[ Jefferson H.S., LAUSD ]

Digital H.S. Project Abstract

Project Abstract, Overview and Vision, Strategic Goals and Benchmarks


THOMAS JEFFERSON DIGITAL HIGH SCHOOL
I. Abstract.
SCHOOL PROFILE

One of 55 high schools in Los Angeles Unified, Jefferson High School is one of the oldest educational facilities in the city. The school is located in South-Central , one of the poorest and most crime-riddled sections of the city. Though Jefferson was built to seat a capacity of 1800 students, it presently serves a student body of 3585. Operating on a year round calendar the school is divided into three tracks, where two tracks are on at any given time. Presently the overwhelming majority of Jefferson students (91.8%) are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Most students enter school as Limited -English -Proficient (65%). The remaining population is comprised of 7.6% African Americans and 1.5% Asian and American. Approximately, 56% of the students receive AFDC, and 74% qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program.

All of our students are "at-risk" (if statistics from recent years hold true, sixty-five percent of the students who entered Jefferson as ninth graders will no longer be there to walk the stage as graduating seniors this June.) Keeping students in regular attendance is a problem. Average Daily Attendance runs at 85.6%. A transiency rate of 30% and an 8.7% drop out rate also complicates the challenges facing Jefferson High. While new state requirements place virtually all students in classes studying the "A- F" requirements for admission into the University of California, Jefferson struggles to assist students in keeping up with needed academic skills. During the 1997-98 school year, approximately 230 students were retained. A majority of those students occurred in the ninth grade with 130 students, 60 students were retained in the 10th grade, and 40 retained in the 11th grade. Despite such challenges, Jefferson continues to seek ways in which it can improve instructional practices to help all students succeed. We have a dedicated certificated staff of 178 that is committed to improving the learning environment for our students and community. Our project goals include:

CURRENT USE OF TECHNOLOGY

The computer to student ratio for California is estimated to be one to 73. Jefferson High School has begun to address a far more disparate ratio with purchases made during the past year. With the help of the local bond fund known as Proposition BB, network infrastructure and connections are being installed in the 1998-99 school year. Beyond the completion of these networking capabilities, Jefferson presently has three computer labs, with 486 and 386 PC clones, a project room with thirty networked Macintosh computers and an ISDN line, nine computer, a scanner and a printer in our Library Media Center(LMC), eighty-five computers are available for classrooms, and twenty-six computers total in the industrial arts drafting, wood, New Media Arts and graphic arts programs. One computer in the library has Internet access via a phone line.

For the most part, the technology available is used for word processing. Word processing is widely used in English and Science projects. Our three labs currently offer a basic computer literacy elective for most ninth graders which includes word processing and some spread sheet experiences. Existing technology programs include a pilot Accelerated Reader program which we will expand into all ninth grade language arts classes. This program quickly assesses student reading levels, and encourages them to read selected books and pass individualized reading tests. The Project Room though not fully operational has been used for some limited staff training. A few science and social science teachers have signed up their class to allow students to complete reports. Our Library Media Center is open through out the school day but is closed after 3:30 p.m. Students use the Internet for research or special projects. Often students sit patiently in library after school hoping to get on line before they are asked to leave. The school is still very far from the ratio of three students to one computer recommended for good instruction. Currently, there are ten networked computers available for student use. The ratio of students to Internet capable computers is 326 to 1, the ratio of students to regular computers is 15 to 1.

Fully 75% of the 292 students surveyed May, 1998, do not have a computer at home, nor have they had opportunity to use computers in the classroom. Only 20% of students reported doing word processing at least five times per semester. While 26% say they are non users, they strongly agree (77%) that technology is necessary to be successful in college. 81% also agree that computers skills are very important to be successful in a good job.

REFORMS IN PLACE

The following major reform elements in place at Jefferson will serve as a strong foundation for our project plan. Our Digital High School installation project will piggyback on our existing reform efforts to further improve our school's articulation around instruction and successful strategies.

HIGHLIGHTS OF INSTALLATION PROJECT

Proposition BB, local school bond, will provide for school wide wiring of all building and classroom at Jefferson High. This infrastructure will be the backbone for the networking of all classrooms and offices. In the Digital High School project will offer:
  1. A networked computer system that links all 92 classrooms. The plan calls for the addition of 247 new computers that will be networked to the school network and Internet. The school network will become a central electronic library for lessons plans, key School Based Management (SBM)documents and plans, and other teachers resources. By conducting more school "business" and communication over the network, we hope to share ideas and strategies much more readily, make our SBM committees more effective and help overcome the communication obstacles that were identified in our last WASC Accreditation report.
  2. Refine and expand a plan with required computer skills and knowledge for all incoming ninth grade students. An introduction to computer course and certified completion of the course will be mandated for all incoming students.
  3. Develop the existing Project Room so that it is fully operational and available by sign-up process to core academic teachers and students in math, science, social science, and language arts. The project room will be a networked computer lab with 30 computers which can be used by classes to create multimedia presentations, use of technology to enhance student work in core classes and opportunity to make learning more engaging and participatory.
  4. Upgrade of the Library Media Center (LMC) will provide a central location for extended school day and after school availability of technology for student projects and community Internet access. A four-hour aide will maintain the center open after school hours. The aide and parent volunteers will be trained on assisting student, staff and parents on the usage of available technology and existing library Resources.
  5. Staff Training will include the basic of computer literacy and advanced training on curriculum integration: the use of technology assisted projects; cooperative learning settings; and, coaching by Technology Mentors. We expect to see the curriculum dominated by long term projects, hands on problem solving exercise, and the regular use of the Internet to collaborate on class activities, do research, and make reports. The plan provides for three days of teacher training for each staff member during the first year of the project in order to immediately begin preparing all staff in basic personal computer literacy. Training will focus on providing beginning literacy for the 30% of the teachers with limited computer skills, and on broadening the skills of another 60% who do little beyond basic word processing. Approximately ten percent who are experts in basic computer operations will begin training to become Mentors and Technology Leaders.
  6. The beginnings of capacity building for support and maintenance of the school network system. This will be achieved by collaborative staff/student training through LAUSD, Apple Computer, CISCO Company, and other outside contracting resources.
II. Overview and Vision.
Jefferson is a student-centered school. We believe that school should be a place where our students learn to understand themselves as human beings and to use their minds well. We expect our students to demonstrate principles of moral awareness and democracy as well as values of trust, fairness, and mutual respect for themselves and their community. We also believe that students must develop skills that will enable them to enjoy physical and emotional wellness. The success of our students will occur when there is support, commitment, and cooperative interaction among parents, students, teachers, and school staff.
Our vision statement underlies the school's goals and planning. In addition to it, our adopted Technology Vision Statement reemphasizes our commitment to integrate technology in the curriculum.

II.A. View of Successful Implementation
The major components of this project are infrastructure installment, equipment acquisition, and installment, integration of technology across the entire curriculum, instructional reform, assuring all students gain necessary computer literacy skills, teacher and staff training and evaluation of both process and product. These will involve a major rethinking of how we teach, the integration of of multiple reform efforts, new ways of involving parents and community and a firm belief that all will make a substantial and lasting difference in the way students learn. To this end, the Digital High School project will make the following possible:
The school will be completely networked, including all classrooms, offices, labs, and the Library Media Center (LMC).
School wide access for all students and staff will be provided with at least one networked computer in each classroom.
Via e-mail and the school Intranet, communication will increase between teachers, especially across track, between students, classes, cluster schools, and schools and resources outside our community.
Basic computer literacy and information literacy training will delivered to all incoming ninth graders.
Students experience technology as an integral part in meeting the State content area standards.
Teachers are trained in basic computer skills and maintenance, how to integrate technology into the curriculum, and how to become more efficient members and leaders of School-Based Management committees.
Advanced classes and training for teachers and students will be available in such areas as web site and multi-media authoring, networking, computer repair, and instructional strategies in using technology.
The LMC will provide a centrally located technology center for students, parent, and staff that will be available during the school and and after school (4:00 pm-7:00 pm). Students can practice basic skill and remediation, do research, practice communication and collaboration, and finish curriculum projects.
Available hardware for students and staff to create and store projects, documents, and electronic portfolios digitally so that information and work can be shared through the year and beyond.
Career pathways for students are created and enhanced as technology is integrated into the graphic arts, New Media Arts Academy, wood technology, and drafting classes.
II.B. View of Successful Results
The project brings together staff, students, parents and outside partners in making a difference in the Jefferson learning environment, adds to existing reform efforts and existing technology and makes fully possible the following:
A whole world of outside educational resources and experiences will be available to students via e-mail, the world wide web, video conferencing, etc., resulting in increased student achievement.
Student classroom projects will go beyond remediation; using peer/group collaboration, students will create content, not just access it, and present, explain, and debate their views and local experiences to the larger community.
Staff development is enhanced and more effective.
Teaching practices are changed and improved as teachers try new strategies to engage students in active learning. Academy programs are expanded and enhanced.
Stronger partnerships formed with parents and the local community, allowing for greater articulation and more sharing of ideas.
Student careers paths reflect industry needs and result in desirable employment.
Management practices are changed and more effective. School-Based Management committees are more efficient. Communication is enhanced between committees, and across tracks.
The school-wide network (Intranet) creates a stronger sense of a Jefferson H.S. community, a sense of place, direction, and an awareness of its history.

III. Strategic Goals and Benchmarks. These goals and objectives apply to all JHS students in all departments, academies, and settings including Special Education, Gifted and Talented, and Limited English Proficient students.
Student Achievement Goals
Goal 1. Increase the academic achievement of all students.
Academic Benchmarks. Student scores will show a 2 mean percentile points gain for each year of instruction in the core subjects of reading, math, language, science and social science as measured on the Stanford 9. By June 2001, the school will show a 4% increase each year over three years in the number of students enrolled and successfully completing A - F course requirements in English, Mathematics, Science, and History/Social Science.
Goal 2. Assure that all students have basic computer skills including the use of word processing, spread sheets, data bases, electronic mail, desktop publishing, presentations, courseware, and Internet access and retrieval.
Computer Literacy Benchmarks. By June 1999, 90% of entering Freshman will successfully complete a semester course work demonstrating the ability use of word processing, spread sheets, data bases, courseware, and Internet access and retrieval as measured by passing rate. By June 2001, 90% of all graduating seniors will be able to build spread sheets, build and use databases, collaborate through e-mail, be familiar with a web browser, use a search engine, make computer assisted presentations, and produce an integrated multimedia project as demonstrated in their senior portfolios.
Goal 3. Provide expanded program options and technology skill development.
Expanded Program Options in Career and Academic Preparation. By September 1999, the computer repair and maintenance certification program will be in place through corporate and community college collaboration as evidenced on class master schedule. By July 1999, a fully operational Computer Project Lab will be used by core classes to prepare multi-media projects as evidenced by teacher sign up logs. By June 2000, student preparation in the core subjects will be supported by new technology and extended hours in the Library Media Center, the Project Room, and computer labs as shown by attendance and sign up logs. By June 2001, numbers of students enrolled in the New Media Arts Academy, industrial technology arts program, and in maintenance and repair courses will increase by 10% each year as measured by school master schedule and an LAUSD I.E.C.P. survey.

Staff Development Goals
Goal 1. Develop and implement Technology-Based Performance Standards as outlined by the Educational Council Technology in Learning (ETCL) as well as the California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) so that technology can be integrated across the curriculum. Staff Development Benchmarks By June 2000, we will train all staff to Level 1 Personal Proficiency with a three-day workshop conducted during off-track time, as shown by competency level surveys, certification tests, and attendance logs. By June 2002, we will train all staff to Level 2 Instructional Proficiency , with a three-day workshop conducted during off-track time as shown by competency level surveys, certification tests, and attendance logs.
Goal 2. Develop a staff team to Level 3 Mentor Proficiency to conduct ongoing support, training, and follow-up. Staff Development Benchmark By June 2000 we will train a 15 member staff team to Level 3 Mentor Competency to conduct workshops and provide ongoing support for the staff, as shown by agendas, training logs and evaluations.

Support Goals
Goal 1. Increase collaboration with parents, local businesses, local government agencies, institutions of higher education, and corporate partners in greater Los Angeles.
Community Collaborations. By June, 1999, partnerships with Kodak Corporation, Paramount Pictures, LINCT, USC and UCLA will provide key support to the Jefferson Media Arts Academy, as reported by site meeting agendas and year end Technology Coordinator report. By June 2000, collaboration with parent volunteers and the Adult School will increase use of the Library Media Center and computer labs as shown by use logs.


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