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Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction

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1 Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction
Brockton High Transformed by Literacy Model School- Session #14 Sue Szachowicz Principal Sharon Wolder Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction

2 Our Agenda Who we are and where we used to be
Rigor, Relevance, Relationships How we did this: 1. Empowering a Team 2. Focusing on Literacy 3. Implementing with fidelity 4. Monitoring like crazy! Results: Changing the Culture!

3 Who are We??? Our Demographics
Comprehensive 9 – 12 Enrollment: 4,218 Poverty Level: 72% Minority population: 73% 50 different languages 50% speak another language in the home Approximately 12% in Transitional Bilingual Ed. Approximately 11% receive Special Educ. Services

4 Meet our Students 57% Black - includes African American, Cape Verdean, Haitian, Jamaican, and others 26% White 14% Hispanic 2.5% Asian .5% Native American

5 \The Problem: (actually we had many…)
Massachusetts implemented a high stakes test (MCAS) Three-quarters of our students would not be earning a diploma Culture of low expectations – “Students have a right to fail” Who is responsible???? (My kids, your kids, not OUR kids) Success by chance – depended on who your teacher was – are you lucky???

6 State Mandates…We faced:
MCAS 1998 Failure ELA – 44% (Sped – 78%) MATH – 75% (Sped – 98%) MCAS 1998 Advanced+Proficient ELA – 22% MATH – 7% As bad as these were – it was even worse to look at our subgroups – in Special Education our ELA failure rate was 78%, in math it was 98%!

7 Remember, they MUST pass to graduate – NO exceptions!
MCAS??? So you think it’s easy???

8 (and remember, they are sophomores!)
ELA MCAS SELECTIONS: (and remember, they are sophomores!) Burial at Thebes from Sophocles’ Antigone Shakespearean Sonnet # 73 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (3 page excerpt) Making Humus by Composting by Liz Ball Proof (four page play excerpt by David Auburn)

9 In the formula, h and t are defined as follows:
SAMPLE MCAS MATH QUESTION: Jason launched a model rocket from the ground. The formula below can be used to determine the height of the rocket above the ground at any time during the rocket’s flight. h = 16t(7 – t) In the formula, h and t are defined as follows: • t = the time, in seconds, that has elapsed since the rocket was launched • h = the height, in feet, of the rocket above the ground at time t Use the formula to answer the following questions. a. What was the height, in feet, of the rocket 1 second after it was launched? Show your work. b. What was the height, in feet, of the rocket 6 seconds after it was launched? Show your work. c. The value of h was 0 when the rocket hit the ground. How many seconds after the rocket was launched did it hit the ground? Show your work. d. How many seconds after the rocket was launched was the height of the rocket 160 feet? Show your work. This is an example of a math question on the 10th grade test. You don’t have to answer it but notice that students are required to use the information provided to answer 4 questions and must show the steps to solve each equation to get credit for their answers. 9

10 SAMPLE MCAS BIOLOGY QUESTION:
Corn snakes show variety in their skin color pattern. While the complete genetics of corn snake color are complex, the most common colors on normal corn snakes—red and black—are each coded by one gene. For the red gene, the allele for the presence of red pigment (R) is dominant and the allele for the absence of red pigment (r) is recessive. Likewise, for the black gene, the allele for the presence of black pigment (B) is dominant and the allele for the absence of black pigment (b) is recessive. Draw the Punnett square for the cross of a snake that is homozygous dominant for the red color with a snake that is heterozygous for the red color. What percentage of the offspring is expected to have red pigment in their skin? b. Draw the Punnett square for the cross of two snakes that are heterozygous for the black color. What percentage of the offspring are expected to have black pigment in their skin? c. The parent snakes in part (b) that are heterozygous for black color are both homozygous recessive for the red gene. Each parent has genotype rr for the red gene. Based on this information, what percentage of their offspring are expected to lack both the red and black pigments in their skin? Explain your reasoning. Students now take the science test as well. This is an example of a multistep equation type question students were asked on the 2008 biology mcas exam.

11 Insert cartoon …you all get the same test. You must all climb that tree…”

12

13 “Students have a right to fail.”
Can you believe this??? But even worse… We faced a flawed belief system: “Students have a right to fail.” Former BHS Principal

14 Success at Brockton High then ???

15 Here’s a preview of WHERE WE ARE NOW…
That’s where we were… Here’s a preview of WHERE WE ARE NOW…

16 THEN NOW MCAS 1998 ELA – 22 % MATH – 7 % MCAS 2011 ELA – 78%
Advanced+Proficient ELA – 22 % MATH – 7 % MCAS 2011 Advanced+Proficient ELA – 78% MATH – 64 % It’s even BETTER this year!!!

17 THEN NOW Failure ELA – 44% MATH – 75% Failure ELA – 4% MATH – 12%
MCAS 1998 Failure ELA – 44% MATH – 75% MCAS 2011 Failure ELA – 4% MATH – 12% As bad as these were – it was even worse to look at our subgroups – in Special Education our ELA failure rate was 78%, in math it was 98%! YES, even BETTER this year!!!

18 It’s cool and fun to be smart
1998 859 STUDENTS (4400 students) 19% Honor Roll Statistics 2011 1448 STUDENTS ( (4200 students) 34%

19

20 Turnaround at Brockton High
Emphasis on literacy brings big MCAS improvement Principal Susan Szachowicz, shown chatting at lunch with Yiriam Lopez, is in many ways the school’s biggest cheerleader. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff) By James Vaznis Globe Staff / October 12, 2009 BROCKTON - Brockton High School has every excuse for failure, serving a city plagued by crime, poverty, housing foreclosures, and homelessness. Almost two-thirds of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, and 14 percent are learning to speak English. More than two-thirds are African-American or Latino - groups that have lagged behind their peers across the state on standardized tests. But Brockton High, by far the state’s largest public high school with 4,200 students, has found a success in recent years that has eluded many of the state’s urban schools: MCAS scores are soaring, earning the school state recognition as a symbol of urban hope.

21 So, that’s who we are… What did we do?
Brockton and ICLE philosophy Rigor Relevance Relationships ALL students-and ALL means ALL!!! 21

22 RIGOR and RELEVANCE Our Literacy Initiative reflects BOTH
Literacy for ALL – NO exceptions!!! Schoolwide Literacy Skills (we all do it THIS way!) Schoolwide rubrics for assessment The content provides the CONTEXT for teaching the Literacy Skills The electives engage the students and provide the real life application

23 So, what did we do??? Our turnaround: 4 Steps Empowered a Team
Focused on Literacy – Literacy for ALL, no exceptions Implemented with fidelity and according to a plan Monitored like crazy!

24 Step ONE: Empowering a Leadership Team
Restructuring Committee – our “think tank” Every department represented with a mix of teachers and administrators Balance of new teachers and veterans, new voices and voices of experience Challenge for Change funding I couldn’t work without the Leadership Team. Not only do they provide valued input, but they truly make my job easier!

25 We looked at the data And, our first plan:
Let’s figure out the test The result of that: The Great Shakespearean Fiasco

26 And it helped us become one of the 100 Best!
A better approach: We asked what should we be teaching??? I Our solution: LITERACY!!! And it helped us become one of the 100 Best!

27 INSERT VIDEO from America’s Promise 100 Best

28 Brockton High’s turnaround FOUR STEPS:
Empowered a team Focused on Literacy for ALL, NO exceptions Implemented with fidelity and according to a plan Monitored like crazy!

29 Reading, Writing, Speaking, Reasoning
Step TWO: Focused on Literacy for ALL The “WHAT”: LITERACY for ALL: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Reasoning 29

30 How did we determine our focus? Literacy Skills Drafted:
30

31

32 Is the skill applicable to ALL content areas?
WHAT are we teaching??? ENGAGING THE FACULTY: Interdisciplinary discussion groups on the drafts using 3 guiding questions: In each of the four areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Reasoning, have we included what is required for students to be successful in your class/your content area? Is the skill stated clearly so that all teachers and students can understand it? Is the skill applicable to ALL content areas? Then we had to figure out how to do this, how to get the faculty engaged in the same conversation we had been having at Restructuring. We drafted a list of skills in reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning to get the input of the faculty – but it was more than to get input. It was to get everyone engaged in the mission – to get them thinking about literacy and connecting the literacy skills to their lessons. The skills on those initial drafts came from the state standards, a review of the MCAS data, and our own beliefs as educators about what kids should know and be able to do!

33 “Lessons Learned the Hard Way” Tip:
Put all your negative folks together in a group so they don’t spread their toxic fumes. For the ‘”toxic fumes” group – Make sure the facilitator knows going into it! Mention David Wheeler’s comment about putting your nasty people together.

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35 So now what… We had cool looking charts on the walls… SO WHAT… The KEY to our implementation is HOW we trained teachers to teach these Literacy skills to our students.

36 Faculty Meetings became Literacy Workshops KEY = Adult Learning
Step THREE: Implemented with fidelity and a plan Faculty Meetings became Literacy Workshops KEY = Adult Learning

37 We started with writing!
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS We started with writing! Writing is thinking

38

39 BUT…. Don’t think for a moment that everyone was happy… BUT, if we waited for buy-in, we’d still be waiting. SO, what did we do?? Meet Sharon and Penny

40 Insert PBS Need to Know video on Penny and Sharon

41 Brockton High’s turnaround FOUR STEPS:
Empowered a team Focused on Literacy – Literacy for ALL, NO exceptions Implemented with fidelity and according to a plan Monitored like crazy!

42 Restructuring Committee process:
Targets the Literacy Skill Smaller subgroup drafts training script, brings draft to the full committee, revisions made Roll out to faculty – step one: Interdisciplinary group training Follow up in depts – how to implement in content area

43 OPEN RESPONSE STEPS TO FOLLOW
1. READ QUESTION CAREFULLY. 2. CIRCLE OR UNDERLINE KEY WORDS. 3. RESTATE QUESTION AS THESIS (LEAVING BLANKS). 4. READ PASSAGE CAREFULLY. 5. TAKE NOTES THAT RESPOND TO THE QUESTION. BRAINSTORM & MAP OUT YOUR ANSWER. 6. COMPLETE YOUR THESIS. 7. WRITE YOUR RESPONSE CAREFULLY, USING YOUR MAP AS A GUIDE. 8. STATEGICALLY REPEAT KEY WORDS FROM THESIS IN YOUR BODY AND IN YOUR END SENTENCE. 9. PARAGRAPH YOUR RESPONSE. 10. REREAD AND EDIT YOUR RESPONSE.

44 How do we know the students are learning it?
INSERT STUDENT WORK EXAMPLE

45 So then what… Follow up the Interdisciplinary Training.
Next step – HOW to bring this into the classroom Lessons developed Implemented according to a calendar

46 Step THREE: Implemented with fidelity and a plan
We didn’t leave it to chance. The implementation was according to a specific timeline…

47 The Open Response calendar of implementation is as follows:
As a follow up to this activity, I am requiring Department Heads to collect from each teacher at least one student sample from each of the teachers’ classes. The student samples should include: Student Name Teacher Name Date Course Name and Level Period A copy of the reading selection and question Evidence of the student’s active reading All pre-writing work that the student has done, e.g. webs A copy of the written open response The new scoring rubric and completed assessment After you have collected the samples from each teacher and have had the opportunity to review them for quality and completeness, please send them to me in a department folder with a checklist of your teachers. Again, please be sure that your teachers clearly label their student samples. The Open Response calendar of implementation is as follows: Nov 2-6: Social Science, Social Sci Biling. Nov 30-Dec 4: Wellness, JROTC Dec 14-18: Science, Science Bilingual Jan 11-15: Business, Tech, & Career Ed. Jan 25-29: Math, Math Bilingual Feb 22-26: Foreign Lang, Special Ed Mar. 7-11: English, ESL, Guidance Mar Family &Cons. Sci, ProjGrads Apr 5-9: Music, Art

48 How did we incorporate these Literacy Skills in every discipline?
Emily Dickinson is a poet who often wrote about her own emotional struggles. In two poems “Heart, We Will Forget Him” and “Knows How to Forget” she writes about how difficult it is to forget. Please read the two poems and the brief biography and answer the following three questions: What were some of experiences in her life that influenced her writing? What do the two poems have in common? How are the two poems different? Please use one quote from the poems or biography in each paragraph.

49 INSERT STUDENT WORK EXAMPLES

50 ALL means ALL!!! Even the Guidance Department implements the Active Reading Strategies. Topic: Post-Secondary Plans

51 Brockton High’s turnaround FOUR STEPS:
Empowered a team Focused on Literacy – Literacy for ALL, NO exceptions Implemented with fidelity and according to a plan Monitored like crazy! (what gets monitored is what gets done!)

52 INSERT RUBRIC

53 Step FOUR: Monitored like crazy!!!
What Gets Monitored Is What Gets Done! Faculty: Assessment based on rubrics Department Heads: Collect, assess, dialogue, and assist teacher Associate Principal: Collect, assess, dialogue, make necessary adjustments Listen to Prof. Ron Ferguson, Director, Achievement Gap Institute, Harvard

54 INSERT PBS NEED TO KNOW VIDEO on Ferguson

55 55

56 I Read It But I Don’t Get It and Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?
The key: Teaching everyone HOW Reading Workshop on TOVANI’S I Read It But I Don’t Get It and Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?

57

58 Insert Student Work Examples

59 MATH

60 Oral Presentation Rubric

61

62 Reading Visuals lesson
How did we incorporate these Literacy Skills in every discipline? The Reasoning Skills Chart develops the higher level math skills. Two examples of a Reading Visuals lesson from a Wellness class Topic: Bullying

63 Insert Student Work Examples

64 Problem Solving lesson
How did we incorporate these Literacy Skills in every discipline? Here is an example of a Problem Solving lesson from a Music class – Topic: Planning the Concert

65 Key = Adult Learning – Teachers teaching teachers = SUCCESS!
Literacy Training for the faculty Key = Adult Learning – Teachers teaching teachers = SUCCESS!

66 BHS Literacy Workshop April 28th 2011
Reading Visuals

67 Agenda Opener – Think and Pair. Reading Visuals presentation
Practice using Reading Visuals 5 step process Discussion and feedback Closer – Think, Plan, Share Ask opening question (relevant)

68 Don’t Miss… To see how we trained our faculty and experience a Literacy Training the Brockton High way, go to Sharon’s Literacy Leadership session: Tuesday 10:45 in OsceolaA; Wednesday 9:30 in Sun A-B

69 In Sharon’s Session – Our Professional Development Formats
World Café – More informal, allows topics to be introduced without going into great detail – builds collegiality Small Interdisciplinary Groups – In depth discussions about a targeted issue Large Interdisciplinary Groups – Literacy training that is often our first step to introduce an instructional method to all faculty Departmental Meetings – follow up to literacy training with a content specific focus

70 We can’t forget The Third “R”
It’s ALL about the relationships…

71 Relationships “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

72 Honor Roll Assemblies – Celebrate and Laugh!

73 Class of 2012 – 90% heading to college!
College for ALL: Changing students’ beliefs: Class of 2012 – 90% heading to college! 73

74 Relationships: Support and Get the Word Out!
Boxer – 2 – Boxer Access Center Peer Mediators Boxer of the Month Good Citizen IDs Boxer Roundup

75 Boxer Buddies A lasting friendship

76 We have built a lasting relationship which we will forever treasure in our hearts

77 The “REAL” results Amarr: “It’s not us against them.”
Terrence: “No one here would let me fail. I know, because I tried to.”

78 The Result = Changing the Culture
RECAP: Our 4 Steps When all 3 R’s come together 1. Empowering a team 2. Focusing on literacy: Literacy for ALL – NO exceptions 3. Implementing with fidelity and according to a plan 4. Monitoring, monitoring, monitoring The Result = Changing the Culture

79 “You don’t have to change the student population to get results, you have to change the conditions under which they learn.” Pedro Noguera

80 It’s ALL about literacy
DOES IT WORK??? Listen to what the students think of our Literacy Initiative… meet Fabieny DePina on PBS Need to Know

81 INSERT PBS NEED TOKNOW VIDEO with Fabieny

82 Success at Brockton High then???

83 Success at Brockton High now
MCAS 2011 Failure ELA – 4% (in %) MATH – 12% (in 98 – 75%) MCAS 2011 Adv/Prof. ELA – 78% (in %) MATH – 64% (in 98 – 7%) As bad as these were – it was even worse to look at our subgroups – in Special Education our ELA failure rate was 78%, in math it was 98%!

84 TEACHER LEADERSHIP Some Schools Stand Out Comparisons of
Complacent HS and Brockton HS Ronald F. Ferguson, PhD Tripod Project for School Improvement (www.tripodproject.org) and Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University (www.agi.harvard.edu)

85 Proportions of students scoring in each decile
of the MCAS 8th grade ELA distribution

86 MCAS ELA gains 8th to 10th grade,
compared to others from the same 8th grade decile (School rank percentile/100)

87 As student achievement increased, the culture started to change – we ALL insisted on the same standards “Your kids look like our kids, but they sure don’t act like our kids.” “There’s no one in the halls…” Szach: “They are in class…” Follow up question: “How do you get them to go?” The kids are PROUD – BOXER PRIDE!

88 It’s not just about the numbers!!!

89 268 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
JOHN & ABIGAIL ADAMS BHS SCHOLARS 2012 268 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS 33% of the class!

90 AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS!!!
ICLE Model School 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 NASSP/CSSR Secondary School Showcase 2011, 2010 AIM Gould Award 2012 (Mass. businesses) U.S. Department of Education National High School Summit Harvard Achievement Gap Initiative 2011, 2009 National School Change Award – 2006 Massachusetts Compass School

91 Brockton School District Plymouth County
AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS!!! Brockton High School Brockton School District Plymouth County 470 Forest Avenue Brockton, Massachusetts (508) 2008, 2010, 2012

92 Boxers in the NEW YORK TIMES
GO Boxers!!! Boxers in the NEW YORK TIMES High Expectations NO Excuses!!! September 28, 2010

93 Making change takes tenacity, not brilliance!
Here’s what we know Making change takes tenacity, not brilliance! (If we can do it, ANYONE can!) And when the 3 Rs come together it looks like this… (The kids made this for the teachers)

94 INSERT STUDENT GOOD BYE VIDEO

95 Dr. Susan Szachowicz Sharon Wolder
Contact Information Sharon Wolder Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Brockton High School 470 Forest Ave Brockton, MA 02301 bpsma.org Dr. Susan Szachowicz Principal Brockton High School 470 Forest Avenue Brockton, MA 02301 bpsma.org


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