Presentation on theme: "Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction"— Presentation transcript:
1 Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Brockton High Transformed by LiteracyModel School- Session #14Sue SzachowiczPrincipalSharon WolderAssociate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction
2 Our Agenda Who we are and where we used to be Rigor, Relevance, RelationshipsHow we did this:1. Empowering a Team2. Focusing on Literacy3. Implementing with fidelity4. Monitoring like crazy!Results: Changing the Culture!
3 Who are We??? Our Demographics Comprehensive 9 – 12Enrollment: 4,218Poverty Level: 72%Minority population: 73%50 different languages50% speak anotherlanguage in the homeApproximately 12% inTransitional Bilingual Ed.Approximately 11% receiveSpecial Educ. Services
4 Meet our Students57% Black - includes African American, Cape Verdean, Haitian, Jamaican, and others26% White14% Hispanic2.5% 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 diplomaCulture 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 1998FailureELA – 44%(Sped – 78%)MATH – 75%(Sped – 98%)MCAS 1998Advanced+ProficientELA – 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’ AntigoneShakespearean Sonnet # 73Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConradLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (3 page excerpt)Making Humus by Composting by Liz BallProof (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 tUse 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…”
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+ProficientELA – 22 %MATH – 7 %MCAS 2011Advanced+ProficientELA – 78%MATH – 64 %It’s even BETTER this year!!!
17 THEN NOW Failure ELA – 44% MATH – 75% Failure ELA – 4% MATH – 12% MCAS 1998FailureELA – 44%MATH – 75%MCAS 2011FailureELA – 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 1998859 STUDENTS(4400 students)19%Honor RollStatistics20111448 STUDENTS( (4200 students)34%
20 Turnaround at Brockton High Emphasis on literacy brings big MCAS improvementPrincipal 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, 2009BROCKTON - 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 philosophyRigorRelevanceRelationshipsALL students-andALL 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 assessmentThe content provides the CONTEXT for teaching the Literacy SkillsThe 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 exceptionsImplemented with fidelity and according to a planMonitored like crazy!
24 Step ONE: Empowering a Leadership Team Restructuring Committee – our “think tank”Every department represented with a mix of teachers and administratorsBalance of new teachers and veterans, new voices and voices of experienceChallenge for ChangefundingI 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???IOur solution:LITERACY!!!And it helped us become one of the 100 Best!
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.
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 teamFocused on Literacy – Literacy for ALL, NO exceptionsImplemented with fidelity and according to a planMonitored like crazy!
42 Restructuring Committee process: Targets the Literacy SkillSmaller subgroup drafts training script, brings draft to the full committee, revisions madeRoll out to faculty – step one: Interdisciplinary group trainingFollow 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 classroomLessons developedImplemented 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 NameTeacher NameDateCourse Name and LevelPeriodA copy of the reading selection and questionEvidence of the student’s active readingAll pre-writing work that the student has done, e.g. websA copy of the written open responseThe new scoring rubric and completed assessmentAfter 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, JROTCDec 14-18: Science, Science BilingualJan 11-15: Business, Tech, & Career Ed.Jan 25-29: Math, Math BilingualFeb 22-26: Foreign Lang, Special EdMar. 7-11: English, ESL, GuidanceMar Family &Cons. Sci, ProjGradsApr 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.
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 teamFocused on Literacy – Literacy for ALL, NO exceptionsImplemented with fidelity and according to a planMonitored like crazy!(what gets monitored is what gets done!)
53 Step FOUR: Monitored like crazy!!! What Gets Monitored Is What Gets Done!Faculty: Assessment based on rubricsDepartment Heads: Collect, assess, dialogue, and assist teacherAssociate Principal: Collect, assess, dialogue, make necessary adjustmentsListen to Prof. Ron Ferguson, Director, Achievement Gap Institute, Harvard
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 aReading Visuals lessonfrom a Wellness classTopic: Bullying
64 Problem Solving lesson How did we incorporate these Literacy Skills in every discipline?Here is an example of aProblem Solving lessonfrom a Music class – Topic: Planning the Concert
65 Key = Adult Learning – Teachers teaching teachers = SUCCESS! Literacy Training for the facultyKey = 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 processDiscussion and feedbackCloser – Think, Plan, ShareAsk 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 collegialitySmall Interdisciplinary Groups – In depth discussions about a targeted issueLarge Interdisciplinary Groups – Literacy training that is often our first step to introduce an instructional method to all facultyDepartmental 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
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 herewould let me fail.I know, because I tried to.”
78 The Result = Changing the Culture RECAP: Our 4 StepsWhen all 3 R’s come together1. Empowering a team2. Focusing on literacy:Literacy for ALL – NO exceptions3. Implementing with fidelity and according to a plan4. Monitoring, monitoring, monitoringThe 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
83 Success at Brockton High now MCAS 2011FailureELA – 4%(in %)MATH – 12%(in 98 – 75%)MCAS 2011Adv/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 HSRonald F. Ferguson, PhDTripod Project for School Improvement ( andAchievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University (
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!
89 268 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS JOHN & ABIGAIL ADAMS BHS SCHOLARS 2012268 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS33% of the class!
90 AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS!!! ICLE Model School 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004NASSP/CSSR Secondary SchoolShowcase 2011, 2010AIM Gould Award 2012 (Mass. businesses)U.S. Department of Education National High School SummitHarvard Achievement Gap Initiative 2011, 2009National School Change Award – 2006Massachusetts Compass School
91 Brockton School District Plymouth County AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS!!!Brockton High SchoolBrockton School District Plymouth County470 Forest Avenue Brockton, Massachusetts (508)2008, 2010,2012
92 Boxers in the NEW YORK TIMES GO Boxers!!!Boxers in the NEW YORK TIMESHigh Expectations NO Excuses!!!September 28, 2010
93 Making change takes tenacity, not brilliance! Here’s what we knowMaking 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)
95 Dr. Susan Szachowicz Sharon Wolder Contact InformationSharon WolderAssociate Principal for Curriculum and InstructionBrockton High School470 Forest AveBrockton, MA 02301bpsma.orgDr. Susan SzachowiczPrincipalBrockton High School470 Forest AvenueBrockton, MA 02301bpsma.org