During the sophomore year too many of our students, along with students at surrounding high schools, sometimes decide that school is a waste of their time. Others decide that they can slide and therefore lose their aggressiveness in regards to pushing themselves academically. Over the last three-plus years we have worked hard to develop systems that support students by either filling in the cracks that these students could fall into or that stops students who want to move ahead with their studies more quickly. As we begin the 2012-2013 school year we feel we now have, with our Sophomore “Group & Re-Group” Plan, an important support for all students. This support will make our 2012-2013 school year more successful for many of our sophomores who need greater direction and focus in order to bring out the best they have to offer.
“Group & Re-Group” is actually a very simple concept. Sophomore English, Biology and US History courses are now being taught during the same blocks by multiple teachers in the same departments. When a Sophomore Dept Team of teachers see that students within their same classes (Biology, English or US History) and block need extra support or to be re-taught something from a unit or need a mini-lesson, our teachers are now Re-Grouping their students from up to three classes meeting at the same time to support the learning needs they have.
Our efforts will be successful because we have set the following expectations:
1.) Group & Re-Group at the end of units and/or at Progress Report time is our initial plan when we will be making student switches, based on need
2.) Planning and working together each week will be completed by each Sophomore Dept Team of teachers using their common planning block
3.) Planning for units and standards to be taught during the same block is occurring
4.) The same curriculum will be taught within all three Sophomore Dept Teams
5.) Teachers within each Sophomore Dept Team will use the same work completion targets
6.) Similar assessment & rubric choices are being used for all students within each Sophomore Dept Team
7.) Honors students not meeting minimum expectations 2.5/ 80 (a change from 75 under our old scale) or better by the time of each progress report will have their Academic Progress reviewed with the student’s guidance counselor and parent to determine if they need to move into College Prep.
This is a “big” systemic improvement to Sophomore Teaming at MHS as Mustang Nation continues to move forward in support of student needs!
If you have any questions about how this change will effect your son or daughter please contact your son or daughter’s teachers, their counselor or MHS administration. Thanks!