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Bridging the Gap Through Online Learning VOISE Academy High School

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Summer Bridge. Gear Up. Small Autonomous Schools. Summer School. CPS-VHS (online courses) ... Caring, positive environment. 3 R's Philosophy. Hands-on Projects ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bridging the Gap Through Online Learning VOISE Academy High School


1
Bridging the Gap Through Online Learning VOISE
Academy High School
Dr. Sandi Atols Manager of Distance Learning and
VOISE Designer Chicago Public Schools
Todd Yarch, Principal VOISE Academy Chicago
Public Schools
2
Like many other major, urban districts, Chicago,
we have a problem!
3
What Is The Problem?
CPS Student Progression Through High School
Progression of 2001-02 First-Time Freshman Cohort
Research conducted by the Parthenon Group and
with support from the Consortium on Chicago
School Research, for the Department of Graduation
Pathways, 2008.
4
What Should We Do About It? Building Alternate
Pathways to Graduation
Traditional Graduation Path
Elementary
Upper Classes
Freshman
Off-Pace To Graduate
  • Credits
  • Age

9th Grade At-Risk
Graduation
Elementary Risk Factors
  • High absences
  • Early failures
  • Off-track
  • Age
  • Attendance
  • Test Scores
  • Grades

11K
8K
27K
Alternate Graduation Pathways
The traditional path to graduation is not working
for half our studentsWe need a portfolio of
options to ensure that resources are available to
meet the differentiated needs of individual
students
5
The Department of Graduation Pathways
Black Not a department program Red Existing
department program Green New Initiative
Prevention
Early Intervention
Re-Enrollment
Credit Recovery
  • Freshman Connection
  • Step Up to High School
  • Jump Start
  • Summer Bridge
  • Gear Up
  • Small Autonomous Schools
  • Summer School
  • CPS-VHS (online courses)
  • Evening School
  • SES Tutoring
  • AVID
  • Achievement Academies
  • Small Learning Communities
  • Alternative Education
  • SAFE schools
  • Youth Connection Charter Schools (YCCS)
  • ALOP
  • SMART

On-Track Labs
YES Initiative
Data-driven Analysis
6
CPS-VHS Online
  • Facts
  • Online class offerings are growing
    internationally
  • CPS online students did not do as well at first
  • Our city-wide online students successful
  • completion rates were only 55-60 4 years ago
  • Our population spans those using online for
    credit recovery to Advance Placement
  • Our population are not necessarily independent,
    motivated learners
  • Our population includes those with special needs
    and low achievers
  • Many do not have computers with internet access
    at home
  • They need support

7
CPS-VHS Online
  • Facts
  • CPS online students success rates rose to
    between 75 to 82 when we encouraged schools to
  • Offer online courses during the instructional day
  • Require students attendance/put courses on
    schedules
  • Provide regular technology access
  • Provide mentors to supervise online classes
    (CPS-VHS training required)
  • Count online course grades put on transcript and
    count toward GPA
  • Schools do not always implement the program to
    ensure students success
  • How could I be sure the program was implemented
  • following best practices? --
  • Maybe CPS would open a new virtual school

8
A New School Concept
  • At first virtual sounded like a great
    idea---but Illinois requires 300 minutes daily
    seat time and 60 hours for half a Carnegie unit.
    The best of both worlds vision was conceived!
  • The idea of a hybrid school where
    students not only had the benefit of the
    structure of a school day, great teachers, but
    also online curriculum grew. VOISE Virtual
    Opportunities Inside a School Environment was
    born and named.

9
The Road to VOISE
  • The Design Framework
  • Following the RFP format 50 pages to explain
  • Executive Summary
  • Curriculum
  • Community
  • Leadership
  • Teaching staff and Recruitment
  • Remediation/Differentiated Instruction
  • Policies
  • Facilities
  • Community Interviews and Forums
  • Meetings/interviews with Office of New Schools
    (ONS)
  • Weekly PD Sessions with all other proposal teams
  • Interviews with community liaisons
  • Framework Approval

10
The Road to VOISE
  • The RFP Process Trying to cover all bases
  • RFP Written (100 pages plus Appendices) going
    more into depth and making changes indicated by
    Community and Office of New Schools (ONS).
  • More Community forums and meetings and interviews
  • Proposed Principal interviews and approval
  • RFP approval by ONS for the Austin Campus
  • Approval sent to be approved by Arne Duncan
  • Formal Public Hearings
  • Approval sent to Board of Education to approve
  • Hire the principal
  • Hire the staff

11
The Road to VOISE
  • Plan/Steps to Open the New School
  • Promote school COMMUNICATE (this never ends)
  • Visit feeder schools and present to 8th graders
  • Work with counselors during enrollment process
  • Hire staff
  • Plan curriculum
  • Write Board Report for funding/budget
  • Plan Budget
  • Write SIPAA and all other policies
  • Order equipment, furniture, supplies, materials
  • Conduct teacher PD ( 3 weeks)
  • Conduct Student Orientation (2 weeks)
  • Conduct Opening Celebration

12
Statewide 21st Century Learning System
  • What is needed
  • Curricula that emphasize 21st century skills.
  • Preservice and inservice training for teachers
    and administrators.
  • Robust statewide online learning infrastructure
    for students and teachers.
  • A vibrant system of online courses.
  • Computing device in every students hands.
  • Statewide no-cost or low-cost broadband wireless
    access.
  • High-speed wireless in every corner of the state.
  • P-20 coordination, cooperation, and vertical
    articulation.
  • Curricular, programmatic, workforce development,
    and other alignment across the P-20 spectrum.

McCleod, Scott, http//www.techlearning.com/blog/
2008/10/draft_statewide_21st_century_l.php
13
Statewide 21st Century Learning System
  • Environmental supports
  • Some supports need to be in place to facilitate
    effective implementation
  • Federal, state, and local laws, policies, and
    funding support. A thoughtful, helpful array of
    legal, policy, and funding supports for what
    needs to be done.
  • Monitoring, assessment, and evaluation. Regular,
    frequent, ongoing. To inform practice, not just
    for accountability.
  • Mindset shift. The digital, global age is here.
    Its time to learn how to survive and thrive in
    it rather than being afraid of it or ignoring it.
  • Marketing
  • Theres also a marketing piece to this. Who needs
    to be informed about what needs to be done in
    order to facilitate a broad base of support and
    buy-in?

McCleod, Scott, http//www.techlearning.com/blog/2
008/10/draft_statewide_21st_century_l.php
14
A VOISE Academy
  • On September 2nd, VOISE Academy High School
    opened its doors to its first class of 163
    freshmen.
  • VOISE is a regular CPS performance school created
    through an RFP to the Office of New Schools
    Renaissance 2010 Program opening small schools
    with excellent educational opportunities in
    underserved communities.
  • VOISE will add a grade each year serving 600
    students by year 4 in grades 9-12.
  • VOISE shares a large historic building with 2
    other small schools offering after school
    activities and sports as a campus unit
  • VOISE is serving the Austin neighborhooda
    population of
  • high poverty
  • 99 African American
  • low-test scores
  • 30 special needs
  • high drop-outs
  • low graduation rates
  • few college entrants

15
VOISE Academy The Best of Both Worlds
Where Tradition Meets Technology
Tradition
Technology
Teacher Instructional Guide Professional
Development
  • Summer - 3 weeks (NACOL assisted)
  • Daily subject area and team plan periods
  • Weekly school-wide Professional Development
  • Staff Dev. days
  • Internal External experts
  • Structured CPS school calendar and day
  • Great teachers
  • Caring, positive environment
  • 3 Rs Philosophy
  • Hands-on Projects
  • Orientation
  • (2 weeks in Summer)
  • 11 laptops
  • Online Curriculum
  • Online Resources
  • 24/7 access
  • 21st Century skills
  • Global Community
  • NU Collaboratory Project

16
VOISE Academy will make a difference!
Students have a choice with VOISE
  • A quality school in the Austin Community
  • Small classes, small school
  • Freshman Transition Course
  • 3 Rs Philosophy Rigor, Relevance,
    Relationships
  • Personal education plan for each student
  • Students work online at own level and pace
  • OHSP course requirements and additional online
    opportunities
  • Online learning management system
  • daily progress reports
  • time freed up for teaching
  • early intervention

17
VOISE Academy High School
  • 3 Rs Philosophy Rigor, Relevance, and
    Relationships
  • Steps to modeling this
  • Potential students came for a High School
    Investigation Day in June (150 students attended)
  • Teachers came for 3 weeks of Professional
    Development in the summer NACOL assisted!
  • Students attended a 2- week Freshman Orientation
    to begin building relationships with peers and
    teachers and learn about expectations.
  • Students feel special were involved in selecting
    the school colors, the uniform colors, and
    writing school policies.
  • Expectations are being set high. They are
    the founding students with much responsibility!
    VOISE is becoming a model, has been in several
    publications, and is being visited and contacted
    for information about this innovative school.

18
Data-Driven Decisions
  • Students were given the Work Keys math and
    reading assessments during Orientation
  • Reading Diagnostics were administered the first
    two weeks of school
  • Reading and Math classes are block scheduled to
    give more time
  • Wednesdays is a time for projects, resources, and
    special help (1/2 day for students, full day for
    teachers).
  • The student management system gives immediate
    feedback.
  • All CPS assessments as well as teacher and Apex
    assessments will be administered to drive needed
    interventions.
  • Failure is not an optionVOISE will meet students
    where they are and allow them to gain skills and
    then move on after mastery.

19
Data-Driven Decisions
  • Final enrollment? 149 students just right!
  • Are they attending? 94
  • At what level did they begin?
  • 5th grade reading (yet two are at college level)
  • 28 of the students have special needs
  • Watch List of incoming freshmen
  • 17 students were tagged for being at risk due to
    poor attendance in 8th grade
  • 25 were tagged for being 2 or more years below
    grade level in math or reading
  • 5 for attendance and low level skills
  • What progress has been made?
  • Most began in fundamentals classes
  • Some have been moved into introductory classes
    already.
  • Reading is much more structured and traditional
    right now to build skills.

20
Some of Our Students
21
Challenges and Successes
  • The technology for broadband was upgraded the 3rd
    week of school so students finally had internet
    access.
  • Old building so wireless essential not many
    outlets, either.
  • Smart boards are deliverednot all installed (no
    wall space)
  • Despite being in a tough area, misconduct numbers
    have been dwindling.
  • More time needs to be spent on teaching social
    skills (really immature --no older students to
    emulate).
  • Need to learn that the computers are not just
    free time and to stay on course appropriate
    sites.
  • Students are being teased by students from other
    2 schools that they are spoiled nerdsbeginning
  • to work as a positive, however.

22
Challenges and Successes
  • VOISE can provide desktops for home use building
    a learning community.
  • Parents will come to school for PC training and
    Internet safety before picking up their
    computers.
  • Some parents cannot afford the connectivity.
  • Students have no problem navigating the online
    classes.
  • They enjoy the fact that they can work at their
    own level not based upon what others know or are
    doing.
  • Many students are surprised they are so low and
    that we are actually trying to teach themnot
    just pass them for doing assignments!
  • Teachers new to block scheduling needed to gain
    timing experience new teachers to distance
    learning needed to learn classroom management
    strategies
  • FUNDING!

23
Mission and Goals
  • The mission of VOISE high school will be to
    combine the use of technology, best distance
    learning practices, and quality online curriculum
    with exemplary secondary classroom teachers and
    student-centered pedagogy in order to provide all
    its students with choice, flexibility,
    scholarship, and individual attention
    culminating in students high achievement.
  • Our vision is to create a safe, academically
    successful school with a positive, interactive,
    technologically advanced environment rooted in
    building strong relationships and respect.
  • Our goals are to raise attendance and graduation
    rates and lower drop-out rates. Another goal is
    for all VOISE graduates to enroll in college.
  • VOISE recognizes the importance of preparing its
    learners for living and working in todays
    society and honing skills through online learning
    as a catalyst to future success and a lifelong
    love of learning.

24
The Department of Graduation Pathways
Black Not a department program Red Existing
department program Green New Initiative
Prevention
Early Intervention
Re-Enrollment
Credit Recovery
  • Freshman Connection
  • Step Up to High School
  • Jump Start
  • Summer Bridge
  • Gear Up
  • Small Autonomous Schools
  • Summer School
  • CPS-VHS (online courses)
  • Evening School
  • SES Tutoring
  • AVID
  • Achievement Academies
  • Small Learning Communities
  • VOISE Academy
  • Alternative Education
  • SAFE schools
  • Youth Connection Charter Schools (YCCS)
  • ALOP
  • SMART

On-Track Labs
YES Initiative
Data-driven Analysis
25
VOISE is in the News
  • Edutopia http//www.edutopia.org/ikid-voise-acade
    my-online-education
  • Converge Magazine The Best of Both Worlds
  • NACOL http//www.nacol.org/promisingpractices/NAC
    OL_PP-BlendedLearning-lr.pdf
  • Chicago Sun Times http//www.suntimes.com/news/ed
    ucation/1139481,CST-NWS-skul02.article
  • CPS At Night www.cps.answerstv.com "Cutting
    Edge High School." 

26
Thank you!
  • Questions?
  • Contacts
  • Dr. Sandi Atols
    Mr. Todd Yarch, Principal
  • slatols_at_cps.k12.il.us
    tyarch_at_cps.k12.il.us

  • www.VOISE.cps.k12.il.us
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