Middle School and High School Restructuring
- Option: Challenging academic content and learning
- Program elements districts may choose under this option,
but are not limited to, include:
- Provide explicit literacy instruction for adolescents;
- Infuse literacy instruction across content areas;
- Provide expanded rigorous curriculum and instructional practices in reading, mathematics, and/or science;
- Implement intensive, research based academic intervention programs for students who are at risk of not meeting State educational standards;
- Create career pathways that will expand opportunities for students to participate in career and technical education programs;
- Expand participation in Advanced Placement programs;
- Implement International Baccalaureate Curriculum;
- Establish Early College High Schools; and
- Utilize virtual learning and distance education to expand access to rigorous academic instruction or the pursuit of career-related learning opportunities.
- Program elements districts may choose under this option, but are not limited to, include:
- Option: Structural changes
- Program Elements:
- Must be accompanied by at least one change in academic content and learning opportunities, such as those referenced, above, in the prior program option.
- The range of elements districts may include under this option, but are not limited by, are: adjusting grade bands; creating grade 9 academies; creating smaller and/or supportive learning communities; creating schools within schools; creating magnet schools; creating transition or support programs for newcomer students; creating programs for students transitioning from middle to high school; and creating different teams of teachers to deal with the differing needs of students.
- Program Elements:
Moreover, all programs and activities under the option of middle and high school restructuring shall:
- Facilitate student attainment of the NYS learning standards.
- Predominantly benefit students with the greatest educational needs including, but not limited to: those students with limited English proficiency and students who are English language learners, students in poverty and students with disabilities.
- Predominantly benefit those students in schools identified as requiring academic progress or in need of improvement or in corrective action or restructuring.
- Be developed in reference to practices supported by research or other comparable evidence as to their effectiveness in raising achievement.
- Be accompanied by high quality, sustained professional development focused on content pedagogy, curriculum development and/or instructional design to ensure successful implementation of each program and activity.
- Be consistent with federal mandates, state law, and regulations governing the education of such students.
- Be used to supplement, and not supplant, funds allocated by the district in the base year for such purposes.
Federal Law, Regulation, and Guidance:
USDOE Comprehensive School Reform Program
The CSR Program is an important component of the No Child Left Behind Act. It is helping raise student achievement by assisting public schools across the country to implement effective, comprehensive school reforms that are based upon scientifically based research and effective practices. Congress has supported this initiative by appropriating $308 million to the CSR program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003.
Note: This site is for federal funding—but it has examples of scientifically-based (Eleven Components of a Comprehensive School Reform Program) research.
No Child Left Behind Title I
New Regulation under Title I Regarding accountability of LEP/ELL students: SUMMARY: The Secretary amends the regulations governing the programs administered under Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). These regulations are needed to implement statutory provisions regarding State, local educational agency (LEA), and school accountability for the academic achievement of limited English proficient (LEP) students and are needed to implement changes to Title I of the ESEA made by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act). http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2006-3/091306a.html
Pursuant to Title I of Federal law No Child Left Behind, State Education
Agencies must develop systems of support and technical assistance to schools
in need of improvement:
No Child Left Behind Title III
PL 107-110: Guidance on standards, assessments, and accountability for Language Instructional programs for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students: Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). http://www.ed.gov/programs/nfdp/NRG1.2.25.03.doc(217KB)
New York State Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations (CR):
Duties of school districts (with references to class size and special ed
2. The notice shall be on a form prescribed by the commissioner, and shall sufficiently demonstrate educational justification and consistency with continuing an appropriate education for all children affected. The commissioner may revoke or preempt any increase in class size upon a finding that increasing class size as proposed would fail to be consistent with appropriate special education. NB Repealed July 1, 2007
Unit of Study and Unit of Credit
CR Part 100.1(a) and 100.1(b)
Definitions as used in this Part:
(a) Unit of study means at least 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year, or the equivalent.
(b) Unit of credit is earned by:
(1) the mastery of the learning outcomes set forth in a New York State-developed or locally developed syllabus for a given high school subject, after a student has had the opportunity to complete a unit of study in the given subject matter area;
(2) pursuant to section 100.5(d)(1) of this Part, a passing score of at least 85 percent or its equivalent on a department-approved examination in a given high school subject without the completion of a unit of study, and the successful completion of either an oral examination or a special project.
Academic Intervention Services
(g) Academic intervention services means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general curriculum and assists students in meeting the State learning standards as defined in subdivision (t) of this section and/or student support services which may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance; provided that such services shall not include services provided to students with limited English proficiency pursuant to Part 154 of this Title or special education services and programs as defined in Education Law section 4401(1) and (2).
New York State Learning Standards
(t) State learning standards means the knowledge, skills and understandings that individuals can and do habitually demonstrate over time as a consequence of instruction and experience.
Professional Development Plan
(i) By September 1, 2000, and annually by September 1 of each school year thereafter, each school district and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) shall adopt a professional development plan that meets the content requirements prescribed in paragraph (2) of this subdivision. The purpose of the plan shall be to improve the quality of teaching and learning by ensuring that teachers participate in substantial professional development in order that they remain current with their profession and meet the learning needs of their students. The plan shall also ensure that holders of level III teaching assistants certificates and that substitute teachers who work on a long-term basis, as defined in section 80-5.4 of this Title, are provided the opportunity to participate in the professional development program of the district or BOCES.
(ii) Such professional development plan may be a part of a comprehensive education plan of the district or BOCES, provided that the professional development plan meets all of the requirements of this subdivision, including the requirements related to collaboration with the professional development team in the development of the plan as prescribed in paragraph (3) of this subdivision, or may be a free-standing plan of the district or BOCES.
(iii) A school district or BOCES shall include as part of its professional development plan a description of the professional development activities provided to all professional staff and supplementary school personnel who work with students with disabilities to assure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
Types of Diplomas
(iv) Earning a Regents diploma. Students first entering grade nine in 2001 and thereafter shall meet the commencement level New York State learning standards by successfully completing twenty-two units of credit and five New York State assessments distributed as specified in (a) through (k) below. After passing the required New York State assessment or approved alternative in mathematics, science, and English language arts, the remaining units of credit required in that discipline may be in specialized courses. A specialized course is a course that meets the requirements of a unit of credit as defined in section 100.1(a) of this Part and the New York State commencement learning standards as established by the commissioner. A specialized course develops the subject in greater depth and/or breadth and/or may be interdisciplinary. Successful completion of one unit of study in an interdisciplinary specialized course may be awarded only one unit of credit but may be used to meet the distribution requirements in more than one subject. In a public high school, an interdisciplinary specialized course shall be taught by a teacher certified in at least one of the subjects.
b) The principal, after consultation with relevant faculty, may award transfer credit for work done at other educational and cultural institutions and for work done through independent study. The decision as to whether or not to award transfer credit for work done at educational institutions other than New York State registered high schools shall be based on whether the record indicates that the work is consistent with New York State commencement learning standards and is of comparable scope and quality to that which would have been done in the school awarding the credit.
(e) Accelerated graduation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, students seeking to complete the diploma requirements prescribed by this section in less than four years shall be subject to the diploma requirements applicable to a student who first entered grade nine four years prior to the school year in which the diploma is to be awarded, provided that a student graduating at the end of the fall semester shall be subject to the graduation requirements in effect for the preceding school year. The diploma shall be awarded at the end of the semester in which all requirements are completed. Diplomas shall not be awarded in anticipation that requirements will be met.
Use of Alternative Assessments
(f) Use of alternative assessments. With the approval of the commissioner, assessments which measure an equivalent level of knowledge and skill may be substituted for the assessments specified in this Part. Alternative assessments for the Regents examinations for global history and geography, United States history and government, comprehensive English, mathematics and the sciences shall meet the following conditions and criteria:
(1) assessments shall measure the State learning standards for the respective content area;
(2) alternative assessments shall be at least as rigorous as the corresponding required State assessment;
(3) alternative assessments shall be consistent with technical criteria for validity, reliability, and freedom from bias;
(4) alternative assessments shall be developed by an entity other than a local school or school district;
(5) alternative assessments shall be available for use by any school or school district in New York State; and
(6) alternative assessments shall be administered under secure conditions approved by the commissioner.
Daily Teaching Load
(i) Teaching staff in public schools. The number of daily periods of classroom instruction for a teacher should not exceed five. A school requiring of any teacher more than six teaching periods a day, or a daily teaching load of more than 150 pupils, should be able to justify the deviation from this policy.
Diagnostic Screening of Pupils
CR Part 117: NYS Regulations on Identification and Services to LEP Students – Regulations governing initial identification and services to limited English proficient (LEP) students in New York State.
Apportionment and Services for Pupils with Limited English
CR Part 154 Regulations: Amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations Related to NCLB: – Education of Students with Limited English Proficiency as amended by the Board of Regents on July 17, 2003 and effective May 2, 2003.
Continuum of Services for Students with Disabilities
CR Section 200.6 includes, but is not limited to, requirements pertaining to: grouping requirements; appropriate certification requirements; consultant teacher services; related services; resource room programs; special classes; twelve-month special services and/or programs.
Supporting Young Adolescents: Regents Policy Statement on Middle-Level
Based on a series of statewide discussions with many groups and a thorough review of the research on effective middle level education practices, the Regents and the State Education Department have identified seven essential elements of standards-focused middle-level schools and programs. This policy statement reflects these seven key factors.
Proposed New York State Regulations for Response To Intervention (RTI)
Response to Intervention programs. A school district may establish a process to determine if a student responds to scientific, research-based intervention in accordance with the following minimum requirements: (1) research-based instruction provided to all students in the class by qualified personnel, (2) instruction matched to student need with increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention and instruction for students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning, (3) frequent screenings and repeated assessments of student achievement, (4) the application of information about the student’s response to instruction to make educational decisions about changes in goals, instruction and/or services and the decision to make a referral for special education programs and/or services, and (5) written notification to the parents when the student requires an intervention beyond that provided to all students in the general education classroom that provides information about:
(i) the amount and nature of student performance data that will be collected and the general education services that will be provided pursuant to this paragraph;
(ii) strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning; and
(iii) the parents’ right to request an evaluation for special education programs and/or services;
New York State Education Department Guidance Materials:
New York State Education Department Virtual Learning System
The purpose of the New York State Education Department’s Virtual Learning System is to encourage the use of the Internet as a tool for teaching and learning and to assist classroom teachers in locating Internet resources for instruction. VLS offers the full text of New York State’s learning standards with their key ideas and performance indicators, as well as alternate performance indicators for students with severe disabilities. It provides resources that classroom teachers can use to support preK-12 standards-based instruction, such as sample tasks, learning experiences and lesson plans.
List of Department-Approved Alternative Examinations Acceptable for Meeting
Requirements for a Local or Regents Diploma
The New York State Education Department has a list of approved Alternative Examinations acceptable for meeting requirements for a local or Regents diploma. The site includes a list of test score(s) indicated with minimum acceptable score(s) that can be substituted for a Regents Examination score for all students who have completed the course of study for that subject.
Toward Safe and Supportive Learning Environments
The NYSED Office of School Support Services offers a link to NorthWest Regional Education Laboratory’s “Acquiring and Utilizing Resources to Enhance and Sustain a Safe Learning Environment.
Resource Bibliography for Working Effectively with Limited English Proficient
Students with Interrupted Formal Education
This annotated Resource Bibliography on Working Effectively with Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students with Interrupted Formal Education has been written to provide educators an informational and conceptual, research-based foundation for addressing the multidimensional and diverse challenges confronting this student population as they negotiate the New York State Learning Standards.
Board of Regents Item: Monitoring Report on Implementation of the Regents
Policy Statement on Middle-Level Education
Board of Regents Item: Adolescent Literacy in New York State
High School Initiatives
Twelve districts across the State were identified in 2004 for intensive outreach and technical assistance due to having the lowest graduation rates. This effort became a larger High School Initiative. This document contains implementation strategies, activities and interventions which these twelve districts planned to undertake to improve their graduation rates.
The Teaching of Language Arts to Limited English Proficient/ English Language
Research Studies, Research Reviews and Other Best Evidence:
The National Governors Association
The National Governors Association (NGA) has taken the lead in much of this effort. In September 2004, NGA launched the Redesigning the American High School (Adobe® Reader® PDF) initiative, a yearlong project aimed at helping governors improve the quality of a high school education in their states. To foster this mission, NGA provided governors with a 10-step process and action agenda for high school redesign, along with promising practices to guide in the implementation of the action plan.
New Small Learning Communities: Findings from Recent Literature
Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Cotton, K. (2001)
These findings, together with strong evidence that smaller schools can narrow the achievement gap between white/middle class/affluent students and ethnic minority and poor students has led to the creation of hundreds of small schools in large cities around the U.S., including Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and others.
Early College High School Initiative
The goal of the Early College High School Initiative is to improve high school graduation rates and better prepare students for family-supporting careers by: changing the structure of the high school years; compressing the number of years to a college degree; and removing financial and other barriers to college. The Early College High School Initiative is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
National Association of Secondary School Principals
This site includes NASSP Policy Recommendations for Middle Level and High School Reform and other NASSP documents regarding High School and Middle School reform.
Breaking Ranks II
Published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in collaboration with The Education Alliance at Brown University.
Breaking Ranks II outlines the need for current high schools to engage in the process of change that will ensure success for every high school student. Its first set of recommendations and tools focuses on the development of a professional learning community, wherein leadership throughout the institution refocuses its work on what will successfully support every student in their high school experience. The second set of recommendations and tools focuses on the need to provide every student with meaningful adult relationships that can best support every student. And the third set of recommendations and tools focuses on the development of personalized learning, where students see their learning as meaningful and relevant, as well as rigorous and challenging, ensuring their success both within and beyond high school.
Kentucky Virtual High School
The Kentucky Virtual High School offers a range of online or eLearning services to help schools meet their goals for High Student Performance, High Quality Teaching, and a Strong and Supportive Environment for Every Child. Note: This site is intended for Kentucky educators, but provides an example of what a virtual high school may look like. http://www.kvhs.org/
Early College High School Initiative: 2003-2005 Evaluation Report
American Institutes for Research and SRI International, May 2006
Early College High Schools (ECHS) are successfully enrolling low-income and minority youth and placing many in college courses. And although some students struggle with academically rigorous courses, almost all say they plan to attend college after high school. Early college high schools reported high attendance rates, and students in general were more likely to benefit from personalized relationships with high school faculty than college instructors. Challenges remain accelerating students unprepared for college-level work and gauging the right amount of student support needed. Evaluation data was collected from several sources, including 25 early college high schools and Jobs for the Future, the organization coordinating the ECHS initiative.
Also, from the USDOE, a briefing entitled, The Early College High School
Initiative At A Glance.
Creating a Culture of Literacy: A Guide for Middle and High School Principals
Published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals
Creating a Culture of Literacy: A Guide for Middle and High School Principals is designed to help school leaders use research on best literacy practices to create a well-defined intervention plan that not only will improve the literacy of all students but also the long-range academic success of students by enhancing their chances for postsecondary education and future employability.
Academic Literacy Instruction for Adolescents
A guidance document from the Center on Instruction [4-12]
This document was developed by the Center on Instruction’s Reading, Special Education and ELL Strands and makes recommendations for improving literacy-related instruction in the content areas or across the entire school day, interventions for students reading below grade level, and recommendations for supporting literacy development in adolescent English language learners.
Reading Next is a cutting-edge report that combines the best research currently available with well-crafted strategies for turning that research into practice. Informed by five of the nation’s leading researchers, Reading Next charts an immediate route to improving adolescent literacy. The authors outline 15 key elements of an effective literacy intervention, and call on public and private stakeholders to invest in the literacy of middle and high school students today, while simultaneously building the knowledge base.
Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High School, commissioned by Carnegie Corporation of New York and published by the Alliance for Excellent Education, discusses eleven specific teaching techniques that research suggests will help improve the writing abilities of the country’s 4th- to 12th-grade students. http://www.all4ed.org/publications/WritingNext/index.html
NEA Guidance on Class Size
NEA Position: NEA supports a class size of 15 students in regular programs and even smaller in programs for students with exceptional needs.
Research-based Recommendations for Serving Adolescent Newcomers
Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners
While ELLs vary in their academic outcomes and many thrive in U.S. schools, there is indeed a significant proportion—whether or not formally designated Limited English Proficient (LEP) or English Language Learner (ELL) and thus receiving support services for language development—who struggle considerably in developing English proficiency and academic skills, as well as meeting grade-level standards. This document was written primarily with this latter group in mind, and, in particular, the group of ELLs who are adolescent newcomers.
In 2005 and 2006 the New York State Education Department in concert with
the New York City Department of Education hosted a series of Statewide meetings
related to the issues of high school improvement. These forums, known as
Destination Diploma, were part of a larger High School Initiative. The March
2005 conference focused on the themes of the 3 ‘Rs’ (Rigor and
Relevance in instructional content, coupled with school officials developing
Relationships with students to create systems of support, which in turn
will promote achievement).
The December 2005 Destination Diploma forum focuses on the theme of adolescent literacy. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/HighSchool/
Framework for 21st Century Learning
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has developed a unified, collective vision for 21st century learning that can be used to strengthen American education. An overview of this framework, with links to more information can be accessed at the link below.
Teach for Understanding
The Teaching for Understanding framework is a guide that can help keep the focus of educational practice on developing student understanding. Faculty members at the Harvard Graduate School of Education collaborated with many experienced teachers and researchers to develop, test, and refine this approach for effective teaching. http://www.uknow.gse.harvard.edu/teaching/TC3-1.html
Alternative School Administration Study
The purpose of this study was to determine how principals spend their time and to test a new structure using business management trained staff (‘school administrative managers’) to increase principal time spent on academic achievement and gap closure. http://eric.ed.gov/
Project Lead the Way
A four year sequence of courses which, when combined with college preparatory mathematics and science courses in high school, introduces students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering and engineering technology prior to entering college.
A Call to Action: Transforming High School for All Youth (2005)
The National High School Alliance has produced this document, A Call to Action: Transforming High School for All Youth, to provide leaders at the national, state, district, school, and community levels with a common framework around which to engage a diverse cross-section of stakeholders in the hard work of transforming high schools for all youth.
Response to Intervention (RTI): How to Do It
This document is written as a tool to assist schools develop an RTI model. It is based on current research from the National Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD) and is intended for school staff interested in adopting new strategies to address the needs of students who are struggling or may be at risk of failure in reading/literacy and mathematics. It looks at the essential elements of intervention, including the following key components: School-wide screening, Progress monitoring, Tiered service delivery, Fidelity of implementation. The research to support an RTI approach is strong on primary grade students.
Solving the Puzzle: Redesigning Large High Schools Together. A Study Kit
to Support the Redesign of Large High Schools.
School Redesign Network at Stanford University, Updated 2005
This study kit provides resources for those interested in designing or improving small learning communities as well as for educators who are not yet redesigning but are interested in improving teaching and learning. The first part of the kit provides guidance on how to lead a redesign effort, how to engage the community in the reforms, how to collect and use data in the redesign process, and more. Information on ordering part I of the kit is provided on this web site. Part II of the kit provides a collection of web-enabled resources that address developing innovative teaching methods, creating personalized learning environments, fostering professional communities, and garnering system support for school redesign.
High Schools for the New Millennium
This Gates foundation report outlines ideas for transforming schools to prepare students for today’s economy.
Leading the Conversion Process: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for
Converting to Small Learning Communities.
Jeffrey T. Fouts, Duane B. Baker, Carol J. Brown, and Shirley C. Riley Fouts & Associates, LLC, 2006
This report reviews lessons learned from converting large, comprehensive high schools into small learning communities. It provides recommendations on leadership, implementation, and programs for schools considering this work.
A Resource Guide for Adolescent Literacy
Judith L. Irvin, Ph. D., National Literacy Project, 2006
The National Literacy Project has produced a comprehensive resource guide to help education practitioners, from district and school administrators to classroom teachers and coaches, and improve their approach to adolescent literacy. Contents include full literacy programs, professional development resources, examples of successful instructional models, literacy tools, research syntheses and a list of experts in the field.
Handbook on Restructuring and Substantial School Improvement, Center on
Innovation and Improvement
The purpose of this Handbook on Restructuring and Substantial School Improvement is to provide principles for restructuring and substantially improving schools. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Center on Innovation & Improvement (CII) engaged leading experts on restructuring and school improvement to prepare modules for this handbook to assist states, districts, and schools in establishing policies, procedures, and support to successfully restructure schools.
School Restructuring Under No Child Left Behind: What Works When? A Guide
for Education Leaders
This guide is designed to help education leaders choose the best restructuring options for schools in which substantial numbers of children are failing to learn enough. By restructuring, this means major, rapid changes that affect how a school is led and instruction delivered. The research supporting this guide was conducted to help the growing number of districts considering school restructuring to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). However, the guide may be used by any district or state choosing change strategies for schools where large, swift improvement is needed to meet children’s needs.