# Atchison Alternative School

### Strategic Plan

## Indicator 1.3

## Atchison Alternative School - Who We Are

Atchison Alternative School serves students in grades 2 – 12 plus we have an extended learning program that serves adults in our community that do not have a high school diploma or a GED.

Our population is fluid – usually we start out with a small number and it grows throughout the school year. Students from other schools might be transferred to us as well as students coming out of hospitalization or juvenile facilities. We will see our numbers rise with foster student placement.

This makes it very hard to have consistent data that tells a story. At the end of the 2013-2014 we started tracking grades, attendance, referrals, parent contacts and credits earned for the high school students.

Grades

For our purposes in the narrative, percentages are given for passing grades (As, Bs, Cs, Ds) and failing grades:

1st Quarter 2014-2015 Passing 82% Failing 18%

2nd Quarter 2014–2015 Passing 80% Failing 20%

3rd Quarter 2014-2015 Passing 90% Failing 10%

4th Quarter 2014-2015 Passing 91% Failing 9%

We did see progress as fewer failing grades were awarded.

1st Quarter 2015-2016 Passing 95% Failing 5%

We would like this trend to continue.

Another piece of data that we look at is our attendance rate.

During the 1st quarter of the 2014 – 15 school year students missed a total of 60 days. The numbers for the 2015 – 16 school year are worse – students have missed a total of 105 days. This is an area of concern that we must address.

The alternative school has made a concentrated effort to boost the involvement of the parents and to build relationships with the students. Last year we hosted events to make sure that parents felt welcome in our building:

· August - parents of high school students were invited to Pizza and IPads

· January – Chili and Soup Cook off – our staff prepares their favorite chili or soup and the parents judge

· Spring – Art/Talent Show and then we started a Honors Banquet

The staff also make phone calls home on a regular basis. This helps build a relationship between the parents and staff members.

## Work Keys Summary

**WORKKEYS SUMMARY**

Students at Atchison Alternative School participate in WorkKeys testing. WorkKeys is an assessment that measures foundational skills students may need to enter the work force. The WorkKeys is also used at the area technical college as a tool for acceptance into programs that are offered.

AAS started this assessment in the spring of 2014. We tested seniors that year. During the 2014 – 2015, school year we tested all high school students. To date, students have done the fall testing of the 2015 – 2016 school year. There are some things to consider with this data – the students do not stay the same. As was mentioned before, our enrollment is very fluid and the same students do not always test.

Looking at the data does help – we can come up with some strategies that are helpful for all of our students:

· Strategy 1 – All students must read – the WorkKeys is an assessment that measures skills need for the work place. This assessment will help students see that reading is imperative.

· Strategy 2 – Close reading, organizing terms in categories – students must realize in the work world each business has it’s own “language”. Helping them find the clues to word meanings will help them.

· Strategy 3 – Vocabulary – students need to know vocabulary terms to navigate many situations. We need to give them a basic understand of vocabulary.

**READING**

Fourteen percent of the seniors tested in the spring of 2014 scored at level 3. In fall testing of 2014, sixteen percent of our students scored at a level 3 and in the spring testing of 2015, thirteen percent of our students scored at level 3. In the fall testing of 2015, seventeen percent of our students scored at a level 3.

· Students at level 3 are able to read basic materials that are short and simple. Those students would be able to identify main ideas, clearly stated details, and choose the correct meaning of a word. They would also be able to perform each step in a short series of steps and to apply instructions in a situation.

Twenty -nine percent of our students tested in the spring of 2014 scored at level 4. In fall testing of 2014, forty -two percent of our students scored at level 4 and in the spring testing of 2015, thirty- eight percent of our students scored at level 4. In the fall testing of 2015, sixty percent of our students scored at a level 4.

· Students at level 4 would be able to read straightforward material with longer sentences and a number of details. They would be able to identify important details that may not be clearly stated and be able to use the reading material to figure out the meaning of words that are not defined. They would be able to apply instructions with several steps and be able to choose what to do when changing conditions call for different actions.

Seventeen percent of our students tested in the spring of 2014 scored at a level 5. In fall testing of 2014, thirty -two percent of our students scored at level 5 and in the spring testing of 2015, forty -two percent of our students scored at level 5. I n the fall testing of 2015, thirteen percent of our students scored at a level 5.

· Students at this level would be able to read information that has many details that may contain jargon, technical terms, acronyms or words with several meanings. They would be able to figure out the correct meaning of a word based on how the word is used, how to apply technical terms and jargon to stated situations and how to apply complex instructions that include conditionals to situations described in the materials.

Eleven percent of our students tested in the spring of 2014, scored at a level 6. In fall testing of 2014, five percent of our students scored at level 6 and in spring testing of 2015, four percent of our students scored at level 6. In the fall testing of 2015, four percent of our students scored at a level 6.

· Students at this level are able to read materials that include elaborate procedures, complicated information with difficult words, jargon and technical terms. They would be able to identify implied details, use technical terms and jargon in new situations, apply complicated instructions to new situations, apply general principles from the materials to similar and new situations and explain the rational behind a procedure, policy or communication.

Students who tested in the spring of 2014 did not reach level 7. In fall testing of 2014, five percent of our students tested scored at level 7 and in the spring of 2015, four percent of our students tested scored at level 7.

· Students at level 7 are able to read very complex reading materials with many details and complicated concepts. Difficult vocabulary, unusual jargon and technical terms are used but not defined and readers must draw conclusions from some parts of the reading and apply them to other parts. Students are able to figure out the definitions of difficult, uncommon words, the meaning or jargon or technical terms based on how they are used. Students are also able to figure out the general principles behind policies and apply them to situations that are quite different from any described in the materials.

**MATH**

During the spring of 2014, we did not test WorkKeys math.

In fall testing of 2014, thirty- three percent of our students tested scored at level 3 and in the spring of 2015, forty -eight percent of our students tested scored at level 3. In the fall testing of 2015, seventy-two percent of our students scored at a level 3.

· Students at level 3 can easily translate a word problem to a math equations, they can solve problems that require a single type of mathematics operation, add or subtract negative numbers and change numbers from one for to another using whole numbers, fractions, decimals or percentages. Students are also able to convert simple money and time units.

In fall testing of 2014, forty-two percent of our students tested scored at level 4 and in the spring of 2015, thirty -eight percent of our students tested scored at level 4. In the fall testing of 2015, fourteen percent of our students scored at a level 4.

· Students at level 4 can solve problems when the information may be presented out of order, when it includes extra, unnecessary information and when it might include a simple chart or diagram or graph. Students are able to solve the following type of problems: problems that require one or two operations, negative numbers, averages, simple ratios, simple proportions or rates using whole numbers and decimals. They are able to add fractions, decimals, or percentages and add up to three fractions that share a common denominator. Students are able to multiply a mixed number by a whole number or decimal, put information in the right order before performing calculations, solve problems that require a single type of mathematics operation using whole numbers.

In fall testing of 2014, seventeen percent of our students tested scored at level 5 and in the spring of 2015, twenty four percent of our students tested scored at level 5. In the fall testing of 2015, fourteen percent of our students scored at a level 5.

· Students at level 5 can perform tasks from level 3 and 4, plus they can solve problems that require steps of logic and calculation. They can decide what information, calculations, or unit conversions to use to solve the problem, look up a formula and perform single-step conversions within or between systems of measurement, calculate using mixed units and devide negative numbers. Students can also find the best deal using one and two step calculations and then compare results. Students might also have to calculate perimeters and areas of basic shapes.

In fall testing of 2014, eleven percent of our students tested scored at level 6 and in the spring of 2015, none of our students tested scored at level 6.

· Students at level 6 can perform tasks from levels 3, 4, and 5. Problems at level 6 may require considerable translation from verbal form to mathematical expression and require considerable setup and involve multiple-step calculations. Students need to use fractions, negative numbers, ratios, percentages and mixed numbers to solve problems and well as rearrange a formula. They might also use two formulas to change from one unit to another within the same system of measurement. Students will also be able to find areas of basic shapes when it may be necessary to rearrange the formulas, convert units of measurement in the calculations, or use the result in further calculations.