Chicago Public Schools High School Personalization Toolkit

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1 Chicago Public Schools High School Personalization Toolkit Created By: Dr. Laurel Crown, Susan Gann, and Joseph Halli

2 1. Introduction to Personalization 2. Theory of Change 3. Implementation Stages 4. Leadership 5. Academic Press 6. Postsecondary 7. Advisory 8. Common Planning Time 9. Planning Year 10. Technical Assistance

3 Personalization Toolkit Section 1 Introduction to Personalization

4 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction Why Personalization? In order to understand why personalization is essential to a highly functioning school, we must first understand what we mean when we use the word personalization. For our purposes, personalization is the intentional effort to create more positive and caring relationships between students and the adults responsible for teaching and mentoring them. (McClure, Yonezawa, and Jones) While it may seem obvious that positive relationships between teachers and students would be beneficial to student achievement, it is important to note just how critical that interaction is for student success. As Eric Jensen mentions in his book Teaching with Poverty in Mind, The relationships that teachers build with students form the single strongest access to student goals, socialization, motivation, and academic performance (Jensen, p. 20). It is the relationship that drives the academic and social success of a student and those relationships need to be established and nurtured. By getting to know their students, teachers can better respond to student needs, develop interventions that are timely and effective, and support student goals and dreams, both during their high school career and in postsecondary education. Schools that connect teachers with shared students multiply this effect, as teachers get to collaborate around best practices as they relate to individual students and provide a network of support that ensures that students do not fall through the cracks. While every school seeks to have positive relationships between students and teachers, it is important to realize that there are circumstances and structures that can be built to make these relationships flourish. It is critical for schools to design themselves in a way that is conducive to students having opportunities to be known by teachers and for teachers to have opportunities to discuss and support students. Just as a school builds in structures to support curriculum; mapping out a clear plan and then working to give teachers time to collaborate around their subject area, so too does a school need to build in structures to support personalization. Because there is a need to begin personalizing education for all students, the SLC team looked at the various models of personalization in CPS that can be leveraged as initial or next steps depending on how a school is currently organized for student support. In an effort to provide a scaffold approach to any school, the SLC team has designed five models of personalization to assist schools in analyzing where they are on the continuum of personalization. All five models stand independent of how the daily schedule is structured, traditional or block. All five models can be accomplished with any type of CPS schedule. In some instances block scheduling will be an added support and make the design of the schedule simpler. Each model requires a progressively higher level of strategic thinking around building priorities. The following gives a graphic and basic outline of what will be required to make each level of personalization work.

5 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction How Can Schools be Structured to Support Personalization? Personalization Level 1 Personalization Level 2 Personalization Level 3 Personalization Level 4 Personalization Level 5 Grade Level Grade Level Pods Vertically Aligned Pods Two Year Pod Structure Small Learning Communities

6 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction Personalization Level 1 Grade Level Optimal Conditions for Success Traditional vision of school model, students, few multi-year programs (ie CTE) Benefits Easiest to program, especially in CPS climate of fewest preps possible for teachers Most familiar to school staffs Challenges Very difficult to transfer student information to the next grade Harder to engage non-core teachers Hard to ensure common students if grade level is much over 150 students Scheduling Guidance Schedule teachers with as many classes as possible in one grade level At least in the first year, advisory teachers should have students from the grade level they teach Common planning time can be incorporated through grade level lunches (i.e. if all freshmen go to 3 rd period lunch, this can be a time for freshmen teachers to meet) Senior Team All Senior Students ~12-16 Senior Teachers Junior Team All Junior Students ~12-16 Junior Teachers Sophomore Team All Sophomore Students ~12-16 Sophomore Teachers Freshman Team All Freshman Students ~12-16 Freshman Teachers

7 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction Personalization Level 2 Grade Level Pods Optimal Conditions for Success Traditional vision of school model, students, few multi-year programs (ie CTE) Benefits Smaller number of students and teachers lead to more effective meetings Data can be disaggregated for the pod teams Can minimizes the number of teacher preps Better than Grade Level (Personalization Level 1) for larger schools where more than one teacher teaches a particular prep Challenges Relationships built are lost after the first year since there is no continuity to the pods Difficult to transfer student information to the next grade level Difficult to engage non-core teachers Requires advanced, strategic planning during programming Scheduling Guidance Form a strategic team to determine scheduling priorities Team students in five divisions together with a team of teachers Use this as the basis of scheduling While easiest to continue to use grade-level lunch (and then have all grade level pods meet at the same time), this can be varied as long as all teachers from a pod have a common time off (usually a lunch is still easiest) Senior Pod A Senior Pod B Senior Pod C ~150 Seniors ~ 5-7 Sr. Teachers ~150 Seniors ~ 5-7 Sr. Teachers ~150 Seniors ~ 5-7 Sr. Teachers Junior Pod A Junior Pod B Junior Pod C ~150 Juniors ~ 5-7 Jr. Teachers ~150 Juniors ~ 5-7 Jr. Teachers ~150 Juniors ~ 5-7 Jr. Teachers Soph. Pod A Soph Pod B Soph Pod C ~150 Sophs ~ 5-7 So. Teachers ~150 Sophs ~ 5-7 So. Teachers ~150 Sophs ~ 5-7 So. Teachers Freshman. Pod A Freshman Pod B Freshman Pod C ~150 Freshmen ~ 5-7 Fr. Teachers ~150 Freshmen ~ 5-7Fr. Teachers ~150 Freshmen ~ 5-7 Fr. Teachers

8 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction Personalization Level 3 Vertically Aligned Pods Optimal Conditions for Success Cohort vision of school model, students, multi-year programs present and can be supported through this model Benefits Transition information to teachers at next grade level about specific students about the complete child Students remain together, allowing them to develop relationships and supports Data can be disaggregated for pod teams Vertical nature of the pod structure can allow teachers to begin to connect across grade-level to support student through cross-grade conversations Challenges While still somewhat difficult to ensure transfer of knowledge of student strengths/challenges to next year teachers, this is improved with the vertical structure Strategic planning needs to take place in scheduling to ensure that students are moving properly forward Scheduling Guidance Form a strategic team to determine scheduling priorities Team students in five divisions together with a team of teachers Use this as the basis of scheduling and maintain the same divisions year in and year out While easiest to continue to use grade-level lunch (and have all p meet at the same time), this can be varied if all teachers from a pod have a common time off (usually lunch is still easiest) Senior Pod A ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Senior Pod B ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Senior Pod C ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Junior Pod A ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Junior Pod B ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Junior Pod C ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Sophomore Pod A ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Sophomore Pod B ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Sophomore Pod C ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Freshman Pod A ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Freshman Pod B ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers Freshman Pod C ~150 Students ~5-7 Teachers

9 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction Personalization Level 4 Two Year Pod Structure Optimal Conditions for Success Cohort vision of school model, students, multi-year programs present and can be supported through this model Benefits Teachers get opportunity to teach students for two years Students remain together, allowing them to develop relationships and supports Data can be disaggregated for pod teams Vertical nature of the pod structure reduces the transitions for students between pods from four to two, ensuring greater continuity Challenges There is still a transition between sophomore and junior year of students which will have to be done strategically Strategic planning needs to take place in scheduling to ensure that students are moving properly forward Teachers should have two preps to do in an ideal manner Scheduling Guidance Form a strategic team to determine scheduling priorities Team students in five divisions together with a team of teachers Use this as the basis of scheduling and maintain the same divisions year in and year out While easiest to continue to use grade-level lunch (and have all p meet at the same time), this can be varied if all teachers from a pod have a common time off (usually lunch is still easiest) Junior-Senior Pod A Students Teachers Junior-Senior Pod B Students Teachers Junior-Senior Pod C Students Teachers Freshman- Sophomore Pod A Students Teachers Freshman- Sophomore Pod B Students Teachers Freshman- Sophomore Pod C Students Teachers

10 Personalization Toolkit - Introduction Personalization Level 5 Small Learning Communities Optimal Conditions for Success Vertically aligned vision of school where a team of teachers wrap around a group of students to support their academic achievement, social-emotional development and vision and dreams, students Multi-year programs emphasized supported through this model Benefits Highest level of relationships due to relationships built between teachers and students creating the opportunity for maximum student social/emotional and academic support Following students over time allows teachers to gain ownership of student success/challenges Thematic approach allows for students to develop their career interests and be college/career focused (works well with CTE) Teacher to teacher relationships built not only across content but across gradelevels Challenges Can be challenging to use existing course offerings (non-cte electives) to develop unique course sequences for small learning communities Teachers will have to teach more than one prep in order to teach their students Requires significant strategic planning and forethought during scheduling Scheduling Guidance* Develop community specific course sequences that the guide course selection Team teachers and students within the house together Develop a master schedule that has teachers teaching the classes needed within their house (will mean teachers will have to teach multiple preps) Create small master schedules that are house specific and then merge them together to create overall master schedule Thematic Small Learning Community A ~ 250 Students (9 th -12 th Grade) ~ Teachers (Teaching Multiple Grade Levels) Thematic Small Learning Community B ~ 250 Students (9 th -12 th Grade) ~ Teachers (Teaching Multiple Grade Levels) Thematic Small Learning Community C ~ 250 Students (9 th -12 th Grade) ~ Teachers (Teaching Multiple Grade Levels) Thematic Small Learning Community D ~ 250 Students (9 th -12 th Grade) ~ Teachers (Teaching Multiple Grade Levels) Thematic Small Learning Community E ~ 250 Students (9 th -12 th Grade) ~ Teachers (Teaching Multiple Grade Levels) Thematic Small Learning Community F ~ 250 Students (9 th -12 th Grade) ~ Teachers (Teaching Multiple Grade Levels)

11 Personalization Toolkit Section 2 Theory of Change

12 Personalization Toolkit SLC Theory of Change Theory of Change for Small Learning Communities High Level The following theory of change articulates the specific causal linkages that are expected to occur from the start of the SLC initiative to goal attainment By programmatically and physically organizing large high schools into multiple, small, vertically aligned groups of students and teachers who remain together throughout students high school careers, Chicago Public Schools Small Learning Communities Initiative will: create supportive, academically enriching school environments; promote productive, collaborative relationships between and among students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community groups; and empower and equip teachers to provide effective, personalized instruction and support to students over time; which, ultimately, will lead to student academic and postsecondary success. Components: There are several key components to effective implementation of SLCs. Together these components reflect comprehensive, well implemented and administered SLCs. The SLC Logic Model illustrates the multiple components of a whole school personalized focus on supporting not only academics but individualized support that meets students where they are. This initial impact fosters a rigorous, enriching, and supportive school climate and culture, and this development in turn translates to student academic and postsecondary success as the final outcome. Well Implemented and Administered SLCs Effective, distributed, empowered leadership within & among SLCs & across the school Under SLCs, teachers have autonomy to personalize instruction and are offered a greater voice in school decisions. This is accomplished by including teachers in discussions regarding school decisions and by emphasizing the value of Common Plan Time and encouraging teachers to use this time to develop ideas and solutions through collaboration. A distributed model of leadership promotes strong relationships among teachers and staff on all levels and contributes to teachers who are empowered to address their students needs and SLC team members who accept ownership and responsibility for student achievement.

13 Personalization Toolkit SLC Theory of Change Weekly advisory for all students Consistent & Effective Use of Common Plan by SLC The focus of advisory is for small group of students to be connected with one adult over the course of the student s high school experience. Because a small group of teachers works with the same students over time, it is easier for an advisor to provide academic and socialemotional support to students, as the advisors are also a part of the same group of teachers. To fully connect with students in an SLC model, each SLC should have a designated area of Schools are physically & the building to the extent possible. This allocation of space also minimizes student organizationally structured as SLCs movement and allows teachers to further connect with students during passing periods. Equally important, close proximately supports the connectedness of teachers with each other in the SLC. Impromptu student support conversations can happen more freely and immediately if necessary. Teachers are expected use this time to share instructional strategies and discuss the individual needs of students. Through SLC common plan time teachers have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with students individual issues and, along with other teachers who have the same students, develop ways of tackling specific concerns. This component of SLCs empowers teachers, gives SLC team members direct responsibility for student achievement. Student data is disaggregated by SLCwhich makes identifying student gaps and providing the necessary supports achievable. It also contributes to secondary impacts of effective implementation, including greater teacher connectedness to SLC and more effective and engaged teachers. Content common plan time is still ongoing and built into the schedule as well. Instructional strategy support to meet students needs Curriculum and supports are vertically aligned & theme based SLC leadership and SLC coaches encourage best practices of instructional strategies and teachers have the opportunity to share effective teaching practices with each other during SLC Common Plan Time. This contributes to greater teacher empowerment to meet students needs and more effective and engaged teaching staff. Because students are looping with teachers for multiple years, identifying specific supports becomes easier and more likely to show impact for each individual SLC. Administration can have supportive conversations with each SLC about the levers of support their students need that may differ from the rest of the building. Ongoing monitoring, evaluation, & support from skilled SLC program leadership gaps and areas with room for improvement. Student programming and scheduling are aligned with SLCs The SLC program leadership is responsible for conducting surveys and focus groups and for running analyses with school data to provide a rigorous evaluation of implementation progress in each school. This will help with solidifying SLC frameworks and ensuring that each component is fully and effectively implemented. Most importantly, surveys inform schools of the progress made towards well implemented SLCs as well as implementation Effective scheduling is responsible for many of the intended impacts and benefits of SLCs, particularly helping teachers in building relationships with their students and personalize learning to the needs of individual students. Students should be regularly scheduled into classes with teachers of the same SLC. This is important to help teachers identify specific academic and social issues that individual students in their SLC face. Consistent, ongoing connections with parents by SLC As teachers are building relationships with students over time, so too are they developing deeper relationships with parents. This is best connected initially through advisory. However, as each SLC evolves an increase in parental support and involvement should be evident.

14 Personalization Toolkit SLC Theory of Change Interim Impacts: Personalized Focus on Student Achievement &Postsecondary Success Resulting Impacts: a. Teachers are empowered to address their students needs b. SLC team members accept ownership and responsibility for student achievement c. Teachers and students work together to set expectations and improve/ accelerate student outcomes d. Intense, data-driven focus by SLC on student gaps and supports necessary for academic achievement and postsecondary success e. Productive relationships between SLCs and students families are formed Rigorous, Enriching, & Supportive School Climate and Culture a. Teachers and students feel connected to their SLCs b. More effective, engaged, and committed teachers, school leaders and other faculty c. Positive school climate; collaborative and supportive relationships among teachers and students d. Schools emphasize academic rigor and postsecondary success through the SLC structure Lasting Outcomes: Student Academic and Postsecondary Success See following pages for graphic layout of the logic model.

15 Personalization Toolkit SLC Theory of Change Well-Implemented SLCs Effective, distributed, empowered leadership within & among SLCs & across the school Student programming and scheduling are aligned with SLCs Instructional strategies and supports to meet students needs Weekly advisory for all students Schools are physically & organizationally structured as SLCs Curricula are vertically aligned & theme based Well Implemented and Administered SLCs Consistent, ongoing connections with parents by SLC Consistent & Effective Use of Common Plan by SLC Ongoing monitoring, evaluation, & support from skilled SLC program leadership

16 Personalization Toolkit SLC Theory of Change Personalized Focus SLC team members accept ownership & responsibility for student achievement Teachers understand and are empowered to address their students individual needs Teachers & students work together to set expectations and improve/accelerate student outcomes Intense, data-driven focus by SLC on student gaps & supports necessary for academic achievement & postsecondary success Personalized Focus on Student Achievement & Postsecondary Success Productive relationships between SLCs & students families are formed

17 Personalization Toolkit SLC Theory of Change Culture, Climate, and Academic Press Teachers & students feel connected to their SLCs More effective engaged, & committed teachers, school leaders & other faculty Positive school climate; collaborative & supportive relationships among teachers and students Rigorous, Enriching, & Supportive School Climate and Culture Schools emphasize academic rigor & postsecondary success through the SLC structure Improved Academic Achievement Postsecondary Success Student Academic and Postsecondary Success

18 Personalization Toolkit Section 3 Implementation Stages

19 Personalization Toolkit Implementation Stages Regardless of the level of personalization a school is going to implement, a year of planning that involves the entire faculty will result in greater depth of understanding regarding everyone s purpose and responsibility for implementation. The stages of implementation outlined in this section are designed for Small Learning Community implementation but can easily be adapted and modified based on the need of the school. One constant that remains throughout all levels and years of implementation is the ability to schedule students and teachers so they are matched with fidelity so that personalization can take place. Small Learning Communities Stages of Implementation Year 5: Sustainability Year 4: Graduation & Postsecondary Enrollment Year 3: Instructional Strategy & Family and Community Focus Year 2: Deepen Alignment of SLC Themes to Postsecondary Education Year 1: Settling of SLC Structure, Building Relationships, Advisory & SLC Data Conversations Year 0: Year of Planning to Transition Building to SLCs Year 0: Year of Planning to Transition Building to SLCs Why? How? Evidence/Indicators? To transitioning a school to a different model is a complex process As the year of planning progresses the level of buy-in increases as everyone starts to understand the benefits of the structure through owning a part of the transition To complete the building transition in one year maintains a high level of energy and excitement around wrapping around a group of students for four years See Planning Year Toolkit Section for complete transition information Identify SLC Transition Leadership Team Use teacher lead Learning Committees to divide the work of transitioning the building Teachers sign up for Learning Committees Weekly support from SLC central office to trouble shoot transition issues School follows a custom Planning Year Timeline developed in collaboration with SLC central office SLC themes are identified and connect with the postsecondary vision of the school All teachers, counselors and administrators are aligned with an SLC All students are aligned with an SLC of their choosing SLC Leads are established and trained to facilitate SLC meetings Advisory curriculum is constructed with focus on youth development, academic & postsecondary planning Teacher and student advisory alignment is by SLC Student schedules are aligned with teachers in their SLC

20 Personalization Toolkit Implementation Stages Year 1: Settling of SLC Structure, Building Relationships, Advisory, SLC Data Driven Conversation Targeted Impact Measures: Attendance, On Track Why? How? Evidence First semester of Year 1 is a time of adjustment to the new structure and implementation advisory To focus on building relationships with students in Year 1 is critical to the success of the structure SLCs need timely, disaggregated data to build interventions for their students Scheduling should be well aligned so students are in the majority of their classes with teachers from their SLC Advisors receive professional development on implementing advisory effectively Administration is visible in classrooms and supportive during advisory Teachers become familiar with the individual socio-emotional and academic issues of students in their SLC Structures are in place so data can be disaggregated by SLC and used for collaborative conversations during SLC Common Plan Time Scheduling match analyzed and at least 35% Advisors and teachers are following curriculum and are intentional in building relationships with their students SLC Common Plan Time is being used to deepen relationships among the SLC teachers and support students By second semester, SLCs are using disaggregated data to affect attendance and On Track measures for all grade levels, in order to design and implement effective student interventions Year 2: Deepen Alignment of SLC Themes to Postsecondary Education Additional Targeted Impact Measures: ACT, Dual/Concurrent Enrollment, FAFSA, Graduation Rate Why? How? Evidence When implemented with fidelity, SLCs are a critical personalization strategy for supporting student postsecondary enrollment and success By engaging students in their future plan beyond high school, their focus becomes sharper during high school SLC themes and identity give opportunities for student to explore their interests Creates a college going culture for all student by expanding dual/concurrent enrollment broadens opportunities for all students to engage in postsecondary success before leaving high school Teachers and advisors continue to build relationships with students, understanding career interests through formal and informal conversations Use SLC Postsecondary Self- Assessment (see Postsecondary section of SLC Toolkit) to build a plan for expanding postsecondary expertise for all teachers in an SLC Course sequencing for each SLC should be aligned with theme for four years Develop SLC theme through career and community connections Develop postsecondary options, in collaboration with counselors, tied to each SLC theme Expand dual enrollment and assess teacher capacity to build concurrent enrollment opportunities in the school SLCs celebrate student achievement Students can verbalize what their SLC theme is and how it links to various postsecondary and career opportunities Teachers are integrating career and postsecondary language of SLC theme into the classroom Students are hearing common language from teachers regarding postsecondary opportunities SLC teachers, advisors and counselors are having conversations with parents regarding postsecondary plans for their student SLCs are using disaggregated data to affect all growth measures

21 Personalization Toolkit Implementation Stages Year 3: Instructional Strategy, Family and Community Focus Why? How? Evidence Due to stronger relationships with shared groups of students, SLC teacher teams will have greater understanding of learning styles and academic needs for individual students SLC teachers should develop instructional strategy tools that will facilitate learning for students based on their academic needs Building relationships with families allows for SLC teachers to further understand how to support students Community relationships will provide opportunities to connect students with SLC themes and career opportunities Teachers build relationships with students to understand how to support their learning Use SLC common plan time to explore and share instructional strategies Continued use of SLC disaggregated data to create interventions drive growth for all students Identify ways that SLCs can draw parents to the school by forming a school-wide parent organization with representation from parents in each SLC Explore community connections already existing with SLC teachers and how to connect them with students Various instructional strategies are used by SLC teachers to close gaps in learning Teachers can articulate each student s career and postsecondary plans Advisors set appointments with parents prior Parent Teacher Conferences, identifying specific ways for parents to support their students and learn about parent s dreams for their student Each SLC has a plan for partnering with parents beyond traditional parentteacher conferences Each SLC executes at least one activity per semester connecting students with career theme exploration Year 4: Graduation & Postsecondary Enrollment Why? How? Evidence Although a focus on graduation and postsecondary enrollment is important from the beginning, this will be the first graduating class that has had a personalized education through SLCs for all four years of high school Celebrate the success students and teachers who have worked together over time Senior data by SLC should drive conversations and supports for students within the SLC Senior advisors will keep SLC informed on senior progress for postsecondary enrollment and potential barriers that need to be addressed Postsecondary opportunities like dual enrollment are driven through SLCs for early college success Year 5: Sustainability Increase in graduation rate Increased FAFSA completion rate Increase in postsecondary enrollment Increase in scholarships awarded Increase in Dual or concurrent enrollment Postsecondary climate is evident and student accomplishments are celebrated in every SLC Why? How? Evidence The SLC structure is a sustainable structure but will not sustain without continued reflection and attention from leadership Five years will just scratch the surface of the benefits derived from sustaining over many years Teachers have worked hard to make the structure work for their students and need to have time to continue to sharpen the design of their SLC and create new solutions for student support All growth measures are continued focus for all subsequent years New initiatives should be evaluated on the basis of whether they can work within the SLC structure and not risk impacting the structure negatively Careful attention each year needs to be given to scheduling so a high match rate is maintained Leadership and SLC Leads should conduct an annual reflective process using the logic model to identify areas of strength and target areas for improvement SLCs is no longer thought of as an initiative but the way we do school Teachers are empowered and supported to seek solutions for their SLC students Reflection and growth goals are a natural part of the SLC evolution SLCs continue to evolve regarding student supports, theme development and postsecondary success Parents and students now understand the benefits of attending an SLC school

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