Successes and Challenges of Grade Reconfiguration at Granger High School

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Successes and Challenges of Grade Reconfiguration at Granger High SchoolIntroductionA successful sense of community has developed within the 9thGrade Academy. All core…
Successes and Challenges of Grade Reconfiguration at Granger High SchoolIntroductionA successful sense of community has developed within the 9thGrade Academy. All core classes and lockers are located in a common area. Students (and parents) appreciate that freshmen aren’t traveling as much and can get to classes more quickly this first year. Counselors are also located in the same hall which gives students easier access to another adult in the building. There seems to be a heightened demonstration of collegiality among teachers and support staff which goes beyond departments. We hold weekly PLCs and teacher collaboration time. SuccessesThere have been 80% fewer suspensions of 9th graders this year. To date, only students violating district policies with Drug and Safety offenses have been suspended. All other discipline has been dealt with using the Administrative Intervention Strategy, with few repeat offenders. To note: freshmen rarely receive office referrals from mixed grade classes. The bar is raised by the older students. Suspension DataSuccessesFreshmen online to graduate has risen from last year’s junior high data of 71.4% to 80% this year at Granger High School. On-line to graduate SuccessesTo date the average GPA’s of this year’s 9th graders is higher than demonstrated at their home schools as 8th graders. At Valley Junior High, in their 8th grade year, this class averaged 2.36 for Semester 1 and 2.02 for Semester 2. At West Lake Junior High, in their 8th grade year, this class averaged 2.33 for Semester 1 and 2.26 for Semester 2. This year, as 9th graders, their average GPA for Q1 was 2.52 and Q2 was 2.50.We have not yet completed both semesters and have only Semester 1 data. GPA IncreaseSuccessesThere is greater opportunity for students to take upper level classes, a greater variety of elective classes, more involvement in athletics at a higher level of play, more opportunity for active leadership roles, plus greater and easier access to the Career Center and GTI. Accessing the GTI is easier since all 9thgraders are on the same block schedule at Granger High School. Students are exposed to the expectation, language and protocol focused on high school graduation and College and Career readiness their entire freshmen year. Examples of this would include hearing about Jostens assemblies, FAFSA nights, scholarship opportunities, college fairs/recruiters, college visits, college mentors, etc. Classes not offered at the junior high which freshmen are currently taking:
  • Water Aerobics- 19
  • Swimming 1- 87
  • Freshman Academy- 769
  • Japanese- 56
  • Latin- 14
  • 9 took National Latin Exam
  • Math 2 Honors- 4
  • 5 attended the state math contest at USU
  • Percussion Ensemble- 12
  • 6 participated in Solo and Ensemble with “excellent” ratings
  • Rock School- 15
  • Small Engine Repair- 64
  • Video Production- 156
  • Welding- 48
  • GTI-130
  • Metal Works- 54
  • Football- 68
  • Basketball- 7
  • Baseball-10
  • Volleyball- 3
  • Wrestling- 9
  • Softball- 4
  • Swimming Team- 4
  • Soccer- 8
  • Drill Team- 6
  • Drama- Countless students involved in the play and musicals
  • 1 region champion going to state
  • *Sports are sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities AssociationSuccessesCredit Recovery can be started immediately after 1st term and is ongoing throughout the school year. As soon as students need credit recovery, they may start. Our 8 week Summer School/Credit Recovery program, packets and face-to-face classes, has been very successful. A total of 39 students were able to catch up completely, having no F’s, and may now complete all credits within regular school hours to graduate. Summer School DataSummer Credit Recovery*Total Credits recovered: 254Total number enrolled: 288 in our 8 week sessions *This is strictly packet based data.Math Secondary 1 Qtr. 1 Class*Total number enrolled: 39Total F’s recovered: 24*Math Secondary 1 Qtr. 2 Class*Total number enrolled: 45Total F’s recovered: 20** Although some students still received F grades, we are pleased to report that these 20 students have now passed and received credit for Math Secondary 1, Qtr. 2Challenges
  • Logistically, the addition of 800+/- students has increased the burden on all staff, specifically clerical, kitchen and administrative. The extra time and energy needed to meet the needs of this many students (the size of some existing junior highs) is a huge stressor when additional staff has not been added.
  • Granger runs 3 lunches and breakfast each day. The time in between lunches is inadequate to set up for the next lunch.
  • Attendance data shows that absences have remained the same. This is corroborated by our district truancy tracker who is tracking roughly the same number of students. The greatest spike we have seen is in our tardies. Perhaps the new freedom of an “open campus” and peers who drive have influenced this trend.
  • 9 Traveling teachers – unable to use 3 FTE due to no classroom space.
  • Preliminary FTE Allocations not accurate.
  • October 1, 2013 # of students enrolled = 2818 – 2920 with all students included.
  • Expecting 3000 next school year
  • ReferenceAdministrative Intervention“A School Administrators Guide to Working With Aggressive and Disruptive Students”Donald D. Black and John C. Downs
  • De-escalating disruptive behavior
  • Obtaining and maintaining educational control
  • Teaching alternative behaviors
  • How to accept criticism
  • How to follow instructions
  • The appropriate posture and voice tone when in a conference with an authority figure
  • How to formulate and deliver an apology
  • How to accept a penalty, and other social skills
  • Preparing students for classroom re-entry
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