School For Independent Learners

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					School For Independent Learners
909 San Antonio Road
Los Altos, CA 94022




      School For
 Independent Learners
 WASC Self-Study 2005
                         Submitted to the
            Western Association of Schools And Colleges

Dates of Visit: 3/7/2005 – 3/9/2005

Committee Chairperson: Mrs. Carol R. Purcell, Assistant Principal,
Retired

Committee Members:

   Xxxx: xxx
   Xxx: xxx
   Xxx: xxx
School For Independent
       Learners
   Board of Trustees
     Dr. Herman Ohme

        Jean Ohme

      Rhonda Racine

      Cammie Brodie

      Melinda Sacks

     Todd Rulon-Miller




                         2
                                          Table of Contents

Mission Statement .............................................................................. 4
Preface ................................................................................................. 5
Chapter 1 Student/Community Profile .......................................... 6
Instructional Services .......................................................................... 6
Academics and Curriculum ................................................................... 8
Extra-curricular activities ..................................................................... 9
Infrastructure and classrooms .............................................................. 9
Funding .............................................................................................. 9
Chapter II: Expected School-wide Learning Results ...................... 10
Process for Designing Expected School-wide Learning Results ............. 10
Chapter III: Progress Report ........................................................... 12
Summary of Progress Since Last Visit ................................................. 12
Chapter IV. Self-Study Findings ....................................................... 15
A. Organization for Student Learning .................................................. 15
B. Curriculum and Instruction ............................................................ 23
C. Support For Student Personal and Academic Growth ....................... 31
D. Resource Management and Development ....................................... 32
Chapter V: School Wide Action Plan ................................................ 34
APPENDIX A – SIL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS ........................ 44
APPENDIX B - SCHOOL LITERATURE............................................... 45
APPENDIX C – POST HIGH SCHOOL DATA ...................................... 53
APPENDIX D – COLLEGE BOARD TEST RESULTS ............................ 54
APPENDIX E – SURVEY RESULTS ..................................................... 55
Dual Enrollment Survey Results ......................................................... 55
Full Time Program – Parent/Student Survey Results ............................ 57
APPENDIX F – PERSONNEL .............................................................. 62
Teacher Responsibilities .................................................................... 62
Recruiting guidelines and procedures ................................................. 66
APPENDIX G – SCHEDULE AND CALENDAR .................................... 68
APPENDIX H – FINANCIAL DATA ..................................................... 70




                                                                                                              3
Mission Statement
The “Do No Harm” philosophy

At School For Independent Learners we believe that all students have an
inherent right to a quality education, delivered with the highest respect for
all concerned. The school emphasizes individual achievement and promises
a learning environment in which students master learning in all subject
areas. Further, the school uses a “no failure” grading policy to foster
ongoing success and academic self-worth.




                                                                                4
Preface
School For Independent Learners (SIL), founded in 2001, is a grades 9 -12
private day school offering a small, nurturing environment for those seeking
an alternative to the comprehensive public high school.

SIL offers two programs: 1) a full time program in which SIL is the school
of record, and 2) a year round dual enrollment program for students who
remain enrolled in their local high school while taking individualized
coursework at SIL.

Most students in the full time program meet in small groups and follow a
fixed daily schedule. Those in the dual enrollment program usually choose
individualized, tutorial-style instruction, meeting outside of regular school
hours to accommodate scheduling demands . Throughout this report, results
and observations have been noted separately for the full time and dual
enrollment programs, as appropriate.

SIL is different from a comprehensive public high school in size, population,
and instructional methodology. SIL is very small, with an average
enrollment of about 50 students throughout the academic year. At least half
of those are enrolled in the dual enrollment program and belong to the
school community of their local high school rather than SIL. Furthermore,
most teachers in the dual enrollment program work part time with an
average of 10-15 hours/week. This presents obvious challenges for
collaborating with shareholders. In some cases we have customized the
interpretation of the self-study model to fit our unique environment . We
have described our approach to addressing these challenges in Chapter II.




                                                                            5
Chapter 1 Student/Community
Prof ile
SIL is located in Los Altos on the San Francisco peninsula in the heart of
Silicon Valley. Students come from the San Francisco Peninsula, stretching
from Los Gatos to the south and Burlingame to the North.

SIL began as a tutoring center in the 1980’s, and soon expanded to offer
individualized instruction for credit. Students seeki ng credit generally
remained enrolled in their regular high schools, but as families recognized
the value of individualized and small group instruction, the demand grew
enough to support a full time high school, which opened in September,
2001.

Families come to SIL seeking a small nurturing environment where students
receive the attention they need to succeed. For various reasons, many SIL
students have experienced repeated academic failure, high absenteeism,
and/or emotional issues that affect the learning process. Some students
have acquired skills at or above grade level, while others enter with low
academic skills, especially in math and writing (see Appendix D for College
Board testing results). Parent/student survey results and informal
interviews indicate that full and dual enrollment students come to SIL for
various reasons:

     To receive more attention in a smaller learning environment

     To raise their GPA

     To get back on track and return to their public high schools

     To receive personalized services for le arning disabilities

     To become more engaged in their learning.

     To gradually re-assimilate after crisis intervention programs

     To work slower or faster than average

     To have a flexible schedule accommodate other significant
      commitments such as athletics, music, drama, and dance

     To complete graduation requirements as efficiently as possible

     To make up credit and other academic deficiencies for college
      preparation and/or high school graduation.


Instructional Services
SIL offers two programs: a full time program f or students who enroll at SIL
as their high school of record, and a dual enrollment program for students
who remain enrolled at their school of record.




                                                                              6
Full Time Students
Full time students work towards completing SIL high school graduation and
college preparation requirements if applicable, receiving a SIL diploma upon
graduation (see Appendix A for SIL Graduation Requirements). Most full
time students attend small group classes that meet five days/week and
follow an academic calendar (see Appendix G for Daily Schedule and School
Calendar).

Enrollment has fluctuated in the school’s brief history between 15 and 25
full-time students.

Dual Enrollment
Part time students register in the SIL dual enrollment program. They may
take a class or two at SIL while rema ining enrolled at their local high
school. Courses are taught using direct, individualized instruction designed
to match the student’s learning style and pace. Meeting times are scheduled
outside of regular school hours so the student can attend his or her local
high school while receiving instruction at SIL .

Most dual enrollment students have a dedicated, one -to-one teacher, but in
cases where schedule and instructional levels are similar, they may receive
instruction in small groups.

SIL teaches an average of 850 hours/month of individualized instruction to
dual enrollment students. Most dual enrollment students take 1 -2 classes at
a time.

SIL students are referred by various sources. The following table summarizes
referral sources and estimated percentage for each:

Source                        Comments                               Full Time      Dual
                                                                                 Enrollment
Word of mouth                 We have many satisfied families,     60%           40%
                              and they consistently refer new
                              students.
Educational Consultants       Consultants who work with            30%           20%
                              students in crises refer those
                              who need a smaller learning
                              environment.
Mental Health professionals   Psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.   5%            25%
                              who work with adolescents and
                              families
Public high school guidance   Counselors refer to our dual         5%            negligible
counselors                    enrollment program for students
                              who are working to meet
                              graduation and college
                              requirements.


Advertising                   Ads placed in local newspapers       negligible    15%




                                                                                              7
Academics and Curriculum
SIL uses mastery learning, requiring that students master the current level
of a subject before moving on to the next. Student grades are accurate, un -
inflated representations of their mastery of the material.

Preparation for life after high school
Most SIL students plan to attend a 4-year college after graduation (See
Appendix C, Post High School Data). All courses are designed according to
state standards, are approved by the University of California, and meet the
criteria for NCAA eligibility. We have full science labs and offer lab sciences
for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as well as multiple courses in the “a-g”
UC/CSU subjects.

Students are offered complete post high school counseling by staff certified
in College Admissions and Career Planning. Students headed for 4 -year
colleges receive help with college selection and they are coached through
the application process. Students who plan to attend 2-year schools are
counseled about opportunities at the community colleges in accordance
with the California Master Plan for Education, including transfer
preparation, vocational opportunities, and honors programs.

Some students come to SIL with academic deficits and may not be college
eligible upon graduation. For those students, we focus on meeting high
school graduation requirements, and in some cases offer a modified
curriculum. Basic, non-college prep courses are given transcript
designations other than the UC approved course titles.

Honors and AP Credit
Students who are academically and socially mature enough may earn
college level credit through concurrent enrollment at the local community
college. To date, students have successfully completed courses such as
English, Political Science, Biology, and Philosophy under a concurrent
enrollment arrangement. Some students have tested into the community
college Honors program.

Assessment and standardized tests
Teachers regularly administer tests, quizzes and other assessments as
designated in the written UC-approved curriculum to determine student
progress. At this time our students do not participate in state -administered
standardized testing. However, we have created internal accountability
instruments based on SAT II achievement tests to measure student
progress. Students take diagnostic exams at the beginning and end of each
semester to measure progress. See Appendix D, College Board Test Results.

Technology
SIL has a school-wide computer network with full internet access and a
computer lab equipped with state-of-the-art Apple computers. The school
maintains an internal website with all assignments, grades, handouts, and
lecture notes available online both at school and at home for full time




                                                                                  8
students. Also on the website is a master calendar, the school philosophy
and learning goals, and regular school announcements. The computers are
used in school as a research tool, for preparing written assignments and
presentations, and for parent-teacher communication.


Extra-curricular activities
While the format of the dual enrollment and full time programs are quite
different, the common link between them is the emphasis on academics.
The school’s purpose in both programs is to address academic needs of the
students. Families are encouraged to seek extra-curricular opportunities
elsewhere in the community to round out their student’s education. Further,
the school supports extra-curricular activities by granting high school
graduation credit for documented, educationally sound activities.


Infrastructure and classrooms
The physical layout of the school is designed to accommodate both one -to-
one instruction and small group classes. The space is divided into three
small classrooms and 15 cubicles reserved for individualized instruction.
The school incorporates technology into all aspects of learning. A school -
wide computer network and a computer lab are available to all students and
staff.


Funding
SIL is private, and is funded entirely by tuition. Full time students pay
yearly tuition which is benchmarked with other non -denominational private
high schools in the area. Dual enrollment students pay an hourly rate for
each hour of instruction they receive.




                                                                             9
Chapter II: Expected School-
wide Learning Results
Process for Designing Expected School-wide Learning
Results
After the WASC visit in 2003 SIL began the process of developing ESLRs.
The goal was to include input from parents, students, teachers, and staff
for both the full time and the dual enrollment programs.

Obtaining input from shareholders for the Self Study has been challenging
because of the nature of the SIL services and the mobility of the SIL
population. Dual enrollment families see themselves as belonging to
another school community and use SIL services only casually. Families in
the full time program enter and leave at all times throughout the year.
Many use SIL as an interim solution to get back on track and return to their
local high schools. Others go off to or are retur ning from residential
programs.

Both programs emphasizes academic achievement, and students are
encouraged to seek extra-curricular opportunities elsewhere in the
community. Therefore, the school does not have a student senate or other
formal venue for collecting student input. Student input was collected
informally and on a volunteer basis when students were willing to devote
time at lunch or after school.

While there are many passionate parents anxious to serve on school
committees, the faces change freq uently as the participants come and go.
To maximize input from everyone in the school community, we have relied
on collecting information through student and parent surveys. Also, we post
our mission statement and learning results on our school website, an d we
actively solicit ongoing feedback.

Dual Enrollment Shareholder Input

Follow-up data is particularly difficult to come by for dual enrollment
students because it is not readily available from their school of record. We
have addressed this problem by collecting suggestions for improvement and
feedback about the program’s effectiveness with a survey mailed directly to
dual enrollment families. The survey results indicate that:

      We were surprised at the high response rate of 58% (out of 100 surveys),
       which is exceptionally high for a voluntary survey

      Parents overwhelmingly feel that their students are well prepared for
       continuing their education and that they enjoy learning.

      There were many voluntary comments, all of which are listed in Appendix E.
       ALL comments were positive.




                                                                               10
        The results imply that SIL fills a niche in the community that is not
         otherwise available.

Full Time High School Stakeholder Input

Parents were surveyed in the Fall of 2003. The questions were open -ended
and addressed expectations, satisfaction, plans for the future, suggestions
for improvement, and reasons for coming to SIL.

In general, because SIL serves such a wide range of students, the
responses were also varied. For example, most parents liked the light
homework load, but a few wanted to see more. The one thing all parents
agreed about was that the small, nurturing environment was helping their
children succeed and find renewed motivation to do well in school.

Students were surveyed in the Fall of 2004. The survey was designed to
solicit student feedback regarding the school wide learning results that
were developed in the previous school year. We reviewed the results of the
survey and discussed them with the students. Significant findings are:

      Parents and students agree that a cademic achievement is important to
       them

      Students are getting the help they need to be successful

      Becoming effective communicators is important to students

      Students are using the online grades and assignment feedback to do
       well in school.

      Some students report that they are not challenged enough

Input from all sources was used in refining the school wide learning goals.

Full survey results from all surveys are in Appendix E.

UPON COMPLETION OF COURSEWORK AT S CHOOL FOR
INDEPENDENT LEARNERS STUDENTS WILL BE:

Academic achievers who
    Are well prepared to continue their education and achieve post -
      secondary goals

        Enjoy success in school and produce quality work to their full
         potential

        Use feedback to assess, monitor, and improve progress

Academic self-worth is the basis of SIL’s program. As mentioned in the
School/Community profile, many SIL students have faced repeated
academic failure. They come to SIL with the goal of repairing past mistakes
and developing successful learning strategies for the future.




                                                                                 11
Effective communicators who
     Write and speak clearly

      Listen and read attentively to interpret the messages of others

      Articulate their needs in a responsible and respectful manner



Competent users of technology who
    Use computers to convey thoughts and ideas

      Use the internet effectively for research and further exploration

      Use technology to demonstrate what they have learned

Self-directed learners who
     Set and work towards personal goals

      Are aware of learning strategies that work best for them

      Identify when they need assistance and request help in an
       appropriate manner

Responsible members of the community who
    Demonstrate consideration and respect for others

      Engage and participate in their classes to enrich the learning
       community

      Are aware of their role in the global commun ity


Chapter III: Progress Report
Summary of Progress Since Last Visit
Recommendation: That the school develop ESLR’s as part of the
requirement for accreditation
Progress: ESLR’s have been developed with input from students, parents,
teachers and the leadership team. ESLR’s are consistent with the school
mission and address the needs of both dual enrollment and the full time
students. ESLR’s are posted in every classroom, and discussed in class and
at the weekly faculty meetings. ESLR’s are listed in Chapte r II of this
report.


Recommendation: That the science program be aligned with state standards
so as to meet the UC requirements
Progress: Curriculum guides for all science classes have been submitted to
and approved by the University of California. Scienc e classes on the SIL UC-



                                                                           12
approved course list are: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. As required by
the University of California, all SIL science classes have a lab component
which accounts for a minimum of 20% of the classroom instruction . A
classroom science lab has been established and all necessary equipment
has been procured. Average score among those taking SAT II scien ce tests
was 640 (See Appendix D, College Board Test Data).


Recommendation: That the school either develop a library or look at ways
to access public libraries for the purpose of developing research and library
skills.
Progress: The school has improved the reliability of the school -wide
computer network and all students have access to the computer as a
research tool. Public libraries publish their card catalogs on the internet,
allowing students to access libraries in their neighborhoods online.


Recommendation: That the Board increase the umbrella insurance to
protect the Board’s and school’s liability.
Progress: The Board is examining the insurance needs and will make a
recommendation in Q1 of 2005.


Recommendation: That the administration make every effort to have the
faculty salaries competitive with the Bay Area, thus ensuring the application
of qualified candidates.
Progress: All teachers are part time because of the amount of work
available in a particular discipline, scheduling patterns, and the number of
students in the school. In the group program at its current size, there are
at most 2 courses for each discipline. In the dual enrollment program, the
hours tend to cluster in the time blocks that occur outside of regular school
hours limiting the total hours for a given teacher . Most dual enrollment
teachers come to SIL seeking part time employment and have anywhere
from 10-20 hours/week of work. Full time teachers teach 2-3 courses/day.
Some full time teachers choose to supplement their income with dual
enrollment work; others run related businesses of their own for additional
income.
There are many good teachers available who wa nt to work part time, and
when we recruit we make it very clear that we are looking for part time
employees. We have a number of employees who stay for a year and go on
to graduate school or other plans, but there are many others who come
back year after year.
Compensation is based on an hourly model and benchmarked with other
hourly educational services. Comparative sources include tutoring, SAT Prep
work, and an hourly rate derived from annual salaries for comparable public
and private school teaching positions. SIL hourly rates range from $20/hour
- $40/hour which is very competitive with other hourly educational work in
the Bay Area.
In addition, we are examining ways to increase the school’s enrollment and
financial base to support a nucleus of salari ed teachers.



                                                                               13
Recommendation: As the school expands the Board considers a benefit
package for all employees, thus making the salary package more compatible
with the Bay Area.
Progress: As mentioned above, the compensation model is an hourly one,
due to the nature of work, the size of the full time program, and scheduling
patterns. However, the goal is to support a mainstay group of returning
teachers with competitive salaries and benefits packages.




                                                                          14
Chapter IV. Self-Study Findings
A. Organization for Student Learning
Strengths
      The mission statement clearly states the school philosophy. The
       school culture of compassion and concern are derived from the
       school philosophy.

      Learning results are derived from the mission statement and
       emphasize academic success and self-worth.

      The full time program uses an online classroom where handouts,
       assignments, and grades are posted. Grades are updated weekly
       and problems are addressed before they become too big to solve.

      Governing authority has adopted policies consistent wi th school
       purpose and learning results

      Staff collaborates on learning issues and adopts school -wide
       solutions which are implemented consistently in each classroom

      Student expectations are clearly communicated. Parents are involved
       as partners in achieving learning expectations. Communication with
       parents is frequent and proactive.

      Student feedback is timely, frequent and accessible to parents and
       students.

      The school is small and has good mechanisms in place for all forms
       of communication. Problems surface when they are small and easy
       to solve.

Growth areas
      Develop a long range plan based on student achievement of the
       expected school-wide learning results.

      Develop a broader leadership team and financial base to facilitate
       sustainability

      Using the statement of purpose as a start, develop a vision
       statement. Include description of student profiles best served by the
       school (“target audience”) and general comments about services
       that best serve those students.

      Examine current corporate structure and make improv ements as
       necessary to implement school vision.

      Identify facilities requirements and improvements needed to support
       sustainability.




                                                                            15
       A1. School Purpose
       The school has established a clear statement of purpose that reflects the
       beliefs and philosophy of the i nstitution. The purpose is defined further by
       adopted expected school-wide learning results that form the basis of the
       educational program for every student.



         Findings                  Evidence – Full time               Evidence – Dual
                                        program                         Enrollment

The school has a written        “At School For Independent        Same
statement of purpose which      Learners we believe that all
is prominently displayed on     students have an inherent
the school website,             right to a quality education,
http://silonline.org.           delivered with the highest
                                respect for all concerned.
                                The school emphasizes
                                individual achievement and
                                promises a learning
                                environment in which
                                students master learning in
                                all subject areas. Further, the
                                school uses a “no failure”
                                grading policy to foster
                                ongoing success and
                                academic self-worth”

The entire school               The school has addressed the      Dual enrollment survey
community has been              challenges of a transient         results – Appendix E
involved in the                 population by posting school
development of purpose          purpose and learning results
and learning results. The       on the school website.
purpose and the learning        Feedback is actively solicited
results are publicized to the   and incorporated. Learning
school and its constituency.    results are posted in every
                                classroom and discussed
                                regularly at faculty meetings.

                                Full Time Parent and Student
                                survey results, Appendix E

School program is               Student/community profile         Dual enrollment survey
consistent with the purpose     indicates many SIL students       results – Appendix E
and learning results.           have experienced repeated
                                academic failure. The school
                                has adopted a mastery
                                learning format and a no-
                                failure grading policy to
                                enhance academic self worth.
                                The grading policy is
                                captured in a grading scale in




                                                                                    16
         Findings                Evidence – Full time               Evidence – Dual
                                      program                         Enrollment

                              the online grading system
                              and all teachers use it. The
                              grading policy was refined to
                              incorporate parent feedback
                              after the last parent-teacher
                              conference.

The school has various        The school maintains an           Same
publications to inform        external website
parents and the community     (www.caledplan.com) and
about the school program.     an internal website
                              (http://silonline.org) for
                              posting grades, assignments,
                              and handouts.

                              School Handbook, which is
                              reviewed with all incoming
                              families (Appendix B)

                              School Brochure (Appendix B)

School purpose and culture    School Handbook, which            Appendix F –
are in writing and            captures school philosophy        Individualized Instruction
communicated to teachers      and student expectations:         Teacher Responsibilities
and all families at intake.   Appendix B.

                              Handbook is discussed with
                              teachers at time of hire.
                              Philosophy is reinforced and
                              interpreted for specific
                              situations at every faculty
                              meeting.

                              Handbook is discussed with
                              all families at intake. Parents
                              and students sign
                              acknowledgement of receipt
                              at time of intake.




       A2. Governance
       The governing authority (a) adopts policies which are cons istent with the
       school purpose and support the achievement of the expected school -wide
       learning results for the school, (b) delegates implementation of these
       policies to the professional staff and (c) monitors results.

         Findings                Evidence – Full time               Evidence – Dual
                                      program                         Enrollment




                                                                                    17
School has a legal                                             Same
corporate structure

School has a Board of          Board consists of 6 members     Same
Directors in place             and meets monthly.
                               Documents are archived and
                               minutes from meetings are
                               posted on the school internal
                               website.

Board is aligned with school   Board is currently developing   Same
purpose and expected           the 5 year plan based on
school-wide learning results   school purpose and learning
                               results




       A3. School Leadership
       The school leadership (1) makes decisions to facilit ate actions that focus
       the energies of the school on student achievement of the expected school -
       wide learning results (2) empowers the staff and (3) encourages
       commitment, participation and shared accountability for student learning.

         Findings                 Evidence – Full time             Evidence – Dual
                                       program                       Enrollment

High degree of                 Staff collaborates and shares   Individualized teachers are
collaboration among staff      techniques at weekly faculty    given written expectations,
                               meetings. Problems are          but their teaching is less
                               solved collectively and a       collaborative because of
                               consistent message is           the nature of 1-1 teaching
                               conveyed to students.

                               Examples:

                               1. Students were not
                                  keeping notebooks up to
                                  date and losing papers.
                                  Teachers designed a
                                  system of “portable
                                  notebooks”, where
                                  teachers handout all
                                  learning materials at the
                                  beginning of class, and
                                  collect them at the end.
                                  All teachers use this
                                  system to keep track of
                                  student work and make it
                                  available each day for
                                  learning.

                               2. Individual students’




                                                                                 18
          Findings                  Evidence – Full time             Evidence – Dual
                                         program                       Enrollment

                                    progress is discussed at
                                    weekly faculty meetings
                                    and teachers adopt
                                    consistent policies for
                                    addressing student needs

                                 3. For students who have
                                    educational testing
                                    results or IEPs, the school
                                    accommodation
                                    recommendations are
                                    copied, distributed, and
                                    discussed at faculty
                                    meetings.

                                 4. Faculty discuss strategies
                                    for controlling classroom
                                    behavior and school-wide
                                    solutions are adopted

School has structures for        The school is so small that      Same
internal communications,         most communication between
planning, and resolving          parties is in person and
differences                      immediate.

The school has written           See Appendix F                   Same
policies for roles and
responsibilities.




       A4. Staff
       The school leadership and staff are qualified for their assigned
       responsibilities, are committed to the school’s purpose and engage in
       ongoing professional development that promotes student learning.

          Findings                  Evidence – Full Time             Evidence – Dual
                                         Program                       Enrollment

The school has written job       Appendix F                       Same
qualifications and
responsibilities. All teachers
exceed minimum
qualifications




                                                                                 19
       A5. School Environment
       The school has a safe, healthy, nurturing environment that reflects the
       school’s purpose and is characterized by respect for differences, trust,
       caring, professionalism, support, and high expectations for each student.

         Findings                Evidence – Full Time              Evidence – Dual
                                      Program                        Enrollment

School maintains timely and   Internal website                 Dual enrollment students
frequent communication        http://silonline.org posts       receive monthly progress
with the home.                grades, handouts,                reports
                              assignments, class news, etc.
                              Parents are notified of any
                              issues regularly and often via
                              email.

                              Grades are updated and
                              posted to the internet every
                              Monday by 8:00 AM for the
                              previous week.

Teachers demonstrate          Flexibility in altering          Teachers use tutorial style
caring, concern, and high     assignments to meet student      teaching customized to the
expectations for students     needs and get best quality       learning needs of each
on a daily basis              work.                            student

                              Teachers start class with
                              goals for the day and a
                              review of behavior
                              expectations

                              Teachers eat lunch with
                              students and run entertaining
                              activities.

The mission statement         Students sign handbook           Teachers model respect
describes the school as one   acknowledgement at intake        and professionalism
where mutual respect is       indicating expectations for
expected from everyone.       mutual respect.

                              Positive reinforcement of
                              appropriate classroom
                              behavior, especially during
                              classroom discussions

                              Group activities which
                              demand respect and
                              cooperation among students.

Teachers use innovative       Teachers give assignments
approaches to enhance         that teach use of multi-media
student learning              software tools such as




                                                                                   20
                              PowerPoint.

                              Live music and interviews
                              with real musicians

                              Use of maps, movies,
                              documentaries

                              Tests have sections for both
                              audio and visual learners

                              Online classroom is used for
                              missed notes, assignments,
                              and quizzes

                              Computer projector is used
                              for visual learning.

Academic self-worth is a      Students receive praise for      Dual enrollment families
goal addressed in the         exemplary work.                  report that their students
mission statement, and                                         see themselves as
teachers use various          Students are encouraged to       successful learners – Dual
strategies to develop self-   participate in class             Enrollment Survey results,
esteem.                       discussions and praised for      Appendix E.
                              contributions. Classrooms
                              demonstrate a high degree of     Teacher starts with small,
                              involvement from every           achievable goals and
                              student.                         increase expectations as
                                                               student confidence
                              Students are rewarded and        improves.
                              praised for personal growth
                              and development as well as
                              when they make interesting
                              comments in class

                              Students are surveyed to find
                              out what interests them –
                              lesson plans are organized to
                              engage students through
                              their interests

                              Teachers start off with small,
                              achievable goals and increase
                              expectations as student
                              confidence improves.

Teachers communicate          Parent/teacher conferences       Frequent reports sent
frequently with parents                                        home to parents. Phone
                              Email, phone contact             communication with
                                                               parents when issues arise.
                              Communication forum online




                                                                                  21
       A6. Reporting Student Progress
       The school leadership and staff regularly assess student progress toward
       accomplishing the expected school -wide learning results and report student
       progress to the rest of the school community.

          Findings                Evidence – Full Time               Evidence – Dual
                                        Program                        Enrollment

Graduation and college         Appendix C, Post High School      Parents report students
placement rates are high       Data                              are well prepared to
                                                                 continue their education.
                                                                 See Dual Enrollment
                                                                 Survey Results – Appendix
                                                                 E.

Student feedback is timely     Grades are posted online for      Monthly progress reports
and frequent                   students and parents to           sent to parents.
                               review. Grades are updated
                               weekly.




       A7. School Improvement Process
       The school leadership facilitates school improvement which (a) is driven by
       plans of action that will enhance quality learning for all students, (b) has
       school community support and involvement, (c) effectively guides the work
       of the school, and (d) provides for accountability through monitoring of the
       school-wide action plan.

          Findings                Evidence – Full Time               Dual Enrollment
                                       Program

Community input drives         Parent and student feedback       Parent survey used to
school improvement.            is solicited regularly through    improve program.
                               email, in person, and by
                               phone. Most recent example
                               is modification of grading
                               scale to better meet parent
                               needs.

Parent input is actively       Parents bring up issues as        Same
solicited and it is easy for   they occur. School leadership
parents to communicate         team and faculty react quickly
their concerns                 to address any issues. Follow -
                               up with parents ensures that
                               the problem has been solved.




                                                                                  22
B. Curriculum and Instruction
Strengths
      Written curriculum guidelines exist for all courses. Guidelines are
       consistent with state standards and they identify textbooks that
       align with the standards. The guidelines include:

            o   Course pre-requisites

            o   Course description

            o   Course goals and major student outcomes

            o   Course objectives

            o   Course outline

            o   List of textbooks and supplemental material

            o   Key assignments

            o   Instructional methods

            o   Assessments

      Curriculum guidelines have been submitted to and approved by the
       University of California. UC-approved curriculum includes courses in
       all of the “a-g” subjects

      Graduation and college acceptance rates are high

      School makes broad use of technology in curriculum and instruction.
       Students are competent users of technology

      Teachers are innovative in finding ways to engage all students in the
       classroom

      Families report that their students are well prepared to continue
       their education

Growth areas
      Formalize and capture in writing the policy for modif ying the college
       prep curriculum for students who struggle at the college prep level.
       Modification guidelines and consequences of a modified curriculum
       should be clearly communicated to teachers, parents, and students.

      Expand assessment techniques to inclu de more portfolio-based
       assessment and standardized, professionally recognized instruments.




                                                                             23
             Using current educational research findings, i ncorporate more
              experiential learning and multi -disciplinary opportunities in the
              classroom.

             Develop appropriate training materials for dual enrollment/part time
              teachers.

             Provide more professional development opportunities for staff as
              enrollment grows to support full time positions.

             Develop written competencies for each subject area and level

             Develop more evaluation rubrics for each subject area and level

             Develop and implement individualized learning plans for each
              student.

             Create curriculum development guidelines and maintain a reusable
              archive of instructional resources for each subject and level.

             Develop staff retention goals and programs.

      B1. What Students Learn
      The school provides a challenging, coherent, and relevant curriculum for
      each student that fulfills the school’s purpose and results in student
      achievement of the expected school-wide learning results through
      successful completion of any course of study offered.

         Findings                 Evidence – Full Time               Evidence – Dual
                                       Program                         Enrollment

Teachers are using school-    Communication: English            Same
wide learning results in      curriculum emphasizes basic
their teaching processes      writing skills. Curriculum is
                              delivered in class and is
                              available online as well.

                              Users of technology: Online       Students are encouraged
                              journals, assignments             to use computer tools as
                              submitted electronically          appropriate

                              Academic achievers: all           Parent survey shows that
                              subjects use textbooks and        parents feel their students
                              other instructional materials     are well prepared to
                              that align with state             continue with their
                              standards. All courses are        educational goals.
                              UC-approved

                              Responsible citizens:
                              Teachers explain and reward
                              respectful classroom behavior

                              Self directed learners:




                                                                                   24
                             Student survey results show
                             that students ask for help
                             when they need it and that
                             they receive help when they
                             ask for it.

                             Self-directed learners:
                             Students are responsible for
                                                             Same
                             their own rate of progress.


Graduation requirements      Graduation requirements,        N/A
exceed state requirements    Appendix A.

Curriculum meets state and   Every subject has a written     Same
college standards            curriculum guideline
                             indicating what is to be
                             taught and how. All subjects
                             use instructional materials
                             that are aligned with state
                             standards.

                             School has written UC-
                             approved curriculum with
                             multiple courses in all “a-g”
                             subjects.

                             UC Website with approved
                             courses:
                             www.ucop.edu/doorways



       B2. How Students Learn
       The professional staff( a) uses research-based knowledge about teaching
       and learning; and (b) designs and implements a variety of learning
       experiences that actively engage students at a high level of learning
       consistent with the school’s purpose and expected sch ool-wide learning
       results.

         Findings               Evidence – Full Time               Evidence – Dual
                                     Program                         Enrollment

Students use resources for   Internet research               Internet research and
learning beyond the                                          supplement
textbook                     Weekly current events
                             assignments

                             Internet grammar exercises

                             Internet external links for
                             additional English resources
                             to enhance the teaching of



                                                                                 25
                              writing.

                              Listen to music

                              Watch documentaries and
                              relevant movies

                              Study maps

                              View concert footage

                              Live music and musician
                              interviews

Teachers implement            Peer editing                      Tutorial style teaching
teaching techniques that                                        engages every student.
enhance the active            Students give frequent oral
involvement of the students   presentations

                              Discussions are frequent and
                              every student is asked to
                              answer a question or give an
                              opinion.

                              English teacher uses activity
                              stations, allowing for multiple
                              activities in one class period.

                              With the exception of Math,
                              which is tutorial style, a
                              typical class period mixes
                              lecture, practice, and small
                              group activities to convey
                              and reinforce concepts.




       B3. How Assessment Is Used
       Teacher and student uses of assessment are frequent and integrated into
       the teaching/learning process. The assessment results are the basis for (a)
       measurement of each student’s progress toward the expected school -wide
       learning results, (b) regular evaluation and improvement of curriculum and
       instruction, and (c) allocation of resources.

         Findings                 Evidence- Full Time               Evidence – Dual
                                       Program                        Enrollment

Student progress is           Students are given regular        Students receive tutorial-
assessed on a regular basis   quizzes, tests and graded         style instruction and
                              assignments. Grades are           teachers know when
                              updated weekly and                understanding has been
                              published to the school           reached.




                                                                                   26
                             internal website.               Students are required to
                                                             pass a cumulative mid-
                             Teachers hold progress          term and final each
                             discussions with students       semester.
                             every 2 weeks.
                                                             See Appendix F – Teacher
                             In Science, the SAT II          responsibilities indicate
                             practice test is used as a      progress reporting
                             progress benchmark. Test is     requirements
                             administered at the
                             beginning, middle, and end
                             of the year.

Teachers monitor student     Portfolios for US History and   Required Mid-term and
progress over time           English demonstrate growth      Final is the record of
                             over time                       student progress.

                             Essay scores are based on a     Progress for each student
                             standardized rubric (SAT II     is tracked by SIL on a
                             Writing Rubric) so progress     composite spreadsheet
                             and growth can be accurately    which captures data from
                             monitored.                      monthly progress reports




      Additional Evidence For Full Time Instructional Program

      Math
      The math classes are taught tutorial style. Each student works at his or her
      own pace. This means that there are no lectures to the class as a whole.
      When a student is ready to begin a new assignment, a teacher will
      summarize and explain the new material at the student's desk. The student
      will then demonstrate understanding by completing the assignment. This is
      verified by the teachers observing the student at work, and by checking the
      assignment when it is turned in. When a student has completed a chapter
      of material, the student will take a "take -home" test. This will be graded,
      and if the student obtains a passing grade (above %80), the student has
      demonstrated mastery of that chapter and will move on to the next. If the
      student does not demonstrate mastery, the teacher will discuss with the
      student the errors on the test, and will assign review problems for
      additional practice. When the student has completed those, he or she will
      take the test again (with no grade penalty).

      The math classes emphasize self-directed learning, as each student is
      responsible for his or her own rate of progress. Students are encouraged
      to find an environment that works best for them. They listen to music if
      this helps them concentrate. Students are encouraged to ask questions
      while working on assignments in class. Because of the high demand this
      produces on the teacher's time, we bring in additional teachers to keep the
      student-teacher ratio at 4:1.

      The students are given a due date for each assignment which will guide
      them to complete the course on schedule. This gives the students the



                                                                                27
personal responsibility of getting caught up by working at home if they fall
behind. The students progress relative to the schedule is charted on the
silonline.org website as a reference for students and parents.

If a student has already been taught some of the material in a course
(before entering SIL), the student is given an assessment test for each
chapter already covered. If the student passes those tests, the student
does not have to recover those chapters. Thus, the course efficiently
focuses on teaching the students new material, without needless
busywork. If a student, in the opinion of a teacher, has mastered a
concept before the end of a particular assignment, the assignment will be
shortened so that the student can move on to new material. This
encourages students to demonstrate mastery with every assignment,
because by presenting high-quality work, the students lessen
their workload.

Students are never left behind by the class. They have a personal stake in
their own education, because only by learning the material and
demonstrating their knowledge may they move forward. They are
motivated to use class time wisely, because it is their own time, and their
own class.



Science

Students are required to review class information for homework each day. A written
evaluation on subjects will be given at the beginning of the following class.
Instructor does a quick interactive review in which each student is required to give a
verbal response. Following the review, new topics are introduced to the class and
the instructor proceeds with lecture while allowing for interaction of students.

All science topics covered follow the school’s curriculum guidelines and have the
goal of preparing students to successfully complete biology and/or chemistry in a
college environment. All topics covered can be found on the standard SATII exam.

Science is not as self-paced as other SIL courses, such as math. The biggest
challenge is to adequately address the wide-range of academic and intellectual
abilities while covering the material and moving at a group pace. Every effort is
made to draw parallels to students’ everyday worlds and to use relevance as the
common thread for all levels of ability.

At the beginning of each semester, the student is required to complete a written
assessment of scientific knowledge for that subject area. This written assessment is
a practice SATII exam. Students are not expected to know all of the information on
this evaluation but students are encouraged to do their best. This assessment has
no bearing on the student’s semester grade but it does give a benchmark of
progress for the student, parent, teacher, and administration to review. We piloted
the SAT II benchmark assessments in 2003-04. We found that without proper
explanation students were answering questions randomly, and the data were not
useful. However, we have addressed that problem and and have begun collecting
data for the 2004-05 school year.



                                                                                    28
In addition to the SAT II benchmark, regular tests and quizzes are given to monitor
student progress. Students who fall significantly behind are counseled to participate
in individual tutoring sessions to catch up.

Labs are used as visual and experiential learning to reinforce all major topics.


Spanish
Spanish classes begin with a warm -up that reviews material previously
covered or areas where students are having trouble. Generally, 5 -10
sentences of translation, vocabulary, or grammar exercises are written on
the board and students record their answers in their warm -up notebooks.
The teacher then walks around the room to make sure that studens are
understand the warm-up problems. After the 5-10 minute time period for
warm-up, the teacher or a student answers the questions and he/she writes
the correct responses on the board.



Following the warm-up, a new grammatical form, vocabulary, conjugation,
or cultural information is introduced lecture -style and modeled on the
board. Students are encouraged to ask questions, and then perform written
or oral examples of the new concept.

The final part of the class is generally a peorid where students practice the
concepts for the day, either by participating in group discussion, completin g
a written handout, or with an internet assignment.

Homework is assigned on a limited basis, up to three nights per week.
Homework consists of simple exercises to reinforce concepts learned in
class.

Course content is determined by UC-approved curriculum guidelines.

Instructional methodology:

Lecture                                      Grammar lessons, vocabulary,
                                             cultural material

Collaborative verbal/oral practice           Students practice short
                                             conversations in Spanish to increase
                                             their speaking skills

Written practice                             Writing assignments (short
                                             sentences for beginning students,
                                             longer passages for
                                             intermediate/advanced students)
                                             practiced on a daily basis

Reading practice                             Students read short articles at least
                                             once a week. Students read aloud
                                             directly to the instructor with a




                                                                                   29
                                          partner. Instructor gives feedback to
                                          correct errors and increase
                                          proficiency



Assessment

Formal assessment                         Students are tested on a weekly
                                          basis and if they do not receive a B -
                                          or higher on their weekly written
                                          assessment they are required to
                                          take their test/quiz until they pass
                                          and demonstrate mastery of the
                                          material. Testing includes matching,
                                          translation, oral assessment (oral
                                          translation or response to questions,
                                          etc.)

Informal assessment                       Students practice verb conjugations
                                          in class and are asked to orally
                                          conjugate verbs by the teacher.

                                          The daily warm-up allows the
                                          teacher to see how much students
                                          have grasped from the previous
                                          lesson and whether further review is
                                          needed.




Writing and Composition – Instructional Methodologies
   Weekly vocabulary quizzes from SAT I word list
   Activity stations – multiple activities in one class period
   Online journal writing charts progress and reinforces writing concepts
    covered in class
   Essays are evaluated based on the SAT II writing rubric
   Writing instruction: lectures on writing structure are followed by a
    handout activity, followed by class time to write a short essay
    demonstrating understanding and proficiency
   Peer editing


Social Studies – Instructional Methodologies
 Use technology to learn and communicate information, example:
   Powerpoint presentations

   Weekly current event presentations and discussions – tying present to
    past




                                                                              30
           Students review content in the textbook and answer related questions.
            Bookwork assignment requires the ability to set and work toward goals

           Students are assigned research papers, which include note taking,
            writing practice, and structure, including bibliography


       C. Support For Student Personal and Academic Growth
       Strengths
               Students feel part of the school community and all students are
                active participants in their classes

               School website keeps parents/community involved and up to date on
                all school matters

               Parents are called in for extra support when problems are small and
                easy to solve.

       Growth areas
               Develop a strong network of community resources for support and
                extra-curricular opportunities, including mental health resources,
                drug counseling resources, community service opportunities,
                internships, and enrichment.

       C1. Student Connectedness
       Students are connected to a system of support services, activities and
       opportunities at the school and within the community that meet the
       challenges of the curricular and co-curricular program in order to achieve
       the expected school-wide learning results.

           Findings                Evidence – Full Time              Evidence – Dual
                                        Program                        Enrollment

Students are encouraged to     Students are awarded high       N/A
use community resources to     school credit for documented,
broaden their educational      structured activities outside
experience                     of school.




       C2. Parent/Community Involvement
       The school leadership employs a wide ra nge of strategies to ensure that
       parental and community involvement is integral to the school’s established
       support system for students.

           Findings                Evidence – Full Time              Evidence – Dual
                                        Program                        Enrollment

Parents are active partners    Parents are involved by         Same
in their student’s             email, phone, and fax on a



                                                                                     31
educational success            regular basis. Parents are
                               contacted when students
                               need extra support at home
                               to complete assignments.
                               They are also contacted when
                               students achieve significant
                               milestones or show
                               exemplary work.

School internal website        Grades updated and posted         N/A
keeps parents involved with    to internal website on a
news and progress updates      weekly basis.

                               School news, school
                               calendar, expected learning
                               results, school purpose, and
                               teacher contact information,
                               and parent contact
                               information is posted on the
                               school website

Parents have full access for   Quarterly parent-teacher          Teachers and staff
teacher communication          conferences as well as email      communicate with parents
                               and phone contact.                as necessary.


       D. Resource Management and Development
       Strengths
              School is tuition-based and has met expenses since inception.

              School has made significant operational improvements, including:

                   o   Standardized and documented billing procedures based on
                       industry standard technologies such as QuickBooks

                   o   Documented procedures for tracking dual enrollment
                       students

                   o   Written job descriptions, hiring guidelines, and job
                       qualifications.

                   o   Documented recruiting practices

       Growth areas
              Build reserve capital to ensure sustainability. Reserve capital will be
               available for teacher training and retention, improvements to the
               instructional program, and facilities improvements.

              Improve long range budget projections




                                                                                    32
       D1. Resources
       The resources available to the school are sufficient to sustain the school
       program and are effectively used to carry out the school’s purpose and
       student achievement of the expected school -wide learning results.

         Findings                 Evidence – Full Time              Evidence – Dual
                                       Program                        Enrollment

School has met expenses       Profit and loss statements.      Same
since inception               Appendix H.



       D2. Resource Planning
       The governing authority and the school leadership execute responsible
       resource planning for the future.

         Findings                 Evidence – Full Time              Evidence – Dual
                                       Program                        Enrollment

Financial reports guide       Profit and loss statements       Same
future budget projections     Appendix H.




                                                                                    33
Chapter V: School Wide Action Plan
Growth Area Action Plan #1:            Establish a learning community vision. Integrate the vision with student learning goals and daily
                                       experiences of the students.

Rationale:

      To   maintain a positive, well-defined school culture
      To   increase shareholder ownership of the school vision and culture
      To   improve services and distribution of resources as the school continues to grow
      To   better prepare students to achieve learning goals

Growth Target:        The staff, students, parents and board members will refine the current vision statement for which school wide
                      goals and decisions can be made. This statement will become part of the new teacher, new student induction,
                      and will represent the voice of all shareholders along with the student learning goals.

ESLRs Addressed: Academic achievers, effective communicators, competent users of technology, self -directed learners,
                 responsible citizens.

            TASK                   PERSONNEL               RESOURCES               TIMELINE        MEANS TO              MEANS TO
                                  RESPONSIBLE                                                       ASSESS                REPORT
                                                                                                 IMPROVEMENT

1. Establish a Vision           Administration         Faculty/support         Spring 2005      Meeting minutes       Minutes to
Committee to examine                                   staff                                                          faculty/staff
current services and the        Board members                                                   Revised mission
profiles of students who                               Board members                            statement             School website
benefit from those
services. Identify trends                              Student volunteers                       Revised school        Teachers convey
that are most successful                                                                        literature            to students in
                                                       Parents                                                        classrooms
for students and most
economically/operationally
feasible for the school.
Identify student profiles
that are best served by


                                                                                                                                        34
the school. Revise the
mission statement and
communicate to
shareholders.

2. Vision Committee will   Administration    Faculty meetings   Spring 2006,   Meeting minutes   Vision statement
assess current school
wide goals and             Faculty/support   Board meetings     Spring 2007,                     School website
identify/evolve future     staff
goals accordingly.                           Parent/student     Spring 2008,                     Faculty meetings
                                             meetings
                                                                Spring 2009,

                                                                Spring 2010,

                                                                Spring 2011




                                                                                                                  35
Growth Area Action Plan #2: Staff Development.

Full time program:
    Establish competitive compensation, appropriate training, professional development, and professional growth opportunities to
    retain and attract qualified teaching staff.

Dual enrollment program:
   Ensure quality through adequate training and expectation setting.

Rationale:

      To   retain and reward current teachers
      To   attract and train qualified teachers and staff as school continues to grow
      To   increase teacher input and ownership
      To   engage teachers to develop, enhance, and share curriculum that supports school wide learning results.

Growth Target:        Full time teachers will be offered competitive salary, benefit packages and professional development
                      opportunities. Dual enrollment teachers will be appropriately trained and given access to curriculum
                      enhancements developed by full time teachers.

ESLRs Addressed: Academic achievers, effective communicators, competent users of technology, self -directed learners,
                 responsible citizens.

            TASK                  PERSONNEL               RESOURCES               TIMELINE              MEANS TO              MEANS TO
                                 RESPONSIBLE                                                             ASSESS                REPORT
                                                                                                      IMPROVEMENT

1. Develop staff retention      Administration         Faculty/support        Fall 2005              Meeting minutes       Minutes to
goals and programs for                                 staff                                                               faculty/staff
full time teachers              Board members                                                        Staff retention
                                                       Board members                                 targets               Board meeting
                                                                                                                           minutes
                                                                                                     Competitive
                                                                                                     compensation
                                                                                                     package

                                                                                                     Hiring policies and
                                                                                                     procedures




                                                                                                                                           36
2. Develop training           Administration   Faculty, support   Spring 2005   Revised training   Board meeting
materials for dual                             staff                            materials          minutes
enrollment and part time      Board
teachers

3. Develop professional       Administration   Faculty, support   Fall, 2005    Professional       Board meeting
development                                    staff                            development        minutes
opportunities for full time   Board                                             guidelines
staff
                                                                                Professional
                                                                                development
                                                                                budget




                                                                                                                   37
Growth Area Action Plan #3:           Research and develop systems to promote, incorporate, and implement appropriately
                                      challenging, relevant, and engaging learning experiences for all students.

Rationale:

      To   ensure attainment of ESLRs and content standards
      To   improve communication between all shareholders
      To   improve curriculum development and alignment of curriculum with school content standards
      To   improve student academic achievement and school performance
      To   define and ensure quality across all instructional programs


Growth Target:        The shareholders will develop plans for relevant, hands -on classroom curriculum that engages students and
                      maximizes for academic success.

ESLRs Addressed: Academic achievers, effective communicators, competent users of technology, self -directed learners,
                 responsible citizens

       TASK                PERSONNEL              RESOURCES               TIMELINE               MEANS TO             MEANS TO
                          RESPONSIBLE                                                             ASSESS               REPORT
                                                                                               IMPROVEMENT

1. Develop written      Administration         Educational            Spring 2006-           Student              Evaluation reports
competencies and                               research               ongoing                achievement on       to students and
evaluation rubrics      Faculty                                                              standardized tests   parents
for each subject                               Curriculum ideas                              such as SAT I, CSU
area and level                                 from other schools                            English and Math     School-wide
                                                                                             placement tests      analysis of data

2. Create               Administration         Professional time      Fall 2007, ongoing     Written curriculum   Staff meetings
curriculum                                                                                   development
development             Faculty                Educational                                   guidelines           School website
guidelines based                               research
on educational                                                                               Daily lesson plans
research findings.
                                                                                             Instructional
Maintain a reusable                                                                          resource
archive of                                                                                   archive/library
instructional
resources for each

                                                                                                                                       38
subject area and
level.

3. Develop and       Administration   Faculty             Fall 2005, ongoing   Individualized        Staff meetings
implement an                          collaboration                            Learning Plan
individualized       Faculty                                                   Format                Parent/teacher
learning plan for                                                                                    conferences
each student         Support Staff                                             Individualized
                                                                               Learning Plan
                                                                               progress reports

4. Research and      Parent/student   Parents             Fall 2006, ongoing   Relationships with    School website
develop ways for     committee                                                 community
students to obtain                    Students                                 resources             Cooperative
extra-curricular                                                                                     communications
experiences                           Faculty                                  Referral list for     with partners in
outside of but in                                                              extra-curricular      the community
                                      Community                                services
cooperation with
                                      resources
the school.

5. Expand            Administration   Educational         Fall 2006            Portfolio             School website
assessment                            research                                 requirements and
techniques to        Faculty                                                   evaluation criteria   School Handbook
include more                          Faculty                                  for every subject
portfolio-based                       collaboration                            and level
assessment and
standardized,                         Ideas from other                         Meaningful
professionally                        schools                                  standardized test
recognized                                                                     results for all
                                      Standardized test                        grade levels
instruments
                                      agencies

6. Incorporate       Administration   Professional time   Ongoing              Daily lesson plans    Staff meetings
ESLRs into                            and professional
curriculum           Faculty          growth days                              Classroom             School website
development and                                                                observations
daily lesson plans                    Faculty
                                      collaboration                            Shareholder
                                                                               surveys



                                                                                                                        39
Growth Area Action Plan #4: Manage resources and structure for continuity and sustainability

Rationale:

       To   develop a long term resource management plan consistent with the school vision
       To   increase funding base for sustainability
       To   improve facilities to address growth needs and differing requirements of dual enrollment and full time students
       To   improve outreach activities to reach families best served by the school’s services

Growth Target:           Shareholders will identify additional sources of revenue and ways to achieve increased enrollment targets.
                         Funding will be adequate to support continuity of staff, professional development, instructional programs, and
                         improved facilities.

ESLRs Addressed: Academic achievers, effective communicators, competent users of technology, self -directed learners,
                 responsible citizens

        TASK                 PERSONNEL               RESOURCES                 TIMELINE               MEANS TO                 MEANS TO
                            RESPONSIBLE                                                                ASSESS                   REPORT
                                                                                                    IMPROVEMENT

1. Complete long          Board                   Board members           Spring, 2005            Long term budget        Minutes to Board,
term budget                                                                                       and timeline            faculty, and staff
projections and           Administration          Administration
timeline                                                                                          Meeting minutes
                                                  Faculty
                                                                                                  Reserve capital to
                                                                                                  support
                                                                                                  sustainability

2. Identify facilities    Board                   Board members           Fall, 2005              Meeting minutes         Minutes to Board,
requirements and                                                                                                          faculty, and staff
improvements.             Administration          Administration                                  Site plan

                                                  Faculty

                                                  Students

3. Procure                Board                   Administration          Summer, 2006            Facilities selected     Minutes to Board,
improved facilities                                                                               and acquired            faculty, staff
to support                Administration          Facilities team


                                                                                                                                               40
identified            Facilities team                                                         Website
requirements and
enrollment growth                                                                             Marketing
                                                                                              materials

4. Develop a plan     Board             Development team   Fall, 2005     Selection of        Meeting minutes to
to broaden sources                                                        development plan    board, faculty, and
of funding                                                                                    staff

5. Implement and      Board             Development team   Spring 2006,   Funding targets     Meeting minutes to
evolve fundraising                                                                            faculty, staff,
plan                  Administration                       Spring 2007,                       board
                                                           Spring 2008,                       Funding results on
                                                                                              website
                                                           Spring 2009,

                                                           Spring 2010,

                                                           Spring 2011

6. Examine current    Board             Legal counsel      Fall 2005      Revised corporate   School literature
corporate structure                                                       structure
and make              Administration                                                          School website
improvements as
necessary to
implement school
vision




                                                                                                                    41
Growth Area Action Plan #5:          Develop a process to assess curriculum in relation to student learning goals and content
                                     standards.

Rationale:

      To ensure attainment of ESLRs and content standards.
      To improve curriculum development and alignment of curriculum with school content standards.
      To improve student academic achievement and school performance accountability.

Growth Target:         The school staff will have developed course assessments that are aligned to the ESLRs and provide a
                       mechanism for evaluating and developing curriculum in relation to the ESLRs .

ESLRs Addressed: Academic achievers, effective communicators, competent users of technology, self -directed learners,
                 responsible citizens

       TASK                PERSONNEL            RESOURCES                TIMELINE              MEANS TO               MEANS TO
                          RESPONSIBLE                                                           ASSESS                 REPORT
                                                                                             IMPROVEMENT

1. Faculty and staff    Administration       Faculty meetings       Ongoing                Meeting minutes        Minutes to faculty,
continue reflection                                                                                               staff, board
on the ESLRs            Faculty              Board meetings                                                       members

                        Board members        Professional time

2. Staff will meet      Administration       Professional time      Spring 2005 – Fall     Development of         Displays of student
to discuss cross-                                                   2007 and ongoing       units and activities   work and
curricular              Subject matter       Faculty                                       that are integrated    assessments
opportunities for       experts              collaboration                                 and reflect the
teaching to the                                                                            ESLRs, including
ESLRs and               Faculty                                                            assessments
standards
                                                                                           Faculty and
                                                                                           student portfolios

                                                                                           Classroom
                                                                                           observations

3. Teachers create      Administration       Samples from other     Spring 2005 – Fall     Completion of the      Discussions and
tools to help                                                                              development of the     presentations with

                                                                                                                                        42
assess student        Faculty          schools             2007 and ongoing     new tools and          shareholders
achievement and                                                                 activities and the
progress towards                       Research                                 integration of them
the ESLRs as well                      information                              into the program
as content
standards and co-
curricular programs

4. Teachers utilize   Administration   Professional time   Spring 2005 – Fall   Integration of tools   Meeting minutes
the ESLR                                                   2007 and ongoing     into the program
assessment tools      Faculty
to review,
evaluate, and         Subject matter
evolve curricular     experts
and co-curricular
programs




                                                                                                                         43
APPENDIX A – SIL GRADUATION
REQUIREMENTS
Students are required to have a minimum of 210 c redits for graduation. Included in these
credits are the subject requirements below. Ten credits are granted for successfully completing
a one year course, five credits are granted for a semester course.


                 Subject         Credits                               Comments
                                 required
            English                         40
            Math                            20            Including 10 credits of Algebra or
                                                          equivalent
            History – Social                35            10 credits World History, 10 credits US
            Science                                       History, 5 credits Economics, 5 credits
                                                          Government, 5 credits Social Studies
                                                          Elective
            Science                         20            10 credits Biology, 10 credits Physical
                                                          Science
            Visual/Performing               10            10 credits of Visual/Performing Art OR
            Art or World                                  World Language
            Language
            Physical Education              20            May be Independent Studies




                                                                                                    44
APPENDIX B - SCHOOL LITERATURE
   School Handbook

   School Brochure




                                 45
The “Do No Harm” philosophy
At School For Independent Learners we believe that all students have an inherent right to a
quality education, delivered with the highest respect for all concerned. The school emphasizes
individual achievement and promises a learning environment in which students master learning
in all subject areas. Further, the school uses a “no failure” grading policy to foster success and
academic self-worth.

Instruction and class size
Classes are kept small so students can progress at their own pace. Student/teacher ratios are no
higher than 15:1, and usually much lower. Instruction is tutorial style for the smaller classes,
with discussion and group activities in the larger classes.

Grading policies
Our grading policy is based on mastery learning. Students are given credit for work they
complete as long as the quality demonstrates sufficient subject matter mastery and sufficient
effort on the part of the student. Any work that is either not turned in or that does not achieve
acceptable minimum standards is recorded as incomplete and does not affect the student’s final
grade. Students should progress at a pace that will earn them a full 5 units of credit for semester
course, and 10 units for a one year course. Partial credit is awarded as appropriate, but students
are encouraged and given every opportunity to complete their courses by the end of each
semester.

Homework
Because we offer a tutorial, interactive style of instruction, students can complete a great deal of
their coursework in the classroom. Most homework consists of special projects or completion of
in-class assignments. Students who want to move through the material faster are encouraged to
accelerate by completing more work outside of class.


Absences
Please call the school at 650-941-4350 if your student will be late or absent.




                                                                                                     46
Open campus
Students are fully supervised during class. Unless parents request otherwise, students are not
directly supervised after or between classes.

Behavior policies
All teaching and classroom activities are conducted with the utmost respect for all concerned.
Teachers and staff are instructed to encourage behaviors that are conducive to learning and
discourage those that are not.

Discipline
At School For Independent Learners we believe that the best form of discipline is prevention.
Teachers and staff are encouraged to anticipate problems and design a classroom environment
that does not allow problems to develop. If a problem cannot be solved in the classroom, teachers
will notify the administration at the earliest sign of trouble so everyone can work together to
keep problems from getting out of hand.

Drugs
Drugs are not tolerated at school. If a teacher or staff member suspects drug use, s/he is asked to
confidentially share his or her behavioral observations with the administration immediately. The
administration will talk to the student about any sudden behavior changes that impede the
learning process, bringing parents in as necessary. If the problem persists, the student will be
moved to the individualized instruction program to complete coursework with a 1-1 teacher in a
fully supervised situation.
Breaks, lunch, and starting class on time
The 5 minute passing period is for students to get their books and get prepared for the next class.
Since the passing period is too short fro students to go elsewhere for food, they are welcome to
use the vending machines inside or bring food from home. We ask that students be respectful of
their teachers and other students by being on time for class after breaks and lunch.

Computer use policy
Students are encouraged to use the school computer resources as a reference tool, for preparing
research papers and reports, and any other educational purpose. Students will need to get




                                                                                                   47
permission to download or install software on the school computers. Downloading inappropriate
material and/or graphics is not permitted.

Study skills and class materials
We emphasize study skills, time management and organization in all coursework. Students are
asked to keep track of written assignments and due dates, and to build a notebook of completed
work. Please send your student to school with the following supplies (remember to put their
name on all items, especially calculators!):
               Notebook
               Dividers
               Pens/pencils
               Calculator
               Protractor (for Geometry)

Parent communication
Your student’s progress is updated online on a weekly basis. If your student is not on track to
finish by the endof the semester the teacher will notify you so that we can work together to help
your student finish his/her coursework.


Our hope is to keep you updated on a regular basis. Please feel free to contact your student’s
teacher at any time with questions or concerns.


School Hours
Fulltime hours are 9:15-3:05. Part time students are scheduled to be at school during classes in
which they are enrolled. Because we use the classrooms all day for instruction we ask that
students arrive at the beginning of their class and leave when they are finished.




                                                                                                   48
SCHOOL BROCHURE




                  49
                             California Education Plan
                      School For Independent Learners




                                         ACCREDITATIONS
Candidate for Accreditation, approved by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of
Schools and Colleges (WASC)

UC-approved curriculum

Full and part time schooling  Go at your own pace  Flexible scheduling for athletes, performing artists,
etc.  Repeat courses to improve GPA  Make up incompletes  Graduate early!




                                                                                                        50
                     CALIFORNIA EDUCATION PLAN




                      Educational Services
    We have had the privilege of serving this community since 1982, delivering
    effective educational services to meet any kind of learning need.
   Tutoring in all academics, all levels, including AP

   School for Independent Learners – fully accredited independent studies courses, full or part time

   SAT I and II, PSAT, SSAT preparation

   Educational consulting and general school counseling

   Study skills instruction

   Flexible scheduling – every day, morning, noon, or night

   Full service college counseling
"I liked my teacher a lot...his teaching was very perso nal and I learned a lot. He made the
subject matter relevant and interesting to me...he seemed to really care about how well I did."
-- Senior, Palo Alto High School

                                     The “Do No harm Philosophy”
At School For Independent Learners your student will get a qu ality education with an emphasis
on success. We believe that academic failure is toxic, so we implement a “do no harm” grading
policy. How do we do it?

We hire excellent teachers who are subject matter experts.

With small classes (no more than 15, and in most cases much smaller) we can make sure your
student masters the material at every level before moving on. If a student doesn’t understand
a key concept or does poorly on a test, we re -teach and re-test.

    “She said she is learning more because she has to do the work over again until
    she gets a good grade”
    -- SIL Parent
We update you regularly so you know how your student is doing. If there’s a problem, you’ll
know about it when it’s small and easy to solve.




                                                                                                        51
College Prep Curriculum
We offer a college prep curriculum approved by the University of California , and our
graduation requirements exceed those specified by the state of California. We use textbooks
by respected educational publishers, which are aligned with state standards.

College and Career
We offer full-service college advising, and the majority of our students go on to attend four -
year colleges and universities throughout the country.

   “The atmosphere of respect and high expectations has awakened an interest in
   learning in my son”
   -- SIL Parent
Our advising staff is certified by UC Berkeley in College Admissions and Career Planning, and
we work hard to find the right fit for every graduate.

Graduate Early
There is nothing magic about 4 years. With proper planning, students can graduate high school in
3 to 3 1/2 years. What a motivator for the student who is anxious to get on with life!

TEACHING METHODS FOR THE 21 st CENTURY STUDENT
Today’s teens spend hours in front of the computer. They use technology to communicate,
they create using multimedia tools, and they even find answers to their questions on the
internet. Kids don’t think of their computer time as learning; they think of it as fun! What if
learning in school could be fun?

   “I don’t have to nag or remind him of assignments – he is totally independent and has accomplished a lot in
   the past 2 1//2 years at School For Independent Learners”
   -- SIL PARENT
That’s why we created an online learning environment. Our classroom teachers design
assignments that encourage students to use today’s techno logies and their own creativity to
demonstrate their knowledge. All assignments, class notes, and feedback are online so
students and parents can monitor progress, stay organized, and even learn at their own pace.

With the University of California, Stanfor d University, and others using the same electronic
classroom technology, our students will be well prepared for life after high school.

Who we are
           Herman Ohme, Ed.D., is the author of the “Learn How To Learn” study skills books, and an
           expert in performance, learning, and motivation. He has taught at UCLA, Yale, and Stanford, and
           has been a teacher, counselor and administrator in public and private schools for over 30 years.
           Jean Ohme has an MA in Learning Disabilities, Community College, and administration
           credentials. She has taught as a Special Education teacher, working with students with dyslexia,
           ADHD, and other learning disabilities.
           Rhonda Racine holds a CA teaching credential, an MS in Computer Science, and a certificate in
           College Admissions and Career Planning from UC Berkeley. She is an instructor for UC Berkeley
           extension, Department of Education. She has taught in Santa Barbara and Palo Alto public schools.




                                                                                                            52
APPENDIX C – POST HIGH SCHOOL
DATA
   Year            Seniors         #           4 Year        2 Year        Specialty       Other
                               Graduated       College       College        School

2001-02       1                1           0             1             0               0

2002-03       10               10          7             2             1               0

2003-04       11               11          8             2             0               1

Since inception, students in the full time program have been accepted to the following schools:

   California Culinary Academy
   California State University, Monterey Bay
   Chapman University
   Hawaii Pacific University
   Humboldt State University
   Linfield
   Loyola Marymount University
   San Francisco State University
   Sonoma State University
   Southern Methodist University
   University of Colorado, Boulder
   University of Washington
Personal interviews conducted with families of graduates indicated that students are expert
self-advocates on campus, and they are using the school academic services as needed. They
also have close relationships with their professors, using office hours and email to create
closer student-teacher connections.




                                                                                                   53
APPENDIX D – COLLEGE BOARD TEST
RESULTS
SAT Scores

Students scored above the national average for both Verbal and Math, which is 500. The range
of scores is exceptionally wide, especially with the s mall sample size of 23. This range is
indicative of the varied abilities of students in our school; some have very low skills, while
others have the ability to make progress when given individualized or small group instruction.

          SAT I SCORES 2001 - 2004
                           Verbal       Math
Average                         530      542
Lowest score                    380      400
Highest score                   670      700
# test scores (some
students tested multiple
times)                             23      23


SAT II Subject tests measure student achievement in specific subject areas. As with other test
data, we see a wide range of results. The average score for SIL is above the national average
of 500.



         SAT II SCORES 2001 - 2004
                        Writing    Math IC      Sciences
Average                     560         506          640
Lowest score                470         400          540
Highest score               670         600          740
# scores                       4           5           2


PSAT vs SAT I Scores

We compared scores for students who took the PSAT in October followed by the SAT I in the
Spring. There were 9 students who took both tests in 2003 -04. Every student improved, and
the magnitude of improvement was significant in both Verbal and Math.

      PSAT SCORES vs SAT SCORES
                  Verbal       Math
Average
improvement     77 points  107.5 points
Maximum
improvement     120 points 170 points
Minimum
improvement     20 points  60 points




                                                                                             54
APPENDIX E – SURVEY RESULTS
Dual Enrollment Survey Results
Purpose: To obtain input from dual enrollment families and include it in our Self Study.

Rationale: Since most dual enrollment families come for a few hours/week, the role the school plays in
their lives and the concept of “stakeholders” is quite different than that of a full time school. We wanted
to get input from them, even though they are only casual users of SIL services.

Methodology: We created a parent feedback form with two questions relating to learning goals relevant
to dual enrollment students. The survey was in postcard format, pre-addressed with the school address
and was included in the monthly billing. Surveys were mailed to 100 families. The survey is reproduced
below:

 Dear Parents,
 As you may know, we are coming to the final stages of our WASC
 accreditation . Your responses to the questions below wi ll help us proceed
 to full accreditation , a necessary step in maintaining our college -approved
 curriculum . Please respond and drop in the mail at your earliest
 convenience. Thanks!

 Q1. My child is being well prepared to continue his/her education
        Strongly Disagree                        Strongly Agree
                       1     2     3      4      5

 Q2. My child is a successful learner at School for Independent Learners
        Strongly Disagree                          Strongly Agree
                       1     2      3      4      5

                 :
 Additional comments




Survey Results


 % RESPONDENTS (out of
 100)                                       58%
 AVERAGE Q1:                                4.76
 AVERAGE Q2:                                4.84
 DATE SENT:                                 10/1/2004




                                                                                                          55
             Raw Data - All Comments
They do a great job

The School For Indep. Learners is doing an excellent job
of making sure our daughter has a strong grasp of the
material presented.
I am so pleased with the quality of education at SIL
Wonderful program!

This is one responsive organization! They are organized
and have very qualified teachers that assist my son in his
academic career goals
Isak is an excellent tutor I highly recommend Isak as a role
model, tutor, and mentor. Thank you Isak!
Excellent tutors, who are flexible re scheduling

My daughter has benefited greatly from tutoring she has
received from your school. We have used the school for
several years.

This program has been a "life saver" for our son. Instead of
having a Spanish tutor + the class at school he can focus
on Spanish AND school.
SIL is a great resource in our community. The quality of
education and instructors is excellent


My child's attitude has become more positive because
school responsibilities are less stressful. Thank you.
My daughter's outlook of herself has changed from a
negative to a very positive!.


Annie's math progress has been just terrific. The one-on-
one learning environment has made a world of difference.
For 2 years, Noah has received excellent instruction here.
Thank you.

My child has re-discovered his love for learning at the
School For Independent Learners. The faculty and
administration are active participants in my child's
education.
School For Independent Learners helped my daughter get
caught up in her academics so that she can graduate from
High School on time. I appreciate their strict rules of
conduct on the premises.

My son would not have gotten through high school without
the School for Independent Learners. They are GREAT!
My daughter received excellent instruction at the School
for Independent Learners. Thank you.
Great resource for our community!
My children have received excellent tutors from the School
for Independent Learners which has made all the
difference in succeeding in their public school coursework.




                                                               56
Interpretation: The following is a list of things we learned from the dual enrollment survey:
    We were surprised at the high response rate of 58%, which is exceptionally high for a voluntary
       survey
    Parents overwhelmingly feel that their students are well prepared for continuing their education
       and that they enjoy learning.
    There were many voluntary comments, all of which are listed above. ALL comments were
       positive.
    The results imply that SIL fills a niche that is not readily available elsewhere in the community.


Full Time Program – Parent/Student Survey Results
Parent Survey
Purpose: To obtain input from parents in the full time high school

Rationale: We wanted to find out what was working for parents and how we could improve our
program.

Methodology: We created a parent survey designed to solicit input about school wide learning results.
The survey was mailed to all families in Fall, 2003. We called all families to get as many responses as
possible. 13 families returned their surveys.

Survey Results:

1. Mother's name:                                                  2. Father's name:
3. Student's name:

4. Address: (if 2 households, please include both):

5. How did you hear about School For Independent Learners (please circle all that apply)?
          Educational conlsutant          Advertising              Word of mouth       Doctor
Other:

6. Was your student in a Special Education program prior to coming to SIL?             Yes      No

7. What were your primary reasons for enrolling your student at SIL?
8. What were your expectations upon entering SIL?
9. How well do you feel that SIL is meeting your expectations?

10. What does your student do after school?
11. How does your student get to and from school?
          Drives him/herself   Driven by adult          Public transportation          Other:

12. How many computers are in your household?
13. Does your student have his/her own computer?                   Yes          No
14. Do you use the school's online grading system?                 Yes          No


15. What do you hope your student will do after high school?
          4 year college       2 year college           Work       Year off            Other
16. What is working well for your student? What are your suggestions for improvement?
Feel free to use reverse side or attach additional sheets


                                                                                                      57
Question 5: Seven out of 13 students were referred by an educational consultant or their
doctors. Three were referred by their school of record. SIL enjoys widespread respect in the
professional community.

Question 6: 10 out of 13 students were not in the Special Education program in their previous
schools. However, most of those students clearly had learning disabilities or
psychological/emotional challenges of some kind.

Question 7: The majority of students indicated that they came to SIL seeking a smaller, more
nurturing environment. Others came because of physical or mental health issues. A handful
came because they were not getting needed special education services.

Question 8: There were varied responses to the question about expectations. Most parents
expected their students to raise their grades and get back on track to graduate high school.
Others were hoping that their students would be come more motivated and engaged. A
handful hoped that their students would be able to return to their schools of record the
following year.

Question 9: When asked how well their expectations were met, with only one exception,
parents said that the school met or exceeded their expectations. Six parents said that their
children liked school more. Four indicated that their students felt successful and showed
renewed self-confidence. Two said that they liked having grades online and tracking their
student’s progress.

One parent noted that s/he wished there was more skills d evelopment, especially in writing.
Two parents wanted to see more homework. One said that the expectations were too low and
that discipline was a problem.

The varied responses are consistent with the range of skill levels, maturity, and abilities of the
SIL student body. Of particular note is that only two parents wanted to see more homework.
Students and parents have told us that one of the biggest reasons for previous academic
failure (and family stress as well) is incomplete homework. For this reason, S IL makes every
effort to cover the minimum course content in the classroom.

Question 10: Responses to this were varied. Some students stayed around home, others had
interests they pursued. We were able to arrange internships for a few students in the
computer field.

Question 11: Most students 16 or older drove to school. Others were driven. A few took public
transportation.

Question 12/13: All families had a computer with online access at home. With only one or two
exceptions, students had their own comput ers.

Question 14: Every respondent reported that s/he used the school’s online grading system.

Question 15: Seven parents were hoping their students would go to a 4 -year college after high
school, four parents were hoping for a 2 -year college, one planned to take a year off, and one
didn’t know. By the end of the year, eight students had been accepted to 4 -year schools, two
were planning to attend a 2-year school, and one was planning to work.

Question 16: When asked what was working for their students, par ents listed the following:

      Atmosphere of respect
      Enthusiastic, caring teachers
      Student experiencing academic success

                                                                                                58
    Student is very happy
    Light homework load was appreciated
    Students learn more – they have to do the work until getting a good grade
    Small classes, more attention
    With increased confidence, students were setting higher academic goals.
Suggestions for improvement were:

      More extra-curricular activities
      Form a parent group to assist with the daily operation of the school, fundraising, etc.
      More focus on study skills
      More homework
      Self-paced is good, but need more information about whether student will finish on time
      Discipline is a problem

The following are representative comments about expectations:

        My son has completed assignments early. He tal ks about his teachers and whet he is doing in
        school. He has only completed two weeks of school, but I haven’t heard this much enthusiasm
        since elementary school.

        SIL is an amazing place for young people – anyone of them – however, it is especially
        significant for someone like my son who learns so much differently than typical students.

        SIL has more than met our expectations. The website provides current information on work
        due, grades, and attendance. My son was encouraged to pursue his interest in compute rs,
        helping out at the school and participating in an internship. He does well in his classes and
        brings up real life applications from his Chemistry and Economics classes. His self -confidence
        has grown, he did well on his SATs and he has already been acce pted at CSUMB for Fall of
        2004.




                                                                                                     59
Student Survey
Purpose: To obtain input from students in the full time high school

Rationale: We wanted to solicit student feedback regarding the school wide learning results that were
developed in the previous school year. All but two of the students in the Fall of 2004 were new, so we
wanted to make sure that we were addressing their learning needs.

Methodology: The survey was administered during a school wide assembly. Since it is challenging for
many of our students to focus and attend to a full survey, each question was read to the group. All
students (13) responded, and all students answered every question.

Survey Results:

                                   SIL STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE


                                                                                           RESULTS: Average
                                                                                           of numerical
                                                                                           responses:
                                                                                           1 = Strongly
                                                                                           Disagree
  1 I came to SIL because:                                                                 5 = Strongly Agree
  g      I wanted to improve my grades                                                                        4.70
  e      I needed more help to do well                                                                        4.44
  d      I wasn't happy at my other school                                                                    4.14
  a      I like small classes                                                                                 4.09
  c      I was missing a lot of school                                                                        3.78
   f     I have a learning disability                                                                         3.69
  b      I didn't fit in socially at my other school                                                          1.67
  h         Other:
            "My other school moved too slow", "I came to improve my
            grades"

 13 My parents are concerned about my grades                                                                  4.38
  3 Teachers care about my academic success                                                                   4.31
    Learning to write well and communicate with others is important to
 19 me                                                                                                        4.31
  9 I feel safe at school                                                                                     4.15
 20 I want to continue my schooling after high school                                                         4.15
 21 I want to get a job after high school                                                                     4.15
  4 Teachers show respect for students                                                                        4.08
 18 Doing well in school is important to me                                                                   4.08
 22 I ask for help when I need it                                                                             4.08
 23 I receive help when I ask for it                                                                          4.08
  6 Students show respect for each other                                                                      4.00

                                                                                                         60
11 I speak up and participate in my classes                                                     4.00
 8 I am learning a lot at SIL                                                                   3.92
16 Having grades and assignments online helps me do well in school                              3.92
   I feel successful at
24 SIL                                                                                          3.92
12 I use the computers to do my schoolwork                                                      3.85
 2 Teachers have high expectations of me                                                        3.77
 5 Teachers use a variety of activities to involve me in learning                               3.62
15 I regularly check my grades and assignments on the school website                            3.54
17 I like attending this school                                                                 3.54
10 I feel valued at school                                                                      3.46
 7 I feel that the classes are challenging and relevant                                         3.38
   My parents regularly check my grades on the school
14 website                                                                                      3.31

Findings:

We reviewed the results of the survey and discussed them with the students. The following are
the significant observations:

      Parents and students agree that academic achievement is important to them
      Students are getting the help they need to be successful
      Becoming effective communicators is important to students
      Students are using the online grades and assignment feedback to do well in school
      Some students report that they are not challenged enough




                                                                                           61
APPENDIX F – PERSONNEL
Teacher Responsibilities
Teacher responsibilities are written and distributed to teachers at time of hire. “General
Teacher Responsibilities” apply to all teachers in the full time program. Specific responsibilities
convey different expectations depending on scope of teaching assignment.

Teacher responsibilities for those teaching in the dual enrollment program are outlined under
“Individualized Instruction Teaching Responsibilities.”


GENERAL TEACHER RESPONSIBILITIES – Full time program
        Responsibilities:
         Hours: as assigned
         Maximum class size: 18 students
         174 work days according to school calendar
         Attend weekly faculty meetings, 45 minutes each
         Keep written records of grades, assignments, daily attendance.
         Post grades and assignments to internet; update grades weekly
         Print bi-weekly grade reports for non-electronic families
         Prepare daily and weekly lesson plans
         Provide timely feedback on all student work,; update grades weekly and post to the internet
         Start class on time
         Follow written UC-approved curriculum
         Lunchtime supervision as assigned, depending on % FTE
         Regular communication with parents


Name: ____________________                        Date: ______________




                                                                                                  62
Salaried Employee Agreement: 50% FTE (full time program)
Compensation:
$18,000 base salary
    Payday: 15th and last day of the month from 9/15-6/15
    Pay periods: 18
    Amount per paycheck (gross) $1000

Tutoring and class aid hours as available; paid at tutoring rate
Substitute teaching for SIL group classes as available; $35/class

3 paid personal days
Salary is pro-rated for teachers starting after 9/7

Responsibilities:
          General teacher responsibilities plus:
          3 classes, each class meets 50 minutes, 5 days/week
          Lunchtime supervision 30 minutes – 2 day/week
          Student advising – monitor student progress and communicate with parents and staff as
               necessary

Personal time:
          Cash disbursement for unused personal days at the end of the school year at a rate of
             $105/day.
          Absences beyond personal day allotment will be deducted from base salary at a rate of
             $105/day.

Employment is “at will”, and can be terminated by either party at any time. 2 weeks written
notice is recommended. If employment is terminated before the end of the academic calendar,
salary will be pro-rated on a per diem basis.


Name: _____________________                               Date: ______________




                                                                                                   63
Hourly Teacher Compensation and Responsibilities – Full time program
Compensation:
$40/class paid on the 15th and the last day of the month
1 paid personal day/semester
Tutoring and class aid hours as available; paid at tutoring rate
Substitute teaching for SIL group classes as available; $35/class

Hourly employment is for 2 or fewer classes. Upon being assigned 3 or more classes, teachers are
compensated according to the SIL salary schedule.

Responsibilities:
          General teacher responsibilities, attached
          ____ class(es), each class meets 50 minutes, 5 days/week
          Lunchtime supervision 30 minutes – 1 day every other week


Employment is “at will”, and can be terminated by either party at any time. 2 weeks written notice is
recommended. If employment is terminated before the end of the academic calendar, salary will be pro-
rated on a per diem basis.

Name: ____________________________                                  Date: ______________




                                                                                                    64
Individualized Instruction Teacher Responsibilities

Teacher: ___________________________             Start Date: ________________________________
Course: ________________________________             Meeting times: ______________________
Textbook: ________________________________ Textbook condition (circle one)                 New     Used


STUDENT CONTACT INFORMATION
Student name ___________________________             Parent name ____________________________
Phone #1: ______________________________             Phone #2: ______________________________


Semester(s) to cover:         1 2         Modified curriculum? Yes No
(Econ and Government are single semester courses, and cover the whole book in one semester)

A curriculum guide for your course can be found at http://silonline.org. Click on “UC Approved Course
List” and find your course. Please review the topics to be covered, the Key Assignments, and the Grading
Policy so you can follow them throughout your course.

If the student is following a modified curriculum, you can modify the curriculum as follows:
 Modified tests and quizzes (key points only/ listing instead of essay)
 Modified assignments (shorten by 50%, key points only)
 Modified comprehension assignments (reading assignments appropriate to student’s proficiency
     level), key points

In addition to key assignments as listed in the guide, please administer a cumulative mid-term and final
FOR EACH SEMESTER.

PROGRESS REPORTS
On the first day of every month, please complete a Semester Progress Report postcard, found by the
Sign-In sheet. Ask the student to put his/her address on the front. Turn the report in to the office so we
can record the grade before mailing home to parents.

GRADING
For any work or test scores below 80%, please re-teach and retest until the student achieves 80% or
better.

WHEN YOU ARE DONE:
If student is taking a year long course, please provide a final grade for each semester. Upon completion
of each semester please turn in:
     1. A final grade
     2. Graded mid-term and final for the semester

Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions. Phone: 650-941-4350 or 650-493-5512.

Thank you, and enjoy your course!




                                                                                                          65
Recruiting guidelines and procedures
School For Independent Learners seeks to hire subject matter experts who have experience working with
high school-aged students. The Stanford Daily newspaper has been the best place to find dual enrollment
hourly teachers. Internet job sites such as craigslist have been very successful recruiting sources for both
dual enrollment and full time teachers.

Job Descriptions and Qualifications
Job postings are subject specific and posted in local newspapers and internet sites. The following are
sample postings for Music and Spanish teachers.

Music Teacher Job Posting
PART TIME music teacher wanted to teach UC-approved Music of the 20th Century class at a small,
private high school in Los Altos.

Course topics include:
Overview of Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic music; American folk music; Music of the turn
of the century; Jazz of various types; R & B; Rock and Roll; Country; Motown; Music of protest
movements; heavy metal; Punk, Rap; MTV; World Music.

Qualifications:
4 year music degree or equivalent formal training.
Formal study of contemporary music
Experience with groups of high school-age students
Solid knowledge of computers, especially using the internet and email.

Responsibilities:
Prepare written weekly lesson plans according to course syllabus.
Foster a motivating learning environment in the classroom
Assign and correct supplemental work, tests, projects, research papers, etc.
Post all lesson plans, assignments, and handouts to our online classroom.
Update student progress weekly and post to the online classroom.

This position is part time for one class that meets 50 minutes/day, 5 days/week from September to June.
Pay is $30/school day. Opportunities for additional academic tutoring may be available for candidates
with backgrounds in academic subjects.

Qualified candidates please send cover letter and resume.

Spanish Teacher Job Posting
PART TIME Spanish teacher wanted to teach UC-approved Spanish classes, all levels, at a small, private
high school in Los Altos. Small classes, less than 15 students/class.

Qualifications:
4 year degree, Spanish
Excellent spoken, written, reading, and grammatical skills
Experience working with groups of high school-age students
Solid knowledge of computers, especially using the internet and email.

Responsibilities:
Prepare written weekly lesson plans according to UC-approved course syllabus.
Foster a motivating learning environment in the classroom


                                                                                                         66
Assign and correct supplemental work, tests, projects, research papers, etc.
Post all lesson plans, assignments, and handouts to our online classroom.
Update student progress weekly and post to the online classroom.

Qualified candidates please send cover letter and resume.




                                                                               67
APPENDIX G – SCHEDULE AND
CALENDAR
    SCHOOL FOR INDEPENDENT LEARNERS DAILY SCHEDULE

           All classes meet 5 days/week
          PERIOD          START           END
             1            9:15            10:05

             2            10:10           11:00

             3            11:05           11:55

          LUNCH           11:55           12:25

             4            12:25           1:15

             5            1:20            2:10

             6            2:15            3:05




                                                  68
                AUGUST                                                      JANUARY
     S    M    T W T          F    S                              S    M    T W T           F    S
     1    2    3  4  5        6    7                                                             1
     8    9    10 11 12       13   14   IMPORTANT DATES           2    3    4     5    6    7    8
                                        8/30-9/3 Teacher
     15   16   17 18 19       20   21   orientation week          9    10   11    12   13   14   15   18
     22   23   24 25 26       27   28   9/7 First day of school   16   17   18    19   20   21   22
     29   30   31                       10/15 No School           23   24   25    26   27   28   29
                                        11/11 Veteran’s Day       30   31                             1
               SEPTEMBER                11/25, 26 Thanksgiving            FEBRUARY
     S    M     T W T         F    S    12/20-1/3 Winter Break    S    M T W T              F    S
                   1  2       3    4                                      1  2  3           4    5
                                        1/17 Martin Luther King
     5    6     7  8  9       10   11   Jr. Day                   6    7  8  9  10          11   12   18
18   12   13    14 15 16      17   18   2/21 President’s Day      13   14 15 16 17          18   19
     19   20    21 22 23      24   25   2/22 No school            20   21 22 23 24          25   26
     26   27    28 29 30                3/28-4/1 Spring Break     27   28
                                        4/22 No school
               OCTOBER                  5/30 Memorial Day                     MARCH
                                        6/9 Graduation
     S    M    T W T          F    S                              S    M    T W T           F    S
                                        6/10 Last day of school
                              1    2                                        1   2  3        4    5
     3    4    5    6    7    8    9                              6    7    8   9  10       11   12
20   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   MINIMUM DAYS              13   14   15 16 17        18   19   19
     17   18   19   20   21   22   23      9:15 – 12:40           20   21   22 23 24        25   26
     24   25   26   27   28   29   30   11/24 Before holiday      27   28   29 30 31
                                        12/17 Before holiday
     31                                 1/28 End of semester
               NOVEMBER                 3/25 Before holiday                      APRIL
     S    M    T W T          F    S    6/10 Last day of school   S    M    T     W T       F    S
          1    2  3  4        5    6                                                        1    2
     7    8    9  10 11       12   13                             3    4    5     6    7    8    9
     14   15   16 17 18       19   20                             10   11   12    13   14   15   16   19
19   21   22   23 24 25       26   27                             17   18   19    20   21   22   23
     28   29   30                                                 24   25   26    27   28   29   30
                                        END OF QUARTERS
               DECEMBER                 Q1 – 11/5                                MAY
     S    M    T W T          F    S    S1 - 1/28                 S    M    T     W    T    F    S
                  1  2        3    4    Q3 – 4/8                  1    2    3     4    5    6    7
     5    6    7  8  9        10   11   S2 - 6/10                 8    9    10    11   12   13   14
13   12   13   14 15 16       17   18                             15   16   17    18   19   20   21   21
     19   20   21 22 23       24   25                             22   23   24    25   26   27   28
     26   27   28 29 30       31                                  29   30   31

                                                                              JUNE
                                                                  S    M    T  W T          F    S
                                                                               1   2        3    4
                                                                  5    6    7  8   9        10   11   8
                                                                  12   13   14 15 16        17   18
                                                                  19   20   21 22 23        24   25
                                                                  26   27   28 29 30




                                                                                                           69
APPENDIX H – FINANCIAL DATA




                              70

				
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