Model Programs and Practices
Cesar E. Chavez Professional Learning Communities
The César E. Chávez High School community is student focused. Therefore, every effort is made to make every action aimed at student achievement. Since we pride ourselves as not just a school campus, but as a community, collaborative meetings in the form of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are the driving engine that help shape many of our programs here on campus and in the Delano community. Through our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) we are given the opportunity to allocate time and resources to implement and refine our collaborative practices. Allocated collaborative time is a practice that our stakeholders request and understand is crucial to student achievement. Hence, communication and teamwork are an integral part of the CCHS culture.
This strong sense of community is evident at each of our bi-weekly staff meetings. Teachers and staff meet every other Wednesday morning, for two hours, during PLC time. Teachers join their departments, subject, or grade level cohorts. Together, teachers desegregate data, adjust curriculum, identify instructional best practices, or even review and re-write assessments within their cohorts to address the curricular and instructional requirements for effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Since CCHS has been continually revising the curriculum, instruction, and assessments for core subjects, extensive resources have continued to be used to align and adjust core curriculum and assessment to state content and common core standards.
CCHS PLCs ultimately help facilitate alignment efforts, consensus building, problem-solving, mentoring, data analysis, refinements and revisions of materials, and improved instructional practices. The PLC time also serves to help monitor students’ progress in all core subject areas, including CTE and Visual Performing Arts. As evidence gathers that a specific school program or instructional practice is effective in improving student achievement, the staff is then trained in that practice, or program, so that implementation is broader and more consistent. Research validates the need for feedback and coaching and consistent PLCs have allowed for this opportunity for our teachers.
Implementation and Monitoring
César E. Chávez High School teachers and staff work as a professional learning community to best identify the essential skills and practices to improve and facilitate learning for all students. Teachers at CCHS make it an emphasis to ensure that conversations revolve around the four Focus on Learning questions and make it a priority to develop team norms to ensure effective and efficient team meetings with student learning always being the main priority.
· What do we want students to learn?
· How will we know if they have learned it?
· How will we respond when some students don’t learn it?
· How will we extend the learning for those who have demonstrated proficiency?
Additionally, in collaborative groups, teachers work together to identify best practices and instructional strategies to best meet the needs of the students.
Teachers determine essential standards that are key to student understanding and mastery of the course or content. Together, teachers determine what measures or indicators will be used to monitor the learning of the student. In other words, how will we know the students are learning and what will we do when they don’t learn it. It is important for teachers to know and agree on what the learning will look like, so they are better able to respond to the students who need additional support, as well as for the students who are showing proficiency.
César E. Chávez High School has several systematic intervention programs in place for those targeted students. For example, our Math and English departments, implement a Targeted tutorial where students who need additional support are assigned tutorial to address a specific standard. In that tutorial students get differentiated support and review of material not mastered.
Department-based after school tutorial programs are also available for students in English, mathematics, science, and social studies. The ELD department has 8 intensive intervention courses that help students classified as English Language Learners gain proficiency in the English language and ensure their success in mainstream courses. Additionally, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, teachers can assign additional tutorial to students to give them extra time to complete missing or incomplete assignments.
Also included in our collaborative groups are special education teachers. These teachers co-teach with several of our core teachers using the “push-in” model. This program was developed to help mainstream special education students with the extra support provided by the Resource Specialist Program (RSP) teacher. It is designed to increase mainstreaming for special education students. The purpose of the co-teaching program is for "students to not only have the benefit of a content expert providing instruction (general education teacher), they have the benefits of a learning strategies expert (RSP teacher) to provide necessary scaffolding, adaptations, accommodations, interventions, and modifications."
Results and Outcomes
César E. Chávez High School prides itself in being a data-driven and collaborative institution. Throughout the year, data has been provided and shared with stakeholders through PLCs, departments, and in cohorts. The site analyzes cohort data, department data, as well as school and district-wide data to identify strengths and areas of need. This has helped the staff identify needed training and resources, revise curriculum and assessments, and evaluate the overall effectiveness of programs and their impact on student learning.
The success of our PLC practices can be seen when viewing some of our data. Over the past three years, consistently increased the number of students who have met or exceeded the ELA standards. Student performance on the 2016 CAASPP ELA show continued strong academics. CCHS scored in the top fifth percentile for ELA in Kern and Tulare county, or 73% of students tested scored at or exceeded Proficient. In 2017, CCHS students outperformed both the county and the state, in where 66.4% of CCHS students met or exceeded the English standards for CAASPP. Most recently in 2018, 68.6% of CCHS students tested met or exceeded ELA standards. Over the last two years CCHS saw an increase in English Learners meeting or exceeding state standards for ELA.
During the last three years, CCHS has seen a 13.5% increase in students scoring at, or above proficiency for the CAASPP in mathematics. In 2016, CCHS scored in the top fifth percentile for the CAASPP mathematics in Kern and Tulare county, as 29% of students scored at or above proficient. For 2017, CCHS pupils scored similarly in mathematics to students across the state; 32% met the standards, and they also outperformed the county percentage by 11%. More recently in 2018, 42.5% of CCHS students tested, met or exceeded state standards in mathematics. That’s is an increase of over 10% from the pervious year. Additionally, our AP Calculus passing rate stands at 78% and a 74.4% AP Statistics passing rate.
Data obtained from caaspp.cde.ca.gov