1 Prior to Writing the Grant Identify Partner Groups Conduct Needs Assessment Advocacy on Behalf of the Program Benefits to Partners Understand Policy, Legislation, and the ECHS Model Why is each partner interested? Does the partnering college have a history of previous success with K-12 school districts? Are there current programs in place besides ECHS? If so, how institutionalized or permanent have these programs become? How interested is each partner? Has a need been established through analysis of data? What is the mission of the partnership and, eventually, the program based on the established need? Are there alternative ways to meet this need? Are services being duplicated? Who supports the program? Are leaders inside and outside the partnership willing and able to publicly support the program? What does each partner gain from participating? Does the post-secondary institution have a distinctive educational philosophy or pedagogical approach? If so, how well does that match up with the ECHS school s educational approach? How did it influence the school s ECHS design? Does the college have a significant enrollment of students of color and urban students? Do they have a significant enrollment of students who enter the college with academic deficiencies? Do they have a strong track-record of success with students from these backgrounds? How are they incorporating the supports and approaches they have developed with better support students from underrepresented groups into the ECHS design? How does the model provide sufficient benefits to the college to sustain the college s involvement in the long-run? How well does this partnership fit into the college s broader strategic plan for growth and success? Can each partner articulate the benefits? What is the culture surrounding dual enrollment in the district or charter and the institution of higher education? How do students currently access dual enrollment, and how will the ECHS impact that? Are Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and articulation agreements in place between all partners? What research and resources are available to explain the ECHS model? Have the potential partners conducted a site visit to an ECHS?
2 Funding & Sustainability Is start-up funding available? How are dual enrollment courses funded? How can the partners share program costs? Does the inclusion of two years of college coursework significantly increase the per-student cost compared to a traditional high school design? If so, what features account for the higher costs, and what revenue sources have been identified to fill the gap? What concrete outcomes do you think the college will need to see over the next five years to feel that the partnership is yielding sufficient return to justify continued investment?
3 12 Months Before Opening Identify and Select Principal or Director Identify a Planning Team Develop a Public Relations Plan for the Planning Process Develop an ECHS Mission Statement Identify Target Student Body Does the leader have school start-up or redesign experience? Does the leader share the educational philosophy of the ECHS initiative? Does the leader have strong communication skills? Does the leader have a hands-on management style? Is the leader able to foster collaboration? Are all major stakeholder groups represented? Who will lead the team? Has a planning process, including a timeline with stated outcomes, been put in place? Are the roles and expectations of stakeholder groups clearly defined? Does the plan target key individuals who may need to be kept informed and groomed to support the program? Is there a communication plan in place to keep stakeholders informed of the program development efforts? Does the plan include multiple approaches for communication and dissemination of information, such as news articles, brochures, public forums, web sites, and individual meetings? Does the plan include structures for ongoing information sharing and consultation with key stakeholders after the program has begun? Does the mission define the school's purpose and objectives? Is the mission statement actionable? Does it state the goals of the ECHS and what the school will do to achieve these goals? Does the statement provide a descriptive profile of the students to be served? Does the mission encompass the ECHS Core Principles? What are the characteristics of the target student body, including academic strengths, weaknesses, and motivation, social-emotional needs, and motivation for post-secondary education? What type and range of students is the ECHS school designed to serve? More specifically, is the school designed to accommodate students with low entering literacy or math skills (i.e. two or more grade levels behind in reading or math)? Does the school either require or strongly recommend that students who wish to attend the school demonstrate a certain level of academic achievement or English language proficiency? If so, what level? What is the school s admissions process and criteria? What are the academic, ethnic, and linguistic background characteristics of students attending the school (i.e. percentage who entered reading at grade level or above)? Based on the identified characteristics, what are the defined needs of the students?
4 Planning the Program of Study What courses are necessary for students to meet high school graduation requirements? What high school courses will be offered? How many and which courses will offer college credit? Will they be dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, and/or International Baccalaureate courses? Is the basic four-year course sequence defined in order to provide enough credits to earn a high school diploma and a minimum of 60 college credit hours? What college courses will be available to ECHS students? Will ECHS students be integrated into college courses with college students? Does the distribution of courses provide a post-secondary pathway? Does it meet requirements for general or technical majors? What are the prerequisites for upper-level courses of study? How will technology be incorporated into the school? How will the schedule be designed in order to meet the needs of the program of study? What is the planned sequence of college-level courses? How will students achieve 60 credits? Will any of the college courses be specially designed or adapted for the ECHS program? If yes, explain. (What is the approval process at the sponsoring post-secondary institution?) What is the rationale for the sequence of college courses selected and the level and type of substitution of college-level classes for HS classes? Will all students take the same college-level program of study, or will the sequence be differentiated based on student s level of academic readiness? What is the rationale for these choices? What do students schedules look like? What pre-existing college courses were chosen, changed, or adapted as part of the curriculum? What new courses were created? How does the selected course of study ensure that students are able to meet required state performance standards (e.g. high school graduation test requirements, state university entrance requirements)? Does the selected course of study give ECHS students an advantage over students enrolled in college preparatory high school program in gaining admission to a public university upon graduation? What credit do students receive for their college courses? (High school, college, or dual?) If college credit, what type? Are these credits transferable to other colleges? How does the class size of student s college courses compare to the class size of their non-college classes? Does the college have or will it consider policies that support early college (e.g. streamlining course approval process, awarding adjunct faculty status)?
5 Procedures for a Blended Curriculum Identify Academic Support Structures How will the partners collaborate to ensure that dual credit courses meet high school graduation requirements? Who will be involved in the planning process? How will course offerings be negotiated with the college partner? What is the course approval process? How will high school and college teachers participate in creating the program of study? Who will teach the college courses - full-time high school faculty who gain adjunct status, tenure or tenure track college faculty, adjunct college faculty? Who is responsible for evaluating the quality of instruction in the college-level courses? To whom are the teachers of the college courses accountable for student performance in the course? If college faculty will be teaching some or all of the ECHS college-level courses, what relationship will these college faculty have to ECHS school community? Will they be active participants in the ECHS community (e.g.. participate in faculty meetings or other types of school team meetings)? Will the ECHS school leader have any direct supervisory authority over college faculty teaching their students? To what extent are college courses substituting for high school courses to meet core academic requirements for high school graduation? Which college courses are substituting for high school offerings (e.g. English 1301 or 1302 replace 11th grade English)? What is the rationale for this instructional design (i.e. cost, quality, logistics, etc)? What process is in place to review and revise course offerings and sequence in light of experience? What academic support services will be needed to help students be successful in both their high school and college courses? How will the ECHS succeed in teaching students who enter at varying levels of academic competency the foundation skills they will need in order to succeed in college-level courses? What academic support services will be needed to ensure that students meet their high school graduation requirements while working toward earning 60 college credits? What key features has the school incorporated into its design to ensure that all its students are able to meet the academic requirements for college work (e.g. incorporated middle grades, added 13th year)? Does the design have a differentiated college preparatory program for students based on their academic skills at program entry, or is there a common academic prep program? How is the school ensuring that its college-preparatory program is preparing its students for the standards and demands of college courses? Is college faculty or other members of the college involved in reviewing course content? Are there other mechanisms? How does the school determine when students are ready for college courses? What criteria do they use?
6 Identify Academic Support Structures Identify Social Emotional Supports Staffing the Program Does the design include a plan so that students take college coursework as a group first and then individually at the college? Do students receive structuring advising and support as a cohort then more individual advising? How will the school/college support students who are taking college courses? Do students have the opportunity to take summer seminars or workshops prior to on-campus course work? What is the school schedule? Does the school use summer time and breaks? If so, for what purposes? What tutoring and academic supports are provided to students in college classes? Are there adult or closeage mentors for the students? How will the supports be funded and staffed? What counseling services will be needed to ensure student success? How will the program engage the student's family to help attain the academic goals? How will discipline issues be handled? How will student attendance be monitored in high school classes versus college classes? To what extent are the ECHS students encouraged and expected to use the same support services available to other college students (e.g. counseling services, writing centers and tutoring services, etc)? To participate in college clubs, sports teams, etc? What are the key elements of advising and counseling components? What are the social benefits of high school students being on a college campus? How many will school teachers will be needed to provide the program of study? How many college instructors/seats in college classrooms will be needed? How will counseling and guidance services be offered? What administrative support staff will be needed? If high school teachers will be teaching one or more of the courses as adjunct faculty, what is the process of authorization? Does the college have a history of using high school faculty to teach its dual enrollment courses or other college courses to high school students? If so, is it using the same process to authorize and supervise performance of ECHS high school faculty? If using high school faculty to teach college courses to high school students in a new practice, what process is the college putting in place to supervise and evaluate the performance of its adjunct faculty? If high school teachers will be teaching college courses, has the school recruited high school faculty for these courses who already have qualifications and experience teaching at the college level? If not, how is the school ensuring a match between its faculty and the requirements to teach college classes? How has the college partner been involved in the recruitment and selection process? If high school faculty teaching, what is the professional development plan for high school faculty teaching college courses to ensure that they are keeping up with standards and requirements of the college s academic departments?
7 Staffing the Program Site Selection and School Organization If college faculty teaching, is there a professional development plan to help them support the needs of ECHS students or other students who need help acclimating themselves to the demands of college course work? If college faculty will be teaching, what is their faculty status (fulltime, adjunct, etc)? If the design calls for ECHS students to take regular college classes at the campus, were professors and their courses screened or evaluated in any way to determine professors who would be best suited to teaching ECHS students? What is the connection between college instructors and school staff? Do they engage in common planning or other forms of professional development? Do the college faculty identify themselves as part-time members of a school s staff and work as a member of a staff team? How will the staffing needs increase as the school scales up to full capacity? Where will the ECHS be located? Will the ECHS be located on a college campus? Will the ECHS be a stand-alone campus? Will the ECHS be a school within a larger high school? Will the ECHS use an existing or a new building? Are renovations required? Will the ECHS be a charter school? Will ECHS students be integrated or separated from college students? Have the necessary permissions from partners and local government entities regarding space been obtained? If the ECHS shares facilities (on a college or high school campus), how will issues regarding use of space be resolved? Where will academic and social-emotional support services be located? Will students experience ECHS as a blended high school and college or as being enrolled in in two separate institutions- a high school and a college? Or something in-between? Will the courses be offered at the high school? at the college? Or at both? What is the rationale for the institutional design choice and the relationship between the pre-college and college components? What college facilities, resources, and services will be available to ECHS students? How will students be transported to and from campus?
8 Deciding on Governance Structures Who will run the daily operations of the school? To whom will this person answer? What role will teachers and administrators play? What is the governance and management structure of the school? What is the role of the post-secondary partner in school governance and management? Is your post-secondary partner a private or public institution or part of a public system? If public, what autonomy do they have as a campus to make decisions related to ECHS, and what decisions/permissions need to be granted by central authority for the college system? Who is making the decisions related to your ECHS school at the college campus (i.e.. What is the decision making process at the college for the different components of the ECHS partnership? What is role of academic affairs office versus office of President versus community affairs or outreach office?)? What are the major operational issues involved in implementing the planned academic design for the college component? What is your operational plan for managing the delivery of the college component of the program in light of these issues? Has the partnership encountered any significant barriers to implementing its planned design? If so, how have you addressed those barriers? What is the role of members of the college s executive leadership in the partnership? Is there a faculty committee assigned to this work? Is it lead by a single department? At the college s end, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the partnership? How is information shared across institutions? If students are taking mainstream college courses, are they taking these courses as an ECHS cohort? Describe. Does the faculty know who the ECHS students are in their class, or are they indistinguishable from students in the class? How will ECHS faculty and staff communicate and collaborate with faculty and staff at the institution of higher education?
9 Planning & Developing the Budget Based on the program needs, what is the cost of the program as planned? Have all hidden costs, such as tuition, textbooks, and transportation, been taken into account? What are the available public and private funding streams? Are they sufficient? How will funds derived from Average Daily Attendance (ADA) at the high school and seat time at the college be expended? How will the ECHS access and make the best use of start-up funds? Will adjustments need to be made to the program based on budget issues? Are there opportunities for the partners to work together to achieve additional cost-savings? What sources of non-financial support (partnerships, in-kind contributions, etc.) are available? How will the partners collaborate to ensure sustainable funding levels? How will the budget be tracked, monitored, and reported? Are projected expenditures and revenues realistically based on increases in projected enrollment as the school scales up to full capacity? What is the school s cost-per student (excluding in-kind contributions)? What is their budgeted staff to student ratio? Teacher to student ratio excluding college faculty or college courses? Teacher to student ratio factoring in students enrolled in college courses (e.g. convert student enrollments in regular college courses to faculty FTE equivalents)? What is the cost per-student including in-kind contributions? What are the revenue sources covering these costs (amounts and percentage of total cost covered by each revenue source)? Does the provision of two years of college coursework add, lower, or not affect the school s cost per student (i.e. what would happen to the cost per student if the school converted to a traditional high school design?)? What are the school s costs per-student associated with offering the college course of study? Detail the budget costs by grade level including percentage of FTE of regular teaching staff, counselor or advisor ratio to students in college courses, payments to college for adjunct faculty, tuition and fees paid to college, cost of books, and transportation for instructional hours per student. What are the total cost per student for students enrolled in college courses, and what non-school revenue sources (including college in-kind contributions) are covering those costs? Detail these government or college contributions. Is the college receiving any state and philanthropic funding to cover its in-kind or waived costs? What are the college s regular costs per student FTE? What percentage of those costs is covered by public funding? What percentage is covered by tuition and fees? Converting the costs described above, how does the cost per student FTE for college coursework compare to the costs per student FTE in high school courses? Calculate student FTE costs by grade if possible. On average, what percentage of student class time will be spent in college course work at each grade level (i.e. what percent of student FTE will be spend in college course work)? What are the total direct costs of instruction and support services for each grade level? What percentage of those direct instructional and support costs are allocated to covering the college courses and related support? What are the college s and school s costs associated with planning the partnership? On-going management of the partnership? How are these costs paid?
10 Planning & Developing the Budget Does the financial sustainability of the design require changes in federal, state, and or local policy? Describe the changes required and the strategy to secure those changes? Does the financial sustainability of the design require changes in college policies? Describe the changes and strategy required to secure those changes. Given the costs and revenues associated with the college s participation in ECHS, what is their long-run institutional and financial interest in sustaining the ECHS partnership? Does the college have an interest in expanding its delivery of services to ECHS students to additional schools? Does the Memorandum of Understanding reflect agreements between the partners with regard to funding?
11 9 Months Before Opening Community Engagement State/District Negotiations Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements How can the public relations plan for the planning process be used for community engagement? What questions, concerns, or aspirations does the community have regarding the ECHS initiative? What community leaders and constituencies should have a voice? What types of outreach are most appropriate for the various constituencies, including students, families, higher education leaders, youth organizations, policy makers, business and nonprofit partners. How will the ECHS build a case of support with government and civic leaders? What approaches for communication and dissemination of information will be used? Examples include news articles, brochures, public forums, web sites, and individual meetings Have issues surrounding school authority, autonomy in decision making, state/district resources, and compliance procedures been addressed? What permission does the ECHS need from the district, charter, or institution of higher education? What permission does the ECHS need from local government entities? Does the MOU articulate the mission of the school? Does the MOU delineate roles and responsibilities regarding the program of study, including design and delivery of the instructional program, assessment, and crediting of courses? Does the MOU define financial arrangements regarding responsibility for expenses including tuition and fees, textbooks, transportation? Does the MOU define financial arrangements regarding income? Does the MOU define agreements regarding site selection? Does the MOU define joint decision making processes?
12 6 Months Before Opening Student Assessment Student Recruitment Personnel Selection Will a college entrance exam such as THEA, Compass, or Accuplacer be used? Are there multiple performance measures such as standardized tests, performance assessments, portfolios, and real-world experience through which students may demonstrate academic progress? Is there a focus on creating a culture of continual assessment of individual student progress toward performance expectations? What standards must students meet to demonstrate that they are prepared academically to take college classes (e.g. placement tests, GPA, satisfactory completion of pre-requisite college prep courses?)? How is student progress in classes monitored? Is there a timeline that defines adequate progress toward achieving standards? What is the process for students who are not making adequate progress? Are there structures in place for identifying the target population of students who would benefit from the ECHS? Are there structures in place for providing students with some exposure to or experience with the program before they decide to enroll? Does the applicant pool include teachers and administrators who have school start-up or redesign experience? Does the applicant pool include teachers and administrators who share the educational philosophy of the ECHS initiative? Does the applicant pool include teachers and administrators who enjoy working in a small school environment? Does the applicant pool include teachers and administrators who are adaptable and enjoy learning and using new methods of instruction?
13 3 Months Before Opening Developing an Application and Selecting Students Orientation for Students/Parents Building ECHS Culture Does the application provide the selection committee enough information to decide if the program is appropriate for them? Does the process include multiple procedures such as a written application, recommendations or an interview in order to gather various types of information about applicants? How does the selection process ensure that the ECHS serves a population of students who are at risk of not graduating from high school? Are there clear criteria outlined for selecting students? Who will be involved in the selection process? What structures are in place to ensure that the recruitment, selection, and admission process meet legal requirements? How will the ECHS address the following issues: ECHS Core Principles, School Mission, Governance Structure, Instructional Approach, College Component, Policies and Procedures, Transportation, Support Services What will the school's handbook communicate as the important issues? How can the ECHS make use of services and resources at the Institution of Higher Education in order to build culture and provide unique opportunities for ECHS students? How will the ECHS distinguish itself from other high schools? In what ways during and beyond instruction time can the ECHS create a seamless transition between high school and college? What business and community organizations might be able to participate in or benefit from partnering with the ECHS? How might internships, externships, service learning, senior projects, and instructional time be creatively employed in order to extend learning opportunities and build ECHS culture? Will ECHS students be physically present on the college campus for any of their classes? If yes, for which classes? Will they be taking classes with other college students or grouped strictly with other ECHS students? Will this vary by grade level/year in program? Will they experience membership in the college community in other important ways (i.e. use of art studios, music, physical education, clubs, mini courses or lectures, summer programs) Does the attitude and behavior of all school staff model the ECHS culture? What is the thinking behind these decisions? How central to the ECHS school design (and the theory about why it will work) is student membership in a college community?
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