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DS Model Program

MIT High School: Great Expectations

 

1. Overview

MIT's model program, Great Expectations, was instituted in phases, beginning with an inquiry into how to keep rigorous/relevant graduation requirements, while retaining cohort students. Data showed that Juniors were transferring to other schools for an ";easy walk,"; thus avoiding MIT's requirements: 4 years of ELA & social studies; 3 years of science, math & world language; 2 years of IT & PE; 1 year of VAPA; & community service, an internship, & ≥ 9 college units.

A Strategic Planning Team in 2013, doing what Jim Collins calls ";confronting the brutal facts,"; set the Great Expectations agenda with the focus on college/career readiness for all students. Today, MIT has only a few local transfers, & 90% of the 4-year cohort graduate. All seniors apply to 4-year colleges, & last year 92% were admitted.

These are, indeed, Great Expectations, especially for a school with 61% FRPM rate & a great majority of projected first-generation college grads. To generate this level of aspiration & achievement takes concerted planning…and that's what MIT did. With extensive stakeholder input through Strategic Planning, MIT determined that meeting the needs of all students meant providing extra, individually-crafted support for those who might be struggling & providing extra challenge for those ready to move ahead. And these goals are now measured in the LCAP.

Hand-in-hand with Great Expectations and reflective of MIT's LCAP focus is Great Support, the secret sauce in Great Expectations for all students. The Center for Public Education's meta-analysis of high performing, high poverty schools found "the shared culture of high expectations …(is a) fundamental and 'dominant theme' in successful schools"; (http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org, 2005). They identified 4 essential practices: 1) increased instructional time, 2) on-going assessment, 3) PD & collaboration for teachers, 4) support for/from parents.

  1. MIT provides increased instructional time through a longer day (8-3:35) with 7 periods, 102-minute blocks, and parallel support classes (double time) for Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, college English 1A, and college Statistics.
  2. Students are assessed bi-weekly, and PLCs assign students to end-of-day RtI: see section 2.
  3. MIT expends a larger than typical percentage of the budget on PD and provides weekly 1.5-hour collaboration periods for PLCs. Capacity building for teachers last year included CCSS/NGSS, standards-based grading, Naviance, and PBIS. All teachers have extensive AVID training. SCOE supports for robotics training through the CCPT grant.
  4. Most parents volunteer 30 hours/year at MIT. In turn, the school supports parents with workshops (e.g., FAFSA) and direct outreach (e.g., individualized program for math intervention.)

Great Challenge comes through 6 different AP courses and 7-9 college courses on campus. All Seniors take college English 1A (pass rate: 92%), & most take Statistics (pass rate: 83%) through our partner, Contra Costa College.

2. Implementation and Monitoring

Implementation.

Implementing support programs was a process informed by research, stakeholder input, data analysis, & making mistakes—AKA continuous improvement cycles!

MIT began with an end-of-day RtI program, assigning students to support or ";choice"; classes for 30 minutes 4 times a week based on bi-weekly common assessments. With the success of that program, an optional end-of-block RtI was added, so teachers could take the last 15 minutes of the 102-minute block to work with struggling students. The school also added skill-development workshop classes in reading & parallel support classes for Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, & college English & math courses. LCAP-targeted students also receive individualized math improvement plans using Khan Academy lessons directly correlated with their NWEA MAP formative assessment scores.

After school and summer support classes/programs were initially provided by a grant but proved so important to the success of all students that they are now allocated general funds. Students unable to catch up or keep up are enrolled in a special Grad Lab program, with a 1:10 ratio and significant parent connection.

In support classes/workshops, college students trained as tutors played an increasingly important role, so MIT developed a volunteer peer tutor program to expand student access to help. Volunteer and paid tutors are required to become professionally certified through MIT training linked to the National Tutoring Association.

Finally, support for student health & social-emotional well-being is through Advisory, where the teacher/Advisor remains with the same student cohort for 4 years & uses Thrively, and through the USDA breakfast, lunch, & dinner program to ensure no student goes hungry.

Implementing programs to challenge students was much easier! After school and summer programs include college courses (e.g., Mural Art, Website Design, Get Focused) for all students & Jump Start (Health and Geography) for incoming 9th graders. AP classes were added at the rate of ~1/year, and, through a CCAP agreement with Contra Costa College, English 1A & 1C are provided for all Seniors and Statistics for ~70%.

Monitoring.

Student progress is measured through MAP formative assessments 3 times/year & through CAASPP in 11th grade. On a more granular level, teachers evaluate student mastery of standards daily, with those needing extra help staying for end-of-block RtI, and every 2 weeks through common assessments & referral to end-of-day RtI. Additionally, Advisors consult with each student each grading period and refer for tutoring or ASP Homework Clinic, as needed. The counselor also meets with families of struggling students annually to discuss progress toward graduation.

Strategic Planning & the LCAP provide the structure for monitoring program efficacy. Annually, the Strategic Planning Team analyzes data showing the relationship of programs/strategies to LCAP goals and metrics & recommends actions to improve.

3. Results and Outcomes

Results and outcomes for Great Expectations are captured in 2 documents: the LCAP and the more aspirational Strategic Plan. The LCAP measures state-required metrics and local indicators. The State metrics that most directly measure the success of Great Expectations (and for which we have data) include:

  • Implementation of standards/access to a broad course of study (All students): Achieved last 4 years
  • Statewide assessments (≥ VCUSD): Achieved last 4 years:

ELA Disaggregated

2015 Disaggregated

2016 Disaggregated

2017 Disaggregated

2018 Disaggregated

 

MIT

VCUSD

State

MIT

VCUSD

State

MIT

VCUSD

State

MIT

VCUSD

State

All students

68%

39%

56%

62%

29%

60%

62%

44%

60%

63%

32%

56%

Econ disadvantaged

66%

32%

45%

58%

20%

49%

69%

39%

49%

50%

27%

46%

African-American

50%

23%

39%

38%

13%

41%

50%

27%

41%

36%

18%

37%

Filipino

70%

81%

74%

79%

56%

78%

67%

68%

78%

88%

60%

74%

Hispanic

71%

33%

46%

55%

26%

50%

64%

43%

50%

56%

25%

47%

 

Math Disaggregated

2015 Disaggregated

2016 Disaggregated

2017 Disaggregated

2018 Disaggregated

 

MIT

VCUSD

State

MIT

VCUSD

State

MIT

VCUSD

State

MIT

VCUSD

State

All students

28%

16%

29%

35%

10%

33%

33%

17%

32%

28%

12%

31%

Econ disadvantaged

21%

11%

19%

27%

6%

21%

31%

13%

21%

19%

10%

20%

African-American

19%

5%

14%

13%

1%

14%

0%

6%

14%

9%

4%

30%

Filipino

24%

33%

46%

63%

30%

51%

50%

37%

49%

48%

30%

48%

Hispanic

29%

11%

18%

31%

7%

20%

34%

10%

20%

22%

7%

19%

  • UC/CSU a-g with ≥ C (All students): Achieved 3 of last 4 years
  • Chronic absenteeism (≤ VCUSD): Achieved last 4 years (7.35% last year compared to VCUSD 28.2%)
  • Graduation 4-year cohort (≥ VCUSD): 90+% last 2 years compared to VCUSD 71%
  • Drop out 1-year cohort (≤ VCUSD): Achieved: 1.1% last year compared to VCUSD 5.4%
  • Completion of dual enrollment (All students) Achieved last 4 years
  • Completion of CTE pathway (≥ VCUSD): Achieved last 3 years (average 48%; no comparative data available)
  • AP pass rate (demonstrate improvement or ≥ state average): Achieved ≥ state average last 4 years.

LCAP local metrics directly related to Great Expectations include:

  • Completion of internship (All students): Achieved last 4 years
  • Completion of 140 hours of community service (All students): Achieved last 4 years
  • Completion of college credit-bearing math course (≥ 50% of students): Achieved last 3 years (average 60%)
  • Completion of college credit-bearing English course (≥ 50% of students): Achieved last 3 years (average 92%)
  • Award of a Seal of Biliteracy (≥ 25% of students): Achieved last 4 years in Spanish or Mandarin (average 41%)
  • Attendance (≥ 95%): Achieved last 4 years (average 97%)
  • Honor Roll first semester (≥ 50% of students): Achieved last 4 years (average 59%)
  • "F" in first semester (≤ 40% of students): Achieved last 4 years (average 24.2%)

Data collected is used for continuous improvement. As described above, the data is examined daily and bi-weekly by PLCs, every 6 weeks & each semester by administrators & Board, & annually by the MIT community through the Strategic Planning/LCAP process. (Strategic Planning Team includes students, parents, staff, administration, Board, SCOE, & community members.) Adjustments are made for continuous improvement at each level.