Cedar Rapids Community Schools - Iowa Association of School

Report
Cedar Rapids Community Schools
Finding Alternatives that Work
for Alternative Schools
Cedar Rapids Community School District
Metro Alternative High School
IASB Conference
CRCSD At A Glance
Second largest school district
in State of Iowa
121 square miles
31 schools
$263.4 million budget
2,956 employees
CRCSD At A Glance
 16,317 students (AK-12)
 Over 40 Languages spoken
 48% Free & Reduced students
 25% Minority enrollment
2.7 million meals served annually
Dedicated business and community partner support
CRCSD High Schools
High Schools
Enrollment
Jefferson
1,496
Kennedy
1,732
Metro
Washington
384
1,381
CRCSD Achievement –
College Readiness Benchmark
Scores
ACT Test
Benchmark Score
District Average
2013
State Average 2013
English
18
23.2
21.5
Mathematics
22
24.4
21.6
Reading
22 (21 in 2012)
24.3
22.5
Science
23 (24 in 2012)
24.2
22.2
24.2
22.1
Composite
CRCSD Achievement –
Five Year Trend–Met All Four
Benchmarks
Percent of Students Meeting College Readiness
100%
Percent of Students
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
49%
46%
40%
43%
40%
30%
31%
30%
29%
32%
30%
20%
10%
0%
2009
2010
2011
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
2012
2013
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District School Improvement Goal Statement
Achievement Gap Goal
By June 2015, the students in identified under-achieving subgroups will show a greater increase in the percent proficient
and the percent making greater than expected growth as compared to all students in the Cedar Rapids Community
School District as evidenced by the Iowa Assessment.
Professional Learning
Community Goal
By June 2015, all Cedar Rapids Community School District Professional Learning Communities (PLC) will use the PLC
framework to:

Align and implement the Student Learning Expectations with the Iowa Core Standards (PLC Question 1)

Use the formative assessment cycle to address student learning needs (PLC Question 2)

Utilize research based best practices to provide targeted instruction resulting in improved student performance.
(PLC Question 3 and 4)
Implementation of the Professional Learning Community Framework will be measured summatively by the annual PLC
Survey and in a formative manner, as identified in action steps
Quality of Instruction
Goal
By June 2015, all teachers will increase their knowledge and application of the Characteristics of Effective Instruction, as
described by the Iowa Core, to improve the quality of instruction in all CRCSD classrooms. This goal will be measured
through feedback from professional development, survey data and/or walkthrough data.
Characteristics of Effective Instruction:

Student Centered Classrooms

Teaching for Understanding

Assessment for Learning

Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum

Teaching for Learner Differences
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What evidence do we have of the learning?
How do we respond if they don’t learn?
Have already learned?
HOW do we know if they have learned it?
What do we want all Students
To learn, know and be able to do?
Cassandra Erkens, 2008
Anam Cara Consulting, Inc
http://www.anamcaraconsulting.com
Response to Intervention (RTI)
PLC Critical Learning Question #3 & 4
How will we respond when they don’t learn?
11
Tight and Loose
What’s Tight
What’s Loose
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum –
SLE’s and Iowa Core
Collaborative Teams working together
focused on data and student learning
(PLC)
• Product
Use of the “Process for Common
Assessments”
to guide collaborative conversations
The instructional strategies used to
deliver curriculum
Identify the Interventions and
Enrichments that are in place for RTI
(pyramid)
Resources, time, schedule, delivery
model
•Team configuration
•Schedule
•Products are different
Where a team is at in the process
What’s Tight
What’s Loose
Staffing ratios for elementary, middle, and The manner in which a building
high school that reflect and support the
deploys the teacher FTE
needs of the learners in our District
Staffing Ratio at HS
27 to 1
Staffing ratio at Metro HS reflects the
needs of the students and support
necessary
358 students
32 FTE =
ratio of 11.1875 to 1
Metro High School
MASTERING
EDUCATIONAL
TASK
REGARDLESS
OBSTACLES
OF
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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION HISTORY
Alternative Education
Remarkable Growth Since Late 1960s
Alternative, Career Theme Magnet, Charter
Schools, On Line Schools
75% of School Districts Have Alternatives
Concept Has Proven Unusually Effective In
Salvaging The Lives Of Poor and Minority
Students
Most effective strategy for dropout prevention
- Dr. ROBERT D. BARR, Secrets of Success of High Poverty/High-Performing Schools
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION in CRCSD
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What CRCSD does is . . .
Make Metro an integral part of the school
system
Support High Schools in understanding effective
advice to students regarding variety of educational
opportunities
Allow all schools to work together to serve
students
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METRO HIGH SCHOOL PURPOSE
OUR PHILOSOPHY
Since 1974, Metro High School, provides an educational alternative for students in
the Cedar Rapids Community School District.
• Many of our students enter with negative perceptions of school or with
circumstances in their lives that do not allow school to be a priority.
• The students and staff members at Metro make a conscious effort to
provide a supportive and caring atmosphere.
• Each student is recognized and accepted as an individual with unique
interests, abilities and learning styles.
• Metro’s educational program is designed to provide a variety of options
for meeting the Cedar Rapids School District's graduation requirements.
• There is a continued effort to aid students in developing as total
individuals.
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METRO HIGH SCHOOL
MISSION
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Metro’s Mission Statement
We are Metro High School, working positively
together to set goals, earn a high school diploma
and be successful in life while respecting
individuality & creativity.
- created by students and staff 2007
METRO HIGH SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHICS*
Enrollment
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade
Total Number of
Students
Number of Students
Ethnic and Subgroup Number of Students
Total
Free/Reduced
Non-Free Reduced
IEP
Non IEP
ELL
Non ELL
African American
White
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Other
Percentage of Students
81
21%
70
18%
63
16%
170
44%
384
* Information from CRSD 2013 data
Percent of Free-Reduced and Non
Free-Reduced Students
100%
% of Students
384
306
78
86
298
0
384
100%
119
251
13
0
1
0
31%
65%
3%
0%
0%
0%
20%
Free/Reduced
80%
20%
22%
78%
0%
100%
Non-Free
Reduced
80%
METRO Response To Intervention (RTI)
CORE
SUPPLEMENTAL
&
INTENSIVE
SUPPORT
Whole Child Framework
CO-TEACHING
ADVISOR SYSTEM
PBIS (TIER 1)
LEARNING SUPPORT TEAM
(LST)
CHILDCARE
MENTAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH
CARE
SUBSTANCE ABUSE CARE
BUS TICKETS PROVIDED
9TH GRADE FACILITATOR
SUPPLEMENTAL
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT,
STRATEGIES, SKILL
BUILDING
INTENSIVE CORE FOCUS
PBIS (TIER 2)
HEALTH PLAN
TRUANCY LETTER
METRO VS. COMPREHENSIVE HS
UNIQUE VARIABLES allowed
by the CRCSD Board of Education
ORIENTATION PROCESS
ADVISOR SYSTEM
GRADING POLICY
ATTENDANCE POLICIES (Health, Child Care, and Metro Plus)
GRADUATION
METRO HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION
UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS . . .
All entering students must participate in our Orientation program. During this
3 day mandatory Orientation, the Metro staff …
1. Provides an assessment of each students academic skills.
2. Teaches and provides models our behavior expectations within our Positive
Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) Framework. Example of PBIS video shown in
Orientation: http://youtu.be/cPnZDKdL4zs
3. Teaches a variety of positive methods for attaining their life and academic
goals.
Students must fully attend Orientation and meet the behavior expectations prior to their
enrollment. Upon their successful completion of Orientation, students are assigned an advisor and
receive a class schedule.
What the Research Says (Or Doesn’t Say): Advisory Programs
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Advisory programs (or advisories) are frequently implemented by schools as a
way to strengthen connectedness between adults and students and
foster a personalized and supportive school culture. Although advisories
are set up in varying ways, they are generally characterized by regular
meetings between an advisor and a student or group of students to provide
academic and social support. Although surveys and self-reports attest to the
value of these programs, there are very few rigorous studies from which to
determine the effects on student outcomes. Schools developing advisories
have “relied upon intuition and anecdotal evidence rather than empirical data”
(Shulkind & Foote, 2009).
- Education Northwest Magazine
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Benefits of Advisor Programs
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“ The curriculum of advisory (at Souhegan High
School) is really the experiences, interests,
values, skills, hopes, and fears of all the individual
members. It boils down to skills and
process….Students….develop the ability to
function in a heterogeneous group of their peers.”
— Peggy Silva, Standards of Mind and Heart: Creating
the Good High School
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METRO HIGH SCHOOL Advisors
UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS . . .
 The heart of Metro is the advisor/advisee system. Each
teacher serves as an advisor for 15 - 20 students. The advisor is
an advocate for their students’ educational programs. With the
exception of new ninth graders, students retain the same advisor
throughout their enrollment at Metro. New Ninth graders are
assigned to our Ninth Grade Facilitator for initial term.
 Advisors have the opportunity to formally meet and bond with
their advisees weekly to discuss issues relevant to their educational
program and lives for 30 minutes.
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METRO HIGH SCHOOL Advisors con’t
UNLIKE a High School counselor, an Advisor’s role is designed to
provide maximum support to the student and assistance to the
parents/guardians with a 15:1, instead of 400:1.
The advisor will:
Maintain communication with parents or guardians supporting the student’s school
success.
Monitor the classes their advisees are taking to ensure they are making progress
toward graduation.
Assist in developing career and/or post-secondary education plans.
Assist in problem solving (mediate) when behaviors interfere with school success.
METRO HIGH SCHOOL GRADING
UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS . . .
Metro students do not receive letter grades. Our program uses a Variable
Credit System allowing students to earn from 0 – 5 credits for each class per
trimester.
Credit is earned on the basis of:
• Attendance
• Those with 80% attendance get first choice for registering for classes
• Work performance
• Grading based on rubrics, Standards, and Iowa Core Alignment
• Behavior
• Following PBIS expectations
Students may potentially earn 32.5 – 37.5 credits per trimester
Variable Grading ???
Language Arts Teacher Grading Example
Days of Attendance
44-53
35-43
26-34
17-25
8-16
0-7
Credit Earned
5
4
3
2
1
0
Percentage on Assignments
84-100
67-83
50-66
33-49
16-32
0-15
METRO HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
UNLIKE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOLS . . .
• Metro students attend classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
& Friday from 8:15 - 2:35.
• Every Wednesday classes meet 8:15 - 11:10 with a 30 minute
Advisor Meeting.
• After dismissal on Wednesdays Advisors typically do HOME
VISITS and/or make contact with families while maintaining
a log in our Intervention system.
METRO HEALTH & ATTENDANCE
UNLIKE, some School Nurses in the Comprehensive High School . . .
METRO CARE CONNECTION INCREASES OUR ATTENDANCE RATE
• On a single day 20-30 students are seen in the clinic for some type of service by our
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
Treatment for minor illnesses (ear infection, strep throat, etc.)
Basic laboratory tests (i.e. throat cultures, urine tests)
Prescriptions for medications
Health education and counseling
Referral for complex medical conditions
Referral for counseling services
Assistance for families needing a physician
Assistance for families applying for Title 19 of Hawk-I
METRO HEALTH & ATTENDANCE
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• Metro’s health care throughout the day creates a
positive and caring relationship with the students
they see.
• Many of the students get OTC medications for
headaches or body aches, this allows the students to
stay in school, and complete the school day.
• Many students rely on the Metro Care Connection for
sports physical allowing them to participate in
extracurricular sports activities.
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METRO PARENT-CHILD CENTER (PCC)
An onsite daycare, serving infants and toddlers, is
available for students and staff.
Parenting students are expected to participate in the
Center for one 55-minute period each school day, in
exchange for the care of their child. This allows parenting
students an opportunity to continue their education while
alleviating the cost of childcare.
The Center also provides a hands-on classroom for both
parenting and non-parenting student to develop/enhance
their childcare skills
METRO PLUS SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
 Metro Plus assesses students’ academic skills and progress towards graduation by
using a variety of curriculum and materials on Tuesdays & Thursdays 4-6:30pm
 The Metro Plus Program was developed for students who are:
 Employed and not available for day courses OR
 Potentially At-Risk for considering dropping out of high school and are considering
obtaining a high school equivalent diploma (GED or HiSET). .
 Tuesday’s classes emphasize skill development in Language Arts (Reading
and Writing)
 Thursday’s classes emphasize skill development in Mathematics and
Science
• Since its inception in 2012-13- 64 students attended.
• Nine of whom completed their entire GED.
• We have averaged over 7 students per session.
METRO GRADUATIONS
UNLIKE
MOST HIGH SCHOOLS. . .
METRO hosts a graduation ceremony at the conclusion of each
trimester
**
METRO includes GED recipients that have had a connection to METRO
**
Graduates choose 2 Staff they connect with to be either a SPEAKER or
SHAKER for the ceremony
SPEAKERS share anecdotes of their connectedness
SHAKERS provide a ROSE and handshake as tokens of support

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