October 1st WASC Parent Focus Group

Report
TECH HIGH WASC
Parent Presentation
CRITICAL AREAS FOR FOLLOW-UP
FROM
2006 SELF STUDY AND 2009 MID-TERM
PROGRESS VISIT
What is WASC?
 Western Association of Schools and Colleges
 One of SIX Regional accrediting associations which assesses
the accreditation worthiness of schools and colleges in the U.S.
 Why accreditation?
 Assures a school community that the school’s purposes are
appropriate and being accomplished through a viable
education program—i.e., a trustworthy institution for student
learning
 Validates integrity of the school’s program and transcripts
 Fosters improvement of school’s programs and operations to
support student learning
KEEPING IT REAL
 This is (only) Tech High’s SECOND self study
 Areas of critical follow-up are recommendations
from the visitation committee

They are valid and reliable to a point
Sometimes they are not always grounded in reality
 Sometimes they are
 Our challenge is to reflect and dialogue

• Validate and celebrate what we have done
• Determine as a collective entity what (else) we can do
• Understand our limitations and constraints as a collective entity
 Accept reality and continue to move forward
• Sometimes it is what it is…
Mid-Term Critical Areas of Focus
 Critical areas of focus and critical areas needing
specific attention are follow-up and evolutions from
the 2006 WASC Visitation AND the Mid-Term
Progress Visit


2006 committee made specific recommendations which they
intended to follow-up in 2009
2009 visit generated some responses to original
recommendation along with a few additional areas in need of
attention

Again, some is valid and reliable to a point, some of it is what it is
 We will validate and celebrate where we’re at and what we’ve
done, with what we have—right here and right now…
Critical Area #1
 The site administration and district need to
collaborate to build a plan that will increase the
stability of the teaching staff at Technology High
School.

This will help to build and strengthen a professional
environment characterized by high trust and contribute to the
focus on continuous improvement processes that enhance
student learning outcomes
Meaning…
 We must stem the tide of high turnover and build
capacity for a formal teacher leadership structure
and to advance and sustain a climate of stability,
coherence, and cohesion…
Critical Area #2
 Technology High School leadership and stakeholders
need to review their vision and mission statement in
order to ensure that it is relevant, current, and
clearly and accurately reflects what the school wants
to accomplish for students and what students learn
Tech High Vision Statement
At Technology High School, students, staff, parents and our community
partners understand what it takes to foster successful lifelong learning. All
Technology High School community members have a voice and work
together toward the development of the whole child; preserving their
uniqueness while preparing them to be a productive, contributing member
of our diverse society.
The community promotes high expectations for academic excellence through
five tenets. Student achievement is accomplished through innovative,
powerful project-based teaching and learning of the standards-based
integrated curriculum in a safe, caring small school environment.
Students are empowered to manage their learning through the use of
technology tools. Instruction is personalized and differentiated based on
the learning styles of the student. Students are assessed using multiple
measures which help guide staff in supporting student achievement.
Standards-aligned research-based instructional strategies are the focal
point of the school’s professional development program.
Critical Area #3
 The Technology High School leadership and staff
need to review the stated Expected School-Wide
Learning Results to ensure their relevance and
linkage with the vision and mission of the school.
This process should include the analysis of student
performance data as well as a broader base of
stakeholder input.
Meaning…
 Essential Abilities were a deviation from Expected
School-Wide Learning Results (ESLRs)

Although idealistic, this deviation was not in alignment with
core principles of WASC in the scope and context of ESLRs

Pandora’s box…
 If these are your essential abilities, how do you measure,
monitor, and determine student success?
Critical Area #4
 There is need to put in place a process that will
ensure student opportunity to acquire the learning
experiences necessary to accomplish the Expected
School-Wide Learning Results and to clear define
and accurately asses student progress toward
achievement
Critical Area #5
 The site and district administration need to work
together to develop and implement a long and short
range fiscal plan that will facilitate the school’s
ability to better meet the needs of students
Reality check…
 The district financial position is dire at best…
 This reality is beyond our control
 All we can do is to put forth the best we can, with what we
have, where we are right now…
 The bottom line is we are trying to maintain a
“Cadillac” program on a “Pinto” budget
Critical #6
 The is a need for the Technology High School
leadership to clearly develop and establish processes
and procedures that focus on the analysis of student
performance data utilizing this information to guide
educational decisions and allocation of resources
Meaning…
 We as a staff have challenged ourselves to ask ansd
answer TWO (2) questions (to and of ourselves):


How do we know that students are learning?
What are we doing when we realize they are not learning?
Critical Area #7
 The Technology High School leadership and faculty
need to address the issue of inconsistent application
of Project-Based Learning across the curriculum
Meaning…
 There were some gaps and/or inconsistencies in
implementation of Project-Based Learning activities
across the curriculum


PBL focus was simply Integrated Science
What they were looking for is PBL across ALL disciplines

For the most-part there IS PBL across ALL subject-area disciplines
 INCLUDING connected or interdisciplinary components as well
Critical Area #8
 There is a need for the school administration and site
leadership team to review and revise the current Action
Plan in order to include the above school-wide critical
areas of follow-up provided by the Visiting Committee

The Action Plan should also be revised as needed to include the
following (where necessary):
Rationale statement
 Link the goal to student learning
 Expanded description of tasks included in achieving action plan
 Review of persons responsible to ensure equitable distribution of
responsibility and timelines
 Specify growth targets in the assessment section of Action Plan
 Designate benchmark indicators of progress towards growth targets,
when appropriate in the assessment section of Action Plan

Meaning…
 Action Plan was too busy and there was some question as
to whether (or not) the objectives were realistically
attainable
 Action Plan should be lofty and ambitious

SMART goals
Specific
 Measureable
 Attainable
 Realistic
 Timely


It’s quite alright if we haven’t made the mark on our goals and
objectives

In fact, recognition that we have not (at times) makes the Action Plan
analysis more authentic—valid and reliable
Critical Area—in need of further attention
 Assessment plan for ESLRs
 Fiscal plan
 Data analysis plan to guide educational decisions
 Action Plan
Present Status on These…
 Essential Abilities are now ESLRs
 We cannot control the district’s budget situation
 Hence we will not go there
 Teacher leadership
 Focused on benchmarks and Tier II (RTI) interventions
Formative assessment for Algebra readiness
 Criterion Online
 Benchmark for writing across all grade levels
 ALEKS—Algebra I benchmark

 Action Plan
 We will ALL walk that walk together as an entire school-wide
community…
New Areas of Follow-up in need of attention
 Increase access of technology for all students
 Increased academic support for struggling students
 Maintenance of financial support of the school at
former funding levels
 Increase the gender and ethnic diversity of the school
to reflect the diversity of the community
Status of These
 Technology




Computer lab
Wireless access points
Laptops for student use
Ongoing challenges reflective of budgetary realities
 Academic supports for struggling students

AVID 9 and AVID 10

Equity and access to success for ALL students
 Financial Support

Again, we have no control of this one
 Diversity


AVID
We are striving for equity and access for all students who have the
desire, determination, and motivation to succeed here at Tech High
WASC ROADMAP MOVING FORWARD
 Draft document (Greg)
 Chapters 1-3 (School Profile, Performance Data, Progress)
 Self study findings Committee Focus Groups
 Chapter 4
Organization
 Curriculum
 Instruction
 Assessment and Accountability
 School Climate and Culture

 School-Wide Action Plan (ALL)
 Chapter 5
WASC TIMELINE
 Draft document—end of September
 School-wide survey—end of September
 Staff
 Students
 stakeholders
 Committee focus groups—October/ongoing
 WASC Pre-Visit— Friday November 2nd
 Final Document—late January early February
 Final Preparations—January-March
 WASC Visit—April 15-17 (2013)
Expected School-Wide Learning Results
 Personal Integrity
 Effective Communication
 Critical Thinking
 Citizenship and Global Responsibility
 Reflective Learning
PARENT SURVEY RESULTS
 198 Respondents
 78% of parents –thank you
Breakdown of Respondents
 Freshman
 Sophomore
 Junior
 Senior
25.3%
18.2%
31.3%
19.7%
 Multiple grade levels 5.6%
50
36
62
39
11
“Teachers and staff are responsive in addressing parental
concerns related to student progress...”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
52.8%
25.1%
17.9%
1.5%
1.5%
1.0%
103
49
35
3
3
2
“…Tech High School is doing a good job preparing
students for future college and career
opportunities…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
70.7%
14.6%
13.1%
1.0%
.5%
0
140
29
26
2
1
0
“…The instructional program at Tech High is
rigorous and aligned with California State
Standards…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
69.2%
18.8%
11.6%
0
.5%
0
137
37
23
0
1
0
“…Homework assignments and Project-based learning tasks
are relevant and meaningful for students…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
66.2%
15.2%
15.7%
1.0%
1.5%
.5%
131
30
31
2
3
1
“…School counseling staff provides students adequate
assistance with academic guidance and/or college and career
planning…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
67.2%
15.4%
13.3%
1.5%
1.0%
1.5%
131
30
26
3
2
2
“…School leadership is supportive as it relates to responding to
the academic and programmatic needs of students…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
58.5%
15.4%
20.0%
2.1%
3.1%
1.0
114
30
39
4
6
2
“…Tech High is a desirable school site because it is located on
the SSU campus…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
67.5%
15.2%
14.2%
0
2.5%
.5%
133
30
28
0
5
1
“…I am satisfied with my child's overall learning experience at
Tech High…”
 Strongly Agree
 Agree
 Somewhat Agree
 Somewhat Disagree
 Disagree
 Strongly Disagree
72.7%
11.6%
11.1%
1.5%
2.5%
1.5%
144
23
22
2
5
1
Open-Ended Responses
 If any of your responses were "disagree, somewhat
disagree, or strongly disagree“ please take a
moment to share why; as well, as your suggestions
as to how we may improve
Guidelines or Conditions
 Speak your truth, keep it real (personal, local,






immediate)
Keep an open mind
When necessary, allow yourself to feel some level of
discomfort
But, remain engaged
Do not take or direct things personally
We all have a valuable role in this process
If necessary, accept non-closure
Parent Response…
“…Please offer more relevant technology classes.
Computer sciences comes to mind. Classes on
engineering are good, but teach them about
manufacturing and assembly processes as well…”
Parent Response
“…I have concerns regarding the ability to keep
evolved in my students progress. Teachers who do not
grade or review tests in a timely manner or do not post
grades are not providing an environment for students
to thrive and succeed. Teachers need to provide this
information so parents can stay involved
academically…”
Parent Response
“…Although I am very satisfied with the Tech High
experience for my child I continue to feel that the
English/Language Arts instruction has been the weak
link for the past three years…”
Parent Response…
“…While I support the sports program, I do not feel
that the entry requirements should have been lowered
to fill the sporting needs. Tech High seems to hold a
high regard with colleges and the fact that the entry
level requirements have been lowered so that we can
support sports teams seems contradictory to the values
the Tech High has promoted in years past…”
Parent Response…
“…I've seen a gradual shift in what is important at
Tech High. Sports, while a great addition seem to be
trumping the reason students originally wanted to
attend Tech High. In the past few years, we feel the
overall "feel" of the school has changed and it doesn't
feel like the same, small school, college bound
supportive community it once was. While once feeling
like the teachers, administrators and parents were
once a working team for each student, that does not
seem to be the feeling we get anymore…”
Parent Response…
“…It seems that this school is only happy with positive
feedback regarding my child, and if I give feedback
that is useful for the growth of the school and my child
it is disregarded or held against my child…”
Parent Response…
“…I would appreciate if the progress reports had actual
progress for all classes. Previous progress reports had
"Passing" or other vague terms because the…teacher
was not current on grading…”
Parent Response…
“…online grades would be a great way for parents to
stay notified of their students current academic
status…”
Parent Response…
“…I've sent maybe three e-mails to teachers/admin
that contained my concerns since we started. I didn't
receive responses to any of those three. I've drawn the
conclusion that it is considered acceptable to avoid
parent feedback if it is not favorable. A simple "I got it"
would have been a sufficient response for any of my emails…”
Parent Response…
“…Please tone down the hype and favoritism to sports
participants. Letting them leave class early promotes
the idea that sports are important and academics are
not. Please let our bright kids know they are valued for
their minds as well!!!”
Discussion…
 Thoughts or reactions to the survey results
 In general (???)
Specific (???)
 What are your thoughts or reactions to the student
responses?


In general (???)
Specific (???)
Discussion…
 What are your thoughts about what we do well here
at Tech High?
 What are your thoughts about some of the things we
could improve upon here at Tech High?
 What changes do you think we need to make in order
for the learning experience more powerful and
meaningful for you?
Next Focus Group
 We will begin looking at the specific components of
the Self Study in terms of our dialogue…
 October 8th Organization:
 Vision and Purpose
 Governance
 Leadership and Staff
 Resources

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