Do The WASC Thing

Visiting Committee Report Highlights

WASC Visit Summary and Kudos

The Visiting Committee (VC) arrived at around 1:45 PM on Sunday, April 19. They were greeted by Mariachi Chula Vista. They met with the Leadership Team and then were given a tour of the school by our ASB leaders. They were then treated to another performance by Main Attraction before they met with our parent group. Around 24 parents came to talk to them.


On Monday, April 20, the VC arrived early to informally meet and greet staff in the Learning Lab. The String Ensemble played for them. The members then proceeded to visit classrooms, speak with the Student Representatives (our Student Senate--there were about 80 students), our District Official, and three Focus Groups.


On Tuesday, April 21, the VC chose about 20 random students to speak to and finished speaking to the rest of the Focus Groups. They were also treated to lunchtime performances from House of Guitars, Baile Folklorico, and Dance.


Wednesday, April 22 was a day for the Visiting Committee to finalize their report and to plan a presentation for staff. At the end of the Faculty meeting, they left.


A very big thank you to all of YOU for your efforts in getting ready for the WASC visit. Special thanks to Mrs. Marcia Bristol, Garry Cabogason and the whole Custodial Crew, Luz Avila, WASC Leadership Team (Marisol Higareda, Ana Gabriela Hollins, Jose Medrano, Gavin Ching, Patrick Mallory, Greg Molina, Steve Rodecker, Nicole Neeb, Alma Aceves-Torres, David Hatz, Maritza Villegas, Christy Montierth, Ken Willadsen, Dawn Arriola, Leticia Tena-Sprague, Jaimme Jones, and Maria Teresa Topete), and Debbie Nevin for taking care of all the details that go with a visit as big and important as this. Special thanks also go to Jessica Tejada, Dr. Conrad Bruderer, Tony Atienza, Jeff Williams, Eduardo Romero, Marla Navarette, and Valerie Ingram for the incredible job your performing groups did in showcasing SCPA to our visitors. Thank you, Araceli Guzman, for procuring keys.


To the A-Team--Hilda Bender, Jaye Leigh, Alain Garnica-Mendoza, DiAnne Cabe, and Karla Hermosillo-Alcala--you know what your hard work means to our school. You never get enough credit. Thank you for having my back.

Self-Study Visiting Committee Report

Below are the highlights of the presentation that the Visiting Committee did on Wednesday, April 22, during our Faculty meeting. Please note that all areas of celebration and focus were mentioned in our self-study report and interviews with different stakeholders and focus groups. Furthermore, the Visiting Committee concurs with our identified Critical Learner Needs and the action plan we have developed to address them.

Category A: Organization: Vision and Purpose, Governance, Leadership and Staff, and Resources

Areas of Celebration:

  • SPSA's action plan's goals are aligned to critical areas of need unearthed through data review.
  • Tools and efforts to strengthen communication, especially with staff, are in place.
  • PLC structure allows for collaborative problem solving and thematic planning across disciplines in ways that are central to the achievement of the School Wide Learning Outcomes.
  • School site curricular specialists serve as an increasingly effective teacher resource.
  • Teachers, parents, and students all describe a positive shift in school culture for which they credit the new principal.


Areas to Focus On:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the Monday intervention period.
  • Strengthen Instructional Technology (IT) support, which is key as technology becomes increasingly integrated with instruction.
  • Review the effectiveness and level of implementation of current professional development programs.

Category B: Standards-Based Student Learning: Curriculum

Areas of Celebration:


  • Counselors are proactive: Students are encouraged to take "a through g" courses. Counselors track students' progress. Starting with the class of 2016 all students are required to take "a-g" courses.
  • School to career training and transition are offered through Pathway, BTS, and SCPA programs.
  • Common Core standards are being incorporated in district created curriculum and instructional guides.
  • Special Education students are mainstreamed when appropriate.
  • Biology teachers have developed seven NGSS plans.



Areas to Focus On:


  • The transition to Common Core and NGSS standards are still in progress.
  • Assessments are not available to determine course level readiness and some students are scheduled for the next level courses for which they are not prepared, per district placement guidelines.
  • There is a lack of a clear/shared definition of rigor and relevance.
  • More parent participation is needed to support student academic achievement.

CATEGORY C: STANDARDS-BASED STUDENT LEARNING: INSTRUCTION

Areas to Celebrate:

  • Pathway options through the School for the Creative and Performing Arts
  • Use of PLC time to collaborate and share best practices
  • Use of common and differentiated instructional strategies
  • Open Access for all students and classes
  • Use of technology to enhance instruction


Areas to Focus On:

  • Support and consistent use of technology in the classroom
  • Comprehensive plan to implement intervention classes for struggling students
  • Implementation of Common Core State Standards

CATEGORY D: STANDARDS-BASED STUDENT LEARNING: ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Areas of Celebration:

  • PLC's provide a structure to review assessment data and connect students with interventions.
  • Jupiter Grades provides increased parent, student, and teacher communication regarding grades and academic issues.
  • School schedules are aligned to enable regular, meaningful collaboration


Areas to Focus On:

  • What is the "next step" for PLC development to move programs into successful transition to the Common Core?
  • Focus groups report the increased collaboration has been very positive. How will this be sustained?

CATEGORY E: SCHOOL CULTURE AND SUPPORT FOR STUDENT PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC GROWTH

Areas of Celebration:

  • Communication with stakeholders through a variety of methods.
  • Support provided through strong relationships with government and private organizations.
  • Multiple opportunities that provide students a positive connection to the school.


Areas to Focus On:

  • Awareness of available community resources by all stakeholders.
  • Utilization of student support services.

Ongoing School Improvement


The Visiting Committee concurs with the action plan we have developed as part of the self-study and which focuses on these three Critical Learner Needs:

  • Students lack the ability to extract critical information that will allow them to respond to text verbally and in writing using academic language and textual evidence.(LITERACY)
  • Students lack the ability to extract critical information to determine which math concepts and numeracy skills to apply in solving problems. (NUMERACY)
  • Chula Vista High School lacks a systemic organization to support at-risk students to achieve academically. (SYSTEMIC INTERVENTION/SUPPORT)


In addition, the Visiting Committee has identified areas that need to be strengthened:

  1. The effectiveness of the Monday intervention day needs to be evaluated and if necessary, revised or structured.
  2. The school leadership and staff develop and implement ways to have a stronger parent, student, and community role in the entire school improvement process.

Next Steps

We will be revising the action plan to reflect the additional identified areas that need to be strengthened and resubmitting our report. The WASC Action Plan is currently being aligned to our Single Plan for Student Achievement that will be approved by the School Site Council.

Reflection

Many of you have remarked how positive this visit has been. The Visiting Committee was particularly impressed with the welcome they received and the number of parents and students that they have spoken to. They also made the observation that "there is a high degree of enthusiasm, support, and professional commitment by the leadership and the majority of the staff." Before he left, Mr. Fitzgerald emphasized the need for our staff to continue to engage in the Focus on Learning Process to effect the change that will ensure the achievement of all our students. The Team challenges the Leadership team to "develop innovative methods to increase parent and student participation and ownership of the plan."