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mathematics in elementary and secondary school but also a reduction in special education placement and grade retention, among other practical benefits. Citations: Campell, F.A., Pungello, E.P., Miller-Johnson, S. Burchinal M., & Ramey, C.T. (2001). The development of cognitive and academic abilities: Growth curves from early childhood educational experiment. Developmental Psychology, 37(2), 231-242. Cunningham, L. and Neuman, Susan, The Impact of Professional Development and Coaching on Early Language and Literacy instructional Practices. (June 2009), American Educational Research Journal; 46: 532-566. Loucks-Horsley, Susan; Hewson, Peter W.; Love, Nancy; & Stiles, Katherine E. (1998). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Ramey, C.T. & Ramey, S.L. (2004). Early learning and school readiness: Can early intervention make a difference? Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50(4), 471-491. Vandell, D.L., Belsky, J., Burchinal, M., Steinberg, L., Vandergrift, N. & NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2010). Do effects of early child care extend to age 15 years? Results from the NICHD study of early child care and youth development. Child Development, 81(3), 737-756. K-12: Solutions 2.1-2.18 Solution Number: 2.1 Professional Development Schools Solution Description: A key strategy for improving classroom instruction, teacher retention, and student academic performance is the Professional Development School (PDS) model. Collaboration between key personnel from the CCSD and the UGA College of Education (UGA COE) began in the fall of 2007 and in spring of 2008, stakeholders from these two institutions, along with other community members, decided to pursue the PDS model as a structure for their partnership. In August of 2009 a new CCSD elementary school opened as a PDS. The goals of PDSs are to improve student learning through: improved programs of teacher preparation, improved programs of professional learning for practicing teachers, and collaborative programs of inquiry centered on problems of practice and the improvement of learning. In the fall of 2010 leadership from CCSD and UGA expanded their partnership to create four additional PDSs, for a total of five, and to include all CCSD schools in a PDS District. In the fall of 2011, Clarke Middle School and the Athens Community Career Academy, two schools in the ACC PN, began to function as PDSs, which includes a UGA Professor-in-Residence (PIR) who spends 2-3 days a week at the school. Half of this time is devoted to UGA COE instruction (supervising student interns or teaching a class on-site) and the other half is devoted to service to the school. Other components include a school-based steering committee where conversations focus on how student 36 Appendix F


learning can be supported by the collaborative efforts of the partner institutions, full year UGA COE student interns (working part time for one semester and full time for a second semester),at least one pre-service education course taught on-site, bringing additional UGA COE students to the school on a regular basis, programs of professional learning for teachers, coordinated or conducted by the PIR, and innovative teaching practices. At Clarke Middle School the PDS model is supporting the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Program (see Solution 2.2) and at the Athens Community Career Academy (Solution 3.1) the PDS model is specifically supporting an emphasis on workplace ethics. Brief Summary of Evidence: From an extensive review of the literature on the impact of PDSs on K-12 students, evidence was found to suggest that students in PDS schools show more on-task behaviors. In addition, three studies conducted between 2000 and 2003 found that students in PDSs had better test scores than students in non-PDSs with similar demographic characteristics. Perhaps most significantly, seven studies conducted between 1999 and 2003 found that test scores improved when schools implemented PDS programs. A more recent study of schools in a Professional Development School network found that all 21 schools reported significant gains in math and reading and that 13 of the 21 had gains larger than the state average. More importantly, the schools with the greatest growth were the schools with the largest proportion of economically disadvantaged students, indicating that the PDSs were helping to reduce the achievement gap. PDSs have also been shown to have an impact on the practices of experienced teachers. This is critical if the goal is to improve education because there is an emerging consensus that teacher quality is one of the most critical factors impacting the success of today’s schools. In a review of more than 10 studies conducted between 2000 and 2004 participation in a PDS had an impact on teacher beliefs, professional practices and classroom practices. Some examples are teachers who had participated in a PDS showed greater commitment to teaching and greater multi-cultural sensitivity, were more involved in study groups and action research, and were more likely to try new teaching practices such as hands-on inquiry-based science activities Citations: Ball, D. L., & Forzani, F. M. (2009). The work of teaching and the challenge for teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(5), 497-511. Bransford, J., Darling-Hammond, L., & LePage, P. (2005). Introduction. In L. DarlingHammond and J. Bransford (Eds.), Preparing teachers for a changing world. (pp. 1-39). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Cochran-Smith, M. (2006). Policy, practice and politics in teacher education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Feiman-Nemser, S. (2001). From preparation to practice: Designing a continuum to strengthen and sustain teaching. Teachers College Record, 103 (6), 1013-1055.

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Teitel, L. (2004).How professional development schools make a difference: A review of research, 2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Solution Number: 2.2 International Baccalaureate Program Solution Description: With a focus on intercultural learning, the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is a key strategy for increasing academic rigor needed for college and career preparation and developing critical thinking and inter-personal skills. During 2011-12, CCSD is implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Clarke Middle School in the ACC PN. The IB program reaches all students through inter-disciplinary units across the curriculum and includes a special emphasis on arts and humanities. Because of this solution, students will be better prepared for the transition to high school and high school academic coursework. The IB implementation at CMS is further supported by the PDS model (see Solution 2.1) with a UGA COE Professor-in-Residence supporting teachers and staff through the transition to the new curriculum. During summer 2011, CCSD provided professional development opportunities for principals, program coordinators, and teaching staff, including IB conferences, meetings and workshops as well as access to resources such as the IB online curriculum center. Increasing professional development opportunities in 2012-13 will assist teachers in implementing with fidelity the IB MYP and will increase the effectiveness of the program with all subgroups. Beginning in 2012, the IB program will also be expanded into the 9th and 10th grade at Clarke Central High School. Brief Summary of Evidence: The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) supports schools in providing students with challenging academic programs that encourage critical thinking from an intercultural perspective at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. For high school students, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum that rivals, and in some instances, exceeds Advanced Placement (AP) offerings. Early preparation through the Middle Years Programme has proven to provide students with crucial personal, social, and intellectual skills while ensuring they are equipped to enter the academically rigorous environment of the IB Middle Years and Diploma Programs. School coordinators have noted positive differences in their students graduating from the IB program. The students go to college with confidence in their ability to succeed in an academically challenging environment. Furthermore, the IB curriculum is accessible to all students. The professional learning offered through required focuses on standards, pedagogical practices, and assessments in line with those of other IB teachers around the globe. While working with local or international staff, teachers develop course outlines and assessment strategies built on greater international awareness, including curriculum connections to IB learner profiles and areas of interaction. These trainings provided consistency across the district and across IB Middle Years and Diploma Programme schools. Citations: 38 Appendix F


Gazda-Grace, Patricia. (2002). Psst…Have You Heard About the International Baccalaureate Program?, The Clearing House, vol76,No.2, Nov/Dec, 84-87. Mayer, Anysia P. (2008) Expanding Opportunities for High Academic Achievement: An International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in an Urban High School, Journal of Advanced Academics, vol19, No.2, Winter, 202 – 235. Research Summary: Evaluation of International Baccalaureate Programmes in Texas Schools. (Jan. 2010). State of Texas Education Research Center at Texas A&M University. Schachter, Ron. 2008. The “Other” Advanced Program, District Administration, Feb. 2730. Solution Number: 2.3 UGA Elementary Strings Project Solution Description: CCSD values the role the musical arts play in motivating students and in improving academic performance. Beginning in 2011-12, in partnership with the UGA Hodgson School of Music’s Strings Department, 40 students in grades 2-5 receive afterschool stringed instrument group instruction from UGA instructors two days a week at Alps Road Elementary School each semester (likely serving 50 students over the course of year). In 2012, FC-CIS is proposing to help defer the costs of the group lessons and assist with purchasing instruments to support the long-term stability of the program. Brief Summary of Evidence: There are numerous studies that support the impact of music participation on students’ academic performance as well as on motivation, behavior, and communication skills. Many studies have been performed that examined the impact of music instruction on academic achievement. For example, one study found that music instruction enhances a student’s ability to perform the skills necessary for reading including listening, anticipating, forecasting, memory training, recall skills, and concentration techniques. Several studies of the achievement in reading or math of elementary schools students revealed higher achievement of instrumental music students than their non-music peers. Another study found that music instruction enhances the brain’s ability for spatial-temporal reasoning (the ability to visualize and transform objects in space and time). With regard to social skills, longitudinal studies have found that there are personal, social, and motivational effects of involvement in music. Involvement in musical activities has been found to increase students’ self-esteem, including the reduction in aggressive and anti-social behavior as well as the increase in pro-social behavior. These studies used a multi-year longitudinal design and both found that these effects steadily increased and persisted over time. The scientific evidence in support of music instruction is abundant, and compelling; there are strong connections between music instruction and greater student achievement. Regardless of age, exposure to music helps to develop and fine-tune the workings of the brain. Music training helps develop a child’s cognitive skills and can be linked to higher test scores, grade point averages, and success in college. 39 Appendix F


Citations: Bastian, H.G. (2000). The Impact of Music on Behavior. Mainz: Schott Music International. Costa-Giomi, E. (2004). Effects of music instruction on children’s academic achievement, school performance, and self-esteem. Psychology of Music, 32(2), 139 – 52. Milley, J. (1983). The Arts: An essential ingredient in education. Position paper of the California Council of Fine Arts Deans (Available from the School of Fine Arts, California State University, Long Beach). Solution Number: 2.4 Project FOCUS Solution Description: The value of hands-on science learning in elementary schools is well documented and is supported in CCSD through a unique partnership with the UGA Horticulture Department and the UGA College of Agriculture called Project FOCUS (Fostering Our Community’s Understanding of Science). In order to prepare children in the areas of science and critical thinking, Project FOCUS is a solution that partners university undergraduate and graduate students in science-related disciplines with school teachers to assist in teaching science to children in grades K-5 in Alps Road Elementary School. In collaboration with the teachers, the UGA students plan and teach hands-on science lessons in compliance with Georgia Performance Standards two times each week during the fall and spring semesters. In addition, the college students serve as role model for the students by telling them about how they got to college and their career aspirations. In 2011-12 the program serves all classrooms at Alps Road Elementary, greatly expanding from only two classrooms in 2010-11. Brief Summary of Evidence: There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the value of hands-on science experience for elementary school students. The National Science Teachers Association has a position statement on teaching science in elementary school that put hands-on science experience at the top of the list for how elementary school students learn science best. In various small-scale studies it has been found that there is a significant increase in science scores; in addition, some studies have seen significant increases in reading comprehension and math scores. Even in the studies where the science scores were not significantly improved, there was a more positive perception of science by the students who did hands-on science as compared to those who were taught with textbooks. Citations: Foley, B. J. & McPhee, C. (2008) Students’ attitudes towards science in classes using hands-on or textbook based curriculum. American Education Research Association. 40 Appendix F


Dade County, Florida (1996). Report on Achievement: Effects of Hands-on Science (FOSS). Dade County, Florida. Pine, J.P., Aschbacher, P.A., Roth, E., Jones, M., McPhee, C., Martin, C., Phelps, S., Kyle, T. & Foley, B. (2006). Fifth graders’ science inquiry abilities: A comparative study of students in textbook and inquiry curricula. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 45(5), pp.467-484. Stohr, P. M. (1996). An Analysis of Hands-On Experience and Science Achievement. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 33 (1), pp. 101-109. Solution Number: 2.5 Field Trips Solution Description: Field trips not only expand students’ learning through hands-on experiences, but they also increase the students’ knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live. To increase college awareness, as well as exposure to arts and humanities, FCCIS proposes to create a systematic year-by-year sequence of field trips to the UGA campus in grades K-12 so that all students in CCSD have abundant exposure to vast local resources. Just as currently all 5th graders in CCSD take a field trip to the UGA Georgia Museum of Art, all students of a given grade level will participate in the same specified field trip experience (spread over weeks or months, depending on the destination and the size of groups that can be accommodated). When fully implemented, all students who graduate from CCSD will have had 13 visits to the UGA campus during their school years. This plan expands the number of field trip experiences for each child (currently most students have only one field trip per year) and makes these opportunities equally available to all children in the district, thus having a systemic impact on the educational experiences of CCSD students. The curricular content of these visits will vary, but all of the visits will encourage CCSD students to see the UGA as a place full of resources, both interesting and accessible, and will have pre and post activities that deepen the learning experience. Multiple opportunities to spend time on the UGA campus will help students see a college education as something that is within their reach and will support a “college-bound” culture. In 2012, FC-CIS is proposing to phase in this solution through a pilot project at Alps Road Elementary School with primarily art-focused field trips (one per grade) to UGA for all students at the school, coordinated by a funded UGA graduate student. Brief Summary of Evidence: There is strong evidence to support the importance of experiential learning such as field trips for students in grades K-12. Current research on field trips has shown that they are essential for many reasons. Some examples being: they provide real experiences related to all content areas and they extend learning by expanding a child's world and provide a framework for learning. Field trips enrich and expand the curriculum by pushing children to think outside the box and the classroom. They strengthen observation skills by immersing children into sensory activities and increase children's knowledge in a particular subject area. Finally, field trips help to expand students' 41 Appendix F


knowledge about their own community. A study of individuals asked to recall details of field trips they took in their youth indicates that field trips have a lasting impact on their participants. The early-elementary school field trip recollections of 9, 13, and 20+ year old individuals were virtually identical in the categories of items and/or experiences recalled. The findings strongly suggest that field trips (museum field trips in particular), regardless of type, subject matter, or nature of the lessons presented, result in highly salient and indelible memories. These memories represent evidence of learning across a wide array of diverse topics and long-term recollection of cognitive information, available for application to future problem-solving tasks. Even after years had elapsed, nearly 100% of the individuals interviewed could relate at least one thing they learned during an early-elementary-school field trip and most could relate three or more things. Citations: Falk, J.H., Dierking, L.D. (1997). School field trips: Assessing their long-term impact. Curator 40(3), 211-218. Nabors, M.L., Edwards, L.C., Murray R.K. (2009). Making the case for field trips: What research tells us and what site coordinators have to say. Education 129(4), 661-667. Solution Number: 2.6 School Social Workers Solution Description: The School Social Worker (SSW) is a valuable student services link between the home, the school, and the community, having a positive impact on students’ academic performance, attendance, and school persistence. The SSW routinely makes home visits to assist with communication between the home and the school and encourages families to assume an active role in their child’s education. The SSW team supports students, families, teachers and the community by providing direct and indirect services around referral problems such as academic problems; school discipline, attendance; child abuse and neglect; health and economic needs; domestic violence; alcohol and other drug issues; teen pregnancy; mental health issues; and homelessness. SSWs also serve to support school transitions from 5th to 6th grade and from 8th to 9th grade. The current state funding formula for the allocation of school social workers is 1: 2,475 students. Given the socio-economic, emotional, and behavioral health needs of CCSD students, it is recommended that this ratio be reduced to 1: under 1,500. FC-CIS proposes that two additional social workers are needed for the ACC PN: one full-time SSW to serve Clarke Central High School, Performance Learning Center, and the Ombudsman Baxter and West sites; and one full-time SSW to serve both Clarke Middle School and Alps Road Elementary School. Brief Summary of Evidence: A study specific to the impact of school social work interventions on school truancy from a risk factor perspective found that school social work services had a statistically significant impact on reducing various risk factors related to truant behaviors. When school social workers put interventions in place, students displayed increases in selfesteem and satisfaction with school. In addition, there was a clear increase in the 42 Appendix F


support for school from the home. Furthermore, increasing protective factors predicts reduced truancy and increased school success. Local data from the CCSD School Social Work Department (2010-2011) also supports the effectiveness of school social work services. When referrals were received regarding attendance difficulties and a school social worker intervened, students showed a 22% rate of improvement in their attendance. In addition, when referrals were received for academic concerns, 94% of those referred improved following school social work support; and for referrals regarding discipline, 88% of students improved post-intervention. Citations: Chavkin, N.F. (1993). Families and Schools in a Pluralistic Society. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Early, T.J., Vonk, E.M. (2001). Effectiveness of School Social Work from a Risk and Resilience Perspective. Children and Schools, 23 (1), 9. Newsome, W.S. Anderson-Butcher, D., Fink, J., Hall, L., & Huffer, J. (2008). School of Social Work Journal, 32 (2), 21-38. Solution Number: 2.7 School Behavior Specialists Solution Description: Teachers and students both benefit from student behavioral support, including positive discipline strategies that assist students with social development and equip teachers with classroom tools that limit classroom disruptions. CCSD School Behavioral Specialists currently work to increase behavioral support through student groups and staff trainings; and build connected relationships between students, staff, parents and community agencies. Unfortunately, they are spread thin serving multiple schools, so FC-CIS proposes two additional Behavioral Specialists to support Alps Road Elementary School, Clarke Middle School, and Clarke Central High School. Behavioral specialists provide professional development to student groups and staff in the following areas: basic classroom management techniques, strategies and interventions; Perceptual Control Theory and connected school activities; multicultural awareness; social skills and social emotional learning. Behavioral Specialists participate in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) development/implementation; provide therapeutic support and skill-building groups to students; coordinate behavior Response To Intervention (RTI) for students; implement return-from-suspension meetings; provide Mindset verbal and physical de-escalation training and certification to identified staff; and conduct classroom and school-wide climate observations as well as provide recommendations to administration. Brief Summary of Evidence: Positive discipline strategies are research-based procedures that focus on increasing desirable behaviors instead of simply decreasing undesirable behaviors through punishment. They emphasize the importance of making positive changes in the child’s 43 Appendix F


environment in order to improve the child’s behavior. Such changes may entail the use of positive reinforcement, modeling, supportive teacher-student relations, family support and assistance from a variety of educational and mental health specialists. Schools implementing effective strategies have reported reductions in office discipline referrals by 20-60%; this results in improved academic engaged time and improved academic performance for all students. All students, both with disabilities and without, can benefit from proactive behavioral support systems. There are a number of research-based approaches to providing proactive systems of behavioral support in schools, including Positive Behavior Interventions Support (PBIS), violence prevention programs, social skills instruction and school-based mental health services. Examples of evidence-based therapeutic modalities include Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Perceptual Control Theory. Citations: National Association of School Psychologists (2009). Fair and Effective Discipline for all Students: Best Strategies for Educators. Skiba R. J., Peterson, R. L. & Williams, T. (August, 1997). Office referrals and suspension: Disciplinary intervention in middle schools. Education and Treatment of Children, 20(3), 1-21. Walker, James, Shea Thomas (1986). Behavior Management: A Practical Approach for Educators. Merrill Publishing Company. Solution Number: 2.8 Communities in Schools (CIS) Site Coordinators Solution Description: One of the key strategies for reducing the CCSD high school dropout rate is Communities In Schools (CIS) Site Coordinators who work in schools identify students who are at risk of dropping out, evaluate school and student needs, and gather resources to address those needs. These needs can range from academic assistance, to health care, counseling, transportation, mentoring and much more. Collaborating with principals, teachers, graduation coaches and other school support staff, CIS Site Coordinators forge community partnerships that bring resources into schools to help remove barriers to learning. In January 2011 CIS Site Coordinators employed by Family Connection-Communities in Schools, began working in Clarke Middle School and Clarke Central High School. At Alps Road Elementary School, an Americorps VISTA volunteer became a CIS Site Coordinator in August 2011. FC-CIS proposes partial funding to support the CIS Site Coordinator positions in addition to AT&T and CIS of Georgia funding. The main components and processes of the CIS model include: an annual needs assessment done for the school site, planning with school leadership, delivery of wholeschool (level one) and targeted, case-managed (level two) services, evidence-based service use, regular monitoring and adjusting of services and plans, evaluation of effectiveness in achieving school and student goals and reporting. At Clarke Central High School, targeted intervention is provided for 5% of the population and at Clarke 44 Appendix F


Middle School and Alps Road Elementary School, 10% of the student population is targeted for specific intervention. Brief Summary of Evidence: ICF International recently completed a five year evaluation of CIS at both the organizational and school level to determine its effectiveness. The national evaluation of CIS looked at both the organization and the work that CIS does on the affiliate, state and school levels. The design was a multi-level and multi-method approach that examined the impact of CIS at three levels: the organizational level, the school level and the student level. CIS schools demonstrated positive effects on both dropout and graduation relative to non-CIS comparison schools. Those CIS schools implementing the model with high-fidelity had considerably greater effects on reducing dropout rates than other CIS schools and their non-CIS comparison schools. This suggests that the CIS model is working as it was meant to work. The effect sizes for dropout and graduation were higher than the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse threshold for “substantively important effect.” Fewer CIS case-managed students drop out of school during their 9th grade year than students who were in the control group. CIS case-managed students also completed more credits during the 9th grade than control students. Fewer CIS case-managed 6th grade students were retained than the comparison group. These findings suggest that case-management of high-risk students is not only contributing to keeping kids in school but also helping them progress in school. In addition, CIS schools experienced small but steady improvements in performance on state-mandated assessments for math compared to non-CIS schools. Results for Reading/English Language Arts performance were mixed. Those that implemented the CIS model with fidelity had greater effects on both reading and math. For 6th graders, CIS case management had a statistically significant impact on students’ performance in reading. For 9th graders, the greatest impact was found on overall grade point average. Citations: ICF International. (October 2010). Communities In Schools National Evaluation: Five Year Executive Summary (pp. 2-8). Fairfax, VA. Solution Number: 2.9 Clarke County Mentor Program Recruitment and Evaluation Project Solution Description: Mentoring can have a positive impact on many facets of a student’s life. The Clarke County Mentor Program (CCMP) is the largest mentoring program in ACC, serving 500 students in CCSD, 60 of whom live in the ACC PN. FC-CIS proposes to increase support for the Clarke County Mentor Program to: (1) enable additional recruitment of mentors to meet the needs of CCSD students; and (2) to construct a more comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the mentor program, which could be adapted and implemented by smaller grassroots mentoring programs serving students in the county. The FC-CIS K-12 Strategic Action Team and school contacts already serving as CCMP liaisons at each school will assist by providing data on the academic

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performance of mentored students, and by continuing to facilitate mentor-mentee matching and mentor support. Recruitment and evaluation for CCMP will also strengthen the Athens Community Mentor Collaborative (ACMC), a gathering of various mentoring and tutoring agencies in Athens that meet each month to collaborate and discuss best practices. The collaborative holds quarterly training sessions for community volunteers interested in mentoring and tutoring. Increased support for the ACMC will include expanding recruitment of mentors and increasing public awareness about the importance of mentoring through outreach to community businesses and organizations. In addition, growing the collaborative’s coordination of volunteer training and assistance will be necessary to support volunteer mentors. Brief Summary of Evidence: A review of program evaluations shows that mentoring programs have several positive outcomes on youth development. Youths participating in mentoring programs typically have better school attendance, less behavioral problems, reduced participation in risk behaviors, and an increased likelihood of attending colleges. Mentoring programs positively impact youths’ relationships with their parents, peers, and elders. Mentees are also more likely than their peers to have a positive attitude toward helping others. There is limited research of school-based mentoring programs in comparison to the research of community-based programs. However, utilizing school-based mentoring allows agencies to overcome barriers often faced in community-based mentoring, such as challenges to parent participation and a limited volunteer base. The school-based model allows for teacher referrals and often recruits volunteers unlikely to participate in community-based mentoring. Several research-based best practices should be followed to increase the benefits of mentoring. These practices include transparent mentor recruitment, thorough mentor and mentee screenings, appropriate mentoring matches, adequate mentor training, consistent monitoring and support, and procedures for match closure. Citations: Barley, Z., Lauer, P. A., Arens, S. A., Apthorp, H. A., Englert, K. S., Snow, D., Akiba, M., & Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning, A. O. (2002). Helping At-Risk Students Meet Standards: A Synthesis of Evidence-Based Classroom Practices. Herrera, C., Grossman, J., Kauh, T. J., & McMaken, J. (2011). Mentoring in Schools: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring. Child Development, 82(1), 346-361. Jekielek, S., Moore, K. A., Hair, E. C., & Child Trends, I. C. (2002). Mentoring Programs and Youth Development: A Synthesis. Solution Number: 2.10 K-12 Mindful Awareness Practices Solution Description: Mindfulness has global effects on the brain and behavior and participants with larger deficits generally reap the most benefit. The Mindfulness Awareness solution aimed at 46 Appendix F


K-12 educators and students is designed to enhance stress resilience and improve social-emotional learning for children, adolescents, and educators. CCSD students, educators and support staff from K-12 in the ACC PN will be supported with the Mind Body Institute program that offers practical tools to improve attention, social-emotional learning in the classroom, and to create school culture that promotes academic, social, emotional, and relational development and growth of all learners, as outlined in the Georgia Department of Education School Keys. This program also supports the Georgia Performance Standards relating to responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others. The focus of this solution is to educate teachers at Alps Road Elementary School, Clarke Middle School, Clarke Central High School, the Performance Learning Center, and the Athens Area Career Academy in mindfulness through two steps that will prepare them to present or integrate a mindfulness curriculum into school life. Part I, Finding a Place to Rest for Educators/CCSD staff, is an introductory course, focused on the fundamentals of mindfulness for adults. Part II, Mindfulness Curriculum Training, trains educators/staff to use a mindfulness curriculum for children and adolescents. For best results, Part I and Part II are offered in the same school year. The ultimate goal of the solution is to create a mindful culture within CCSD so that peaceful classrooms, attentive students and calm, resourceful parents and neighbors can work together for the success of all students. Brief Summary of Evidence: Programs using mindful awareness practices are conducted throughout the world, in medical, clinical, and educational settings. There are currently over 142 clinical trials on mindfulness registered with the National Institute of Health. Of particular interest is a $1.2 million grant awarded to Pennsylvania State University and the Garrison Institute by the United States Department of Education’s Institute for Educational Sciences to study a program using mindful awareness practices to reduce teacher burnout and improve resilience. A randomized control study with 64 second and third grade children found those who participated in an eight week Mindful Awareness Practice schoolbased program showed improvement in executive function, as assessed by survey of teachers and parents. Children with less regulation pre-test showed gains in behavioral regulation, metacognition, and overall executive control. This research is important, because of its implications for children who have lower executive function, such as those in special education. Citations: Beauchemin, Hutchins, and Patterson (2008). Mindfulness Meditation May Lessen Anxiety, Promote Social Skills, and Improve Academic Performance Among Adolescents With Learning Disabilities. Complementary Health Practice Review, 12: 34. Black, David S.; Milam, Joel; & Sussman, Steve. (2009) Sitting-Meditation Interventions Among Youth: A Review of Treatment Efficacy. Pediatrics 2009 124: e532-e541. Coatsworth, J.D., Duncan, L., Greenberg, M., Nix, R. (2010) “Changing Parent’s Mindfulness, Child Management Skills and Relationship Quality With Their Youth: 47 Appendix F


Results From a Randomized Pilot Intervention Trial.” Journal of Child and Family Studies 19:203-217. Flook, L., Smalley, S.L., Kitil, M. Jennifer, Galla, B. M., Kaiser-Greenland, Susan, Locke, Jull, Ishimima, Eric and Kasari, Connie (2010) ‘Effects of Mindful Awareness Practices on Executive Functions in Elementary School Children,’ Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26:1, 70-95. Napoli, M., Krech, P. & Holley, L. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students: The Attention Academy. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21 (1): 99 – 117. Solution Number: 2.11 Performance Learning Center (PLC) Solution Description: Offering students multiple pathways to graduation, is one of the strategies for increasing high school graduation rates in CCSD. One of the schools serving students for whom the traditional high school model might not be effective is the Performance Learning Center (PLC), also known as Classic City High School, a nontraditional high school operated by the CCSD in partnership with Communities In Schools of Georgia (CISGA) and Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Athens. The PLC model was created during a three-year process funded by the Whitehead Foundation to design a new model high school based on a spectrum of best practices that research demonstrated improve outcomes specifically for students who were less successful in a traditional model. Utilizing this research-based model, the PLC opened in August, 2003 with significant start-up funding obtained by CISGA from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Performance Learning Centers are based on a framework of six central pillars: professional training environment, self-managed performance track, positive school climate, high-tech/hands-on curriculum, post-graduation preparation, and community engagement. Based on these six pillars, the PLC utilizes a variety of approaches and practices to support its students. These include: individual learning plans; small student/teacher ratios; community partnership; individually-paced learning instead of “one size fits all” classes; community service in general and service learning in particular; connection to community support; mentoring; tutoring; respect; flexible scheduling and shorter weeks (flexible scheduling and the three-day weekend allow students who must support their families to work); small school size; collaborative team approach; guest speakers; weekly motivational assemblies; helping students keep their ‘eyes on the prize;’ and facilities that are more like a professional setting than a traditional school building. The model has been shown to be effective in Athens and in other locations where it has been implemented. The positive impact on graduation rates (see evidence below) was so strong that the State of Georgia began funding new PLCs and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a multi-million dollar replication initiative that now has PLCs operating in six other states with plans to open additional ones. 48 Appendix F


Brief Summary of Evidence: In 2009, ICF International completed a study on the Georgia Performance Learning Centers. The study found that PLC’s have a significant impact on the districts in which they are located. For districts that have PLCs the graduation rates after two years of PLC implementation improved by 6 percentage points more than comparison districts without PLCs. PLC districts also had a net reduction in dropout rates of 1.5 percentage points after two years of PLC model implementation. The ICF study stated that the services coordinator, the academic and life skills coaching, individualized attention, and student connections to the community were the key factors in the success of the model. The evaluation of CCSD’s PLC has also shown dramatic results. In 2009, students’ self-esteem, behavior, attendance, and expectations all improved markedly. Fifty-eight students graduated from the PLC in 2009, with 77.3% of seniors earning their diplomas. PLC seniors comprised 9.2% of the class of 2009 for ACC, but accounted for 11.5% of graduates in the system during 2009. As 60% of students had dropped out prior to coming to the PLC, and all the rest were identified by their former schools as on track to drop out, it is clear that few of them would have graduated if not for the PLC. In 2009, CISGA did an analysis of CCSD’s graduation rates and concluded that the PLC had a significant impact on improving the graduation rate. Citations: Alliance For Excellent Education (2009). Communities in Schools’ Performance Learning Centers: Utilizing Student Supports and Alternative Settings for Dropout Prevention. Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Athens (2009). Classic City Performance Learning Center, An Evaluation, School Year 2008-2009. ICF International (2009). An Independent Evaluation of Georgia’s Performance Learning Centers. Solution Number: 2.12 CCSD Summer Program Solution Description: Targeted at students who need academic remediation and credit recovery, as well as special needs students, CCSD currently provides summer programming in the ACC PN at Alps Road Elementary School, Clarke Middle School, and Clarke Central High School. Academic remediation is provided for students needing to re-take the math and/or reading portion of the CRCT in grades 3, 5, and 8 and for students who failed two or more academic classes in grades 6 and 7. Academic Credit Recovery is provided for students in grades 9-12 using Education 2020 Software. One gap identified in the FC-CIS Community Assessment was a lack of targeted summer programming for students in grades K-2 at risk for regressing over the summer break. In 2012 FC-CIS and CCSD propose to create a 4 week program called the “Alps Road Diving Deeper K2 Summer Acceleration Program” at Alps Road Elementary School. The purpose of the program will be to provide accelerated instruction for K-2 students identified as lacking proficiency in reading and math standards for a strong start in the next grade level. The program will provide a research-based curriculum in reading and math, technology 49 Appendix F


integration, co-teaching, and low student-teacher ratios (15:1). Participants will be chosen based on end-of-year benchmark assessments, standardized test scores, and classroom performance. The Voyager Reading and Math Summer curriculum will be implemented, incorporating a variety of instructional resources and daily technology integrated lessons. The Summer Acceleration Program will provide instruction to students with specific academic needs for 20 days (4 weeks). Students who have demonstrated limited proficiency in grade level performance standards will be exposed to the next grade level’s curriculum, ensuring a strong start for these students in the next grade level. CCSD will also continue specialized summer programming, including the Extended School Year (ESY) for Special Education Students and students with Autism. The Summer Program for English Language Learners (SPELL) is offered to students in grades 2 and 4 to English Language Learners (ELL) and the Migrant Summer Program is offered to Migrant Program students. Students of Promise (SOP) is a fine arts summer school enrichment program: Art From Around the Globe is offered for CCSD students in grades K-2 who demonstrate potential for high achievement and are highly motivated. Brief Summary of Evidence: Three decades of educational research provide evidence of the negative effects of summer vacations on the academic progress of students, low-income students in particular. An article examining 39 studies on the "summer slide" concluded that achievement test scores decline over summer vacation. The meta-analysis indicated that the summer loss equaled about one month on a grade-level equivalent scale. Another study, conducted by the RAND corporation, focused on the need for summer learning programs and the existing evidence on effective, viable, and sustainable summer learning programs in urban districts. Through a mixture of literature reviews, interviews, and site visits, the study found results similar to those conducted previously ; generally students experience a summer learning loss, particularly in mathematics (also in reading), that disproportionally impacts low-income students and is cumulative over time. Vigorous studies of summer programs indicate that they have a positive effect on student achievement. Evidence suggests that high-quality voluntary summer programs, mandatory summer programs, and programs that encourage students to read at home during the summer can all mitigate summer learning losses and even lead to achievement gains if the students attend regularly. Citations: Borman, G.D., Goetz, M.E., and Dowling, N.M. (2009). Halting the summer achievement slide: A randomized field trial of the KindergARTen summer camp. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 14(2), 133-147. Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66, 227–268.

50 Appendix F


McCombs, J.S., Augustine, C.H., Schwartz, H.L., Bodilly, S.J., McInnis, B., Lichter, D.S., & Cross, A.B. (2011). Making summer count: How summer programs can boost children's learning [Monograph]. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Solution Number: 2.13 Books for Keeps Solution Description: Books for Keeps works to prevent summer reading setback, or “summer slide�, a reading achievement loss that contributes significantly to the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their fellow students. Books for Keeps gives donated books for recreational reading directly to students at in-school events at the end of each school year, in sufficient quantity to keep most students reading all summer. This simple act side-steps issues such as parental involvement and library access, empowering all students to read during summer. Books for Keeps will provide students attending ACC PN schools with summer reading material in 2012. Alps Road Elementary School students will receive 12 books each; Clarke Middle School students will receive 5 books each; Clarke Central High School 9th and 10th graders will receive 3 books each. As a support, WIT will provide a part-time staff resource to serve as an assistant to help with the procurement and distribution of books. Brief Summary of Evidence: Summer slide has been documented for nearly a century and studied in-depth for decades. It consistently affects children from low-income families at a significantly disproportionate rate. Children who do not read during the summer months can return to school in the fall having lost skills they previously developed, and lagging up to three months behind their classmates in terms of reading achievement. This achievement loss compounds yearly and results in an achievement gap of two years by the 6th grade. Summer slide is believed by researchers and educators to be a primary cause of this achievement gap. A three-year study by reading researcher Dr. Richard Allington found that giving elementary school students 12 books each for summer, three years in a row, had an impact on reading achievement statistically similar to attending summer school. Numerous other studies in the past two decades also found positive reading achievement results by giving varying numbers of books to students of all ages for summer reading. Books for Keeps used these studies to create an intelligent program with a high probability for success in reducing or eliminating the achievement gap in the ACC PN. Citations: Allington, R.L, et al. (2007). Ameliorating Summer Reading Setback Among Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago. Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66(2), 26. 51 Appendix F


Solution Number: 2.14 YWCO Girls Club Summer Program Expansion Solution Description: Summer programs that are both high quality and affordable for low income families are lacking in most communities. In Athens, the YWCO Girls Club began in 1976 from a community needs assessment that showed a need for a structured, recreational and educational program for young girls from low income families. Since then, the YWCO has provided this program to the community each summer, with approximately 235-300 girls, ages 5-14, participating. The purpose of the YWCO Girls Club is to provide recreational and educational activities for young girls that build self-esteem, teach good decision making, encourage education attainment and promote healthy lifestyles. The program accomplishes this goal by including reading enrichment, career discovery, math and science days, swimming, water safety, dance, nutrition education, sports and games, substance abuse prevention, and financial literacy in the program’s curriculum. Arts programs are a special emphasis, including theater, arts and crafts, field trip to the Georgia Museum of Art, etc. The program runs for six weeks during the summer break and provides transportation to and from the program site at Alps Road Elementary School each day. FC-CIS proposes to add an additional week of camp, giving opportunities for additional reading enrichment and academic preparation to prevent the summer slide. At only $25 per week, the cost to the families is less than a third of the cost to provide the program. It is one of the very few affordable summer day camps available to low income families, and the only one of its kind just for girls. Brief Summary of Evidence: High-tech jobs will be among the fastest growing occupations in the 21st century. Programmers, designers, and systems managers will be in high demand, and those working in these fields will command high salaries. Girls are an untapped source of talent to contribute to the high-tech economy and culture, but girls must be encouraged to learn about these fields early. Girls need special support because there is a welldocumented decline in self-esteem during their adolescent years. Low self-esteem can lead to poor academic performance and many other blocks in their educational attainment. Schools find it difficult to address certain blocks to learning that girls face such as sexual harassment, substance abuse, pregnancy, violence, and eating disorders; that girls-only programs have more success addressing. YWCO Girls Club helps campers learn to deal with such issues while excelling academically. Local evaluation in 2010 shows positive results of the YWCO program, including: Objective: To see at least 100 girls receive at least 20 structured reading lessons from a certified teacher over the course of the program. Accomplishment: 148 campers received at least 20 reading lessons during the program. Objective: To see at least 85% of the 14-year-old enrolled and in good standing in school the following year. Accomplishment: Of the 2010 13/14 year old participants, 94% were still enrolled in school. 52 Appendix F


Objective: To see an increase in the financial literacy of at least 75% of the 12-14 year olds. Accomplishment: 100% of the 12-14 year old girls showed an increase in financial literacy. As a group, the girls improved their knowledge of financial literacy by 24%. Citations: Jobe, D. A. (2002). Helping Girls Succeed. Educational Leadership, 60(4), 64. Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review ofEducational Research, 66, 227–268. McCombs, J.S., Augustine, C.H., Schwartz, H.L., Bodilly, S.J., McInnis, B., Lichter, D.S., & Cross, A.B. (2011). Making summer count: How summer programs can boost children's learning [Monograph]. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Schulte, B. (2009). Putting the brakes on "summer slide". Harvard Education Letter, 25(4), 1-6. Solution Number: 2.15 K-12 Liaison Advocate Solution Description: As identified in the FC-CIS Community Assessment, parents and families in the ACC PN often need assistance with navigating the complex systems within the public school district and connecting to the many resources that are available. FC-CIS proposes developing a comprehensive “K-12 Liaison Advocate” solution that will give selected FC-CIS Neighborhood Leaders the opportunity to receive training, resources, and skills needed to advocate for families/parents with students in the CCSD K-12 system and to build capacity within the neighborhood for families/parents to advocate for themselves. Increased student achievement and success is the end goal. In September 2011, Family Connection-Communities and Schools and HandsOn Northeast Georgia’s application for an Americorps VISTA position was approved. In November, a VISTA volunteer will become the FC-CIS K-12 Liaison Advocate to begin developing a program. The VISTA volunteer will work closely with CCSD school site Family Engagement Specialists, Communities in School (CIS) Site Coordinators, and FC-CIS K-12 Neighborhood Leader Specialists to identify what information and resources are available to parents and would support Georgia Family Engagement Standards. They will focus efforts on the CCSD schools in the ACC PN, including Alps Road Elementary School, Clarke Middle School, Clarke Central High School, Classic City High School, and Ombudsman School, as well as the CCSD Central Office. He or she will provide advocacy and assistance to parents and school personnel in meeting the educational needs of K-12 students, working to eliminate barriers and build bridges for the academic success of children and youth in the ACC PN through networks and partnerships within the local community. Brief Summary of Evidence: 53 Appendix F


There is a strong positive relationship between a family’s involvement at their child’s school and the benefits for their children. Parental commitment to and advocacy of the educational success of their child has been well documented to improve learning. When a parent can navigate the educational system to seek the best outcomes for their child, improved academic achievement is just one of the improvements that children see. This holds true for all families regardless of their economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Research indicates that when families are engaged in their child’s learning, children are more apt to: earn higher grade point averages and scores on standardized tests and rating scales; improve performance dramatically in the case of failing student; enroll in more challenging academic programs; pass more classes and earn credits; attend school regularly; display more positive attitudes about school; graduate from high school and enroll in post-secondary programs; and refrain from destructive activities such as alcohol use and violence. In addition, schools that work well with families generally outperform identical programs without parent and family involvement and have higher teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents. Citations: Communities In Schools (2007). Critical Elements of Family Engagement Strategies. Alexandria, VA: Author. University Outreach & Engagement (June 2004). Best Practice Briefs: Parent Involvement in Schools. Michigan State University, Lansing Michigan. Solution Number: 2.16 CCSD Afterschool Program Solution Description: The CCSD operates afterschool programs (ASPs) for all schools and grade levels within the district. These programs are designed to provide a safe, relaxed and enjoyable environment for all school aged children. ASPs may include activities such as homework time, free play, organized games, foreign language, robotics, and recreational sports. Arts activities include drama, chorus, band, orchestra, dance, pottery, foreign language classes, robotics and recreational sports. ACC PN schools also offer the Pathways to Success Programs (PSP) afterschool program. Funded by 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants, PSPs are free, after-hour programs designed to offer additional instruction for students that may struggle with mathematics and reading. Students must meet certain criteria in order to be selected to participate in this program. Transportation and a snack are provided by CCSD at no cost. In 2011, a new afterschool solution became available to elementary school students at the new Boys and Girls Club, located in the heart of the ACC PN on the H.T. Edwards campus near the PLC, ACCA, Center for Early Learning, and the FC-CIS office. The brand new facility provides K-5 students with many enriching afterschool of activities in a number of areas including a library, game room, computer labs, arts & crafts room, music studio and gym. In partnership with CCSD, the Boys and Girls Club received funding for the program from 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. Brief Summary of Evidence: 54 Appendix F


There has been increasing interest in after-school programs (ASPs) that can provide youth with a safe and supportive adult-supervised environment and offer them various growth-enhancing opportunities, including activities and experiences that promote academic, personal, social, and recreational development. More specifically, ASPs have been successful in helping youths feel more self-confident, have positive social behaviors, and reduce problem behaviors. Citations: Boys and Girls Club. (2010). The Boys and Girls Clubs within Los Angeles County: Helping Young People and the Economy to “Be Great” Los Angeles, CA. Deschenes, S., Malone, H.J. (2011). Year Round Learning, Linking School, Afterschool, and Summer Learning to Support Student Success. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project. Durlak, J.A. & Weissberg, R.P. (2007). The impact of after-school programs that promote personal and social skills. Solution Number: 2.17 Expand Service-Learning Opportunities Solution Description: Service-learning provides students with hands-on opportunities to apply academic knowledge to “real world” situations and become engaged with their community. If teachers demonstrate the value of service learning, students are more likely to also appreciate the role it can play in deepening their learning and connecting them to their broader community. Educators can benefit from additional professional development workshops and resources that assist them in implementing service-learning methodologies in the classroom and during summer and afterschool programs. WIT proposes to expand opportunities for Clarke Middle School and Clarke Central High School teachers to take advantage of UGA’s Office of Service-Learning workshops that provide teachers with training and assistance to utilize service-learning as a teaching methodology in their classes and during summer and afterschool programs. HandsOn Northeast Georgia also assists teachers by connecting them to community partner organizations and providing methods to track student service hours. Brief Summary of Evidence: There is significant evidence to support the importance of service-learning opportunities for K-12 students. Research findings demonstrate that service-learning can increase student academic achievement, social development, and civic engagement, as well as decrease involvement in risky behaviors and likelihood of school dropout. By providing hands-on application of academic lessons, service-learning provides students with experiences to make school relevant to their lives. Students participating in servicelearning have higher attendance rates and are more engaged in their school work. Research also shows that participation in service-learning increases student selfconfidence and deduces disruptive behavior. Another study has demonstrated the potential of service-learning to reduce the achievement gap. The results show that 55 Appendix F


principals of urban, high-poverty, or majority nonwhite schools are significantly more likely than other principals to judge the impact of service-learning to be very positive. Citations: Bridgeland, J.M., DiIulio, J., Wulsin, S.C. (2008). Engaged for Success. Civic Enterprises & Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Natiional Conference on Citizenship. Furco, Andrew. (2007). Advancing Youth Academic Success, School Engagement, and International Leadership through Service-Learning. Growing to Greatness, National Youth Leadership Council, 12-21. Solution Number: 2.18 Elementary Art Mentoring Solution Description: One strategy to increase student interest and exposure to the arts is to provide specific mentoring to 30 students at Alps Road Elementary School in grades K-5. Currently all students attend an art class for 50 minutes per week, and FC-CIS proposes to enhance that by connecting students who are identified by their art teacher and other teachers as having demonstrated an interest in art with art mentors. UGA School of Art undergraduate and graduate volunteers will mentor students for two hours each week and will earn service learning credit hours for their participation. Mentors will provide encouragement and additional art experiences based on the individual interests and needs of the students and offer extracurricular opportunities such as visiting the School of Art and seeing artists at work. FC-CIS proposes to fund a graduate student from the School of Art to direct the program and ensure that volunteer mentors are prepared to serve in a mentoring capacity. The graduate student serving in the director capacity will coordinate efforts and organize a culminating exhibition at the end of the school year. This program is loosely patterned on the ArtBridge America program that utilizes university art students in service-learning opportunities to provide art instruction in the schools. Brief Summary of Evidence: Research demonstrates that the arts have the power to engage students both cognitively and emotionally. The Champions of Change report states that the arts change the learning experience for children and reach children who are not being reached, connect children to themselves and each other, transform learning and provide opportunities for developing a learning community between adults and children. Fiske concludes that the arts programs researched in the report: “provide powerful evidence that on the highest levels of literacy, in the realms of social and personal growth and development, and in the development of high- order thinking skills, the arts provide an ideal setting for multi-faceted and profound learning experiences.� Citations: Fiske, E. B. (Ed.). (1999). Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning. President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities; Arts Education Partnership, Washington, DC. 56 Appendix F

WIT k12 Solutions  

36 Appendix F Loucks-Horsley, Susan; Hewson, Peter W.; Love, Nancy; & Stiles, Katherine E. (1998). Designing professional development fo...

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