Bilingual Business and Finance Academy Proposal Lead Teacher: Beth Makowski Unifying Vision/Identity The Bilingual Business and Finance Academy is the longest established academy at Venice, originating in 1996. Due to our longevity, we have a very unique and substantiated need and identity. The Bilingual Business and Finance Academy (BBFA) is currently a California Partnership Academy that provides an opportunity for students to learn in a close family-like atmosphere, integrating academic and career-technical education, and has established viable business partnerships. Our academy is a four-year program, in grades 9-12, structured as a school- within-a-school incorporating a curriculum focused on college preparation and career themes, coordinated with related academic classes, a voluntary student selection process that identifies interested ninth graders, a small team of teachers who work together to plan and implement the program, and a variety of motivational activities including parental support, a well-developed reward structure, speakers, field trips, job-shadowing, a mentor program, work experience, and regular monitoring of progress with feedback to students. Academic-technical integration of curriculum is a key ingredient. In the eleventh grade, mentors are matched to students in the BBFA. Mentors are from the business or finance community who volunteer to be a career-related “caring adult” in the student’s life. After the junior year, students on track for graduation are placed in summer jobs. Students apply for these jobs as they would in the open market; they prepare resumes, complete job applications and have interviews. Companies make the hiring decisions. BBFA students attend academy classes for 1/3 to ½ of their day, depending on grade level. Completion of the BBFA coursework satisfies the California A-G requirements ensuring that our graduates will be California State University and University of California eligible. The culminating goal for our students is multifold: to prepare them for a four-year university, for community college or vocational/trade school, and for immediate employment in the work force. Academic Academic Academic Career-Tech Career-Tech class 1 class 2 class 3 class 1 class 2/other 10th Eng. 10 A&B Mod. World Elect. Key Intro to Hist. A&B Board Computers 11th Cont Comp US Hist 20th Intro Word Data Am. Lit Cent A&B Processing Processing 12th Adv. Comp. Bus. Org. Adv. Comp. World Lit. Entrepreneur Venice High School operates on a traditonal six period day which the BBFA adheres to. Tenth grade History and English classes are blocked and 11th grade history and computer classes have a two-period block. The content in our career technical courses allows keyboarding students to develop mastery level of the keyboard on the microcompurter as they learn to prepare business correspondence using correct format. Introduction to Computer give students the opportunity to identify and use hardware on microcomputers. Students use Microsoft Office Suite application programs commonly used in business; wordprocessing, spreadsheets, database and desk top publishing. In the Information Processing class, students continue to learn computer skills while developing intergrated thematic academy projects. The Word Processing class avails students the chance to develop higher level word processing skills using Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and the Internet. In the Small Business Management Class, students aquire principles and skills by developing a small business by creating marketing, and developing an ambitious selling strategy in order to sell a product. Advanced Computers gives students futher opportunities to expand their knowledge of computers using Microsoft Office Suite to create a business oriented senior project. Curriculum for career technical education is integrated into the academy’s core academic courses. In grades 10-12, integrated, thematic projects are culminated in computer classes. In 10th grade, the World History class researches and analyzes propaganda. Propaganda used in Word War II is discussed. English lasses read Elie Wiesl's "Night" to illustrate the personal effects of propaganda. Keyboarding classes then type a report on both topics and provided graphics using MS Word. In 11th grade, a Judicial System Project is also assigned to explore careers in the judicial system and examined the requirements needed for a variety of careers. Students gained an understanding of the court system on the national, state, and municipal levels. A Black History Month project is also given to students to explore the contributions of African-Americans in America by creating power point presentations and improving internet skills while investigating primary resources. Upon graduation, students will have been exposed to a wide range of opportunities, from the occupational training needed for entry-level employment to preparation for college entrance (A-G requirements, SAT/ACT, Advanced Placement courses, etc.). Additional goals for students in the BBFA is to have completed 10th and 11th grade with an attendance record of no less than 80% positive attendance, obtain 90% of the credits each academic year in courses that are required for graduation and successfully graduate after the 12th grade and pursue a post secondary at a trade school or a 4-year college or university. Venice High School is located on the west side of Los Angeles about 1.5 miles from the heart of Venice, California, a community that historically has been immersed in the arts. The Bilingual Business and Finance Academy (BBFA) is one of three small learning communities on Venice’s comprehensive high school campus, serving an ethnically diverse, working class, Title I population. The fourth small learning community, Culinary Arts and Sustainable Agriculture Academy (CASAA) is currently in the proposal writing process. The surrounding neighborhood is rich with companies, free-lance artists, and independent contractors who work in the film, graphic and media arts industries. The home of Sony Pictures, Fox Studios, MTV and Electronic Arts, the Venice-Culver City- West Los Angeles area is the new Hollywood. Venice High School is a Title I school, with a 65% graduation rate and demographics as follows: 73% Hispanic, 11% Black/Non-Hispanic, 11% White/Non-Hispanic, 3% Asian, 1% Filipino, 0.4% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 0.2% Pacific Islander. The BBFA has partnership with various employers. Employer representatives serve on the BBFA Advisory Committee, (which also consists of school district and school administrators and lead teachers), that oversees the program, assists in the development of career technical curriculum, provides speakers for Academy classes, hosts field trips to give students a perspective of the workplace, provides mentors who serve as career-related role models and personal points of contact and provides summer jobs and part-time school-year jobs. There is also a BBFA Advisory Council on which parents and students participate. The Council meets once a month on Venice’s campus and collaborates on and evaluates instructional strategies, plan how to add community partners, and develops new curriculum. Meetings are open to the public and minutes are published. Business partners provide mentors and mentor programs, work place experiences in the form of job shadowing, and participates in the class room as guest speakers which helps student self esteem, set goals, and prepare for future career and college goals. Through an array of Venice High School workshops, including academy parent night , academy parent college night, and family academy picnic and banquet, parental participation has improved, empowering parents to assist their child in setting goals for academic success. Our business partners include Tom Costen, President of the Light Brighter Project, and Michelle de Armas of Fox Studios, who serve as mentors to BBFA students. Our design team consists of: Name Title Responsibility Craig Alessi APSCS Oversees the academy, master schedule, programming Beth Makowski Lead Teacher Responsible for: Guides Student Council for BBFA, including publishing BBFA newsletter Coordinates grade-level integration with Coordinator. Develops new curriculum in coordination with APSCS, counselor and Coordinator. Investigates new mentoring opportunities. Monitors current mentoring programs. Assist with recruiting Prepares and executes bi-annual academic award ceremonies. Assists in the planning of the Senior Banquet. Coordinates fieldtrips with other teachers. Julie Markussen BBFA Coordinator Plans the overall budget. Coordinates grade-level integration with Lead Teacher. Oversees BBFA Advisory Council and PTA Approves all expenditures (reimbursements for IMA, professional X- time, sub days, field trips, preparing documents for CPA, all llth grade activities). Organizes student elections for the BBFA Develops partnerships with community businesses for mentoring, job shadowing and internships. Monitors current mentoring programs. Coordinates guest speakers. Laura Brady English Teacher BBFA Coordinator (08-09) Carmela Taylor 11th/12th grade Business Teacher Assisted with creation of the Advertising and Design Academy at Chiat Day. Curriculum development for the business portion of BBFA. Assists with Senior Banquet Rita Bower BBFA Counselor Schedules all BBFA students (in addition to her regular student load). Counsels BBFA students one-on-one. Responsible for recruitment at middle schools as well as in the high school. Checks 5, 10 & 15 week grades and counsels students. Coordinates the BBFA Banquet. Shondel Haley Student (senior) BBFA President: Runs Student Council (which is responsible for the newsletter). Recruits in middle schools and regular high school classes for BBFA. Sets up/runs the senior fundraisers. Rudy Flores Student (senior) BBFA Vice-President Assists the president in all activities. PTA Donate time and supplies as needed. BBFA Advisory Committee Donate time and supplies as needed. The school administration, counseling staff, and Academy instructors will provide students and parents with information regarding the CTE Career Pathway offered in BBFA at middle school orientations to high school. APSCS shares academy info with dept. chairs at their monthly meetings. In addition, there is a bi-monthly newsletter that BBFA gives to all staff members. Decisions made by School Site Council and the SLC Leadership Team directly relate to budget, student conduct, facilities, master schedule, student programming, student behavior and safety. Personalization BBFA personalizes instruction for students by incorporating student’s experiences and cultures into lessons that make real world connections between curriculum and the business and finance sector. Lessons are also diverse in that we branch off from the curriculum and explore many cultures. We have field trips and other activities that create an “open mind set” for different types of views. What students learn in school they get to experience in real world activities. Our business partners, which include ING (Mutual Financial Planning-Investment), Best-Buy, and the LA Times provide job-shadowing opportunities. In addition, teachers employ different teaching methods/strategies (IEP accommodations, SDAIE, CRRP) to encompass diverse learning styles. Through peer, teacher and business mentors, dropout prevention assistance, intervention, and internships, students are able to work with a core group of adults for 3-4 years in caring, supportive relationships. An informal, 9th grade orientation is held for students where information is shared on how to access mentors and other BBFA programs and opportunities. A rapport is built between BBFA staff and students that reciprocates support, trust, and a willingness to work together for the betterment of BBFA students and the academy. Many activities are conducted to involve parents in the BBFA. Newsletters, luncheons, and monthly parent meetings are held to update parents on academic issues and concerns and to involve them in their students’ work. Meetings will also be used to plan activities and solicit parent input and ideas. Table displays of BBFA student work will be exhibited at Back to School Night and Parent Conferencing with parents hosting the exhibition. Many supports and interventions have been put into place to assist student’s transition from grade to grade, build upon their skills and support them academically, personally and socially. A Tutoring Protocol has been established in addition to grade checks, which are entitled, “BBFA Alert”. Notification to teachers are distributed if students grades begin to decline, weekly progress reports are conducted if students demonstrate a need for weekly monitoring, and letters are sent home to parents to involve them in the process before grades slip too far, so parents remain active participants in the process of their child being successful academically. Students also participate in internships, senior projects, and are matched with a mentor. In addition, community and business partners assist students find jobs that align with their career interests. One to one grade counseling, college counseling, financial and career counseling, in addition to a staff-mentor program, are made available to students and their parents to attend together. BBFA staff is always available to students if they have a problem. Students work in cooperative learning groups in BBFA classes to build self-esteem. Peer tutoring between BBFA students have lead to many close friendships between our students. Referrals to social agencies associated with our campus (MAARSTAF), are also made when deemed necessary. To establish long-range, post-secondary goals to help students develop their academic, personal and career plans, as per LAUSD’s Individualized Graduation Plan, the counselor will meet at least annually with the student and their parents. We also compile statistics to determine the percentage of students pursuing post secondary education. Last year, 83% of BBFA students pursued post secondary work. All BBFA students complete a postsecondary plan with guidance from their teachers and counselors. Students start in the 11th grade by preparing a College and Career Portfolio. Part of the Senior Portfolio includes a postsecondary plan. BBFA course curriculum also includes students preparing a Personal Statement, Autobiography, and Resume in the 12th grade. The Personal Statements and portfolio is finished one month before the due date in that many students use them for interviews. Field trips to colleges in addition to business mentoring and job shadowing opportunities give students a taste of college and a taste of the business world. To collect post-secondary data, we will have the seniors complete a survey about their future college and career plans. We will follow up annually with these surveys via email. We will disseminate this data to our BBFA Advisory Board for their analysis and evaluation so that we know how to best construct curricula to meet industry and student needs. The staff meets throught the semester, in addtion to the end of the semester to evaluate and plan for the next semester. We then meet with the stakeholders for their assessment of the program. Together we identify areas for change and plan the implementation. We also examine test scores, attendance records, and post- secondary data to determine areas for modification. The BBFA counselor and the office secretary in the Attendance Office provide academic and behavioral data for BBFA staff to assist in identifying areas of change. Equity and Access All students are encouraged to select BBFA as their academy. BBFA students, teachers and counselors go to feeder middle schools, as do the other three academies, and present what their academy has to offer. The school administration, counseling staff, and Academy instructors will provide students and parents with information regarding the CTE Career Pathway offered in BBFA at middle school orientations to high school. Prospective students are given a flyer, check off their preference, and then have it signed by their parent. Counselors get students information electronically. Students, who would usually slip between the cracks, have attendance problems, and low motivation, are encouraged to participate in the BBFA. Sixty-six percent of our students meet the at-risk criteria as set forth by CPA. Multiple strategies have been developed to support diverse learners who represent the range of different student subgroups at Venice and in BBFA. The school offers three different opportunities to attend tutoring to assist students with their academic studies. BBFA teachers also collaborate with teachers not in the academy during school-wide department meetings in addition to collaborating with the literacy and math coaches to assist in providing differentiated instruction and reinforce/spiral old teaching with new concepts being taught. Students are also allowed extra time to complete assignments. Evaluation of student report cards and progress reports is conducted every five weeks. The BBFA parent-student contract requires students attend mandatory tutoring if any grade falls below a "C" through the various tutoring programs offered at Venice High School, as well as on-going individual meetings with academy councelors and academy teachers designed to monitor student progress. Several incentive programs are in place, which include recognition of students based on academic achievement, attendence, and citizenship in the form of certificates, field trips and special recgnition assemblies. For special needs students in the BBFA, Individual Education Plans (IEP) are reviewed and re-visited to insure the implementation of all required accommodations. Differentiated instruction and real world linkage to curriculum will be incorporated into our instructional practices to provide culturally relevant, and linguistically responsive teaching in support of all of our students. Tutoring, BBFA Alerts, and parent notification via email and phone calls, are also included in our intervention plan for students who have trouble mastering content standards as a way of encouraging parents to be active participants in the child’s learning. Certain classes are blocked together so all BBFA students have some classes in common. Academy classes are scheduled in a cluster, whenever possible, to form a school within a school to better develop a variety of strategies to support diverse learners that represent the range of different student subgroups at Venice High School. Other specific classes are open to all students on Venice campus, whether they are in an academy or not, as a way to support student’s academic and personal development. Academy teachers have a common planning period during the school day to exchange student and educational information, and to work as a team in planning, teaching and trouble-shooting program activities that support academic and personal development for BBFA students. The planning period also includes frequent analysis and review of disaggregated student outcome data to modify instructional strategies. Venice High School is not structured with wall-to-wall slc/academies so all students have access to all teachers. BBFA teachers are not exclusively BBFA teachers; they teach general education students also. Counselors and teachers meet to review data and modify plans. We are planning to open up this process to BBFA parents beginning Fall 2008. Counselors then conduct curriculum/course counseling with BBFA students and their parents. Students are encouraged and supported in enrolling into Advanced Placement and Honors classes. Students originate the request. Teachers also make recommendations. Previous grades in addition to information gathered by talking with current/former teachers are used to help make a determination to enroll students in Advanced Placement or Honors classes. Beginning in the 2008-2009 school year, BBFA staff will begin identifying the percent of BBFA students in honors and AP and determine how to actively encourage more students to take advantage of AP and honors classes. Collaboration, Parent and Community Engagement Parents, community stakeholders, business partners, and BBFA students play a crucial role in the establishment and oversite of the BBFA. The BBFA has partnership with various employers. Employer representatives serve on the BBFA Advisory Committee, (which also consists of school district and school administrators and lead teachers), that oversees the program, assists in the development of career technical curriculum, provide speakers for Academy classes, hosts field trips to give students a perspective of the workplace, provide mentors who serve as career-related role models and personal points of contact and provide summer jobs and part-time school-year jobs. The BBFA has established partnerships with: TBWA/Chiat Day Advertising Agency, Fox Studios, ING, Creative Artists Agency, Junior Achievement, Sony Pictures, Washington Mutual, Project Echo, Santa Monica College, West Los Angeles College and the Chamber of Commerce. The Advisory Committee meets quarterly, however most members visit the classroom or staff meetings on a more regular basis. The committee helps to establish academy goals and add a "real world" aspect to the curriculum. They help the staff and the program grow by validating our work. They closely monitor the relevance of our coursework, ensuring that we are teaching the skills that are required for student success after graduation. Advisory Committee members consist of district and school administrators, lead teachers, parents, business partners, and other community organizations. The BBFA also has an Advisory Council that meets once a month at the school site to collaborate on and evaluate instructional strategies, adding community partners and developing new curriculum. Parents and students are included as participants on the BBFA Advisory Council in order to make decisions and develop new ideas. Meetings are open to the public and minutes are published. The BBFA Advisory Board meets quarterly, also visiting classrooms or staff meetings on a more regular basis. They have helped us develop a relevant curriculum, one that readies students for the 21st century workforce. They provide us with mentors, internships, job shadows, guest speakers, trainers, and tutors. Business and Community Partners visit the class as guest speakers to inform students about their jobs, provide feedback regarding students’ work, and to teach skills that are needed to be successful in the fields of business and finance. They help us assess student work in the career courses giving it real world value, as well as ensuring that, as teachers, we are offering a real world curriculum. They help the staff and the program grow by validating our work. They closely monitor the relevance of our coursework, ensuring that we are teaching the skills that are required for student success after graduation. The staff meets at the end of the semester to evaluate and plan for the next semester. We then meet with the stakeholders for their assessment of the program . Together we identify areas for change and plan the implementation. We also examine test scores, college attendance records, and attendance records for modification. The BBFA teachers meet once a week during a common conference period to review student work and develop standards-based thematic, integrated lessons. Grade-level integration meetings occur once or twice a month as needed, based on a common set of rubrics. Proposed new classes for fall 2008 include Business Ethics, Business Success Skills, Small Business Management and a 9th grade orientations/skills class. Accountability and Leadership The BBFA utilizes a leadership plan that involves all stakeholders through individual accountability, group collaboration and collective responsibility. There will be an administrator who is assigned to work with our academy as one of their duties. They will work with the Academy Coordinator, Lead Teacher, Academy Counselor, and resource teachers to assist academy teachers develop a focus and direction for the academy as we implement the 7 attributes. Our principal will provide guidance and information and will collaborate with academy teachers as needed. In addition, she will provide support to academies and will encourage and direct administrators to be involved with the academy they select. The BBFA will utilize several services provided to the Venice High School as a whole. Existing staff to ensure conformity with the school wide ISIS system will provide attendance, including PSA services. Data generation and management, including grading and demographic analysis of student progress, will be handled by Assistant Principals and other school personnel who service the larger school. Case carriers for our special needs students will collaborate with academy teachers. Regular staff meetings will be conducted to assist in coordinating the integration of special needs services and expertise into our program. An SLC/Academy Leadership Team, which will consist of students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, and community members, will be established. Their role is to oversee the running of the SLC’s/Academies and handle disputes. They will operate in concert with School Site Council and School Based Management to enable the school to function as a collaborative unit. Decisions made by School Site Council and the SLC Leadership Team directly relate to budget, student conflict, facilities, master schedule, student programming, student behavior and safety. Professional Development Currently, Venice has two professional development days per month, which occur on the first and third Tuesday. The BBFA proposes to use one of those days to meet as an academy/slc. Those professional development days will be open to all stakeholders and will provide a forum for collaborating on issues involving students, curriculum, events and evaluation of assessment results that inform future planning. BBFA will offer on-going training through professional development to increase awareness of different student sub-groups that may require differentiated learning styles. Teachers in our academy will share strategies that incorporate best practices throughout the curriculum, including multi-modal teaching strategies, modeling expected behavior and performance outcomes, providing clear criteria and rubrics for evaluating student work, collaborating on curriculum across all disciplines. In addition, BBFA faculty, parents, community and business stakeholders will use professional development time to collaborate on lessons that are responsive to the students’ multiple learning styles. Integrated curriculum that is culturally relevant and linguistically responsive, will be developed to address the needs of a fully inclusive student population, seeking greater connection between school and career. Selected professional development days will also be used for the resource specialist teacher (RST) to collaborate with BBFA teachers in developing curriculum, accommodations, and modifications that are integrated with the general education curriculum. Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions and address concerns regarding heir student’s specific learning style. Standards-Based Instruction and Assessment The Bilingual Business and Finance Academy (BBFA) is currently a California Partnership Academy that provides an opportunity for students to learn in a close family-like atmosphere, integrating academic and career-technical education, and has established viable business partnerships. Our academy is a four-year program, in grades 9-12, structured as a school- within-a-school, incorporating a curriculum focused on a career theme, coordinated with related academic classes, a voluntary student selection process that identifies interested ninth graders, a small team of teachers who work together to plan and implement the program, and a variety of motivational activities including parental support, a well-developed reward structure, speakers, field trips, job-shadowing, a mentor program, work experience, and regular monitoring of progress with feedback to students. Academic-technical integration of curriculum is a key ingredient. In the eleventh grade, mentors are matched to students in the BBFA. Mentors are from the business or finance community who volunteer to be a career-related “caring adult” in the student’s life. After the junior year, students on track for graduation are placed in summer jobs. Students apply for these jobs as they would in the open market; they prepare resumes, complete job applications and have interviews. Companies make the hiring decisions. Upon graduation, students will have been exposed to a wide range of opportunities, from the occupational training needed for entry-level employment to preparation for college entrance (A-G requirements, SAT/ACT, Advanced Placement courses, etc.). Additional goals for students in BBFA is to have completed 10th and 11th grade with an attendance record of no less than 80% positive attendance, obtain 90% of the credits each academic year in courses that are required for graduation and successfully graduate after the 12th grade and pursue a post secondary at a trade school or a 4-year college or university. Our Business and Public Sector partners provide mentors and internships and help us develop a relevant curriculum, one that readies the student for the 21st century workforce. They provide us with mentors, internships, job shadows, guest speakers, trainers, and tutors. They also assist us in assessing student work in the career courses, giving them real world value, as well as ensuring that, as teachers, we are offering a real world curriculum. BBFA teachers will utilize best practices throughout the curriculum, including multi-modal teaching strategies, modeling expected behavior and performance outcomes, providing clear criteria and rubrics for evaluating student work, and collaborating on curriculum across all disciplines during regular faculty professional development meetings. All partners have the opportunity to help and assess student projects. This gives the student and teacher "real world validation" of their work. They also help to identify the requirements of potential employees in today's work force. Parental involvement is crucial when an intervention is needed. Weekly staff meetings are conducted to discuss student achievement. Mandatory peer tutoring is required if grades are below acceptable level. Parent contact for both academic and attendance issues is crucial, continuous and consistant. The academy staff also meets at the end of each term to evaluate the previous semester and prepare for the upcoming semester. We then meet with our stakeholders for their assessment of the academy program. Together we identify areas of proposed change and its implementation. The staff also examines the state test scores, college atttendance records, and attendance records for modification.