44 by dineshkollam


									California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

                      Section III – School Programs and Processes
Theme 1 – Standards, Assessment, and Accountability: Vision, Leadership, and School
Planning How does your school focus on meeting the needs of all students, including those
who are not yet proficient and those who have not yet passed the California High School Exit
Examination (CAHSEE), and carefully monitor the effectiveness of all school programs?
“Scores will rise as instruction improves.” This belief is the distinguishing characteristic of
Waterford High School. This is the reason professional educators from all over California visit
our classrooms; and, is the driving force behind our professional development. At WHS,
student success is not ambiguous; rather it can be clearly defined, as it is in our WASC self-
study and action plan (2004 - 2005). As noted in the WASC document and posted on our web
page, there are Five Pillars on which WHS has been established. Our first pillar is pursuing
excellence. This pillar declares that we expect our students to gain countywide and
statewide recognition for measurable growth on mandated assessments. Our Single
Plan for Student Achievement codifies detailed achievement goals. For example, 85% of 10th
graders will pass the English Language Arts and Mathematics portions of the CAHSEE on their
first attempt, by 2007.

For the first three years of our existence Waterford High School operated under the Waterford
Unified School District mission statement. This statement provided a solid base for our
practices but did not reflect our unique purpose. So under the direction of the WASC
leadership team, we partnered with our parent/community committee and WASC focus groups
to write our own mission. We discussed what excellence means and how it could be defined
and measured. We determined that the proof of excellence would be measured in improved
instructional practices, more efficient operations and ultimately in higher student achievement.

Beyond this, the same groups helped us re-establish our Five Pillars with new language and
together we committed to a set of assumptions, beliefs and values. What makes our product
unique is that we openly assert that all students will improve using objective measures, and
we expect to be held accountable. Each year, we re-visit our mission, pillars and beliefs with
parent advisory groups, staff and the School Site Council which includes students. The
outcome data is shared with these groups. The SSC commits to developing goals that reflect
our pursuit of excellence, mandating achievement and promoting professional development
designed to improve instruction.

In the WASC self-study, teachers at WHS committed to all other stakeholders that they would
improve their delivery of instruction, and by doing so provide greater opportunity for all
students to succeed (WASC pg. 26). We also committed to developing intervention programs
during the school day to aid all struggling students, and we put in place a mandatory CAHSEE
preparation program geared to promote student readiness for the exam. In 2002, 29% of 10th
graders passed the CAHSEE math test, and 48% passed the CAHSEE ELA test. In
comparison, in 2006, 85% passed the CAHSSE math test and 82% passed the CAHSEE
ELA test on their first attempt.

We believe in our mission, embrace our vision and “walk our talk.” We communicate our
progress through newsletters, the web-page, and presentations to advisory groups. Through
these strategies the community is kept well aware of our challenges and our successes. The
School Site Council approves the goals for student achievement and our commitment to
California Department of Education                       2007 Distinguished High School Application

improving the educational program and the delivery of instruction. Modifications to the
educational program are based on the principle of pursuing excellence as measured by
student achievement. Parents and community members participate on “exit interview
panels,” that review student work and evaluate our commitment to instructional excellence.

Excellence is pursued on many fronts. For instance, time is considered a resource for
excellence and is allocated according to an alternating-block schedule; strategic
interventions have been developed in core areas to assist struggling students; and, the
homeroom period has evolved into a powerful instructional program designed to prepare
students to pass the CAHSEE.

Our commitment to improve student achievement requires that we routinely analyze and
review student outcomes. The California Standards Test (CST) data for Waterford High
School are disaggregated by the principal and provided to our faculty, parents and advisory
groups for analysis. We also supply these groups with the data of surrounding high schools,
the county and the state to provide meaningful perspective and context for the review. We
demonstrate to the stakeholder where we stand as a high school as compared to others and
where we commit to improve. In 2002, WHS had a base Academic Performance Index of 475,
the lowest for high schools in Stanislaus County. In 2006, WHS had a growth API of 760, the
highest for high schools in five (5) contiguous counties. The community has enjoyed
witnessing the sustained improvement made during the past four years.

One dramatic aspect of our improvement is the effects that data-driven program and
instructional decisions have had on the achievements of our various sub-populations. In each
year of our existence, our students have achieved the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO’s)
as established by the No Child Left Behind Act. The committees that helped write the WASC
self-study indicated that closing the performance gaps between student populations was a
“critical area of academic need.” The data indicated that the 2002 API for Latino students was
(410), and the API for White not-Hispanic students was (535). Four years and several
program decisions later, the 2006 API indicates that Latinos scored (720), and WNH students
scored (795). The performance of both groups has risen significantly; moreover, the
performance gap has decreased from 125 points to only 75 points!

The AYP data that documents student proficiency on the Annual Measurable Objectives
(AMO) is similarly impressive. In 2003, the percent of 10th grade students achieving
proficiency on the CAHSEE was:
                               ELA                   Math
Latino                         20.4%                 14.2%
White Not-Hispanic             34.0%                 29.7%
In 2006, the percent of 10th grade students achieving proficiency on the CAHSEE was:
                               ELA                   Math
Latino                         42.0%                 44.9%
White Not-Hispanic             71.1%                 68.4%
Both sub-populations have more than doubled their proficiency rate! We attribute this
directly to our CAHSEE intervention and our overall instructional program.

Improved student achievement is our goal; and, pursuing excellence is a guiding principle.
Program decisions therefore become a process of analyzing outcome data, reviewing current

California Department of Education                        2007 Distinguished High School Application

research or best practices and implementing a corresponding action. Two examples of how
this process has worked are:

(1) WHS students were underperforming in Algebra. Fewer students were achieving
“proficiency” on the end-of-course exam than was occurring statewide; this was true for all
student populations. The math department reviewed the current research suggesting that non-
proficient students would benefit from a strategic intervention course taken concurrently with
the core (Pechin). The department developed an Algebra support class and submitted it to the
principal and the director of curriculum and sought input from external evaluators. The class
was implemented in 2005-2006. Students were placed in the class according to an analysis of
their individual CST results. The percent of proficient students rose from 7% to 33% (2005
& 2006 STAR). Special Education and EL departments witnessed the success of the program
and collaboratively modified support in 2006 – 2007 so that the RSP and EL students receive
more focused assistance in Algebra support classes designed specifically for them.
Furthermore, the success garnered wider appreciation, and support classes have been
established for Geometry, freshmen and sophomore English, and English Learners enrolled in
the English core course.

(2) In 2002, an independent review of our instructional practices indicated that time-on-task
was not being optimized. In fact the data declared that the effective use of time was 65%.
This meant that out of every classroom hour, just 39 minutes was instructional, leaving 21
minutes as non-instructional. Based on this information, teachers and administrators,
determined to improve the situation by monitoring the bell-to-bell use of instructional time in
our classes. The following year the effective use of time rose to 85% (RSDSS SWIPS 2003).
More importantly, student achievement on the API rose from 475 to 562. The realization
that student achievement could rise as instruction improved hit home! WHS then pursued the
improved delivery of instruction, initially through the Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) model
promoted by DataWorks, Inc., but ultimately through the development of our own instructional
norms. These norms are posted in every room and form the basis of our professional

Pursuing excellence is an ongoing process, requiring annual review of our mission, beliefs
and values. This year we are advancing our mission through “professional community.”
Each time the faculty gathers there is time set aside for group discussion. During these
professional dialogues current educational issues are discussed; we also reflect on the status
and implementation of our five (5) Pillars. Additionally, we consider what works well at WHS
and what needs to be changed. Morale is high because we believe in what we do and the
data can affirm our efforts.

The emphasis on implementation of standards began with the DataWorks mantra, “Grade level
standards everyday.” At WHS this is achieved through an unrelenting focus on instructional
norms. (See: Theme 4.) The site principal believed in the focus on instruction to the point
where he received professional development and then modeled lessons in front of the staff.
He sought and earned the highest level of certification in direct instruction through the
Regional System of District and School Support. Moreover, he collaborated with faculty and
together they revised the evaluation/observation form so that it matches the instructional
norms and provides meaningful feedback on instructional delivery.

California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

Theme 2 – Standards, Assessment, and Accountability: Standards and Assessment
How is student assessment organized as a system and how does student assessment frame
instruction for all students, including those who are not yet proficient and those who have not
yet passed the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)?

Before students attend their first day of school at Waterford High, the analysis of their
academic data is in full swing. Performance on 7th and 8th grade CST exams have been
analyzed and used to determine course and intervention placements. For English Learners
(EL), incoming CELDT scores, CST results, fluency levels and course grades provide the
information that assists in determining which level of language development they will receive.
This process of assessing and analyzing data continues throughout each student’s four year
experience. Often, students’ courses are adjusted mid-year, even when the master schedule
has to be changed to accomplish this.

Before the start of the school year the faculty receive the newly released STAR data,
disaggregated by sub-populations, gender and ethnicity, and with accompanying longitudinal
data to determine how our students have performed over time. The CST data of regional high
schools, the county and the state are also provided to give the teachers perspective of how
their students perform compared to students elsewhere. The staff and administration establish
goals for the upcoming school year; each year the percent of students scoring at or above the
proficient level is expected to rise. For instance, the goal this year is to have 60% of the
students in Biology reach proficiency, compared to 47% in 2006. Moreover, the Single Plan for
Student Achievement articulates performance goals as they relate to the Annual Progress
Report (API & AYP), specifically identifying passing-rate targets for the CAHSEE.

From the first day of school, students are faced with concrete standards-aligned learning
objectives that will be taught and measured. Assessments are used to determine to what
extent the standards have been mastered and to what extent they need to be re-taught. The
3rd Pillar of Waterford High School states that, “The mission [of WHS] is advanced through
data-driven decisions…” assessments provide the data. The 4th Pillar states that, “The
California Content Standards are embraced when seeking and developing curriculum and
when preparing well-crafted lessons.” The importance of frequently and accurately assessing
students in relation to the content standards, and communicating the results to the parents,
students and teachers, is essential to determining whether or not we are achieving our
purpose. There are several examples to consider:
     Through a process facilitated by WestEd, essential content standards were established
        for the core content areas.
     The mathematics department promotes assessments by requiring that each student
        achieve proficiency on each standard in order to achieve a grade higher that a “D” in the
        course. Assessments are given and evaluated weekly. Students are allowed to re-take
        “standards assessments” after receiving additional tutoring before or after school or in
        a strategic support class. Students can receive this “universal intervention” and re-take
        the exam as many times as necessary.
     Progress in the core Algebra and Geometry class is closely monitored in order to
        provide direction for the strategic support teacher to develop lessons. Collaboration
        occurs weekly.
     The English / Language Arts department committed Williams Act funds to purchase
        standards aligned curriculum (Holt Language and Literature) and every teacher

California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

     received AB466 training to implement the minimum course of study with fidelity.
     Moreover, they agreed to administer the embedded benchmark exams each quarter to
     determine student mastery of the content standards. Results of the assessments are
     viewed collaboratively to improve the implementation of the program, and the delivery of
     Holt lessons using the instructional norms.
    As in mathematics, the Science department utilizes Edusoft in Chemistry and Biology to
     track student acquisition of the standards and determines which objectives need to
     be re-taught.
    Students who score Far Below Basic on reading comprehension are placed in an
     intensive reading intervention. Their progress is routinely monitored using the AutoSkills
     program and the embedded assessments of the SRA REACH program.
    STAR data reveals that some of the greatest gains in student achievement have been
     made in the World History and US History classes.
                                               World History         US History
       2003 percent proficient                 12%                   21%
       2006 percent proficient                 48%                   49%
        Like in other courses the essential standards in History courses are taught and
        assessed using benchmark exams.
    In 2005-2006 an independent “Educational Benefit” analysis was conducted on the
        Individual Learning Plans (IEP) of our special education students. The analysis showed
        that because of lack of evidence there was no way of determining if students were
        receiving any educational benefit from their IEPs. This year, the Special Day Class
        teacher and the Resource Specialists have committed to including assessment data in
        the IEPs, for the purpose of quantifying attainment of the academic goals. Provisions
        for accommodations and modifications on assessments are identified on each IEP.
    The achievement of the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) by our
        English Learners is paramount to our success. Each year students are re-assessed
        using the CELDT. This measurement together with other assessments such as CST
        and High Point embedded assessments are used to determine if a student is re-
        designated as fluent. In 2006, the AMAO #1 target for schools was 52%; WHS EL
        students exceeded this mark, achieving 81%!
    The Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs) are measured through the Senior
        Portfolio Binder. Before graduating, each senior must produce evidence of achieving
        the ESLRs and present the evidence to an exit interview panel.
    Interventions have been put in place as a result of assessments and analysis.
        Enrollment in support classes for Algebra, Geometry and English is contingent upon the
        state assessment and student production. Students receive additional intervention in the
        event they fail to pass the CAHSEE.
    The Director of Undergraduate Admissions for CSU Stanislaus provides longitudinal
        information as to how WHS students are performing at the university, and works in
        conjunction with our guidance counselor to make students UC/CSU eligible.
Parents (and students) are kept abreast of student progress through our web-based Aeries
Browser Interface (ABI). Parents can monitor student grades, test scores, attendance and
discipline online. Additionally, parents and students can view course assignments on our web
page and communicate directly with teachers through email. We also invite parents twice a
year to “Report Card Night” where they can meet their student’s teachers and discuss
how the standards were used to determine the grades the student received for the
quarter. Parents learn at RCN how to access their student’s grade online. Interpreters are

California Department of Education                        2007 Distinguished High School Application

provided for non-English speakers. CELDT, CAHSEE and STAR data are sent home with
accompanying explanations. The parents of students who have failed the CAHSEE receive
additional information regarding the school’s program for remediation. Non-English speakers
receive the information in their native language. Parents also receive updates via mid-quarter
deficiency notices that are sent home notifying them if a student is in danger of failing.

Our instructional norms ensure that students will be taught both the skill and the concept of a
learning objective. Each lesson’s objective has been deconstructed from a content standard
and builds to mastery of the entire standard. Because the skill and the concept are
emphasized, the teacher must clearly model the expectation for the student performance. This
leaves no room for confusion about what a “proficient” application of the standard requires.

Waterford High School is the comprehensive high school with the highest four-year
academic growth in California. This has been a rewarding journey, with multiple milestones
and numerous celebrations, including a visit from State Superintendent Jack O’Connell.
However, the journey continues, and we expect our students to make greater improvements.
Because we were honest and transparent in our WASC self-study we were able to point out
our own deficiencies in program and instruction, and identify weaknesses ahead of the visiting
committee. As a result, we have been able to forge ahead on a self-determined path of
continuous improvement. Next year, the WASC three-year review committee will find:
    A comprehensive system of in-school strategic interventions.
    A detailed and coordinated system of English Learner monitoring.
    Advanced Placement (AP) offerings in Calculus, American Government & Politics,
       United States History, Biology, English Language and Composition, Spanish Language
       and Studio Art (more AP offerings than any small school in the region).
    A coordinated homeroom period, in which:
           o 9th grade students are taught the SRA Morphographic spelling curriculum.
           o 10th grade students receive CAHSEE preparation instruction.
           o 11th grade students progress through SRA Reading for Comprehension.
           o 12th grade students prepare their Senior Portfolio binders
           o Upperclassmen who have not passed the CAHSEE receive targeted intervention.
    A system for using assessment data for the purpose of identifying students in need of
       additional intervention in language arts and mathematics.
    Professional Development that is focused on implementing the instructional norms.
    Classroom instruction that facilitates greater student engagement through checking for
       understanding strategies that incorporate whiteboards and non-volunteers.
    Schoolwide use of the on-line grading system.
    A school that has opened its doors to outside professionals to come and view our
       collaborative culture, instructional practices and educational program decisions.
    An emerging system of communication that includes weekly local newspaper articles,
       bi-monthly newsletter, an on-line student data system, informational web-page,
       automated dialer, Report Card Night and informational events such as college and
       financial aid nights.
The WASC review team will also find new areas that we are working to improve, such as:
    Monitoring IEPs by demonstrating and validating “educational benefit” through multiple
    Making a concerted effort to improve school-to-home communications in the parents’
       home language.
California Department of Education                        2007 Distinguished High School Application

    Systematizing the use of the Edusoft to improve the tracking of standards acquisition.
    Developing pathways that optimize curriculum and facilities and lead to post-secondary
    Developing “meaningful interaction” between students as the next instructional norm.
The AMO and API data shared in Theme 1 (pg. 15) demonstrates the power of our process.

Theme 3 – Academic Excellence: Curriculum How is curriculum selected and how is it
focused on meeting the needs of all students, including those who are not yet proficient and
those who have not yet passed the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)?
When discussing the academic growth of Waterford High School with other professionals, the
site principal routinely identifies educational program decisions that have laid the groundwork
for improvement. The most profound of these decisions has been to schedule all students by
default into college preparatory classes. Incoming freshmen will be placed in college-prep
Algebra or Geometry, college-prep Science, college-prep English / Language Arts and when
necessary, a support intervention class. Each student is on his or her way to graduating with
choices. The default scheduling continues through each subsequent year. Students and their
parents must meet with the principal or guidance counselor to opt out of a college prep course
in their junior or senior year. The SDC teacher meets with the principal to re-schedule SDC
students according to their IEP.

Another significant decision was to eliminate the two-year Algebra sequence in favor of all
students receiving a one-year, UC approved, Algebra course. This gives WHS a huge
program advantage over other high schools. Our freshmen take the end-of-course Algebra
CST, not the below-grade-level general mathematics test. The higher level exam demonstrates
our commitment to high academic standards and rigor for all students. Of course this decision
has program consequences that the entire school, and particularly the mathematics
department, had to address. We began in-school interventions that cause students to defer
elective choices to later years; and, the removal of two-year Algebra has elevated Geometry
to a graduation requirement. But success breeds success, and this year we have instituted
a Geometry support intervention, and next year expect to put into place an Algebra II

WHS offers five (5) mathematics courses: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 /Trigonometry,
Introduction to Math Analysis (Pre-Calculus), and Calculus A/B Advanced Placement
(AP). The support interventions include: Algebra Support, Algebra Support Resource,
Algebra Support EL and Geometry Support. Support classes receive elective credit. In
2006, 90% of 9-11 grade students completed a college-prep math course and took an
end-of-course CST exam. All of the math teachers completed AB466 training in the Algebra
textbook. Math teachers conduct daily tutoring, before and after school.

The Science offerings have evolved in like manner. WHS has the benefit of having four fully-
functioning classroom laboratories. We determined that utilizing our facilities to the
maximum would mean offering a full slate of Science classes. Our Agriculture offerings are
science based, and we have secured UC approval for all Science courses. A recent decision
to move away from Integrated Science and move towards pure science will, we believe, result
in more students reaching proficiency. For several years the STAR data indicated that our
students were underperforming on the Integrated Science CST exams. Last year we piloted an
California Department of Education                       2007 Distinguished High School Application

Earth Science class and saw improvement in student performance. The department reviewed
several Earth Science textbooks and presented the school board with a standards-based text
that will aid the students in acquiring the standards.

WHS has seven (7) science offerings: Earth Science, Agriculture Earth Science, Biology,
Agriculture Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Advanced Placement Biology (AP). In
2006, 85% of 9-11 grade students completed a college-prep science class and took an
end-of-course CST exam. The science department teachers conduct daily after school

Students entering their sophomore year begin the social science curriculum. All students, with
the exception of a few SDC students, take our college-prep UC approved World History
course. This year, a new board approved World History textbook has been acquired and
students are benefiting from the standards-based text. Juniors are scheduled into the college-
prep UC approved United States History course, or the AP US History Advanced
Placement course. The AP placement is open to all students provided they demonstrated
mastery by achieving an advanced level of proficiency on the World History end-of-course CST
exam. Likewise, seniors are placed in the college-prep American Government / Economics
course or the AP American Government and Politics course.

The English / Language Arts program offers college preparatory UC approved classes
at each level. Furthermore, students demonstrating an advanced level on the CST are placed
in advanced level freshmen and sophomore classes. Beginning in the junior year students
may continue in the standard college-preparatory courses or they may take an Advanced
Placement Language and Composition class. All students may have access to this course
provided they demonstrate advanced achievement on the CST. In other words, the AP
classes are not limited to students who have completed the freshmen and sophomore
advanced classes. All of the English teachers and the principal completed AB466 training in
the Holt Language and Literature series. Our ELA teachers also dialogue with the English
Department of Hughson High School gaining insight from their experience of having utilized
the Holt series for several years prior to our implementation.

Our Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and World Languages offerings have been UC
approved for college admission. We offer traditional Spanish language courses as well as
two-levels of Spanish for the Native Speaker. We also have a successful Spanish
Language AP offering. The art program continues to evolve. We have two-levels of Basic
Art, Ceramics, and Studio Art AP. Our performing arts program consists of Band,
Percussion Ensemble, Theatre Arts 1 & 2, and Vocal Music.

Students can pursue vocational and career technical education in four areas: Child
Development, Computer Science, Agriculture and Work Experience.
    Waterford High School is located across the street from a state pre-school, a Head Start
      Program and an elementary school. Thus, having an Early Childhood Education
      ROP and an Elementary Education ROP is mutually beneficial, as our students can
      explore becoming educators of young children while these programs benefit from
      having extra-help in the classroom.
    All students are required to complete a semester Computer-Keyboarding course. This
      serves two purposes: (1) Students must demonstrate a level of proficiency in typing,
California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

       internet research and office suite applications. (2) This course lays the groundwork for
       future Computer Application courses and Office Procedure and Technology ROP.
     The Agriculture offerings are primarily science based, taking advantage of our science
       laboratories. The program has expanded to include an Ag Mechanics ROP course.
     Students are also encouraged to enter the world of work prior to leaving high school.
       11th & 12th grade students earn five units of work experience credit for 90 hours of work.
In 2003, Waterford High School was placed in the lowest decile of schools in the state and in
the lowest decile of similar schools; our ranking was a 1 – 1. Because of this, in 2005 and
again in 2006, WHS was subject to the Williams Act review. Among other things, we had to
demonstrate to outside observers that all of our students had access to board adopted
curriculum. In both instances, the county reviewers made no findings of inadequate or
inappropriate curriculum. Our textbook adoptions met all statutory requirements and we
provide curriculum to all students. Since being identified as a “Williams Act” school, (actually
all schools are subject to the act) Waterford has elevated its ranking in to a 6 statewide and a
10 in similar schools. (We expect our state ranking to rise in February, 2007).

It is important to understand that at Waterford High School the curriculum is used to
advance the content standards; the curriculum, that is the textbook, is not the guiding force.
To illustrate, consider that the first three chapters of the Mc Dougall/Littell Algebra book
address below grade-level standards and are therefore omitted from the course content.
Algebra teachers begin the first day of school in chapter four. Our teachers review textbooks
for their adherence to the standards and utilize them to advance the adopted standards.

Our method for preparing students for the CAHSEE is highlighted on the CDE web site.
We believe in preparing students to pass the exam on their first attempt as much as we believe
in remediation for students who initially fail. We utilize our homeroom period for this purpose.
All 10th grade students, all EL students and all SDC students receive CAHSEE instruction four
days a week from 8:00 to 8:30 A.M. Math teachers, ELA teachers, the EL coordinator and
Special Education teachers provide instruction utilizing the Measuring Up curriculum for the
CAHSEE (Entry and Exit Levels). 10th grade students alternate between targeted ELA and
Math lessons on a daily basis. Our goal for 2007 is to have 85% of students pass the English
portion and 85% of students pass the Math portion on their first attempt.

Living in the Central Valley and attending a small rural high school places our students in an
“under-represented” category of students attending the University of California and California
State University system. We commit to all of our students that they can become college
admissible. We assist them and their parents in completing the college application process.
Admissions officials from the local state and community colleges are regular visitors to our
campus. Our Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator monitors student
progress in college prep classes and provides tutors for assistance on challenging classes.
Other curricular and academic supports include:
     Web page postings of daily learning objectives and independent work.
     Bi-lingual aides to assist EL students in core classes.
     Instructional aides to assist resource and special education students mainstreamed into
       the core.
     Technologies such as mounted LCD projectors are present and utilized in each
       classroom.     Teachers use these to enhance their lessons, with Power Point
       presentations, video clips and visual examples of high-quality student work.
California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

    Laptop computer carts that allow teachers to conduct technology-based lessons with
    Web based subscription to Questia provides access to millions of journals and books for
       all students.
    Libraries with 32 computer stations assist students with research projects.
The graduation requirements for Waterford High School are based on Carnegie units, or
credits, students earn for completing a semester course. Successfully completing a semester
course will earn a student five (5) units. Requirements for a diploma are:
    English                               (40)
    Mathematics                           (20) must pass Algebra (and now Geometry)
    Fine Arts or World Language           (10)
    Physical Education                    (20)
    Freshmen Core                         (10) Health and Computer Keyboarding
    Science                               (20)
    Social Science                        (30)
           o World History-Culture, US History, Am Government & Economics
    Electives                             (80)
Total                                      230
Other requirements:
    Pass both portions of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).
    Submit a Senior Portfolio with evidence of each Expected Schoolwide Learning Result.
    Successfully complete an exit interview with a panel of school, business and community
We are pursuing a board policy that requires three consecutive years of enrollment in
college preparatory mathematics and science.

Theme 4 – Academic Excellence: Instructional Practices
How are instructional practices informed by student assessment and focused on meeting the
needs of all students, including those who are not yet proficient and those who have not yet
passed the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)?

Listed below are a few comments from professional educators that have come to Waterford
High School and participated in our instructional tours:

“I want to commend you and your staff on not only talking the talk but also walking the talk. I
think the path WHS has chosen will lead to success…. My staff was very impressed with the
professionalism of your staff and their willingness to share. The systematic approach you use
to go from ‘worst to first’ is impressive. The highest compliment that Central Valley High
school can give to WHS is to implement some of the strategies we saw. We plan on doing just
that.” Principal, Central Valley High School

“We all believed it was important to see the demonstration of the process you went through in
order to improve learning at your school. Everyone needs to know that it just wasn’t magic or
that your school was simply graced with better students. When we left, we felt energized. I just
can’t convey how nice it was to see sound teaching practices utilized effectively and to see a
local school demonstrate that improvement is possible for all.” Teacher, Stanislaus COE
California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

“There is a definite need among educators to focus on effective instructional practices, and the
visit to your site furnished us with a tangible vision of all we could accomplish.” Director of
Curriculum, Patterson High School

We mean it! The process for improving student achievement begins with this realization:
“Good teaching begets good results.” This is what sets Waterford High School apart. Our
teachers have agreed to a set of “non-negotiable” teaching strategies. After all, over what do
we have the most control? To us, the obvious answer is the delivery of instruction!

The process for developing sound practices started with pursuing a research-based model with
proven results for our demographics. The researchers at DataWorks have observed and
evaluated tens of thousands of lessons, and determined that the teacher-directed approach to
lesson design and delivery was superior to a model based solely on inquiry. This is
controversial, but the numbers speak for themselves: a two hundred and eighty-five (285) point
gain in our API, with all sub-populations showing significant increases!
The instructional norms at WHS are simple yet profound:
    First. Each lesson will have a purpose. Students need to know and be able to articulate
       the standards-based objective prior to the start of the lesson.
    Second. Teachers check for understanding frequently; rely mainly on non-volunteers.
    Third. Students will produce standards-based work in every lesson.
    Fourth. The independent work will be aligned with the objective and the instruction.
    Fifth. Teachers will design the lesson to develop the concept of the standard, i.e., its
       “main idea” or “underlying principle.”
These elements have elevated the level of student engagement in all content areas:
    In mathematics, teachers have a framework of lesson design that is used to promote
       acquisition of the standards for all students. The collaborating support teacher meets
       regularly with the core instructors to develop the weekly lessons. The support teacher
       will review previous standards, preview upcoming standards and remediate concept
       deficiencies or “gaps,” that the students bring to the class. The “norms” provide
       expectations, but do not limit delivery. The use of Algebra tiles in the EL support class,
       for instance, brings concrete clarity to the concept of factoring. This approach has been
       vertically replicated in geometry.
    In English / Language Arts the support teacher will present the standards differently
       from the delivery students receive in the core. The support teacher prepares
       independent practice activities that can be done in class. The embedded benchmark in
       the core is used to determine success and areas for re-teaching.
    In science, student production is taking on a creative approach as chemistry students
       use an AVID researched approach to produce “interactive” notebooks. The
       notebooks are a mixture of “Cornell notes” on the right hand pages, and reflective
       journals on the left. All of these students have the opportunity to be creative and draw
       on personal strengths when preparing the creative reflections. It also provides a
       meaningful resource to students as they review the standards that will be assessed.
Another result of agreeing on instructional norms is the extent to which SDAIE techniques are
becoming universal. Because teachers rely on non-volunteers, English Learners are called
upon more often and are given sufficient wait time to form a verbal response; moreover, the
academic vocabulary inherent in the standards is taught and placed as visual aides in
classrooms. The explicit instruction and the clarity of the lesson objectives serve to make clear

California Department of Education                          2007 Distinguished High School Application

to English Learners what is frequently “hidden.” Actually, this is just good teaching that assists
all students – including those with disabilities.

The success has led to the process of placing all resource students in the core; there are no
pull-out classes for resource students at Waterford High School. The RSP student is placed
in the core class; resource specialists and instructional aides form an in-class support for the
RSP student. This approach facilitates greater collaboration between the regular education
teacher and the resource specialist. The students are often allowed a different setting for
independent work and assessments; they also receive the same opportunity to participate in
support classes and receive CAHSEE remediation as do regular education students. All of our
students are default scheduled into college-preparatory classes. (See pg. 19 & 20)

English Learners are placed in a leveled language development program that incorporates the
research-based High Point (Hampton-Brown) curriculum; additionally, according to individual
need, some are placed in an intensive reading fundamentals course that utilizes the SRA
REACH curriculum and a native-language interactive computer reading program that monitors
the student’s attainment of fluency.

Our career technical courses (CTE) provide an application approach to the principle of “student
production.” Students in the Child Development Pathway are placed directly in pre-school,
Head Start and kindergarten classrooms. This allows them to observe and have real-world
first-hand experiences.

Our Agriculture Pathway includes two Ag-science courses that have been UC a-g approved.
The students also participate in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program which has
received state recognition as a superior charter.

Students in our Office Technology course maintain the “Teen Space” portion of the Stanislaus
County web site.

This year we are attempting to better understand the students by experimenting with single-
gender ELA classes. Data from the first-quarter indicates that students in the single-gender
classes are outperforming their peers assigned to heterogeneous classes.
Assignments that should be highlighted are:
    The Rube Goldberg project (Physics).
    Standards-based ELA essays.
    Laboratory projects (Science).
    Authentic assessments in Visual and Performing Arts (Art production, concerts, drama
    Farm and animal projects for County Fair.
    Standards-based assessments (Social Science, Math, Science, ELA, VPA, Physical
      Education, Health and Spanish).

Theme 5 – Academic Excellence: Professional Development/Instructional Leadership,
Support, and Collaboration How is professional development organized as a system and
how does student assessment frame the professional development of all staff to focus on
improving the achievement of all students, including those who are not yet proficient and those

California Department of Education                       2007 Distinguished High School Application

who have not yet passed the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)? How does
the school promote a system of continuous peer support for educators and provide for all
students to be taught by highly qualified staff?

By now, the reader may be gaining a sense of how a small rural Title 1 high school set out to
become the highest achieving school in the region – progressing from “worst to first.” The
stages were incremental, prompted by outside evaluators and were the outcome of
serious self-study and reflection.

The dismal results of the 2002 STAR assessments forced us to examine our practices. This
was accomplished by outside independent observers from the Regional System of District and
School Support (Region 6), West Ed and DataWorks. They told us that time-on-task was poor
and our students were passive. At this stage we could have sung the familiar tune of, “What
do you expect? Look at these kids!” But we determined not to make excuses but rather to
address the problem, which was the need to improve our instructional delivery. After all,
instruction is the most important variable over which we have control.

The WASC self-study also uncovered areas of weakness, like poor EL monitoring, unspecified
achievement goals and lack of interventions. These have all been addressed. We also wrote a
successful Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) grant. The commitment was and is to
improve the delivery of instruction based on proven strategies. We fund instructional
coaches, conduct peer observations and provide professional development at every
opportunity to train teachers in implementing our instructional norms.

Several of our teachers, and our principal, have been certified by RSDSS in teacher-directed
instruction. Two of our teachers, and our principal, are certified instructional coaches. We
have a common language of instructional practice, and observations of lessons are more
meaningful because of clear expectations with regards to student engagement. The
summative evaluation of teachers is based on the California Standards of the Teaching
Profession, which are well-suited for monitoring our instructional norms.

The CSR grant, WASC action plan and the Single Plan for Student Achievement all adhere to
the premise that student achievement will rise as instruction improves. So too, does the
professional development program. In fact at the most recent faculty meeting, our
instructional coach presented professional development on utilizing Higher Order Questions
when checking for understanding.

Implementation of quality instructional practice is the key to determining whether or not the
system of professional development is effective. Our system is based on the assumption that
the professional development will be put into practice. Teachers new to the school receive a
week of peer training in our instructional norms. All teachers are observed by the
administration and by the instructional coaches. Based upon what is observed, the coaches
and the principal collaborate and determine the focus of the next professional development,
always relating the content of the training to our instructional expectations. This process is
superior to programs that take a “shotgun” approach to training, as it is based on current

California Department of Education                           2007 Distinguished High School Application

observable practice. All research points strongly to the need for instructional coaching to
maximize transfer from the professional development to actual classroom implementation.

This is not to say that content knowledge and curricular understanding is forfeited. On the
contrary, our district makes a concerted effort to place highly qualified teachers in each
classroom; the district pays for content review courses that lead to the passing of the CSET
single subject exam. The district pays for the training, the exam and the mileage. Every
teacher in our mathematics and ELA departments completed AB466 training. We also have a
Resource Specialist who completed AB466 in Algebra. And our principal completed the
training in ELA. Our principal is also in the final stages of AB75 (now AB430) training.
Teachers stay current with curricular and content issues by attending workshops and seminars
sponsored by the County Office of Education.

Differentiation of instruction becomes a universal intervention in classrooms that implement
instructional norms. Because teachers become adept at checking for understanding of all
learners, the teachers know when to re-teach and when to move on and most importantly,
when to provide individual attention to the few students who are not ready to be released to
independent work.

One approach that we have taken to solidify our understanding of sound practice is the
instructional tour. This is the practice of a few teachers traveling with or without the principal,
into various classrooms and observing the instruction. Together they look for evidence of
student engagement through the teacher-directed instructional strategies. The observation is
briefly discussed, and then another classroom is visited. Feedback is provided to the
observed-teacher via “an instructional tour” check list. Visiting professionals from various
districts have found this process enlightening and refreshing.

Our instructional coaches have “traded in” their preparation period for the purpose of providing
on-going support to their peers. The coaches meet with teachers to discuss strategies, plan
observations and provide feedback – this is the essence of peer support. As previously
stated, new teachers receive a special induction to our instructional practices prior to the start
of the school year. This week of training is in addition to the Beginning Teacher Support
Advisory (BTSA) program in which all new teachers participate. The strength of our
program is that it is on-site, on-going, and offers real-time feedback. Our screening and
interview process places emphasis on finding teachers willing to implement professional

The training in the use of Edusoft is going to be revisited. Currently this program is used by the
administration to track STAR and CAHSEE data, and is used by the math and science
departments to track individual attainment of standards. These teachers can demonstrate how
instructional decisions are accelerated by having current standards-based assessment data.
The web-based software program is however underutilized schoolwide and will be the subject
of professional development in the spring.

Though the use of Edusoft needs strengthening, training in the use of classroom technology
has wielded better more-engaging lessons resulting in greater student achievement. Each
classroom is equipped with a mounted LCD projector. Teachers routinely integrate Power
Point, video and publisher provided technology into their lessons. The AutoSkills program is a
California Department of Education                          2007 Distinguished High School Application

prime example of utilizing technology both to teach reading and monitor growth. Of course all
of these examples required training and on-going support. We also use our web page to
support instruction. Teachers post their daily objectives, independent work and associated
attachments. Additionally, students and parents can view the teacher’s Gradebook, gathering
current information regarding student progress.

The status of professional community is emerging. We committed at our annual retreat
prior to the start of school to meet periodically and discuss current issues in education and
reflect on our practice. Our principal provides us with data to review or an issue to discuss
like “homework” policy, or an instructional method that has been proven beneficial like
“meaningful interaction between students.” This creates a forum for interdepartmental
professional dialogues. These discussions result in staff decisions, such as, altering the
homeroom program to better serve students (and agreeing to apply for distinguished school

Professional learning has expanded beyond our walls. The math department has shared its
approach to implementing strategic interventions with the math departments of other high
schools and middle schools and has received helpful suggestions. The ELA department
meets with their counterparts at Hughson High School to discuss the implementation of the
Holt curriculum. The most profound aspect of this is the establishment of a district
instructional leadership team comprised primarily of teachers, who promote strong research-
based instructional strategies from kindergarten through the twelfth grade!

Theme 6 – Support for Student Learning: Curricular Paths and Academic Guidance How
are all students, including those who are not yet proficient and those who have not yet passed
the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), prepared for graduation and pursuit of
postsecondary interests of their choice?
As was mentioned in previous themes (p. 19, 20, 25), each WHS student is entitled to a
rigorous college preparatory high school experience. Upon entering our school each student
has been scheduled into courses meeting UC requirements and has been enrolled in their first
CTE course (computer keyboarding). Within one week of attendance (their freshman year)
they have received their Senior Portfolio Binder with instructions for completing it with evidence
of ESLR attainment. Their four-year educational plan shows evidence of ESLR #4: Self-

The course catalog outlines courses of study, or pathways, which lead to college admission.
All students and their parents receive a revised course catalog annually. The high school
guidance counselor begins building a relationship with all students while they are in the 8 th
grade, and invites the students and their parents to an incoming freshmen orientation in the
spring of their 8th grade year. This orientation provides vital information regarding our
educational program, graduation requirements and support interventions that are in place. Of
course an interpreter translates the information into Spanish for our non-English speaking
parents. Setting high goals is the expectation not the exception.

The guidance counselor conducts one-on-one sophomore counseling with our 10th grade
students and their parents. The purpose is to provide vital information pertaining to the status
of the student’s personal learning plan and the necessary steps needed for the student to
California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

graduate prepared to pursue his or her interests. There is no option for 9 th and 10th grade
students to avoid college-prep classes; and, in order for a junior or senior to opt out of a
college prep math or science class, the student and a parent must meet with the principal or
guidance counselor. The goal is to maintain high expectations.

We also provide the opportunity for PSAT testing for all 9th, 10th and 11th grade students. This
encourages students to take admissions exams and fosters a culture of testing. We also
administer the ASVAB and require all students to explore the EUREKA program. The
EUREKA program provides needed information regarding colleges and careers.

The Master Schedule is developed to optimize student enrollment into rigorous courses.
Several editions of the Master Schedule are completed prior to settling on a final version. The
purpose is to eliminate as many scheduling conflicts as possible. It is important to note that
with the exception of advanced freshmen and sophomore English and single-gender ELA; all
courses are grouped heterogeneously reflecting the demographic of our population.

With the help of eighth grade teachers and administrators, students who are not yet proficient
have been identified. The process for placing students into support interventions occurs prior
to students leaving middle school. The placements are altered if the CST data indicates a
need. This evaluation of the current data, just prior to the start of school, necessitates a
Master Schedule redo, and often results in reassigning teachers. The effects of intervention in
Algebra have been astounding. The number of students attaining proficiency has increased
four-fold; and we expect to see greater gains in 2006-2007.

The guidance program promotes career awareness through the on-campus career week, in
which professionals, entrepreneurs and employers visit campus and make presentations in
classes and at assemblies. College awareness is heightened when admissions officials from
numerous college campuses and technical schools come to the school for an evening of
presentations, questions, answers and the distribution of important material. Our guidance
counselor also conducts a popular financial aid night assisting parents with the FAFSA form
and scholarship applications.

The guidance department maintains a listing of all the applications to post-secondary
institutions that have been made by our seniors. We celebrate when students receive
confirmation of admission, and pin their name on a map identifying which school they will be
attending. We can demonstrate with confidence that the ratio of WHS seniors admitted to four-
year universities, community colleges and trade schools exceeds that of any other public
school in the county (84% in 2006). We have graduates attending UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC
Davis, CSU Stanislaus, CSU Fresno, BYU and numerous other public and private institutions.

Our AVID program is seeking certification through the regional AVID coordinator. A challenge
of the program has been finding tutors that can be available on a regular basis. We
determined to address this need by preparing our own graduates to return to WHS as tutors.
This has been a rewarding and mutually beneficial experience.

Because of the close contact the guidance counselor establishes with the students, changes
and revisions to the student’s individual learning plan can occur as interests change. Students
may opt for a change in their visual and performing arts selection or desire to move from one
California Department of Education                        2007 Distinguished High School Application

CTE field to another. Students now have seven AP offerings available that assist in
maintaining rigor through the 11th and 12th grade years. Other programs that assist students
stay on track for graduation are summer school, independent study and adult school.

Theme 7 – Support for Student Learning: Student Support Services How do student
support services focus on the success of all students, including those who are not yet
proficient and those who have not yet passed the California High School Exit Examination

The second Pillar (#2) of Waterford High School addresses personalization. We commit to
this ideal: every student becomes well-known by the adults on campus. The WASC visiting
committee had opportunity to interview students and reported that our students feel cared for
and safe. We are focused on the students’ well-being and achievement.
    WHS has an English Learner coordinator that monitors the progress of each EL student.
     The coordinator teaches the Language Development classes, provides extra assistance
     to ELs in core classes and delivers CAHSEE remediation in a homeroom period.
    Migrant students receive special attention from the on-campus Migrant Education
     coordinator. If a migrant student is in danger of not graduating, he or she receives
     special assistance through the P.A.S.S. program which mitigates unit deficiencies.
     Migrant students also receive additional CAHSEE tutoring. A “mini-corps” instructional
     aide also provides support in core classes. This assistance is delivered in the student’s
     primary language as needed.
    Regular education teachers, parents and instructional aides can request that the
     guidance counselor facilitate a Student Success Team (SST) meeting for any student
     who is deemed to be underperforming. The SST, which includes the classroom
     teachers, school counselor, principal or vice-principal, student and parent, discusses the
     student’s progress in all courses. The team reviews the CST data, the student’s
     transcript, attendance and discipline; together the team determines a course of action to
     remedy the situation. The action can include referrals to outside agencies.
    The school psychologist will administer assessments to determine if a disability exists
     and makes recommendations to the IEP team.
    The school nurse and school health clerk monitor the students’ health records, conduct
     hearing screening, provide information and literature on health services available to
     students and their families.
    The Hughson Family Resource Center, in coordination with our counseling department,
     connects students and their families to county agencies that provide counseling, mental
     health and other services.
    Each student and parent receives a student / parent handbook that has been translated
     into the primary language of the student, that explains the school and district policies
     and procedures, requirements for graduation, support services and parental rights and
    A School Resource Officer (SRO) and Campus Security Liaison make home visitations
     when student attendance is becoming a factor limiting a student’s success. Both
     individuals are bi-lingual and can convey messages in a parent’s primary language.
    The School Attendance Review Board (SARB) is comprised of members representing
     several county services including Child Protective Services and Mental Health. SARB
     directives have become effective in redirecting student behavior.
California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

    To maximize graduation rates, student progress toward a diploma is monitored each
     semester. Students at risk of not graduating are supported with a detailed strategy for
     success, created by the counselor, parent and student, which may include concurrent
     enrollment in Adult School, Independent Studies and summer school.
    The curriculum in mathematics (McDougal/Littell) and ELA (Holt) is coordinated and
     aligned with our middle school.
    All of our 11th grade students taking the Algebra II or Summative Math end-of-course
     CST also take the Early Assessment Program (EAP) math exam used for college
     placement. These students receive special content aligned instruction prior to the
    Likewise, all 11th grade students take the Language Arts EAP exam. This test serves to
     aid placement of students in appropriate courses upon entering college.
    A concerted effort each year is made to conduct a series of Red Ribbon Week activities
     educating students on the advantages of a healthy lifestyle. WHS received “honorable
     mention” recognition from the County Office of Education for our 2006 activities.

Theme 8 – Support for Student Learning: Safe and Healthy Schools and Coordinated
Health Services How does the school focus on the health and well-being of all students,
including those who are not yet proficient and those who have not yet passed the California
High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), to maximize academic achievement?

As research indicates (Marzano) a school that promotes safety, maintains orderliness and
provides for the well-being of students is more likely to achieve its goals. For this reason, an
emergency safety plan has been established and board adopted, as has a district Wellness
Policy addressing, health, fitness and nutrition.

All students attending Waterford High School must complete a semester Health course,
covering such topics as, HIV/AIDS prevention, STD education, nutrition, peer pressure and
healthy living choices. They must also successfully complete two years of physical education.
Participation in interscholastic sports does not fulfill this requirement.

As is stated in our Statement of Assumptions, Values and Beliefs, we are convinced that an
excellent comprehensive high school must have a broad range of opportunities for students to
pursue; and outstanding co-curricular and extra-curricular programs advance student
development. Therefore, WHS offers more opportunities for students to participate in
athletics than any other school in the Southern Athletic League (which is our CIF conference).
Our facilities are safe, well-equipped and maintained. Every teacher on staff either coaches an
athletic team or advises a class or student organization.

As outlined in our Wellness Policy, the students are provided nutritious meals that meet state
and federal guidelines. Students are offered healthy food choices at reward and recognition
ceremonies – and we have moved away from fund-raising activities focused on selling candy.
Healthy and wholesome activities such as Red Ribbon Week, Homecoming and Lunchtime
Intramurals add to the development of a healthy culture.

Our program decision to place interventions inside the school day has addressed the needs of
many families. Students with family responsibilities receive mathematics, ELA and CAHSEE
interventions during the school day, and are not relegated to after school tutoring only.
California Department of Education                        2007 Distinguished High School Application

An Expected Schoolwide Learning Result (ESLR) for WHS students is “Talent Contribution.”
As a requirement for graduation and more importantly as a character building endeavor, each
student must present to an exit interview panel evidence of how he or she served the school or
the community.

Students help to spread the word of healthy living and have established the Protecting Health
and Slamming Tobacco (PHAST) club. This club was responsible for organizing the Red
Ribbon Week campaign, and received countywide recognition for their efforts.

The Healthy Kids Survey is conducted bi-annually, and has aided in the development of the
Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention program. This program provides instructional direction
to the Health teacher and prompted the creation of our tobacco cessation workshops.

Theme 9 – Support for Student Learning: School Culture and Engaging the School
Community How does the culture of the school actively promote the schoolwide vision of
academic success for all students, including those who are not yet proficient and those who
have not yet passed the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), and purposefully
engage parents and other community members in the implementation of the vision?

In 1997, the citizenry of Waterford, CA, though limited in means, determined to pass a general
obligation bond, imposing taxes upon themselves for the purpose of building a comprehensive
high school and bringing their high school age students “back home.” No longer would the
education of Waterford’s young people be the responsibility of school districts in neighboring
communities. This community resolved to build its own high school and tackle the daunting
task of preparing adolescents for adult life.

Waterford High School is the first and only comprehensive high school this community has
known. The development of programs, the adoption of curriculum, the establishment of
essential standards and guiding the evolving characteristic of our mission continue to excite
our stakeholders. This community has embraced involvement by:
     Forming a parent booster organization that supports co-curricular activities.
     Forming a District English Learner Advisory Council (DELAC)
     Forming a high school English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC)
     Forming a non-profit Waterford Education Foundation that secures local scholarships.
     Forming an Academic Decathlon support system that provides opportunities for WHS to
        travel on educational tours to Europe.
     Serving on the exit interview panels, reviewing Senior Portfolios and interviewing
        graduates regarding their high school experience and plans for the future.
     Supporting a downtown homecoming parade with floats and vehicles.
     Serving on WASC focus group and School Site Council providing a critical eye on our
        programs and processes.
     Donating prizes for Red Ribbon Week.
The Waterford Unified School District commitment to the community is, with their input, to
continuously improve the quality of our high school and of all the schools in the district. The
district superintendent recently took this commitment to a new level by establishing a Blue
Ribbon Steering Committee that is made up of over thirty (30) members, drawn from a broad
cross-section of our community. This committee is delving into all aspects of our program; from

California Department of Education                         2007 Distinguished High School Application

teaching and learning, to facilities and safety, to community involvement and communication
this committee is helping to develop the strategic master plan for our district.

The third Pillar (#3) of Waterford High School declares that the mission is advanced through
data-driven decision, explicit direct instruction and a commitment to teaching as a
personal calling. This commitment is posted on the web-page for all to see and to hold the
school accountable.

At every hosted event – Report Card Night, College Awareness Night, Financial Aid Night, 8th
grade orientation, and senior orientation – flyers go out in advance informing parents of the
event and that translators will be available.

As documented by the Williams Act visitation our students are provided standards based
curriculum; and as the instructional tours verify, our students definitely receive standards-
based instruction. Are there other Title 1 schools that have opened their doors to outside
visitors – including the State Superintendent – to come and observe real and engaging
standards-based instruction?

Each year the Hispanic Youth Leadership Club partners with the principal and participates in
the Modesto Rotary Principal Lip Sync competition – known as La Mimica. This is an
opportunity for Latino students to build a relationship with the principal while at the same time
securing academic scholarships.

The Senior Portfolio provides the opportunity for students to document their attainment of the
standards and produce evidence of their best work. This program has been a public relations
success. Students take pride in sharing the outcomes of their effort; the community takes
pride in seeing real evidence of community service and academic achievement. One
opportunity for service is the cross-age tutoring that occurs between our students and the
students of the middle and elementary schools.
The high school site itself has become a central location for community activity.
     Community worship services
     Youth soccer and football
     Community College extension courses
     Workforce training center
     Adult school evening classes
     High School athletic events, musical concerts and theatrical productions.
This year the district has partnered with the County Office of Education and is participating in
the Every Day Counts campaign. Our goal is to raise the average daily attendance over last
year. Thus far, WHS has posted higher ADA each month this year as compared to 2005-2006.

Three years ago the WUSD Board of Trustees established a student representative position.
The student rep receives the board agenda, “sits at the table” and participates in the board
meetings: The student representative presents the trustees with information regarding student
activities at all of the schools in the district and provides a student’s insight to educational


To top