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1 Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Initiative Assistant Principal Chad LaQua Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School.

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1 1 Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Initiative Assistant Principal Chad LaQua Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School

2 2 Purpose To improve student achievement by allowing at- risk students to complete work, receive additional instruction from a content area teacher, and replace low scores after the regular school day. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School

3 3 Bainbridge, W., (2007).Alabama AYP Accountability Reports, (2007). State Status Report. Retrieved December 28, 2007 from ftp://ftp.alsde.edu/Documents/AYPReports/Bainbridge Bridgeland, John M. (2006). The silent epidemic; perspectives of high school dropouts. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved on July 17, 2008 from http://www.civicenterprises.net/pdfs/thesilentepidemic3-06.pdf Dropout Prevention (2007) Manufacturing engineering. Sep 2007. FindArticles.com. Retrieved 17 March, 2008 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3618/is_200709/ai_n21033535 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School References

4 4 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Outline IntroductionPolicy LiteratureStaffing InceptionSummary Getting on boardConclusion Growing painsQuestion & Answer Tracking dataRecommendations Growing pains Parent contact Definitions Results Responsibilities

5 5 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Introduction (1 of 2) The Grade Recovery Initiative at Buckhorn High School is an all encompassing, stakeholder-driven effort that enables students who attend to improve their grade by as much as thirty percent with a minimal investment in staffing, (Sarah Fanning, Instructional Assistant).

6 6 For the past several years the faculty and administration at Buckhorn High School (BHS) studied all Alabama data sources and failure rates. The staff at Buckhorn found much higher failure rates in the 9 th Grade. The majority of failures occurred in the mathematics curriculum. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Introduction (2 of 2)

7 7 A primary indicator for those susceptible to dropping out is having repeated at least one year of school, (Bainbridge, 2007). Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Literature (1 of 4)

8 8 Statistically the research shows that if a student fails any course in the 9 th grade, they have a 70% chance of dropping out of school by their senior year, (Dropout Prevention, 2007).Dropout Prevention Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Literature (2 of 4)

9 9 According to the report, The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts, thirty- five percent of dropouts said that failing in school was a major factor for dropping out; three out of ten said they could not keep up with school-work; and 43 percent said they missed too many days of school and could not catch up, (Bridgeland, 2006). Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Literature (3 of 4)

10 10 Teachers reported that when students had difficulties making the transition to high school, many of them skipped classes, were absent, and ultimately, they failed several of their classes. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Literature (4 of 4)

11 11 Administrators at Buckhorn believe that full implementation of the Grade Recovery Initiative at all Madison County School District High Schools will provide the setting for at-risk students to get back on track for passing their classes and receive credits during the semester that they are enrolled in the classes. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Inception (1 of 4)

12 12 At the AASSP Fall Conference in November, 2007, Dr. Debra Shum, Assistant Superintendent of Discovery School District in New Orleans, made a presentation about the Louisiana Redesign of the 9 th Grade. A portion of her presentation covered a Twilight School Program in effect in her district. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Inception (2 of 4)

13 13 Using Dr. Shums presentation as a guide for student success, Buckhorn High School developed and implemented a Grade Recovery Program for all students identified as at-risk of failure in a core subject. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Inception (3 of 4)

14 14 Dr. Terry Davis, Superintendent of Education in Madison County supported Buckhorns proposal to pilot the Grade Recovery Initiative. Thus, in January 2008, with funding shared equally by Buckhorn and the Madison County Board of Education, the Grade Recovery Initiative was launched. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Inception (4 of 4)

15 15 Principal Tommy Ledbetter formed a cross curricular team of teachers and administrators who proposed Buckhorn create a program where students at-risk of failing core subjects would be immediately identified by the content teacher, eligible for re-teaching, and reassessment. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Getting on board (1 of 4)

16 16 In a collaborative venue, teachers, counselors and students were polled for their input on how Grade Recovery (GR) could positively impact student achievement and success in academic classes. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Getting on board (2 of 4)

17 17 The collective response from Buckhorns professional learning community (PLC) mandated additional time for students to receive re-teaching curriculum, an opportunity to complete assignments, and re-test without penalty after school. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Getting on board (3 of 4)

18 18 The goal of the grade recovery program is for students to master the content area objectives even if it means allowing a second attempt on homework, projects, and tests. Teachers cared most that mastery occurred, and the time of mastery was not as critical. The goal at Buckhorn is for student mastery rather than the time of mastery. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Getting on board (4of 4)

19 19 The staff at Buckhorn was eager to make grade recovery a school-wide initiative, and made a strong commitment to lower student failure rates. The plan was discussed before Christmas break, and the consensus was for full implementation of the Grade Recovery Initiative to occur in January, 2008. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Commitment (1 of 2)

20 20 We thought it was worth the risk to launch full implementation of grade recovery even in a short time, said Assistant Principal Chad LaQua. The stakeholders at Buckhorn understood there would be growing pains, but the staff was not afraid of failure. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Commitment (2 of 2)

21 21 Originally, Grade Recovery was offered on Tuesdays and retake tests or quizzes on Thursdays. Progress was tracked by circulating a form. While the third nine weeks was effective, many classroom teachers were not satisfied with GR attendance or the amount of paperwork required of tracking improvements from its incarnation. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Growing Pains (1 of 2)

22 22 A major flaw in the process was only allowing students who were failing one course to attend grade recovery because of the two day requirement. This presented problems for students failing more than one course. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Growing Pains (2 of 2)

23 23 The administration was dedicated to measuring the success of the program. A system had to be designed to identify and track recovery student progress. With the understanding that tracking data would be the key to support the longevity of the program, an assistant principal was identified as the GR coordinator. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Tracking Grade Recovery (1 of 2)

24 24 Buckhorns staff further refined the process of tracking student data as well. The process of identifying recovery students, contacting parents, and viewing recovery data became simplified by using shared spreadsheets. Spreadsheets for each core course were placed on a shared network drive for each staff member to access and update weekly. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Tracking Grade Recovery (2 of 2)

25 25 It made perfect sense for GR to be scheduled by core content per day. The time was simply extended to two hours. Hosting GR on a different day also allowed the counselors to focus on spreading out phone calls to parents throughout the week, then making the task more manageable and sustainable. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Contacting parents (1 of 4)

26 26 After we allocated a separate day for each core area, contacting parents was spread in a more manageable fashion and became much more efficient, (Deuntra Gordon, Buckhorn Counselor). Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Contacting parents (2 of 4)

27 27 Grade Recovery gave my daughter more individual time with the teacher. She just didnt get it in her regular class and the program helped her get out of a tight spot to pass, (Donna McCain, Buckhorn Parent). Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Contacting parents (3 of 4)

28 28 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Contacting Parents (Letter) (4 of 4)

29 29 No Child Left Behind Legislation identifies any student as at-risk of failure with an average of 70% or below. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Defined (1 of 5)

30 30 The Grade Recovery Program is available to any student identified by core teachers with a grade average of 70% or below. Grade Recovery provides students extended school hours for re-teaching, to make-up missing work, or to replace low test scores. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Defined (2 of 5)

31 31 Buckhorn High School hosts GR from 3:15-5:15 for each core content area on a separate day of the week. Therefore, recovery students can experience success in all core content areas instead of being forced to choose only one subject for concentrated improvement. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Defined (3 of 5)

32 32 The weekly schedule provides additional instructional time for different content areas on different days of the week -- Social Studies on Monday, Science on Tuesday, Math on Wednesday, and English on Thursday. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Defined (4 of 5)

33 33 One or more Grade Recovery Teachers, re-teach students during the first hour and administer test retakes during the second hour of GR. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Grade Recovery Defined (5 of 5)

34 34 One of the most significant features of the grade recovery program is that students at-risk of failing a class are identified earlyat the completion of the first week of instruction during the grading period. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Results (1 of 11)

35 35 At its inception, in January of 2008, students raised their averages by 15 points or had a 30% increase in their average after one week of attendance. Students who participated in grade recovery earned grades on average of 27% higher than their peers who did not attend Grade Recovery. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Results (2 of 11)

36 36 There were 1656 referrals for eligible students to attend GR during the 3rd quarter, where 581 sessions were actually attended with a 35% attendance rate. The average grade prior to recovery during the 3rd quarter was a 50%, and students who attended raised their average to a 65%. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 3 rd Qtr. Results (3 of 11)

37 37 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 3 rd Qtr. Results (4 of 11)

38 38 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 3 rd Qtr. Results (5 of 11)

39 39 During the 4th quarter, students raised their averages by 11 points or had a 23% increase in their average after one week of attendance. There were 1819 referrals for eligible students to attend GR during the 4th quarter, where 674 sessions were actually attended with a 37% attendance rate. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 4th Qtr. Results (6 of 11)

40 40 Attendance of GR grew by 2% from the 3rd to 4th quarter. The average grade prior to recovery during the 4th quarter was a 47, and students who attended raised their average to a 58%. Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 4th Qtr. Results (7 of 11)

41 41 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 4th Qtr. Results (8 of 11)

42 42 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 4th Qtr. Results (9 of 11)

43 43 The staff made it more efficient and beneficial for the students who had not yet reached mastery. The fourth quarter incarnation of the GR initiative worked slightly different and made the program available to more students, (Wendy Stephens, Media Specialist). Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School 4th Qtr. Results (10 of 11)

44 44 The one on one time with my Math Recovery Teacher (Mrs. Tran) gave me a different way to understand Algebra II. I improved my grade from a 69% to a 74% in one week, (Sam, Buckhorn Student). Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Results (11 of 11)

45 45 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Core Teacher responsibilities (1 of 5) Step 1.1-- On Friday the regular education teacher identifies any student whose average is below 70% during that week. Step 1.2-- The teacher notifies the student in class that they are being submitted for Grade Recovery, to attend after school the next week and verified that parent contact information is up-to-date. Step 1.3-- The teacher adds the students name, failing average and other demographics to the master spreadsheet no later than noon on Friday. Since GR for Social Studies is taught on Monday, those grades must be averaged by Thursday to allow sufficient time for parent notification. A valid parent e- mail address should be placed in the comments. Step 1.4-- The classroom teacher provides incomplete assignments to the recovery teacher within their department prior to the recovery date.

46 46 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Counselor responsibilities (2 of 5) Step 3-- The Grade Level Counselor views the spreadsheet and notifies parents of grade recovery dates by phone or e-mail. The verification of parent contact information during the registration process is important for effective GR notification. Counselors send reminders to students the day before they are eligible to attend.

47 47 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Recovery Teacher responsibilities (3 of 5) Step 3.1--The Grade Recovery teacher takes attendance using the shared spreadsheet, marks the student absences in red and adds any pertinent comments on the same form. Step 3.2– Recovery teacher hands out work assigned by core teacher, and re-teaches concepts during the first hour according to student needs Step 3.3– Recovery teacher collects work and administers test retakes during the second hour Step 3.4-- Completed work is returned to classroom teachers.

48 48 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Recovery Teacher responsibilities (4 of 5) Step 4.1-- The core teacher corrects the student work without penalty. The teacher opens the shared spreadsheet and inserts the recovered average in the yellow column. The higher grade is recorded. After GR at Buckhorn, the grade cannot go down. The spreadsheet allows teachers to view immediate progress The spreadsheet also allows teachers to see at a glance which students did not attend the GR session and are not eligible to have their grade recovered.

49 49 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Recovery Teacher responsibilities (5 of 5)

50 50 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Policy (1 of 2) All GR classrooms are treated as an extension of the school day, with campus policies and procedures enforced. Grade Recovery expands the small learning community at Buckhorn and allows more students to attend GR throughout the nine weeks, regardless of when the assignment was originally due.

51 51 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Policy (2 of 2) All students and teachers recognize GR as an expanded, extended school day regarding policy, procedures, and routines. Students who did not arrive on time to GR were not permitted to stay. Only two discipline instances were reported during 18 weeks. Those students were asked to leave without credit. Transportation is not provided.

52 52 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Staffing (1 of 5) The Administration believes the recovery teacher makes a huge difference in the success of the program. Immediately after implementation, Buckhorn noticed an immediate need for more math teachers. Buckhorn now has three math recovery teachers, and one teacher providing GR for each of the other core areas. If the recovery teacher was not available or had to be absent during GR, another core teacher volunteered to substitute.

53 53 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Staffing (2 of 5) They (GR Teacher) must be well-rounded and competent in a range of core topics in multiple grade levels. The recovery teacher needs to be energetic, and willing to accept the workload, (Assistant Principal, Jeremy Lowry).

54 54 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Staffing (3 of 5) GR teachers receive a stipend in the amount of $25 per hour or $50 per week for 36 weeks of extended time. GR teachers earn $200 per month. The cost to the school is minimal when contrasted with the impact on student achievement. Buckhorn plans to employ six Grade Recovery teachers during 2008-2009 for 36 weeks (Entire school year), at a cost of $10,800. The administration at Buckhorn recommends that schools assign a site administrator to oversee the program.

55 55 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Staffing (Contract) (4 of 5) http://www.madison.k12.al.us/personnel/AdmGuideWeb/Index.htm

56 56 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Staffing (Pay Request) (5 of 5)

57 57 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Summary The Grade Recovery Program is available to any student identified by core teachers with a grade average of 70% or below. Grade Recovery provides students extended school hours for re-teaching, to make-up missing work, or to replace low test scores. Grade Recovery at Buckhorn High School is a work in progress.

58 58 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Conclusion The PLC at Buckhorn will continue to refine the Grade Recovery Initiative. The staff predicts that lowering the number of student failures will lower the drop-out rate and increase student achievement at Buckhorn High School. When teachers and students understood more clearly who needed help, students began to get the help they needed to improve student achievement, (Leah Johnson, English Recovery Teacher).

59 59 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Question and answer (1 of 4) Question & Answers developed by the staff at Buckhorn High School that should be considered for GR implementation Question: What about students in a dual enrollment course? Calhouns policy is no retakes. Should Dual Enrollment Students be allowed to enter Grade Recovery. Answer: No, Honor /AP/Dual Enrollment Students are essentially held to a higher standard. Although, the core teacher may make an exception. Question: What if a student is suspended?Answer: Students who are suspended may not attend grade recovery, sporting events or any other school sponsored event. Question: Should students who fail to report to GR more than three times be allowed to attend? Answer: Yes, any at-risk students is eligible to attend GR whenever sessions are offered.

60 60 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Question and answer (2 of 4) Question: Should students who are failing be allowed to attend field trips and other activities? Answer: No, the teacher should remain consistent with school policy. Question: Should teachers allow students to leave prior to the 2 hour time limit? Answer: No, it is not fair to students who attended regular classes for the entire block. Question: Should the % be lowered from 70% to 65%? Answer: No, the definition of at-risk students is identified by state and national standards at 70%. Question: Should students who need to make-up tests due to excused absences be allowed in the GR Session? Answer: No, make-up work should be made up with the core teacher. GR is designed for re-teaching.

61 61 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Question and answer (3 of 4) Question: Should unexcused absences be allowed to make up GR? Answer: No, some students have worked being absent for test to their advantage. Question: Should the teacher or the counselor e-mail the students parents with the recommendation for GR? Answer: Counselor will notify the parents from e-mail addresses for parents. Teachers should notify the student. Question: What is a manageable student to teacher ratio for a GR classroom? Answer: An ideal number of students to work with for remediation is 1/15. Question: Should cell phones be allowed? Answer: Answer: A no tolerance policy for cell phones should be implemented consistent with school policy during the school day.

62 62 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Question and answer (4 of 4) Question: Should a different test be given during the GR? Answer: The same test may be given in a different format over the same material. The exact test should not be given. An essay test should not replace a multiple choice test, etc. Question: Should the GR starting point begin after the 2 nd or 3 rd week rather than the 1st. Answer: No, students should be referred immediately when identified for at-risk of failure Question: Should the homework assignments be allowed to be made up? Answer: If it impacts the grade, it should be allowed to be made up.

63 63 Grade Recovery Initiative Buckhorn High School Recommendations Recommendation: GR may be held at different times, such as in the morning. Recommendation: Grades may only be recovered from the previous week according to board policy. Recommendation: Students should be allowed to make up semester exams in GR. Recommendation: If you employ three math recovery teachers, have one teach Algebra, another Geometry, etc. Recommendation: Schools should assign a Grade Recovery Site Supervisor


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