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DCCP School Support Joni Pearlman Chicago Public Schools TBR VI April 26, 2010 DCCP School Support 2 ABSTRACT College and career preparation is critical to the ability of high school graduates to earn a self-sufficient living. The Department of College and Career Preparation’s (DCCP) mission is to ensure that every Chicago Public School (CPS) student is equipped with the knowledge, skills and support necessary for a successful future in post-secondary education and careers. This capstone paper outlines how DCCP evaluated the need for different types and levels of supports, especially College and Career coaching and College and Career Academy implementation/coordination. Please see Appendix I for a DCCP Overview. INTRODUCTION CPS is the third largest school district in the United States. The district has over 400,000 students in 675 schools. Student information for FY09-10 from www.cps.edu: Total: 409,279 Student racial breakdown Preschool: 24,370 African American: 45% Kindergarten: 29,632 Latino: 41% Elementary (1-8): 239, 507 White: 9% Secondary (9-12): 115,770 Asian/Pacific Islander: 3.6% Native American: 0.2% In 2009 there were changes at CPS and DCCP that impacted DCCP’s operations and strategy including: CPS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arne Duncan was named Secretary of Education Ron Huberman was named CPS CEO Greg Darnieder (Officer of DCCP) left CPS to work at the Department of Education (DOE) Education to Careers was renamed Career and Technical Education (CTE) and merged with the Department of Post-secondary Education (PSE) to create DCCP o Career Development Facilitator (CDF) position eliminated as part of the merger DCCP School Support 3 o Post-secondary coach (PSC) renamed College and Career Coach (CCC) Aarti Dhupelia was named Director of CTE and began the CTE “Retooling” project Jerusha Rodgers was named Officer of DCCP Office of High School Programs (OHSP) was essentially disbanded (not formally) and the DCCP Officer now reports directly to the Chief Education Office (CeDO) Barbara Karpouzian was named Director of Secondary School Counseling Patrick Milton was named Director of College and Career Coaches and Specialists DCCP was created in recognition of the growing need for education after high school. DCCP works to successfully transition more CPS high school students into post-secondary education and careers. The first time the majority of CPS’ college and career preparation activities were house in a single department was 2009-2010. The challenge was to develop and implement a strategy to ensure that all students are served and their needs are met. SITUATION Prior to the CTE and PSE merger there were a number of central office funded resources in the schools supporting college and career preparation including CDFs (see Appendix II) and PSCs. Greg Darnieder pioneered the successful PSC program at CPS that hires coaches to support college and career preparation in the school. In 2009-2010 there were a number of changes in DCCP. The decision was made to eliminate the PSC and CDF positions and create one College and Career Coach (CCC) position. This was not an easy decision. Many of the CDFs lost their jobs and a majority of the former PSCs retained their job with the expectation of additional career- focused responsibilities. The CDFs had provided direct supplemental DCCP School Support 4 educational services to students enrolled in approved CTE programs, but did not serve the entire student population. The CCCs, who served all students in the building, were expected to integrate the CTE component and meet CTE requirements. The CCC is a shared position between DCCP and the school – the school pays 50% and DCCP pays 50%. The position is a 52-week non-unionized educational support position. The average CCC makes significantly less than the average CPS teacher/counselor which is one reason why the program has been successful. The schools get a very capable resource for a reasonable cost. The CCCs tend to be young individuals who have previous youth development and programming experience. The CCCs are managed by a group of College and Career Specialists (Specialists). The Specialists are aligned to the CPS areas and through 2009-2010 were 100% funded by DCCP with dual reporting to dual reporting to the Director of College and Career Coaches and Specialists and their respective Chief Area Officer (CAO). All specialists formerly managed the PSCs except one who managed CDFs. The 2009-2010 school year began with confusion largely due to the vague job description that combined the CDF and PSC position (see Appendix III). This posed a huge challenge because the CCC is school based and not only did the school staff not know what new responsibilities the CCC had but there was limited organized training for the CCC. There was little clarity regarding additional responsibilities that were expected of them. The few CDFs who became CCCs were fairly comfortable in the new role because as CDFs they had always focused on college preparation as a step to a successful career. The CCCs that had been PSCs were struggling with understanding the career component of the position. The coach pilot program that began less than 10 years ago had 12 schools. The program has proven to be scalable and in 2009-2010 there were 47 CCCs serving 44 schools. Based on 20th day enrollment for 2009-2010 these 44 schools have more than 49,000 students which represent more than 50% of high DCCP School Support 5 school students in what were considered coach eligible schools for 2009-2010 (see Appendix IV). For 2009-2010 coach eligible schools excluded charter schools, contract schools, special education schools, alternative schools or achievement academies. At the same time as the changes to the coach role, implementation of CTE “Retooling” strategy had begun and was gaining momentum. There were CTE programs in hundreds of schools and enrollment and outcomes varied by school and program. In 2009 CPS began to consolidate a number of the programs into CTE Career Academies. CTE Career Academies are academically rigorous programs or dedicated schools, focused on a specific CTE industry area, that prepare students for success in post- secondary education and careers. Students have city-wide access to programs and gain admission through an application process. The long-term strategy is to have 10-15 CTE Career Academies across ~ 5 schools over the next 5 years. For the 2010-2011 school year there will be ~30 CTE Career Academies across 12 schools. In late 2009 conversations began about the long-term plan for CCCs as well as the necessary supports for CTE Career Academies to ensure success. Around this time a group of researchers led by James Rosenbaum from Northwestern University were concluding a multi-year study they had conducted on the positive impact of coaches in 11 of the 12 original pilot coach schools. The findings, while yet to be published, indicate that college related outcomes are better CCC schools. With the new programming and information this was an opportunity for DCCP to look at the overall effectiveness of supports that DCCP provides as well as school need. PROBLEM DEFINITION AND OBJECTIVES CPS high schools need support for College and Career Coaching and College and CTE Career Academy Implementation/Coordination. The objectives of the project were to: Understand the value proposition of the coaches and specialists DCCP School Support 6 Determine the best model for school support that o Meets school needs for support in reaching college and career preparation goals (coaching, CTE Career Academy coordination, etc.) o Leverages existing resources effectively o Provides a cost effective option that decision makers buy into o Can be implemented in a timely manner CONTRIBUTION In early December 2009 Kirstyn Fields (TBR VII) and I were tasked with this project and given ~ 6 weeks to conduct research and make recommendations. Key activities are outlined below (see Appendix VI for high level project plan). Research We spent about 10 days getting up to speed on CTE Career Academies, CCC roles and Specialists roles. We created a high-level interview template and created an interview list (see Appendix VI). Interviews We spent a week conducting interviews (see Appendix VI). Some of those interviewed include: Current Specialists, CCCs, former CDFs, current CTE Career Academy Coordinator Chief Area Officers (CAOs) Comparable programs with coaching support (Achievement Academies, GearUp, AVID), Principals from various types of high schools Research and Interview Synthesis After conducting interviews we spent 10 days synthesizing our interview findings and asking clarifying questions (see Appendix VI). DCCP School Support 7 Model drafting We spent about 4 days drafting our models of schools support, determining feasibility, cost and sustainability. Vet and refine solution Another week was spent getting feedback on the models from interviewees, key contributors and key stakeholders. We presented the models to the DCCP leadership team and incorporated any feedback or suggestions. Finalize Deliverables There were a number of deliverables that we needed to evolve from the project including: List of activities and roles needed to support schools including job descriptions (see Appendix VII) Key stakeholder feedback on responsibilities desired Proposed models for school support (see Appendix VIII) Implementation tips/suggestions (bonus – based on interviews) Final Presentations In February 2010 key findings and recommendations were presented by Kirstyn Fields to Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins (Joni Pearlman at a Broad Session). Key findings and recommendations presented were: Expand College & Career Coach team to cover as many schools as the budget will allow Add CTE Academy Coordinators and CTE Academy Coordinator Manager to DCCP Staff (multi- year funding support model and eventually position will be fully funded at school level) Assign Specialists by area, with the areas funding half of the position Provide better implementation support DCCP was given approval to proceed with the recommended plan. DCCP School Support 8 NEXT STEPS Around the same time DCCP received support from Dr. Eason-Watkins DCCP leadership began preliminary budgeting exercises for DCCP and true to the recommendations DCCP budgeted for as many coaches as possible while adding the CTE Academy Coordinators and the CTE Academy Coordinator manager. The preliminary budget funded 68 CCC at 50%, 6 Specialists at 50%, 1 Specialist at 100%, 12 CTE Academy Coordinators at 60% and 1 CTE Academy Coordinator Manager at 100%. In late February 2010 Ron Huberman issued a warning that 2010-2011will be a difficult budget year and CPS could face a $900mm shortfall. This has created an environment of uncertainty. As of April 21, 2010 CPS schools and central office departments had not yet received their 2010-2011 budget or planning documents. The budget situation is affecting all aspects of this project. While DCCP will post the CCC and Specialist positions in April 2010 and the CTE Academy Coordinator and CTE Academy Coordinator positions are posted, DCCP is unable to commit to the expansion of coaches and academy support staff until the budget is confirmed. It is a ripple effect – without a budget and with the headcount restrictions DCCP is unable to hire the additional positions. If and when budget approves there will be a very short timeframe to get the positions approved, posted, hired and staffed. LESSONS LEARNED There were a number of lessons learned including: The importance of starting college and career preparation early and make it continuous , which for DCCP this means reaching out to students as soon as possible. Personalize school environments, which for DCCP this means ensuring that every student has an individualize plan and adult advocate. Enlist administrator support, which for DCCP this means soliciting buy-in from school administration up-front. Build on strengths, which for DCCP this means leveraging the best of existing DCCP programs. DCCP School Support 9 Become user-friendly, which for DCCP this means clarifying goals and coordinating resources. Keep resources close to schools. ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES Ron Huberman is performance driven and as a result DCCP has developed Key Performance Indicators for all departments. Knowing the positive effect of a coach and the new structure of the CTE Career Academies the goal is to provide services and supports to more students and ultimately improve college going, retention and employment rates. Throughout the year DCCP has become more goal-oriented and thoughtful in terms of planning. There is now a process and guidelines for CCC recruiting including job descriptions (see Appendix VII) timelines and a process for confirming CCC needs with the schools. The annual metrics DCCP began tracking in 2009-2010 that are related to this project include: % of graduates with a clear post-secondary outcome in the fall % of graduates enrolled in college, % of graduates in college enrolled in a match college, Expected grad rate based on college enrollment choice and 4-year retention, % of graduates enrolled in college retained in second year % of graduates not enrolled in college but employed, % of graduates not enrolled in college who are employed earning $20,000/yr. The plan is to have the DCCP annual metrics available at the school and area level so that each school can track their performance. This will also enable leadership to track performance at CCC schools. Additionally there are DCCP department monthly metrics and individual departments track metrics specifically related to their department. FINAL THOUGHTS As a Broad Resident this was an ideal project. It was an important initiative and provided me the opportunity to learn first-hand from school level staff what was important and necessary for their DCCP School Support 10 students to be successful. Kirstyn and I then had the opportunity to take our findings back to central office and develop a plan that meets the school’s needs. While implementation will depend largely on the 2010-2011 budget DCCP is now in a position to better support students and ensure their needs are met.
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