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High Schools That Work Technical Assistance Visit.ppt

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					            High Schools That Work
            Technical Assistance Visit




                       Furr High School
                   October 30 – November 1

Southern
Regional
Education
Board
My Personal Journey, and
 A Personal Invitation….
   SREB builds on strengths, using data
   SREB provides the framework, but Furr
    provides the individualization
   SREB allows staff members to connect to a
    network of similar schools who are trying
    research-based improvement initiatives
   SREB allows staff members to learn and grow
    professionally
   “The more you do, the more you CAN do.
    The more you enable your students to do,
    the higher your professional capacity is.”
What Does This Mean to Me?
            School Dynamics
 “I’m already doing my  “There are so many
  best, and being          challenges, it’s often
  successful with my       overwhelming.”
  students, so what’s in
  it for me?”             “The pressure of
                           TAKS is what drives
 “I just do my thing in   me most.”
  my classroom. I can’t
  control the entire      “If I can just get my
  school.”                 kids to graduate, I’ve
                           done my job.”
 “I’m too new at this
  to be expected to do  “I’ve been doing this
  everything.”             so long. I can’t
                           change.”
    Some progressive thoughts…
   If I join a focus group, maybe I’ll learn something useful
    and meet new colleagues.
   If I push my students to be lifelong learners, shouldn’t I
    be the same?
   Is there a better way out there?
   Using wise practices makes everyone wiser.
   I won’t allow myself to be the barrier to progress.
   The best and worst thing about teaching is that you can
    always learn more, do more, achieve more.
           The Furr Potential
Furr is…                 Furr can be…
 Caring and nurturing    Exemplary
 Innovative              Focused
 Intelligent             Successful for ALL
 Well-staffed             students
 Committed to            Setting the standard
  excellence               for research and wise
 Improving
                           practice
                          THE BEST!
           HSTW Technical
           Assistance Visit
   “Snapshot” as seen by those
    external to your school. The team:
    – Interviewed students, teachers, parents,
      administrators and others
    – Observed classrooms
    – Reviewed data and plans
    – Heard presentations
 Review of school and classroom
  practices
 Baseline data
 Use as a tool to further school
  improvement work
          Thank You

   Team Members
   Site Coordinator and Administrators
   Teachers and students
   The team wants to specifically recognize
    the students for their polite, positive
    attitudes. They were welcoming and
    undistracted by our presence.
           TAV Team Members

   Scott Warren             Saralyn Richard
   Rose Avalos              Martha Quijano
   Bena Kallick
   Robert Lann Perkins      Debra Rimmer-
   Lurlean Dixon             Majorca
   Robin Raibon             Willie Spencer
   Kevin McDonald           Jean Hall
            Components of theTAV Report

            • Promising Practices

            • Next Steps

            • Challenges and Action Steps

Southern
Regional
Education
Board
                        Promising Practice:
                    Increasing expectations and
                        providing extra help
            •   Daily objectives and student work were posted in most classrooms.
            •   In a state where athletics is often emphasized, the Furr “Super Stars” are
                prominently displayed in the main entrance in caps and gowns.
            •   Most teachers kept students involved in lessons, not permitting anyone to opt out.
            •   High expectations were evident in cosmetology and CAST classes, where math
                and science concepts were being taught.
            •   One teacher said, “I care about how many of my students complete college, not
                how many go. I try to give projects that require the high level work to prepare
                students for life.”
            •   Several high level lessons and assignments were observed, especially in the
                magnet school classes.
            •   Smart boards were in use in several classrooms.
            •   Furr has hired a new math teacher to pull out repeated failed students for test
                preparation tutorials during the second semester. One math teacher had tutorial
                times posted on his door, and an English teacher provides re-teaching and extra
                help during 6th period daily. Another math teacher invites students to use
                calculators and work on their homework in his classroom during lunch periods.
            •   The REACH program provides credit recovery opportunities, and several regular
Southern        teachers cross over to work with REACH students during the school day.
Regional    •   Life Skills students are given assistance in searching for jobs and writing resumes
                by an employment director.
Education   •   The 2006 TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) scores for Furr made
Board           AYP (adequate yearly progress). YAY!!!
                                   Promising Practice:
                Continuous review and revision of the academic
                  and career/tech curriculum to meet student
                                    needs
            •    The CAST program has an alliance with the American General Contractors
                 Association and an internship with Baylor University. Building trades classes
                 are receiving OSHA training for certification in December.
            •    The dual credit computer maintenance students are working toward A+
                 certification.
            •    Another dual credit course in math is offered in cooperation with Houston
                 Community College.
            •    The AVID program expectations and strategies are being used in ESL, PE, and
                 other classes.
            •    Coop students have jobs as Shell, Exxon, the Houston Chronicle, banks, and
                 other institutions.
            •    Literacy strategies, including the use of lexiles to evaluate reading materials
                 throughout the school, have resulted in eliminating textbooks in favor of a
                 standards-based curriculum, and the use of literature and poetry in the ESL
                 classes.
            •    Classes in Russian are producing students who are successfully competing at
                 the state level.
            •    An English teacher, who noticed his students were having difficulty
                 understanding humor in the written word, developed a unit in understanding
Southern         written humor, culminating in a project illustrating mastery of the concepts.
Regional    •    Two social studies teachers had students engaged in gubernatorial debates
                 and pictorial riddles of famous Americans.
Education   •    Daily journals were also required in several classes.
Board
                             Promising Practice:
            Several examples of students engaged in
                      challenging learning

             Interdisciplinary lessons
             There was an art-English integrated project in one classroom.
             CAST classes were planning to build a fountain on campus, using
             English and math in its creation. High level math formulas were in
             use. Students were competing with their various designs; the
             winning design will be used.
             One social studies class has no tests, only projects and essays. A
             student said, “We do real stuff in here, not book stuff.”
             There was an integrated BCIS-science-math project.

             Integration of technology
             Smart boards were in use in several classes of different disciplines.
             Social studies class was doing research reports in four stages. The
             final stage was a Power Point.
             Cosmetology class uses five computers.
             Some classes incorporated music, Power Points, movie clips in
Southern     student presentations.
Regional     One class used EdMark software as enrichment.
Education
Board
                             Promising Practice:
             Several examples of students engaged
               in challenging learning, continued
            Cooperative learning
             Lots of examples of students working in pairs/groups in English and
               science.
             AVID and REACH used common instructional practices.
             Social studies class used animated, interactive discussions.
             Life Skills teachers were giving excellent training in housekeeping
               tools, following directions, and controlling emotions.

            Advanced literacy and numeracy strategies across the curriculum
             Use of Cornell notes, graphic organizers, pictorial representations of
               concepts, timelines.
             World history class defined “paganism,” using literacy strategies.
             Social studies class presented pictorial clues to describe famous
               Americans, attempting to stump the class and teacher with riddles.
             Cosmetology students were required to do a daily journal related to
               a real-world setting.
Southern     High level assignments and assessments in English, plus
               commendations and recommendations for improvement.
Regional
             Debates about gubernatorial elections were held.
Education
             Advanced assignment and assessment in dance; students
Board          performed and interpreted at high levels.
                         Promising Practice:
                  Commitment to developing a
                Guidance and Advisement System
            Efforts are underway at FHS to improve guidance
               and advisement to meet the needs of students
               and their parents.
             FHS has a Go Center to encourage a college-bound
               culture.
             REACH assignments have career orientations.
             There is an ESL Parent Liaison who meets with
               parents, takes students to the Go Center, and advises
               students and parents about college matters.
             A second counselor and a college access coordinator
               have been hired to assist in creating a college-bound
               culture.
             Advocacy and Expedition sessions meet weekly to
               provide adult mentoring to students in mixed-grade
Southern       groups.
Regional
Education
Board
                   Promising Practice:
            Teachers have support of system of
                      school leaders
            School and district administration are providing quality leadership and support to
               improve student achievement.
             The leadership team participated in a mountain-climbing event in Colorado,
               from which came the school’s philosophy and mission statement.
             To provide support for an instructional focus and embed professional
               development, the administrative structure was reorganized from one principal
               and two assistant principals to a principal and a team of professionals with
               various tasks.
             Weekly book study creates common terminology and ideas.
             The bi-weekly academy meetings and tri-weekly PLC meetings provide
               opportunities for exchanges of ideas and common practices.
             The weekly gathering allows participants to reflect on specific topics, as well
               as to celebrate successes and reaffirm philosophy and goals.
             Principal appoints teachers to an Instructional Council, which meets to
               improve instruction in all classrooms.
             All leadership team members have been trained in and use Carolyn Downey’s
               reflective walkthrough strategies.
             There is a nurturing environment for teachers. Those struggling are given
               extensive help in lesson planning, classroom management, and other
Southern       professional development topics.
Regional     Board member expressed full support for any initiatives that would enhance
               student achievement at Furr.
Education
             Leadership team members expressed a willingness to work hard, work late,
Board          work on weekends, whatever it takes to “make Furr students soar.”
            Next Steps Planned by FHS

             Take advantage of professional development from David
              Ramirez on how to use data (INOVA).
             Build a Fine Arts magnet school for 2007-08.
             Investigate implementing the Project Lead the Way course
              sequence as a high level C/T program.
             Train teachers on more effective use of Smart Boards.
             Expand the use of Achieve 3000 program.
             Expand the AVID program strategies to include the entire
              school.
             Participate in SIOP training to improve student readiness
              for college-preparatory coursework.
             Develop leadership among staff members, including
Southern
              teacher-leaders and administrators, to improve support
Regional
              and sustainability of all school improvement initiatives.
Education
Board
              Challenge #1: To create a college-
             readiness culture for all students by
            raising academic expectations across
                         the school.

            Set a goal to have 85 percent of graduating students
            complete a solid academic core add higher-level courses,
            such as dual credit, pre-AP and AP courses;
            Revise course offerings to ensure that all courses prepare
            students for college and career success;
            Institutionalize the AVID ideals for all students, across all
            curricula;
            Implement a redo policy and a re-teach policy;
            Work through the College Access Coordinator to train
            teachers on college readiness checklists, writing
Southern    recommendations, conducting SAT preparation activities,
Regional
Education
            and preparing FAFSA and other financial aid forms.
Board
                Challenge #2: Engage students in
                    rigorous instruction in all
                          classrooms.
                Deepen the schoolwide literacy focus through the use of SREB
                 literacy goals and implement a school-wide plan for
                 improvement in literacy across the curriculum.
                Establish demonstration classrooms.
                Provide staff development in the areas of asking higher level
                 questions and cultivating higher level answers (Lynn Erickson’s
                 Structure of Knowledge, Socratic seminar, project-based
                 learning, and integration of academic and vocational
                 instruction).
                Continue to provide lesson planning training for those who need
                 it.
                Have all teachers present their best lessons at department and
                 PLC meetings on a rotating schedule.
                Set expectations for follow-up use of staff development
                 strategies.
Southern
Regional
Education
Board
            Challenge #3: Create an improved
            guidance and advisement system,
               including a comprehensive
              counseling/guidance system.
             Create a true developmental counseling program in
              which counselors and advocates:
                Create four- to six-year plans and personal graduation
                 plans,
                Involve parents in student course planning and selection,
                Host college and career fairs during the school day, and
                Create a program of study booklet that articulates broad
                  career concentrations and courses students should take to
                  meet business and industry standards.
             Make broader use of the Bridges career exploration
              software.
             Consider making Furr an SAT and ACT test site.
             Refine the advocacy/expedition program to concentrate
Southern
              on college/career readiness, including a parent
Regional
              involvement component.
Education
Board
              Challenge #4: Improve the academy
             structure by upgrading academics and
                 career/technical components.

             Use surveys and community input to refine the academy
              structure to fit the size of the school and the needs of the
              students.

             Reorganize leadership around the new academy format
              to ensure that each has an instructional leader,
              counselor, disciplinarian.

             Adopt new kinds of career/technical (CT) programs, such
              as Project Lead the Way, that challenge students with
              rigorous academics and a career focus.

             Require every student to complete four courses in either
Southern      a math-science, a humanities, or a career/technical
Regional      concentration.
Education
Board
             Challenge #5: Create an intervention
            program for extra help for all students,
             particularly for seniors failing TAKS.
             Create a systematic plan for continous re-teaching
              and redoing of work to meet standards, making sure
              the emphasis is on acceleration rather than
              remediation.

             Consider an embedded extra help period within the
              school day in an effort to make additional instruction
              mandatory.

             Investigate the use of online assistance programs,
              content-area study teams, a mastery approach to
Southern      algebra providing variable learning time, and use of
Regional      community tutoring programs.
Education
Board
               Challenge #6: Continue working to
                 create an effective ninth-grade
                       transition program.
             Designate an administrator and counselor to focus
              solely on the needs of freshmen.

             Support ninth-graders with effective orientation,
              including tours during the eighth grade year,
              welcoming newsletters describing the freshman
              opportunities and teaching staff (also produced in
              Spanish), peer tutors, upperclass mentors, and a
              strong advocacy curriculum.

             Consider reinstating summer bridge programs, and
              double periods of English and mathematics for those
              who may need extra time.
Southern
             Select a team of English and math teachers to
Regional
              participate in SREB’s 9th grade transition course
Education
              training in the summer of 2007, implementing the
Board         courses in Fall, 2007.
          Summary of Challenges
   The overriding challenge for FHS is to create a college-
    readiness culture for all students by raising academic
    expectations across the school.

 To engage students in rigorous instruction in all
  classrooms.
 To create an improved guidance and advisement system,
  including a comprehensive counseling/guidance system.
 To improve the academy structure by upgrading
  academics and career/technical programs.
 To create an intervention program for extra help for all
  students, particularly for seniors who have failed TAKS.
 To continue to create a ninth-grade transition program.
      What’s Next?

 Review all data including TAV
  report
 Establish teacher focus teams
 Use your data to select and
  prioritize action steps
 Develop/integrate new three-
  year action plans and get
  faculty support
    – Steps
    – Interim Timelines and
      Benchmarks
    – Resources
Working Together to Make Furr
  Soar (make the Furr fly)!
    Many resources, one goal
      – TAV Team
      – Texas High School Project
      – SREB and High Schools That Work
        Network
      – Latest research on wise practices
      – Dedicated and enthusiastic faculty and
        staff at Furr
      – Parents and community who support
        improvement
      – Above all, students who deserve
        our very best efforts!
            TAV Team Appreciation and Support

            The Technical Assistance Team wishes to thank you
             for your hospitality, cooperation, and helpfulness
                     during the site visit. THANK YOU!




            Support:
            Dr. Simmons, Principal
            Mr. Serenil and Ms. Wiggins, Asst. Principals
            Ms. Whitford, School Improvement Facilitator
            Ms. Borzon, Literacy Coach
            Mr. Sondhi, College Access Coordinator
Southern
            Department Chairs and PLC Facilitators
Regional    Counselors, Title I Coordinator
Education   Ms. Avalos, THSP Program Manager
Board       Ms. Richard, THSP School Improvement Consultant
            Saralyn Richard
            School Improvement Consultant




             Contact information:

              Phone: (409)744-2811
              Fax: (409)740-1533
              Email: saralyn.richard@sreb.org
Southern
Regional
Education
Board

				
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