specialist & Clerk

34 Broad Base of Distributed Leadership Over 40% of Teachers in Leadership Role –137 Stipend Positions –59 Dept. Chairs Funding of Positions at each Site –10 Teacher Leaders funded by Site –28 Teacher Leaders funded by District Annual Total Cost Districtwide for Stipend Positions: $139,500 (does not include dept. chairs)

35 Distributed Leadership: Sample Site’s Stipend Positions Course Lead Algebra 1 9 th AVID Program Coord. Course Lead Algebra 1 (10 th -12 th )Curriculum Coordinator Course Lead Algebra 2EADMS Support Teacher Course Lead GeometryIntervention Specialist Course Lead Geometry ConceptsLink Crew Assistant Course Lead BiologyLink Crew Coordinator Course Lead ChemistryPuente Coordinator Course Lead Earth ScienceFreshman Mentor Coord. Course Lead English 1Sr. Project Coordinator Course Lead English 2WASC Coordinator Course Lead English 3Zangle Support Teacher Course Lead Spanish 1 Course Lead U.S. History Course Lead World Civ. Course Lead Spanish 1

36 Even the best classroom teacher needs support when learning how to lead a team of their peers

37 Development of Teacher Leaders Site: –Leadership Meetings –Role of Department Chairs District: –Lateral Networks –Summer Professional Learning –Targeted Leadership Training –Curriculum and Assessment Coaches

38 2009/10Pay it Forward: The Basics Meetings & Agendas Language of Support Dealing with Unproductive Behavior Sharing Best Practices without Highlighting Poor Performers Rewards and Recognition 2010/11Pay it Forward: Team Development Phases of Team Development How Decisions are Made The Role of Conflict Group of Individuals  Divergent Team  Cohesive Team  Interdependent Team 2011/12Targeted Trainings & Individual Support Teacher Leadership Training

39 Leadership Training 2011/12 2 Days in Summer Facilitation of Teams –Communication: Dialogue vs. Discussion –Team Energy –Conflict –Developing Common Understandings

40 Leadership Support: Curriculum Assessment Coaches Assigned to different sites Individual support for Course Leads Team Workshops for Course Leads Keeps finger on the pulse of Teacher Leaders Communicates Needs to Administration

41 District Quarterly Course- Alike Meetings Modeling of Collaborative Analysis Gap Analysis Discussion of Team Challenges Sharing of Best Practices

42 Teacher Development for All: Summer PD One week for each Content Area Teachers and Course Leads New Learning with Application Time Alignment of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Supplemental Collaboration Time (outside of the structure content week) Last Summer: 1,165 Teacher Work Days

43 Developing a staff’s capacities for talking together may be the most significant investment faculties can make for student learning. Robert Garmston and Bruce Wellman

44 District Support Role Amplified the Culture –Built capacity through developing Teacher Leaders –Brought Decentralized Depts together to collaboratively develop Common Assessments and address Support Issues –Supported a Culture of Inquiry Safe Discussion of Transparent Data and Needs Collegial, not Competitive Student-Centered

45 Listened –Rick Du Four’s Presentations for Teacher Leaders and Administrators Read & Discussed –Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Improving Student Achievement –Whatever it Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond when Kids don’t Learn Visited –Three Visits to Stevenson HS in Illinois How We Started

46 How We Watered the Seeds Learned –Gayle Karhanek Consulting Districtwide Workshops Consulting Days at each School Site Applied –Pyramid of Interventions –3 Meetings per Year Peer Accountability in Reporting Progress Communicated –Instructional Direction Brochure (version 3) –DVD

47 How we Continue to Expand Capacity through Collaboration Fostering Leadership –Leadership training for Teacher Leaders –Support from Curriculum Assessment Coaches –Modeling at District Best Practices Meetings Continual Learning for all Teachers –Summer PD –District Course-Alike Teams –Site Course-Alike Teams

48 Vision of Instructional Leadership in the Future Leading from Behind and not from in Front Michael Fullan  Distributed Leadership  Lateral Coordination & Communication   Sharing   Peer Accountability   Student Learning

49 Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes Rigor Relevance Relationships Intensity Coherence Focus Whatever it Takes


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