NEASC Two Year Report by tedhall

VIEWS: 79 PAGES: 20

									      Two- Year Progress Report of Yarmouth High School
                        October 2007

Section I—Detailed Responses to Highlighted Recommendations
1. Focus faculty efforts on the use of school-wide expectations.

Classification:           In Progress

Response:           The school-wide expectations are slowly becoming more integrated into
the regular instructional and assessment decisions. In Maine, there was a strong program for
developing a local assessment system based on the guiding principles and learning results.
At Yarmouth High School, much effort was put into meeting the requirements of this state
mandate. Included in that work was a more close alignment of the school-wide expectations
to the daily instruction and assessment decisions. The state has backed off from the local
assessment system, which understandably has caused a shift in priorities in the school, so this
work is somewhat stalled at this point. The school has identified the school-wide
expectations and defined the areas of responsibility for each of the expectations, but we have
not yet been able to complete this work.

With our present school-wide expectations, we feel that we have reached a plateau in terms
of faculty implementation. A next step will be to review the school-wide expectations to see
if they can better meet our needs and be used by the whole faculty in their daily work.
However, with a strong focus in the next two years on the improvement of instruction, this
work will not be a high priority.

We will continue to work on this recommendation with the goal of fully meeting the
recommendation by the five-year report.


2. Define the accepted levels of achievement required to meet school-wide academic
   expectations.

Classification:           In Progress

Response:           We see the most important part of this recommendation is to ensure that
all students meet the school-wide academic expectations regardless of whether they take
college prep or honors classes (the only two levels in Yarmouth High School). Learning
areas have begun working toward alignment in academic expectations between college prep
and honors courses. One example would be the work done in Language Arts (and Social
Studies to a lesser extent) to rework the summer reading assignments. This has been a very
important part of our work to make sure that all students are asked to reach the same levels of
achievement regardless of what level of a particular course they choose to take. A deliberate
decision to have teacher assignments include both the college prep and honors levels within a
grade level has been helpful in making sure that the school-wide expectations are being met


            Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 1 of 20
in all courses. In the Language Arts learning area, all but one part time teacher currently
teach both college prep and honors sections of the same course. This is similar in social
studies, science, and mathematics as well.

Additionally, learning areas have taken steps to create more commonality between teachers
of common courses. These are steps toward ensuring that students with different teachers
have similar learning experiences and expectations. Professional development time allocated
to the learning areas is being used for this purpose.


3. Ensure more consistency of instructional strategies of higher order thinking in all
   levels across the curriculum.

Classification:            In Progress

Response:           As described above, we have been working on ensuring that all students
are being asked to meet the school-wide expectations in all of their classes, regardless of
level. There has been work within the learning areas to more closely align the expectations
between the honors and college prep levels. One example of this work is the revision of the
summer reading expectations between the two levels. Prior to last summer, there was a large
gap in expectations between the two levels. This set up an immediate expectation for both
students and teachers that the courses would have vastly different expectations that resulted
in different instructional strategies as well. Now, the summer assignments are almost the
same at the two levels, setting the stage for students and teachers to begin the classes with
more common expectations and thus common instructional strategies. Rather than meeting
in the middle, the goal has been to bring up the level of expectations for the college prep
classes and to differentiate within the classroom for each student. Another example is the
alignment of common expectations expressed in common assignment descriptors and rubrics
for common assessments such as the Public Policy project, a required assessment done in the
junior social studies classes. Also, the Writing Assessment Portfolio contains the same
samples of writing that have been assessed using the same rubrics.

A subtle, but important change has happened in terms of the language defining the two
levels. What was formerly called “non-honors” has been changed to “college prep.”

In addition to the work being done to ensure higher level of instruction in the college prep
classes, the school has also focused on improvement of instruction as the most important goal
of our professional development. We are using Robert Marzano’s The Art and Science of
Teaching as a guide for this improvement work.




             Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 2 of 20
4. Develop and implement a procedure to ensure that the teacher evaluation system
   feedback is given in a timely manner for the purpose of improving instruction.

Classification:            Completed

Response:           The process for teacher evaluation as outlined is a good process. It just
was not being implemented as well as it could have been. Several changes have occurred
since the departure of the visiting team. First, the principal and assistant principal have made
a much stronger commitment to regular, brief classroom visits. These visits are accompanied
by a brief written summary for the teacher. In addition, the regular formal observations are
made. One component of the district evaluation is the development of a teacher portfolio.
Prior to two years ago, the high school teachers turned in their portfolios every three years,
which resulted in high anxiety every three years and a scrambling to pull everything together
from the prior three years on the part of some teachers. Last year, teachers were required to
turn in their portfolios every year (as had been outlined in the district evaluation document,
but never implemented at the high school). This resulted in all members of faculty working
on their portfolios, instead of only a third. In addition, expectations for the portfolio were
streamlined and explained clearly with examples. Finally, all teachers were provided
feedback on their portfolios, allowing them to modify the portfolios to reflect the
suggestions. This year, an addition will be made to the portfolio process where the work will
be shared with the whole faculty, instead of just with the administrator.


5. Clarify for the faculty the role of learning area leaders in curricular processes.

Classification:            Completed

Response:           The role of the Learning Area Leader has been clarified. The Building
Leadership Team has been expanded to reflect broader representation of the staff by
including a teacher from the ninth grade team, a guidance counselor, the literacy teacher,
instructional strategist, and the librarian in addition to the Learning Area Leaders, Principal,
and Assistant Principal. This change is reflected in a new title of High School Building
Leadership Team rather than Learning Area Leaders. The Building Leadership Team
developed a shared vision of the purpose of the group's work.

In addition, the meetings of the Building Leadership Team have been changed substantially
since the visiting team was at Yarmouth High School. Agendas are developed in advance
and posted online for the faculty to see. The faculty is invited to attend leadership team
meetings. Minutes are posted the next day after a meeting. Each meeting includes time for
leadership team members to bring issues that have been presented by faculty. After the
discussion of an item, a decision is made about how the issue has either been resolved or will
be resolved. This is included in the minutes.




             Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 3 of 20
The Building Leadership Team also meets with the district level leadership that includes the
teacher leaders from each building and all of the administrators. The focus in those meetings
is to build better facilitation and leadership skills that can be used in learning area meetings.



6. Increase the budgetary allocation of the print collection in the media center to
   ensure it supports all areas of the curriculum and allows for needed updating of the
   collection.

Classification:            Completed

Response:           The media center budget has been increased to meet its needs to support
all areas of the curriculum and to allow for updating as needed. When the librarian was
interviewed for this report, she said that all of the needs identified in the self-study have been
met.

7. Provide students and parents a more informed understanding of the PATHS
   program in order to fully integrate the opportunities of this program into the
   curriculum of Yarmouth High School.

Classification:            Completed

Response:           As a part of the update of the Course of Studies, the PATHS program
description was revised. This document is made available to students, parents, and faculty in
hard copy and on-line. Additionally, the faculty was briefed on the PATHS programs in
preparation for the parent, student, and advisor Registration Conferences each spring. As
part of the eighth grade parent and student orientation, a more complete explanation of the
opportunities available at PATHS is now included.


8. Review the present crisis plan to eliminate discrepancies and to ensure the
   continued safety of students.

Classification:            Completed

Response:          The present crisis plan has been revisited, updated, and reviewed with
staff. An annual meeting with staff each fall is focused on any updates to the plan as well as
a review of the plans for each level of crisis.




             Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 4 of 20
9. Develop and implement an adequate solution to address the exhaust ventilation
   issues in the science lab.

Classification:            Completed

Response:           This issue ended up being more complicated than first expected. A
consultant was hired to measure the ventilation in each of the science labs. He found that
there were several problems with the size of the exhaust fans and with the design of the
system. He made recommendations that were then completed by the original contractors.
Once the changes were made, he came back and did another series of measurements to make
sure that everything was working. Finally, he met with the science teachers to explain all of
the changes and the process for his testing. After the completion of this work, the exhaust
ventilation issues have been addressed.


10. Provide fireproof cabinets for the storage of permanent records in guidance and
    special education departments.

Classification:            Completed

Response:          Shortly after the visiting team visit, additional fireproof cabinets were
purchased and installed for the storage of all permanent records in guidance and special
education. In addition, all of the cumulative folders are not only stored in fireproof cabinets
but within a special storage room that is designed to resist fire.




             Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 5 of 20
             Section II – Evaluation Report Recommendations

                       STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                    Mission and Expectations for Student Learning

1.     Develop and implement a formal process that will document the school-wide
achievement of civic and social expectations.

Classification:        In Progress

Response:       The achievement of social and civic expectations has long been viewed as
anecdotal, rather than data based. Over the last two years, we have collected data that is helping
us to document the achievement of civic and social expectations. In advisor groups, we
document both the hours and the type of community service completed by students. During the
senior year, the advisors report on the total number of hours that each student has completed in
community service. All students are required to complete sixty hours for graduation. We are
also using the results of the state survey on drug and alcohol use that also includes a number of
questions about various activities with which students are involved. Recently, we added both a
senior survey and an alumni survey to our data collection points. Students are asked a variety of
questions about the school, including several that address the civic and social expectations. At
the end of this school year, we will review all of the data to again assess where we are meeting
and where we are not meeting these expectations and develop a strategy for meeting those
expectations.

2.     Focus faculty efforts on the school- wide use of academic expectations.

Classification:        In Progress

Response:              See highlighted recommendation #1.

3.     Develop and implement a procedure to ensure the standardization of academic
expectations across the curriculum.

Classification:        In Progress

Response:       As outlined in our response to highlighted recommendation #3, there has been a
great deal of work done to bring up the level of expectation of curriculum, assessment and
instruction in the college prep classes to bring them closer to the honors classes. This has
resulted in much greater standardization of the expectations across the curriculum, as well as an
increase of individual differentiation.



                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 6 of 20
                        STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                                 Curriculum

1.     Develop a template for each of the learning area curriculum documents.

Classification:        Completed

Response:       A template is used for each of the learning area curriculum documents that
outlines the essential learning, possible instructional strategies, and assessment.


2.     Complete the development of unit plans to address existing gaps.

Classification:        In Process

Response:      Unit plans exist for all units of study for all learning areas except for a few
elective courses within the social studies learning area and some classes within the Visual and
Performing Arts Learning Area (Sculpture, Clay 1, Clay 2, Drawing & Painting, Multimedia
Design, and Video Production). The arts curriculum is currently being reviewed and these unit
plans will be completed this academic year. In all other learning areas, the unit plans are
completed.

Unit Plans are currently being kept up to date as units of study are reorganized (as is the case
with math), new materials are purchased (as is the case with science), new courses are added to
the course of studies (as is the case with new AP Chemistry and Physics classes), new teachers
are hired who will help to revise or develop new units within a course (for example, with the
junior American Literature course and Latin), or as curriculum is revised (as is the case with the
junior American History course).


3.     Incorporate suggested instructional strategies into all unit plans.

Classification:        In Process

Response:       Suggested instructional strategies are being worked into unit plans as they are
revised, created, and updated. Discussion by the faculty on including instructional strategies in
the unit plans has reflected wanting to include effective instructional strategies as a starting place
for the given unit while not being overly prescriptive.

Much of our full faculty professional development time has been spent on sharing and reflecting
on student engagement as a result of various instructional strategies. This discussion will help to
contribute to the quality of suggested instructional strategies provided in the unit plans.




                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 7 of 20
4.     Explicitly state the connection between the school-wide expectations and the
curriculum.

Classification:        In Process

Response:       Individual learning areas have clearly identified the school-wide expectations for
which they are responsible. Teachers have access to the school-wide academic expectations and
the common rubrics through shared folders in email. Teachers use these documents in
developing curriculum and assessments. Not all teachers are making that connection directly to
the students, so this represents our next step toward completing this recommendation.

5.     Develop and implement a plan for reviewing K-12 articulation and cross content
coordination/integration

Classification:        Completed

Response:        The district goals provide guidance to the work within each learning area
regardless of grade level or building. They help to provide an overarching framework for all
professional development, which helps to coordinate K-12 curricular development. More
specifically, at least five Monday afternoon professional development time blocks have been
scheduled to support K-12 work within particular content area. Learning areas have been using
this time for collaboration, coordination, and integration. Furthermore our collaborative inquiry
professional development projects are scheduled on the same day across the district to allow for
cross-building collaboration. The use of on-line discussion through the use of blogs for keeping
and communicating minutes of learning area meetings also supports this coordination and
integration.

6.    Provide increased professional development opportunities for special education
support staff members who work with implementing curriculum.

Classification:        Completed

Response:       As soon as the draft recommendations were received, a change was made to
ensure that the special education educational technicians (paraprofessionals) were included in all
professional development opportunities, with a specific focus on providing curricular support.
Special education teachers have always had the necessary professional development
opportunities in this area.

7.     Ensure that the library print collection supports all curricular needs.

Classification:        Completed

Response:       The media center budget has been increased to meet its needs to support all areas
of the curriculum and to allow for updating as needed. When the librarian was interviewed for
this report, she said that all of the needs identified in the self-study have been met.



                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 8 of 20
8.     Raise awareness levels of the opportunities at the PATHS program.

Classification:        Completed

Response:              See highlighted recommendation #7




                        STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                                  Instruction
1.   Increase formal and informal efforts to make connections across disciplines.

Classification:        Completed

Response:          There have been several increases in opportunities for teachers to work
together across disciplines. In addition to the previous Grade 9 “team of four” teams (Social
Studies, English, Math, and Science), teachers have been involved in the following examples:
• Collaborative Inquiry groups as a part of the professional development and evaluation process.
Some CI groups are mixed discipline; all review groups are mixed disciplines.
• The Grade 11 English teachers redesigned the curriculum for American Literature this past
summer. There has been discussion on future work with the junior year American History
teachers to collaborate on units of studies between these two courses.
• English and History Teachers in grades nine and eleven worked on collaborating on the
summer reading assignment and expectations.
• Health Science teachers collaborated with history teachers to institute their model of Socratic
Seminar for student assessment.
• Learning Area Leaders share team minutes on blogs that are open to all disciplines.
• Music and Video class collaborated on an Open House project.

2. Ensure more consistency of instructional strategies of higher order thinking in all
levels across the curriculum.

Classification:        In Process

Response:              See highlighted recommendation #3


3. Develop and implement a procedure to ensure that the teacher evaluation system
feedback is given in a timely manner for the purpose of improving instruction.

Classification:        Completed



                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 9 of 20
Response:               See highlighted recommendation #4
                         STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                            Assessment of Student Learning

1.    Implement the consistent use of school-wide rubrics to measure student success in
meeting the academic expectations as outlined in the mission statement

Classification:         In Process

Response:      Learning Areas have continued to develop and refine rubrics used for common
assessments and rubrics used in all courses for similar assessments. Teachers have the school-
wide rubrics for school-wide academic expectations as a resource through a shared email folder.
Much of our professional development time has been spent on the subject of student engagement
and instructional strategies and less on developing common assessment rubrics and practices.
The value of adopting school-wide rubrics is still being worked on within the faculty.

2.    Analyze information collected about civic and social expectations in order to gain
perspective on the overall achievement of these standards

Classification:         Completed

Response:      This recommendation is addressed in the first recommendation under the standard
for Mission and Expectations for Student Learning. In addition to what was described above,
there has been some specific work that was done with the Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol
Survey (MYDUAS) that is worth including here. The whole faculty used a protocol during one
of our daylong in-service sessions with data from the 2005 MYDAUS survey during a March in-
service day. This analysis and subsequent discussion helped to further gain perspective on the
overall achievement of these standards. Additionally, the high school Health Science Learning
Area and the district Guidance/Social Work teams met with the Superintendent to analyze data
from the 2005 MYDAUS survey and discuss implications for the curriculum. Also, the Principal
and Athletic Director used data from the MYDAUS survey in working with coaches and co-
curricular advisors to prepare for “code night” for extracurricular activities where a review of the
code for co-curricular activities is outlined.



3.     Define the accepted levels of achievement required to meet school-wide academic
expectations

Classification:         In Process

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #2.

4.     Devise a method to report student progress in achieving school wide academic
expectations to parents, students, and the community



                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 10 of 20
Classification:         Completed

Response:      Beginning in fall of 2005, Learning Areas agreed to use a consistent set of
standards by which to assess student work. Teachers use those standards as their grading
categories in Power School to which students and parents all have online access. Therefore
students and parents are able to track progress within particular standard categories over time.

Starting in the spring of 2007, teachers are given professional development time (Monday
meeting time) to write comments for all students for the report cards. These comments can be
viewed by all students and their parents and are often focused on the student’s progress toward
meeting expectations.

A school “report card” is provided on our website that provides information to the public about
how the school meets a variety of indicators.




                         STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                            Leadership and Organization

1. Clarify for the faculty the role of Learning Area Leaders as curriculum leaders

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #5

2. Increase opportunities for teacher involvement in the decision-making process.

Classification:         Completed

Response:      In addition to the make up of the Building Leadership Team membership, agendas
for the meetings are published in advance in email and minutes are promptly posted after a
meeting to an on-line blog for faculty.

Furthermore staff beyond the Building Leadership Team has been involved the development and
facilitation of in-service days. Several ad hoc committees of staff (both involved with the
Building Leadership Team and faculty at large) and students have been created to work on issues
including a new dance policy, the creation of the Student Senate, and guidelines on academic
honesty.

Feedback from staff on the value of the work done during in-service days, on administrative
performance, and the performance of the leadership Team and individual Learning Area Leaders
has been gathered and has become an expectation.




                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 11 of 20
3. Examine the current teacher evaluation process to ensure that all teachers are evaluated
regularly.

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #4




                         STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                            School Resources for Learning

1. Increase the budgetary allocation of the print collection in the media center to ensure it
   supports all areas of the curriculum and allows for the needed updating of the collection

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #6

2. Provide students and parents a better understanding of the PATHS program in order
   to fully integrate the opportunities of this program into the curriculum of Yarmouth
   High School


Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #7

3. Provide fire proof cabinets for the storage of permanent records in the guidance and
   special education departments

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #10




                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 12 of 20
                         STANDARD FOR ACCREDITATION:
                          Community Resources for Learning

1. Develop and implement a formal written plan for maintenance and repair of the facility

Classification:         Completed

Response:      Bruce Bickford, the head of maintenance for the school department, verified that
we have a state-mandated ten-year facility plan that includes plans for maintenance, repairs, and
capital improvements.

2. Review the present crisis plan to eliminate discrepancies and to ensure the continued
safety of students

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #8

3. Develop and implement an adequate solution to address the exhaust ventilation issues in
the science lab

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #9

4. Develop and implement a plan to ensure adequate ongoing financial support for the
media center

Classification:         Completed

Response:               See highlighted recommendation #6.




                  Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 13 of 20
                      Section III – Mission Statement and
                      Expectations for Student Learning

                      THE MISSION OF YARMOUTH SCHOOLS

         “Empowering All Students to Create Fulfilling Lives in a Changing World”


                             YARMOUTH’S CORE VALUES

                                    • Honesty
                                    • Integrity
                                    • Trustworthiness
                                    • Loyalty
                                    • Fairness
                                    • Respect
                                    • Citizenship
                                    • Pursuit of Quality
                                    • Responsibility
                                    • Positive Self-Esteem
                                    • Caring

                          YARMOUTH BELIEF STATEMENTS

IN REGARD TO STUDENTS AND LEARNING
We believe that...

  •   All students can learn at their own highest levels, but not always on the same day or in
      the same way.
  •   Whether students learn something well is more important than when they
      learn it.
  •   Success helps students build character and self-respect, and contributes to further success.
  •   Students can learn to take responsibility for their own actions and learning and can make
      good decisions.
  •   Everyone has worth and deserves respect.

IN REGARD TO SCHOOL STAFF AND TEACHING
We believe that ...

  •   All staff members are reflective, life-long learners.
  •   All staff members are members of collegial groups working toward realizing our mission
      and life-role outcomes.
  •   The positive and healthy self-image of teachers enhances their ability to help students.
  •   Everyone has worth and deserves respect.




              Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 14 of 20
   •   Staff members plan and promote a safe, nurturing, and motivational environment, which
       allows for expanded learning opportunities.

IN REGARD TO SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY
We believe that ...

   •   It is the responsibility of the entire community to educate a child.
   •   Our structures, decision-making model, and curriculum must be based on our mission,
       life-role outcomes, beliefs, values, and vision.
   •   Our schools control the educational environment and are accountable for the conditions
       that ensure student success within that environment.
   •   Open and accurate community-wide communication is critical to effective education.
   •   Growth cannot occur without change.
   •   Our schools use the diverse human resources that emerge within the school and
       community.

YARMOUTH SCHOOLS' STUDENT LIFE-ROLE OUTCOMES

These outcomes incorporate a body of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students must master
in order to live fulfilling lives in a changing world. Therefore, the outcomes listed below will be
the basis for the development of our curriculum and instructional program and will also be the
basis for assessing the effectiveness of our curriculum and instructional program.

#1 Learning Life-Role Outcome
A life-long learner who:
   • Uses positive core values to create a personal vision;
   • Acts creatively, responsibly, and independently;
   • Takes healthy risks, and responds to challenges effectively;
   • Demonstrates the ability to self-assess and self-adjust by reflecting upon past experiences
        and examining exemplary standards;
   • Anticipates and adapts quickly to change;
   • Solves problems by accessing and analyzing information from a variety of sources; and
   • Applies appropriate learning strategies best suited to the learning situation.

#2 Relationship Life-Role Outcome
A dependable individual who:
   • Creates a balanced life by managing time effectively in order to satisfy emotional,
       physical, spiritual, and social needs;
   • Respects and appreciates self and others;
   • Interacts and adapts with compassion and sensitivity in changing relationships;
   • Collaborates with empathy, flexibility, and trust as a partner, friend and team member;
   • Uses effective leadership and group skills to develop and manage interpersonal
       relationships; and
   • Expresses self authentically.




                Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 15 of 20
#3 Civic Life-Role Outcome
An involved citizen who:
   • Performs services as a stakeholder in the well being of the community;
   • Practices tolerance and respects the rights of others;
   • Analyzes, evaluates, and articulates issues;
   • Participates in the government process in an informed manner;
   • Respects laws and regulations and participates in their change;
   • Acts as a steward of community resources; and
   • Respects our democratic heritage and traditions.

#4 Recreation/Culture Life-Role Outcome
A creative, active participant who:
   • Makes healthy lifestyle choices;
   • Incorporates fun and play into life;
   • Engages in the arts, music, and the humanities;
   • Honors the freedom of artistic expression;
   • Expresses oneself imaginatively through the arts; and
   • Critiques various artistic forms of expression.

#5 Global Life-Role Outcome
A global citizen who:
   • Promotes human rights;
   • Balances personal rights with personal responsibilities;
   • Identifies the nature and roots of prejudice in him/herself and others as well as the way
       prejudice contributes to injustice and oppression;
   • Relates world problems and change to an understanding of the history, governments,
       economics, and geography of the world;
   • Accepts personal responsibility for the preservation and wise use of the world’s
       environment; and
   • Recognizes the contributions made by various ethnic, religious, and cultural groups to our
       pluralistic society.

#6 Economic Life-Role Outcome
A responsible consumer and quality producer who:
    • Identifies and anticipates trends and future needs;
    • Develops ethically sound solutions individually and with others;
    • Uses appropriate human and technological resources;
    • Communicates effectively in all forums, both orally and in writing;
    • Establishes and manages an individual economic plan;
    • Identifies and meets the requirements of changing career opportunities; and
    • Evaluates the environmental and social impact of economic decisions.




               Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 16 of 20
                         Section IV – Substantive Changes

In the past year, the school districts of the state of Maine have been working to meet the
mandates of a school consolidation law that prescribes districts of 2500 students or greater, with
some exceptions allowed. We are happy to report that because of an exemption for “high
performing, highly efficient” schools, the Yarmouth School Committee has decided to take that
exemption and remain a single town district. It is not clear that the future of such an exemption
is guaranteed, but we have had assurances from the Department of Education that the exemption
will last at least three years.

                       Section V – Strengths/Achievements

   •   Since the accreditation visit, Yarmouth High School has been honored by the US
       Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The school was recognized in a
       ceremony in Washington, DC in the fall of 2005, shortly after the visiting team left.
   •   In both the fall of 2006 and fall 2007, Newsweek magazine named Yarmouth High
       School as one of its top 1000 schools. In 2007, our ranking was 330 which translates into
       number 10 in New England. We recognize that Newsweek’s measure is a simple metric
       based on the number of AP exams given compared to the size of the graduating class.
       However, we do pride ourselves on the fact that AP courses are open to all students and
       that a high percentage of our students choose to challenge themselves by taking one or
       more AP courses.
   •   In the summer of 2006, a group of students and faculty met to rewrite the school’s
       constitution and redefine the student government at Yarmouth High School. Two
       branches of government were created: a Student Senate and Class Councils for each of
       the grades. The Student Senate deliberates on issues in the three areas of academics,
       school culture, and co-curricular activities. In the short time of its existence, the Student
       Senate has proposed new courses, slightly modified the schedule to regularly schedule an
       extended advisor/advisee time, and has created a new dance policy to address concerns
       raised by the faculty.
   •   Our students have been recognized in a variety of ways at the statewide and national
       levels. Our most recent recognition came when three students wrote a grant to the state
       department of public utilities to put solar collectors on the roof of the high school. The
       students secured a $30,000 grant that was delivered in person by the governor.
   •   One of our overlooked strengths, because we get recognition such as the Newsweek top
       schools, is our commitment to meet the needs of all students. Our dropout rate over the
       last four years has been under a half percent. This number represents either one or two
       dropouts at the most per year. This happens because we take seriously the notion of
       figuring out how we can meet the needs of all students. We have a variety of support
       structures in place that might all be utilized for certain students just to make sure that the
       student can succeed and ultimately graduate.




                Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 17 of 20
          Section VI – Restructuring or other Reform Initiatives

During the 2006-07 school year, the district developed two new goals and a vision for the
district. The vision was based upon the district’s revision of the DuFour’s questions:

   •   What do we want each student to learn?
   •   How will we know when each student has learned it?
   •   How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
   •   How will we deepen the learning for each student?

These questions, along with the vision, led to the following district goals:

   •   Teacher teams will improve student achievement through analysis of student learning,
       with a specific emphasis on improving achievement in mathematics and literacy.
   •   Teachers will increase student engagement and improve student achievement by focusing
       on instructional practices.


The four questions and two district goals, along with the formation and development of
professional learning communities, is the heart of our work. Each teacher, working with at least
one colleague, is engaged in collaborative inquiry/action research that is designed to improve
instructional practice. Each learning area has developed its own set of goals to build on the
district goal of improved instruction and increased engagement.

The faculty is just beginning an in-depth study and application of the work in Robert Marzano’s
The Art and Science of Teaching, a book that outlines research behind best practice and practical
application of the research information.




                Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 18 of 20
      Section VII – Follow-up Program at Yarmouth High School
When the accreditation report was received in the spring of 2006, it was distributed to faculty,
the superintendent and school committee, and posted on the school website for parents, students,
and the community. The evaluation report has also been given to each new faculty member in the
fall of 2006 and 2007 so that they get a sense of the accreditation process and the
recommendations coming out of the report.

The follow-up committee consists of representatives from across the faculty. The follow-up
committee, along with the High School Building Leadership Team, has helped to define the
direction in addressing the recommendations in the report.

Among the steps taken to follow up on the report are the following:

Spring 2006
   • Faculty meeting to examine recommendations and establish priorities.
   • Building Leadership Team continues the work of establishing priorities
   • Evaluation report is focus of parent-principal coffees and newsletters

School Year 2006-07
   • Faculty meeting time to address recommendations
   • Learning area work specifically on recommendations dealing with equalizing
       expectations across the curriculum

Fall 2007
    • Finalize progress on recommendations with follow-up committee
    • Two-year report is written and submitted

Follow-up Committee:

Holly Tornrose, Chair of Follow-up Committee and English Teacher
Ted Hall, Principal
Margaret Anderson, Assistant Principal
Tom McDowell, Special Educator and Social Studies Learning Area Leader
Caitlin Ruthman, Social Studies Teacher
Melissa Noack, Arts Learning Area Leader and Teacher
Jodi McGuire, Instructional Strategist
Beth Doane, Guidance Counselor
Brenda Michaelsen, Guidance Counselor
Julie Hutchinson, Math Teacher and 9th Grade Team Leader




               Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 19 of 20
                          STATISTICAL DATA SHEET


Yarmouth High School                            Principal: Ted Hall
286 West Elm Street                             207-846-5535 (phone)
Yarmouth, ME 04096                              207-846-2326 (fax)
http://hs.yarmouth.k12.me.us/Pages/index
ted_hall@yarmouth.k12.me.us
Dates of Accreditation Visit: September 18-21, 2005

Grades 9-12               School Enrollment: 491 at time of evaluation
Grades 9-12               School Enrollment: 509 at the present time

Dropout Rates:
Year      Dropout Rate
2003-04   0.42%
2004-05   0.20%
2005-06   0.20%
2006-07   0.20%

        DISPOSITION OF VISITING COMMITTEE REPORT
                    RECOMMENDATIONS
                                NUMBER     PERCENTAGE
COMPLETED                         19           68%
IN PROGRESS                        9           32%
PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE             0            0%
REJECTED                           0            0%
NO ACTION                          0            0%
TOTAL                             28           100%


Signature of Principal                                _________________________
                                                      Ted Hall, Principal

Signature of Chair of Follow-up Committee             _________________________
                                                      Holly Tornrose, English Teacher

Progress Report Submitted on November 28, 2007




              Yarmouth High School Two-Year Progress Report, page 20 of 20

								
To top