Thursday, March 6, 2014

Improving Graduation Rate

Boone: Strategic efforts
align and provide high quality instruction
  • ELL achievement
  • Special education achievement and graduation rates
  • grade 3 reading
  • college and career readiness
in four years, 73% of students will graduate from high school
may have heard of so-called dropout factories around the country but "that's not our story in Worcester at all"
"but that's not good enough, because there are still a quarter of our students not graduating on time"
77% of our students will graduate in four to five years
Dropout rate is 3.1%
125 fewer kids dropped out last school year

Target for 2013: 78% for 4 year
81% for five year cohort
"on the right pathway and getting closer to those goals"
"meeting that expectation"

what's being done?
  • New graduation requirements: this year's ninth graders 
  • "not just enough to change those graduation requirements"
  • professional development for grades 9 & 10 teachers
  • graduation specialist at North High: 86 students "were close enough"; 75 of those 86 students graduated by June or through the summer
  • $435,000 in competitive grants since January 2014

Rodrigues on Grants:
MassGrad "promising practices" $75,000
  • middle school transition teams: 8th to 9th grade teachers working on hand off of students, particularly for students most at risk of dropping out
  • transition academy for grade 8 students: 8th graders spending a day at high school to ease adjustment
  • high school transition teams
  • high school graduation teams: replicating efforts of North High graduation specialist; look at those most at risk and figure out a plan; scaling up at all comprehensive high schools
  • competency-based education in alternative settings: Boston Day and Evening Academy for training
Career Academy Grant $45,000 (through Gateway Cities)
  • school of technology and business at North High (CTE Pathway) : Microsoft Office and medical billing
  • advisory council computer and business industries, WPS staff, community members
  • Last year was planning, this year is implementation: 200+ students in grade 9
  • hope to become ch. 74 program at North
  • PD for teachers also included
Alternative Education: most at risk for not graduating $10,000
this is the one we approved last week
  • evaluate alternative programs
  • look at strength and weaknesses
  • use of existing resources
  • look at increasing capacity
English Language Learners Academy (through Gateway Cities) $185,000
  • Summer Enrichment Academy: intermediate ELL (EPL 3)
  • LOTS of partners: Worcester State, LEI, ACE, Worcester Refugee, Quinsig, Esperanza y Su Exito TV show
  • six weeks of programs, five days a week, 9-3
  • academic, field trips, family and community engagement
  • will be on Worcester State campus
Innovation Schools enhancement and sustainability
we approved this one last week, too: $30,000 each
  • Chandler Magnet
  • Goddard Scholars
  • Lincoln Street
  • Worcester Tech
"a great amount of money" 
quality of writing and focus "what would be the best leverage to focus on student achievement"
Boone: advance that agenda for the Worcester community (regarding Gateway Cities)
students will definitely benefit for what happens with these

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