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Focus on Improvement

During the 2011-12, the district formed a High School Leadership Team comprised of district leadership and school staff members to investigate and recommend strategic changes to improve the district's graduation rate and better provide students with the tools they need to go on to a career or further education.

Implementation of needed changes will take advantage of funding received in 2012 from a federal Small Learning Communities (SLC) grant.

Outcomes

The Springfield School Board outlined four student achievement milestones as goals, building toward all students graduating career- and college-ready by 2025.

Goals

The High School Leadership Team identified the following goals to achieve the Board's milestones:

  • Equip and support all 9th- and 10th-grade students.
  • Enhance and expand dual enrollment efforts.
  • Maintain comprehensive programs.
  • Improve collective instructional practices.


Key Values

  • Studies show the single best predictor of high school completion is achievement at the 9th-grade level. 
  • More support for 9th- and 10th-graders through teaming efforts and intentional intervention will better prepare struggling students for the rigors of high school and better serve students who need to be accelerated.
  • Targeted support and improved collaboration can help ensure that 9th- and 10th-graders are on track for success.

Shared Schedule

The Springfield School Board added a fifth goal: to get both comprehensive high schools on a similar schedule.
 
Benefits of Shared Programming
  • Aligning school calendars and bell schedules will allow students to take advantage of shared programming and have equal access to comprehensive programming.
  • Shared schedules allow the district more effective use of resources, maximizing the district's ability to provide curriculum choices and opportunities for our high school students.
  • Students will benefit from increased opportunities by expanding existing partnerships with local colleges, including both Lane Community College and the University of Oregon.

Rationale

In the past, Springfield and Thurston high schools have operated on different schedules. Springfield High was on the semester system, with seven 50-minute periods each day. Thurston, which was on a trimester basis, had five 70-minute periods each day.

After much deliberation, research and staff discussion, the decision was made to move forward with an A/B Block Hybrid schedule.

On the block schedule, students at both schools will have two 18-week semesters and will be taught in 90-minute blocks. They will attend each class every other day, resulting in four periods a day. Students will regroup with all classes on Friday in eight 45-minute blocks.

Staff believes the A/B Block Hybrid schedule to be the best solution for achieving the goals and outcomes outlined above, and thus has the greatest potential to positively impact student outcomes and support the goal of a 100% graduation rate.


Schedule for Implementation

These changes will be implemented this fall with the start of the 2012-13 school year.


Articles/Communications

The following articles and communications contain more detailed information and background about the upcoming changes: