NEW TECH HIGH @ COPPELL
We have pulled our portrait of a graduate directly from our mission statement in order to create a high alignment between our mission (viewed as a promise we make to our families), our practices, and our graduates. Our staff designs problems of practice around both the graduate profile and our learner outcomes and investigates those problems through Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles as well as other methods. We have Learner Success Teams in place to track, discuss, and provide interventions for learners who are struggling with academic content, social emotional aspects, or are otherwise not living up to our graduate profile. Our learners actively engage with the components of our mission and learner profile through projects designed around those concepts. Learners take the different statements, find examples from their school year that demonstrate growth or mastery of one of the descriptors, and then share their reflection with the rest of their classmates. Learners also track their progress on the graduate profile by keeping a digital portfolio. The components of the graduate profile are: empowered, problem-solver, collaborative, leader. To empower learners, we provide choice in their academic life through a couple of avenues including student choice in schedule, one day each week. Learners choose activities that they need for their academics or they choose sessions that help them to pursue their passions.
Mission clarity. We start every meeting reciting our mission and this image is on every staff document. We broke down our mission statement into actionable items for our staff to use and developed professional learning to help staff ensure implementation of the mission in their classrooms.
Our learners are called upon to lead professional learning, to lead our tour events for prospective students and parents, and our learners develop lesson plans for our leadership organizations and school-wide activities. In addition to serving on campus committees and our hiring committee, learners also serve on district committees to share what we are doing and to advocate for our campus. Learners have done research on the effectiveness of campus processes as a part of their senior capstone and have helped to inform our future work.
STRUCTURES FOR PROJECT BASED LEARNING
Our campus has one integrated course called Critical Literacies that combines English 1 and Digital Media. Through the course, learners understand themselves, others, and the community. We no longer have other team taught courses but we utilize our FLEX schedule to promote cross curricular projects. Examples of subjects that have combined through our new structure are: Geometry and Physics, Geometry and Algebra, Biology and Geography, English and Chemistry.
ASSESSMENT AND ECHO PRACTICES
Our staff meets collaboratively each year to develop ways to teach the learning outcomes, assess the learning outcomes, and also creates standards for how learning outcome grading should be weighted. This school year, we have had a big revision to our grading practices to reflect changes in the district (that are positive for aligning to our own school beliefs about assessment). Our staff has also calibrated how to set up agendas and projects in ECHO so that learners experience a thoughtful and somewhat streamlined ECHO experience.
For all new learners, we have a Rookie camp that takes place before school starts so that the learners can meet new people, learn about processes, and also get up to speed on our technology. Learners experience major cultural pieces during our first-week-projects by starting to meet with the networking team, coming up with a team name, tshirt design, etc.