BRSE Newsletter Vol 2 Number 23 by marciajenkinsgreene

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									                                              Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence
                                                                                Inside The Blueprint of Excellence
                                              Network of Best Practices Newsletter                          Volume 2, Number 23, April 2012

                              From the Desk of
                                                                                         In This Issue:
                                  Bart Teal                                              ❖   Spotlight on White Knoll High School
                                                                                         ❖   Photos from the Reading Institute
  Our dreams and visions are being realized as
  documented in our Institute with the Reading                                           External Links:
  School District last week in Reading,                                                  ❖   Cathy Giles School Improvement Video
  Massachusetts, near Boston. Our focus on
  young people took center stage as students
                                                                                         ❖   Dr. David Walsh’s Research
  were featured in musical performances, artwork                                         ❖   Dr. Warren Phillips Research
  displays, and classroom activities.                                                    ❖Disney Student Leadership Institute Event
  Outstanding educators from Massachusetts and
  neighboring states shared their Best Practices                                         ❖Disney Student Leadership Institute Hotel
  and Programs that Work with conference                                                 Reservations
  participants. These were educators who are
  making a major difference in their schools and
  classrooms. Our plans are to increase and
                                                                                                    Schedule Your Assessment Now
  continue sharing Best Practices with conference
  participants; our mission is to improve                                                         What: Blueprint for Excellence School
  opportunities for all children.                                                                         Improvement Model

                                                          Why: Receive an Action Plan consisting of
  One of our key purposes of the Reading
  Institute is to provide educators an opportunity      identified areas of improvement while gaining
  to visit schools and observe outstanding              access to proven policies, procedures and the
  teaching practices in classrooms.  These schools    Blueprint for Excellence Network of Educators that
  are eager to share their teaching techniques            fosters continuous growth year after year.
  with participants and our gracious host,      
  Reading Public Schools, has a desire to
  continue improvement in search of excellence.
  An example is a video of Cathy Giles describing how she has improved her school.  A link to that video
  is available on this page.

  Dr. David Walsh, keynote speaker and international best selling author, provided educators with brain-
  based research on how students learn plus a series of strategies developed for parents and teachers.
  Dr. Warren Phillips, Disney National Teacher and one of Massachusetts’s own exemplary teachers, also
  shared instructional techniques using brain-based research.

  We are thrilled to be able to share Best Practices and Programs that Work over New England and plan
  to continue sharing and inviting other districts in our outreach.

                                                                                                                            Ba! Teal

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School

               Programs That Contribute to Making White Knoll High School
                          a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School
        Literacy as a Priority for All Students                                      doing model lessons with students. If
                                                                                     teachers, parents, or guidance counselors
  At White Knoll High, literacy is not a                                             are concerned about a student’s ability to
“program;” it is a culture. It is an infusion                                        comprehend text, the Literacy Coach is
of best practices for literacy instruction into                                      able to assess the student’s comprehension
highly functioning classrooms. Teachers                                              and recommend steps to help the student.
understand that literacy is a complex set of                                         The Literacy Coach also pulls individuals as
abilities used to comprehend texts -- print                                          well as small groups of students to work
as well as electronic, both alphabetic and                                           with them on reading and writing
numeric. All classrooms have classroom                                               strategies. Teachers, students and staff all
libraries for student use. Teachers,                                                 work together to make literacy an integral
students, and staff members are                                                      part of the fabric of White Knoll High.
encouraged to read at least twenty-five
books each year. Those reaching their                                                 Professional Development within a High-
goals are acknowledged and rewarded.                                                       Performance Learning Cultural
Teachers participate in online recreational
and professional book studies. The                                                     Professional development is the backbone
administration values literacy so highly that                                        of support for he successes seen at White
the decision has been made to dedicate                                               Knoll High School. The key to our
one English teaching position as a Literacy                                          successful use of professional development
Coach to work with all teachers to                                                   is the fact that it is consistent, meaningful
advance student literacy skills. Many                                                and in manageable segments. Weekly 45-
content area teachers have worked with                                               minute small group sessions during the
the Literacy Coach to develop text sets to                                           school day allow us to introduce new
enhance students’ deep knowledge of                                                  concepts. Following these introductory
content. The Literacy Coach is always                                                sessions, teachers have time to implement
available to help teachers plan lessons and                                          new strategies and then return for added
evaluate resources and to support them by                                            support. In every possible case,
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School
                                                                                           they work in small group sessions to
                                                                                           constructively analyze these assessments,
                                                                                           teachers have been able to improve
                                                                                           student learning. This is most notably
                                                                                           evident in our English 1 End-of-Course test
                                                                                           scores. We teach our students the
                                                                                           importance of life-long learning every day.
                                                                                           We would be remiss if we did not continue
                                                                                           the habits of life long learning among our
                                                                                           teachers as well.

                                                                                                 Award Winning Guidance Program

                                                                                             The school counselors at White Knoll
                                                                                           High School are committed to offering a
                                                                                           data-driven, comprehensive, and
                                                                                           developmental guidance program. Needs
                                                                                           assessments are conducted to pinpoint the
                                                                                           needs of students, parents, and faculty.
                                                                                           Counselors also review school data to
professional development is led jointly by                                                 support the findings of the needs
administrators and classroom teachers.                                                     assessments and determine additional
Rather than the “Sage on the Stage,”                                                       areas of concern.
practical demonstrations and examples are                                                    One initiative of the WKHS counseling
used during these sessions. It is our goal to                                              department is meeting individually with all
provide meaningful instruction by which                                                    1900+ students and their parents. These
students can learn and grow into                                                           meetings allow counselors to establish a
productive citizens. Of particular focus to                                                personal connection with each student.
us is quality, standards-based instruction.                                                They discuss academic standing and
Through both regular professional                                                          progress, review test scores, identify a
development and collaboration in                                                           course of study, plan for life after high
Professional Learning Communities, our                                                     school, and answer student questions. In
teachers have the opportunity to analyze                                                   addition to meeting individually with
standards, create common assessments and                                                   students and their parents, school
modify instructional practices based on                                                    counselors conduct classroom guidance
student performance. This is not possible                                                  and offer small-group counseling based on
when working in isolation. When teachers                                                   concerns expressed through the needs
are given the tools for creating meaningful,                                               assessment.
standards-based assessments and when                                                         Because of the counseling department’s
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School
c o m m i t m e n t t o s e l f - eva l u a t i o n a n d                                  Counselors assist the students and parents
continuous improvement, they have twice                                                    in narrowing the student’s career choice to
been recognized by the American School                                                     a particular Cluster of Study and
Counselor Association as a model                                                           eventually to a specific Major. The process
program- the first high school in South                                                     is intended to help the student focus on
Carolina to receive this honor.                                                            developing skills and knowledge that will
                                                                                           assist him/her in being ready for a career
                 Career Majors and Individual                                              and/or higher education. At no point is
                      Graduation Plans                                                     the student locked into a path that cannot
                                                                                           be changed if he/she learns that his/her
  At WKHS a comprehensive district wide                                                    ambitions have changed.
Curriculum Framework includes the
following elements: Schools of Study,                                                            Integration of Technology into the
Clusters of Study, Majors, and an                                                                      Instructional Program
Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) for each
student. There are five schools of study in                                                   Personal mobile computing has come to
our framework. Those five schools of study                                                  every student and certified staff member at
include sixteen career clusters. The sixteen                                               White Knoll High School this year.
clusters include more than thirty career                                                   Students and teachers were all issued iPads
majors. The IGP process begins at the                                                      in the fall of 2011. The iPads have served
middle school level and continues                                                          as tools to supports learning and help
throughout high school as students and                                                     students acquire the 21st century skills of
parents select a school of study that                                                      creativity, collaboration, communication,
the student would like to                                                                  and critical thinking. In addition to iPads,
pursue.                                                                                    every classroom is equipped with a
                                                                                           projector, a document camera, a voice

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School
projection device for the teacher, and an
Airliner tablet that teachers and/or
students can use to project their writing
onto the classroom screen.
Every teacher also has a phone in the
classroom to facilitate contact with parents
and the main office. Student grades and
attendance as well as daily classroom
assignments and lesson plans are
available to parents through a web-based
program. To assist teachers in making
the most of our available technology
tools, White Knoll employs a full-time
Technology Integration Specialist, an
experienced certified teacher who
takes a leadership role in identifying
and implementing best practices
related to the infusion of
technology into the curriculum as
well as providing training sessions
on software, Web 2.0 tools, and Apps for
teachers and students. This staff position is
key to the successful integration of
technology into daily instruction at WKHS.
                                                                                           spending half the school day studying
        Innovative World Language Program                                                  science and math taught in a language
                                                                                           other than English. To prepare for students
  WKHS is part of an innovative district                                                   of this caliber, our world language
with the goal that by 2020 75% of district                                                 teachers are working collaboratively to
graduates will be multilingual. Because of                                                 develop a portfolio approach to language
this goal, our students are coming to us                                                   study. Their focus is moving more and and
with language skills that far exceed those                                                 more toward authentic assessments and
of their predecessors. Many of our                                                         what they refer to as “Can Do” statements.
students will have been studying a                                                         Using this approach, students gain credit
language other than English since fifth                                                     for the skills they are able to demonstrate
grade. In the future we will be getting                                                    in the target language. WKHS offers
students who have been part of a                                                           courses in Spanish, French, German, and
language immersion program since                                                           Latin with the possibility of studying
kindergarten. In that program they are                                                     Mandarin Chinese on a nearby campus.
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School
               Interventions Designed to Meet                                              used at WKHS to meet the individual needs
                      Individual Needs                                                     of students is the hiring of a high school
                                                                                           interventionist. The high school
  Educators at WKHS are dedicated to                                                       interventionist provides individualized
doing “whatever it takes” to meet the                                                      services throughout White Knoll High
needs of all our students. In an effort to                                                 School. Student, faculty, staff, and parents
make educational support available to all                                                  rely on the high school interventionist to
students, including those who do not have                                                  keep students on track for graduation.
after school transportation, we have built                                                 Interacting daily with students, the high
in a time during the school day to provide                                                 school interventionist helps design
academic assistance to all students whether                                                programs that fit the individual needs of a
they are falling behind, are right on track,                                               variety of students.
or need a challenge to stretch themselves                                                    One of the tools that the interventionist
further. That time is called Prime Time. It is                                             uses is an online curriculum called Apex
a 30-minute block of time set aside daily                                                  Learning. This online curriculum is used to
for teachers to work with struggling                                                       recover and extend learning in ways that
students, to provide make-up work for                                                      are uniquely designed for the type of
those who have missed days, or to stretch                                                  service needed. The newest delivery
the thinking of students who have fully                                                    method is the in-school Apex lab. The lab
grasped class content. Over the course of                                                  serves students who have failed a course
a week, each student gets 30 minutes of                                                    needed for graduation. Rather than
Prime Time for each block of the school                                                    retaking the course in a traditional
day.                                                                                       classroom setting, students take a credit
 Another strategy                                                                          recovery version of the course in Apex.
                                                                                           The lab runs all day, all four blocks.
                                                                                           Students are scheduled into the lab just as
                                                                                           they are scheduled into any other class.
                                                                                            The high school interventionist monitors
                                                                                             and provides instruction in that lab for
                                                                                              students just as a teacher would. To meet
                                                                                               seat time and curriculum requirements,
                                                                                                students must attend the whole term.
                                                                                                   In addition to the in-school lab, there
                                                                                                  is a similar after-school option. APEX
                                                                                                   is also available for teachers to
                                                                                                   assign specific units for students who
                                                                                           are falling behind or need extra support in
                                                                                           a specific class.

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School
         Nationally Recognized Career and                                                        DECA - an association of marketing,
       Technology Education (CATE) Program                                                          entrepreneurship, and management
  The Career and Technology Education                                                            FBLA - Future Business Leaders
program at White Knoll High School is                                                               of America
designed to provide high school students                                                         HOSA - an association of Health
an opportunity to pursue a sequential                                                               Science students
technical and academic program of study                                                          SkillsUSA - an association of students
leading to advancement in a career field.                                                            enrolled in architecture and
Our main goal for all students is for them                                                          engineering programs
to be successful citizens, workers and
leaders in a global economy.                                                                       The Center for Public Health and
  The Career and Technology Education                                                                 Advanced Medical Studies
program at White Knoll High School
consists of the following programs of study:                                                 The Center for Public Health and
Business, Marketing, Computer                                                              Advanced Medical Studies is a three-year,
Technology, Entrepreneurship, Virtual                                                      six-semester program in which students
Enterprise, Architecture, Engineering,                                                     spend                   two blocks each
Media Technology, Health Science, and                                                                               semester of their
our new Center for                                                                                                   sophomore
Public Health and                                                                                                     through senior
Advanced Medical                                                                                                       years exploring
Studies.                                                                                                               the exciting and
  Student organizations                                                                                                 challenging
are an integral part of                                                                                                 worlds of public
each one of the                                                                                                          health and
programs listed above.                                                                                                   medicine.
The following student
organizations are
considered co-curricular
and students are
encouraged to participate
in leadership activities and
display their skills in competitive events at
the local, state, and international levels.
The student organizations supported at
White Knoll High School include:

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                           Spotlight on White Knoll High School
This program is available to students across                                                            Virtual Enterprise
Lexington School District One. It is
designed to meet the needs of students                                                       Virtual Enterprise is an exciting course in
who are interested in preparing for careers                                                which each student has an opportunity to
in public health and medical professions                                                   run a “virtual” business on a day-to-day
that require a four-year degree or beyond.                                                 basis. The business offers products,
  All Center coursework is at the Honors or                                                services or both. Student employees create
Advanced Placement level and is designed                                                   a business of their choice and then sell
to give students local, state, national, and                                               their wares or services to other students
global perspectives relating to the                                                        within the Virtual Enterprise International
prevention and treatment of illness and                                                    network (consisting of over 500 firms
disease. Most courses come with college                                                    nation-wide.) As a member of the firm,
credit availability for high performing                                                    employees fill either management or staff
students. Courses that do not carry                                                        positions in the areas of accounting/
college credit are modeled after freshman                                                  finance, marketing (sales and promotions),
level courses at local four-year universities.                                             web design, human resources, and
  The Center is dedicated to graduating                                                    administration. Students are also taught
knowledgeable, high-quality students who                                                   personal finance as they receive a weekly
are 21st century learners capable of                                                       paycheck and are responsible for their
thinking critically to solve problems in the                                               own individual accounting of their
fields of public health, medical research,                                                  expenses.
and advanced medical studies.

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                                     Highlights From Reading Institute

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

 Blueprint For Excellence School Improvement Model

                                           Student Support                                           School Organization
                                                and Focus                                            and Culture

 Challenging Standards                                                                                        Active Teaching
        and Curriculum                                                                                        and Learning

                        Technology                                                                              Professional
                         Integration                                                                            Community

                    Leadership and                                                                         School, Family, and
                 Educational Vitality                                                                      Community Partnerships

                                                                                     Indicators of

   The Blueprint for Excellence is designed to be a positive school improvement
    process that covers nine major categories of critical performance elements
  found in excellent schools. This process allows a school’s own stakeholders to
   assess the school’s performance and design program improvement initiatives
                      focused on the results of the assessment.

                                                       Click here to schedule an Assessment

                                 Read on for a Description of the Nine Critical Performance Areas
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

                                                       Nine Critical Performance Areas
Student Focus and Support                                                  Professional Community                     deviation above the mean on norm-
  Goals and objectives flow from the                                          The school recognizes the vital role     referenced tests). Criterion reference
school’s vision and student needs,                                         continuous professional development        tests and other achievement measures
and reflect high aspirations for all                                        plays in achieving the school’s            support that high levels of learning
students. The school strives for and                                       mission. The school has developed a        are achieved. Illustrations show how
achieves excellence and equity. A                                          culture that encourages teachers,          assessment data have been used to
cohesive and integrated network of                                         administrators, and school staff to        improve practice and to promote
programs, co-curricular activities, and                                    work together as members of a              student learning. Factors that can
services has been implemented to                                           professional community, supporting         have a negative effect on school
support the full spectrum of students in                                   each other in the improvement of           climate (e.g., high absenteeism,
achievement of the goals and                                               student learning. Professional growth      serious discipline problems) have
objectives of the school. The staff has                                    and development, both inside and           been minimized. Significant data are
aligned curriculum and put in place                                        outside the school walls, is continuous    shared with the community, parents,
strategies to ensure successful                                            and thoughtfully planned, based on         and students concerning the outcomes
transitions of students entering the                                       analysis of data on student and            of the school’s programs and
school and transitioning to other                                          faculty needs, and is integral to          offerings.
schools. Examples of and                                                   implementing new school initiatives
participation rates in programs and                                        and/or changes in curriculum. Formal       Leadership and Educational Vitality
services provide evidence that the                                         and informal support is provided to          Dynamic leadership engages the
school is committed to doing whatever                                      beginning and experienced teachers.        school and community in continuous
it takes to ensure student success.                                        Staff members are given opportunities      school improvement focused on
                                                                           for leadership and recognition.            student learning and based on vision,
                                                                           Finally, teachers, administrators, and     data, knowledge of research,
School Organization and Culture
                                                                           support staff are provided with the        effective practice, and continuous
  The school culture exemplifies a                                          time and opportunity to reflect on
caring community of learners that                                                                                     monitoring and assessment that has
                                                                           what is working and to change what         resulted in high levels of student
supports continuous learning and                                           is no longer effective.
improvement flowing from student-                                                                                      achievement and implementation of
focused goals. Examples document                                                                                      comprehensive plans to meet current
that members are engaged in                                                School, Family, and Community              and future challenges.
collective inquiry, reflection, and                                         Partnerships
responsible decision-making about                                            A pattern of actions taken by the        Technology Integration
learning. Hiring and assignment of                                         school demonstrates commitment to            School utilizes technology in an
staff, opportunities for students to                                       and recognition of the important role      effective, efficient manner by
build sustained and caring                                                 that families, partnerships, and           incorporating the National Education
relationships with adults, a healthy                                       community play in supporting               Technology Standards for all students:
peer climate among students, and the                                       learning. The school has implemented       Basic Operations and Concepts;
existence of a safe positive                                               strategies (e.g., services that meet the   Social, Ethical, and Human Issues;
environment demonstrate that this                                          needs of families, parent conferences,     Technology Productivity Tools;
school is focused on the welfare and                                       meeting schedules that facilitate          Technology Communication Tools;
continuous achievement of all students                                     parent participation, and methods for      Technology Research Tools; and
and staff.                                                                 promoting two-way communication            Technology Problem-Solving and
                                                                           that are effective in involving parents    Decision-Making Tools.
Active Teaching and Learning                                               from all segments of the community in
                                                                           supporting their children’s education.
  There is clear and compelling                                            Examples illustrate how the school has     Challenging Standards and Curriculum
evidence that there is purposeful                                                                                       The curriculum is rationally designed
                                                                           successfully engaged the educational
decision-making governing all aspects                                                                                 to ensure high levels of achievement
                                                                           resources of the community, families,
of the teaching and learning                                                                                          of the school’s goals and objectives
                                                                           and other partners to support
program. There is a discernible link                                                                                  by all students. These goals and
                                                                           educational goals and provided
between instructional strategies and                                       reciprocal benefits.                        objectives include learning of
student achievement. Teaching                                                                                         significant content by all students, and
practices and learning experiences                                                                                    citizenship, interpersonal, and
reflect current research on cognition,                                      Indicators of Success
                                                                                                                      workplace skills. The curriculum is
teaching, and learning. An                                                   Based on multiple indicators,            based on knowledge of effective
abundance of technology, print, and                                        students have consistently achieved        practice, and the nature of the student
media resources is available to all                                        high academic standards. On norm-          body; programs, and curricula are
students and staff to ensure that                                          referenced tests, the students score at    consistently implemented, and are
educational goals and student needs                                        least one standard deviation above         regularly monitored, evaluated, and
are met.                                                                   the mean. Or, the school has               improved. Students are meeting
                                                                           provided evidence of significant            rigorous standards for promotion
                                                                           improvement in student achievement         and/ or graduation.
                                                                           over time (at least one standard

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	

  Blueprint for Excellence School Improvement Model
                                                                                     The Blueprint for Excellence can help your school determine how well
                                                                                     it is doing in nine areas of critical performance that research says
                                                                                     leads to educational excellence.

                                                                                     This comprehensive school assessment can guide the creation of a
                                                                                     school-wide action plan that includes measurable student achievement
                                                                                     and, potentially, can result in the honor of receiving the Blue Ribbon
                                                                                     Lighthouse School Award, which celebrates schools that excel in all
                                                                                     nine performance areas.

                                                                                     The Blueprint for Excellence is the brainchild of Blue Ribbon Schools
                                                                                     of Excellence, Inc., an organization of seasoned education
                                                                                     professionals with many years of experience in identifying schools of
                                                                                     excellence for federal agencies at the national level. These individuals
                                                                                     have dedicated their lives to immersing themselves in the finest quality
                                                                                     research on school excellence.

                                                                                     Their understanding of the components that accumulate to form a first-
                                                                                     class, high performing school has led them to create a challenging,
                                                                                     online self evaluation tool that schools can use to compare their
                                                                                     practices to the very best — to identify their strengths and

   What’s Happening at Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence
How is your school really doing?
Blueprint for Excellence School Improvement Process
How to become a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Professional Development Course Offerings

Upcoming Events
August 1-4, 2012 - BRSE Summer Student Leadership Institute Event Registration, Walt Disney World, Florida
Registration is Live
August 1-4, 2012 - BRSE Summer Student Leadership Institute Hotel Reservations, Walt Disney World, Florida
Registration is Live
December 4-8, 2012 - Blueprint for Excellence Conference Event Registration, Walt Disney World, Florida
Registration is Live

                                    Stay Connected to the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Network

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter | Volume 2, Number 23 | April 2012	


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