Colorado Springs School District 11. Early College, Career, and Alternative Center

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1 Every student prepared for a world yet to be imagined Colorado Springs School District 11 Early College, Career, and Alternative Center Preliminary Plan Through proven instructional models, school districts implementing early college high school designs offer students real experience in mastering college- and career-ready work while in high school. Students who complete challenging, college-level coursework are much more likely to persist, graduate from high school, and succeed in college. This coursework and instruction help all students see college as a viable option... - Report: Reinventing High Schools for Postsecondary Success Page 1

2 Introduction The District 11 vision, Every student prepared for a world yet to be imagined, provides a challenging goal for the outcome of learning in Colorado Springs School District 11. We often refer to the handshake as our tangible sign of achieving the goal of fully engaging and supporting every student to graduation day, ensuring students possess the skills and aptitudes needed for viable choices beyond high school. Reinvention of District offerings for students proves a critical component in the 2013 Optimization of Utilization process. As the optimization of utilization process has unfolded over the previous six months, an educational model, Early College, Career, and Alternative Center, has emerged that will strengthen alternative, career, and college academic offerings as well as provide post-secondary workforce readiness to significantly enhance graduation, college and career opportunities for our students. Traditional educational platforms across the country as well as in District 11 have provided rich opportunities and solid educational outcomes with students who possess strong skills and motivation to succeed in high school and move forward to college (AP, Honors, CU Gold, and IB tracks). As well, there exist positive examples of success with at-risk students; District 11 alternative programs are valued for their consistently strong outreach, positive culture, and connection with at-risk students. The Early College, Career, and Alternative Center (ECCAC) provides an opportunity to bring together into one location a place where early college, alternative and career pathways can be offered to all District 11 students to improve varied pathways to success in career and college. ECCAC offers a comprehensive pathway for students to access early college opportunities. This plan is designed to achieve the goal of increasing student engagement, achievement, and graduation success through a comprehensive offering of Early College, ACHIEVE 6-12, Alternative, and Career Pathway school options in one central district location. Alternative Program Design The design of alternative programming at the Wasson campus involves bringing together at one location the best of existing District 11 programs. Bijou, Springs Community Night, and TESLA (Nueva Ventura) programs are proposed to move to the Wasson site as distinct alternative programs that will enhance and synergize the positive culture for which our programs have long been known. If approved, the District 11 alternative programs will be relocated as individual programs at Wasson which will allow more opportunity to build a robust educational delivery for at-risk students. In bringing together a comprehensive set of Early College, Career, and Alternative program offerings, students in District 11 will have a full spectrum of choices and be able to choose from a variety of academic offerings that best meet their individual needs and prepare them for the future. Page 2

3 An Overview of ECCAC Programming Early College 9-12 High School and Associates Degree ACHIEVE 6-12 & Digital Online & Blended Learning Credit Recovery Alternative 6-12 Bijou, Springs Community Night, TESLA (Nueva Ventura) Students may graduate (receive a diploma) from any of these 3 schools within the ECCAC campus Career Pathways Automotive Culinary Health Science Hospitality Adult & Family Education & Family Literacy Page 3

4 Program Descriptions Achieve 6-12 Achieve 6-12 online school provides students 6th through 12th grade with a free academic program built around 21st century skills to prepare your child for the future. The Achieve 6-12 online learning program includes an engaging web and text based curriculum aligned to local, state and national standards. Core courses include Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Spanish. Enrichment opportunities consist of Art, Health, Music, Physical Education, Game Design, Web Design, Computer Applications, and Personal Finance. Certified teachers, low student to teacher ratio, personalized learning through the use of diagnostic assessments, learning styles inventories, and individualized feedback all contribute to an optimal academic experience. Opportunities for students and families to interact socially through optional school outings, field trips, and other social events are provided. Student-parent-teacher communication via , online interactive grade book, telephone, and video conferences are important in ensuring your student a strong personalized learning experience. Adult and Family Education and Family Literacy The Adult and Family Education Program are multifaceted, consisting of morning, afternoon, and evening classes for students aged 17 and older in the following areas: English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) which prepares students for the GED exam. We also offer Family Literacy classes. We use a research-based parent-involvement strategy that incorporates Adult Education, Children's Programming, and Parent-and-Child-Together (PACT) time, in conjunction with a parenting curriculum. The El Paso County Resource Center provides coordinated services to families to partner with them in being successful members of our community. Bijou/Tesla/Community Night, 6-12 The design of this alternative school programming at the Wasson campus involves bringing together at one location the best of District 11 existing schools/programs (Bijou, TESLA, and Springs Community Night) to enhance and synergize the positive culture for which our schools/programs have long been known. By integrating the very best of each program to build a model to serve at-risk students even more comprehensively, the alternative programs involve creating a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Bijou, TESLA, and Springs Community Night programs will function as individual yet cooperating alternative programs at the Wasson location. The Wasson site will provide students with the following opportunities: Enriched course offerings Career Pathway opportunities Self paced, face-to-face, online, and blended learning instruction Ability to enroll in college courses Flexible scheduling Small class sizes Page 4

5 Students at Tesla have felt that they were attending school in an office building. The Alternative School at Wasson would provide an academic environment that would have the look and feel of a school setting and maintain the intimacy they currently have at Tesla. Career Pathways A career pathway is a series of articulated educational and training programs that enables students to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a given industry or occupational sector. Each step on a career pathway is designed explicitly to prepare students to progress to the next level of employment and education. They are designed to create a supply of qualified workers for local employers. Career Pathways is a program which will prepare students for jobs in the Medical, Hospitality, Culinary and Automotive fields. Students will have classes online through Pikes Peak Community College as well as classes offered on site at the Wasson Educational Center. It is the mission of the Wasson Career Pathways Program to equip every student to: investigate post-secondary career and educational options; create educational plans aligned with their abilities and interests; develop skills through rigorous and relevant coursework; and pursue their ambitions for a successful future. Automotive Pathway The automotive pathway at Wasson will introduce students to Auto Body Repair and related automotive detailing. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of technical approaches to repairs, such as metal work, refinishing, window tinting, and glass installation. Students will be actively involved in hands-on solutions to auto body related problems and will be responsible to understand the theory associated with these applications. This pathway will also offer basic instruction in all systems of the automobile and their relationship to each other. It is useful for any student that wants a general maintenance background for their own vehicles and especially useful for all who desire to work in service stations, service centers, parts supply stores, and recreational service centers. Culinary Pathway This pathway is a nationally certified program that is based on the study of food preparation, lodging, customer service, and business management coupled with 1+ years of mentored industry work, internships, in a broad spectrum of operations. It is offered in combination with ProStart 3, 4 and provides the foundation skills required for students to proceed through the ProStart two year food service/hospitality management curriculum offered to high school junior and senior students. This program is articulated with Pro-Management post-secondary programs. Health Science Pathway The Health Science Pathway was created to help meet the growing need for health care professionals. Students are eligible to take the State Certificate Exam after completion of the CNA and EMR First Responder courses. Hospitality Pathway The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute has developed two hospitality programs to introduce high school students to the opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism Page 5

6 industry, with a focus on educating students on the career pathways and skills needed to build a long-term career. Digital Credit Recovery The Digital High School, District 11 s award winning and nationally recognized credit recovery program, offers junior and senior students the chance to obtain their high school diploma. Based on the one-room schoolhouse where students simultaneously study several different subjects, Digital students use Gradepoint courseware to access a variety of classes and programs that assist them in recovering the credits they may have missed at their home high school. Students therefore are given that final boost they need to graduate with a high school diploma from their home high school. Early College What is Early College? Early college is a bold approach, based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early college high schools blend high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college. Until recently, most high school college credit accrual programs were aimed at overachieving students as a way to keep them challenged and provide a head start on college work; these successful programs include concurrent enrollment approaches such as CU Gold, AP, and honors classes. District 11 programs of this kind have existed in all District 11 high schools for some time, and the CU Gold program, for example, is distinguished and has served as a model for other districts. The target of early college design, conversely, is to capture students beyond honors level coursework, to engage more students in college at an earlier age and keep students in school by bridging the divide between high school and college. Offering free college credit forms the draw of this school. Documented results for school districts implementing the Early College Design, include: Improved high school graduation and college-going rates Decreased student behavior issues in high-needs schools A comprehensive action plan for all schools and grade levels Curricular coherence within subjects and across grades and schools Expansion of partners and resources Preparation for postsecondary education and careers for all students (Source: Reinventing High Schools for Postsecondary Success report) Early College High School (9-12) Early College High School blends high school and college into a coherent educational program: It is designed so that all students can achieve two years of college credit at the same time they are earning a high school diploma (within four to five years of entering ninth grade). Early College High School ensures that all students are ready for college-level courses in high school. Early College High School will remove major barriers to postsecondary access and success. Students are rewarded for hard work by the opportunity to accelerate and to earn two years of college credit without Page 6

7 charge. The physical transition between high school and college is eliminated, and learning takes place in a personalized environment where rigorous work is demanded and supported. SWAP (School to Work Alliance Program) The purpose of SWAP is to provide successful employment outcomes, increased community linkages, and new patterns of service for youth within all categories of disabilities. The program includes building on current transition planning efforts and supporting collaboration between DVR, the Colorado Department of Education, and local school districts. Page 7

8 Frequently Asked Questions: Early College, Career, and Alternative Center at Wasson Campus 1) Can you describe the Early Colleges program? What would the courses look like? Until recently, most high school college credit accrual programs were aimed at overachieving students as a way to keep them challenged and provide a head start on college work; these successful programs include concurrent enrollment programs and approaches such as CU Gold, AP, and honors classes. District 11 programs of this kind have existed in all District 11 high schools for quite some time. The CU Gold program, for example, is distinguished and has served as a model for other districts. From the website, early colleges is described as, based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early college high schools blend high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college. Students are elgible to attend beginning in the 9 th grade year and through age 21. ACHIEVE 6-12 and the Alternative School also enroll students in grades ) Would it just be the alternative schools? The design of the Early College, Career, and Alternative Center, located at the Wasson campus, is to house the Early College, ACHIEVE 6-12, Alternative schools, and Career Pathways as well as Adult and Family Education/Family Resource program. 3) If you are enrolled in one of the programs at the alternative campus, can you attend Early Colleges? The specific design of how the programs can integrate to serve students is still a work in progress. Yes, a student can attend an alternative program and take college courses offered in the Early College High School. 4) What diploma do graduates of the Early College, Career, and Alternative Center at Wasson receive? Students will receive a diploma from the Early College, Career, and Alternative Center as it is named according to Board of Education Policy. Under that heading, the particular program, ACHIEVE 6-12, Bijou, TESLA, will be noted as well. Page 8

9 Projected Enrollment Program Projection Early College 200 ACHIEVE Digital Credit Recovery Average 180 per day Approx. 1,000 students year Alternative High School 470 Middle School 45 Nueva Ventura 18 Career Pathways Automotive 45 Culinary 100 Health Science 50 Hospitality 60 Adult & Family Education Adults Under 21 students Children Average 425 students M-Th Approx 1,050 students year School to Work Alliance (SWAP) 62 Total students *Based on student enrollment numbers 2,117 students Page 9

10 Staffing Plan ECCAC Staffing Plan Director Adult & Family Education Achieve Digital Career Pathways Early College Alternative Bijou Springs Community Night TESLA (Nueva Ventura) ECCAC Building Staff: LTT Building Manager LTE TLC Building Tech Security Academy Coordinator (TOSA) Page 10

11 Conclusion The desired outcome of the Early College, Career, and Alternative Center at Wasson is to graduate all students career and collegeready. Students will be able to complete a high school and an associate s degree within either 4 or 5 years and may even extend their education up to the age of 21 years. The attraction to pursue career training such as Auto, Culinary, Health Science, and Hospitality while completing a high school diploma provides a value-add for ECCAC students. We know that the opportunities to learn a trade, career, and to succeed in college can be powerful motivators to attract and engage students. The research report, Taking College Courses in High School: A Strategy for College Readiness by Ben Struhl and Joel Vargas found that supporting students with college coursework during their high school career produces positive outcomes in improving graduation rates as well as college completion rates: Overall, students who completed college courses through dual enrollment were significantly more likely to attend college, persist in college, and complete an Associate s degree or higher within six years. While the work is preliminary at present, full course descriptions will be developed as to how students may take high school and college coursework in a face-to-face, blended learning, online, and self-paced instructional format to achieve both high school and college credit. If approved, next steps will include refining our post-secondary partnerships, engage with students to enroll them in these opportunities, and market the Early College, Career, and Alternative Center. Upon approval, planning for the move and expansion of programs in this center will transition into the implementation phase. Page 11

12 References & Additional Reading Early College Design Services. Jobs for the Future (2012). Reinventing High Schools for Postsecondary Success. Early College High School Initiative Website. Lewin, Tamar. (2010). For Students at Risk, Early College Proves a Draw. New York Times; February 8, Struhl, B. and Joel Vargas. Taking College Courses in High School: A Strategy for College Readiness. Jobs for the Future. Page 12

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