Title

High Risk to High Rewards

Location

Scarbrough 2

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

A.Z. Kelsey Academy is a non-traditional high school in Griffin, GA, located about 40 miles south of Atlanta. The school has been able to make strides in closing the achievement gap. Seventy-five percent of the students are economically disadvantaged. The majority of the students enter the school significantly behind in credits for graduation. Progress monitoring is an integral component of the school’s infrastructure. Our school has been identified by the Georgia Department of Education as a High-Progress Reward School for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. This award is given to the top 10% of Title I schools for progress in closing the achievement gaps and increasing the graduation rate.

Brief Program Description

The objective of the presentation is to share the strategies that have been effective in closing the achievement gap with schools which have similar populations. Progress monitoring, blended instruction, interventions, student goal setting and reviewing teacher data will be discussed.

Summary

Our students have improved their scores on the standardized assessments over a three year period. A modified schedule was implemented with students attending class from 7:30-4 Monday- Thursday. On Friday students attended class from 7:30-11:30. The classes on Friday were test prep sessions geared towards students who either needed to pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test or those who were enrolled in End of Course Tests (EOCTs). The EOCTs were mandated for eight courses: English 9, American Literature, Math I (replaced by Coordinate Algebra), Math II (Analytic Geometry), Physical Science, Biology, U.S. History, and Economics. During the test prep sessions teachers focused on areas of weakness as well as areas of strength. They used computer assisted as well as teacher created reviews to work with students. We have shown growth over the past three years in all EOCT courses except in math. We have also seen an increase in our graduation rate each year. Weekly progress monitoring, individual learning targets, interventions, student goal setting, and reviewing teacher data will be discussed during the presentation. Teachers conduct progress monitoring weekly to determine the needs of students. Student’s grades and attendance are recorded on a form and discussed during Professional Learning Community meetings. Teachers offer interventions to assist students who have not mastered the standards. The interventions are targeted towards individual skills. Students meet with the content teachers and set goals for the Georgia Milestones. The students set a performance goal and they outline steps for achieving the desired goal. Participants in the sessions will receive examples of progress monitoring form, samples of interventions and the goal setting form.

Evidence

Researchers, Venables (2014) and James-Ward et al (2013) have shown that analyzing data helps teachers to determine overall weaknesses students may have in the content areas. Venables (2014) discussed the importance of analyzing pre-test data and working with students to help them understand concepts. Venables further indicated that PLC’s should regularly respond to content-specific data to identify individual needs as well as trends.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Jamie Cassady has been the Principal at A.Z. Kelsey for three years. Prior to this position, he was as assistant principal at Griffin High School (GHS) where he worked for twenty years. While at GHS he opened the Engineering Academy and was the Athletic Director for twelve years. One of his primary responsibilities was handling the tribunal process for the school.

Stephanie Evans currently serves at the assistant principal at A.Z. Kelsey Academy (AZKA). She has been at AZKA for three years. Her previous position was as the assistant principal for the Freshman Academy at Griffin High School. Working with the Freshman Academy allowed Mrs. Evans to implement strategies to provide students with a solid foundation for high school and to increase promotion rate.

Keyword Descriptors

Achievement Gap, Progress Monitoring, At Risk Kids, Individual Learning Targets, Graduation Rate

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 9:45 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 11:00 AM

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Mar 4th, 9:45 AM Mar 4th, 11:00 AM

High Risk to High Rewards

Scarbrough 2

The objective of the presentation is to share the strategies that have been effective in closing the achievement gap with schools which have similar populations. Progress monitoring, blended instruction, interventions, student goal setting and reviewing teacher data will be discussed.