District Administration August 2018 - 33

ing each summer, from both rural and
suburban areas. "MOSI has created a
statewide interest in virtual education
and how it can enhance other districts,"
says Schlett.
Study hall for all
In Newman-Crows Landing USD in
California, 20 to 30 percent of the 200
rising sophomores who enter Orestimba
High School have not met eighth-grade
requirements. "Many do not believe that
school course work is connected to their
future," Principal Justin Pruett says.
Located in a small agricultural community, Orestimba also receives creditdeficient transfer students from other
districts. Additionally, some students face
challenges-such as job schedules, family
responsibilities and medical issues-that
hinder academic performance.
Assistance begins with a study hall

class that every Orestimba student takes.
Having study hall built into the daily
schedule helps ensure that all students
have designated time and support on
campus to focus on coursework. Students not on pace to graduate must enroll
in an online credit-recovery program.
Orestimba provides each of those students with a computer and Wi-Fi access.
Students needing more supervision
have a structured study hall, with a lower
student-teacher ratio, where they focus
on coursework for classes in which they
have fallen behind. "We don't relive [students'] mistakes," Pruett says. "We meet
them where they are and make a plan for
the time they have left to graduate."
In addition to 24-hour online access
to credit recovery courses, tutoring takes
place before and after school, and counselors meet with students regularly to
check progress. The study hall blocks also

From credits to competency
To eliminate the need for credit recovery, some districts
are moving away from traditional seat time. Instead,
students become more active learners by demonstrating
mastery through individualized tasks, projects and
career experiences offered in flexible and blended
learning environments.

Credit flexibility

42%

-U.S. districts that give schools some
flexibility to base course credits on mastery
rather than seat time; nearly all Ohio districts, for example, offer
"Credit-Flex" so students can design projects to satisfy requirements

Competency and performance

33%

-U.S. high schools that offer a form of competency or
performance-based learning (instead of seat time) to allow
students to demonstrate mastery

Blended learning

75%
60%

-U.S. districts that offer blended learning
-Teachers who report that students are more
motivated by this approach

Sources: Carnegie Foundation, Evergreen Education Group, Blackboard K12

www.DistrictAdministration.com

provide time for teachers to meet, review
data, discuss teaching strategies, set goals
and check progress. "This [helps] ensure
high-quality instruction for every student
the first time," Pruett says.
No risk of failing
Over 20 years ago, Chugach School District in Anchorage, Alaska, found that its
students' classroom struggles persisted
after graduation. Consequently, the district transformed its traditional curriculum into a personalized, performancebased model.
"[We are] not a credit-based district,
so traditional credit recovery programs
are not needed," says Debbie Treece,
executive director of student services.
From preschool through high school,
Chugach students move through benchmarks toward a diploma. They develop at
their own pace in 10 content standards
until 80 percent proficiency is demonstrated; then, they move to another level.
Teachers and staff provide individualized support and education through thematic, holistic lessons.
"Because students focus on content
targets until they demonstrate readiness
to move forward, the risk of 'failing a
class' is not an option," says Treece. The
district's grading system includes "emerging," "developing," "proficient" and
"advanced" levels.
The district's graduation rate is 87.6
percent over the past nine years. Treece
notes that some students graduate earlier
than traditionally expected, while others
take longer.
Teachers, students and parents regularly review each learner's detailed transition and graduation plans. They map
progress each semester based on a student's dominant learning styles and academic strengths-all with an eye toward
success after high school.
"If a student needs additional time
beyond a traditional 12th-grade senior
year, it is not a stigma," she says. DA
Kelley R. Taylor is a freelance writer based
in Virginia.
August 2018 33


http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration August 2018

District Administration August 2018 - Cover1
District Administration August 2018 - Cover2
District Administration August 2018 - 1
District Administration August 2018 - 2
District Administration August 2018 - 3
District Administration August 2018 - 4
District Administration August 2018 - 5
District Administration August 2018 - 6
District Administration August 2018 - 7
District Administration August 2018 - 8
District Administration August 2018 - 9
District Administration August 2018 - 10
District Administration August 2018 - 11
District Administration August 2018 - 12
District Administration August 2018 - 13
District Administration August 2018 - 14
District Administration August 2018 - 15
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District Administration August 2018 - 21
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District Administration August 2018 - Cover3
District Administration August 2018 - Cover4
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