School Improvement Plan (SIP)

PART I: PROFILE

A.  History

B.  School Configuration

C.  Certified Employees

D.  Demographic Data: (May include charts/graphs)

E.  Student Distribution: (by gender)

F.  Free/Reduced Lunches

G.  Assessment Results: (Refer to charts/graphs in Part 6)

H.  Trends That May Impact the School in the Next Five Years

I.   Stakeholder Input

J.  Stakeholder Groups

K.  Business and Community Partners

PART 2: BELIEFS AND MISSIONS. 11

A.  Cherokee County School District’s MISSION STATEMENT: 11

B.  Cherokee County School District’s BELIEF STATEMENTS: 11

C.  Cherokee County School District’s MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: 12

D.  School Mission Statement: 12

E.  School Belief Statements

PART 3: ANALYSIS OF INSTRUCTIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS. 13

  1. Clear Mission and Goals. 13
  2. High Expectations for Student Achievement 14
  3. Focusing on Teaching and Learning. 14
  4. Capable Leadership. 15
  5. School Council 15
  6. Parent/Community Involvement with, support of, and Satisfaction with Educational Programs. 16
  7. Continuous Assessment of Students, Staff, and Program to Evaluate Effects of Instruction. 16
  8. Safe, Orderly, and Disciplined School Climate. 17
  9. Staff Effectiveness and Professional Development 17
  10. Facilities and Technology. 18
  11. Characteristic Summary. 19
  12. Analysis of Instructional and Organizational Effectiveness. 20

PART 4: SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GOALS / OBJECTIVES. 21

  1. Zone Improvement Plan. 22

PART 5: SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT ACTION PLAN.. 23

  1. Review of Cherokee County School District Professional Development Focus/Targets 2014-17. 28
  2. Analysis of Previous Year’s School-Based Professional Development 28
  3. Development of 2015-16 State Staff Development Budget Allocation Plan Aligned to School Improvement Plan. 29

PART 6: RESULTS. 30

  1. Provide a status report for previous year’s SIP Goal/Objectives: 30
  2. System Priorities and Objectives – Analysis of Student Achievement Data: 33

PART 7: LOCALLY REQUIRED PLANS. 34

A.  Technology Use Plan. 34

B.  Attendance and Truancy Intervention Plan: 41

C. Safety / Security Plan. 43

  1. Character Education Plan and/or Teacher As Advisor Plan. 46
  2. Homework Plan. 48
  3. Career, Technology, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Plan: 49
  4. Response to Intervention (RTI) Plan. 51
  5. SACS/CASI Assurance Checklist 53
  6. Title I Plan for School-Wide Programs (ES-MS) 56
  7. Title I Plan for Target Assistance Programs (ES) 58
  8. Waivers. 60

PART I: PROFILE

A.   History:

In 1996, the Cherokee County School District was awarded a F97 grant to establish an alternative school to serve the county’s established schools. Many Georgia school districts receiving these grants incorporated “Crossroads” into the name of their education centers established for these purposes…including the Cherokee County School District with the opening of CrossRoads HS/MS (1996). Beginning with a staff of four and two students, CrossRoads HS/MS developed into a premier alternative school program in the state of Georgia and the Southeastern region.

GROWTH AND CHANGES:

However, Georgia’s A+ Education Reform Act (2000) later eliminated the Crossroads grants and funding for alternative education programs was folded into the State’s Quality Basic Education (QBE). Then, in 2010, the State School Board adopted a revision to the Alternative Education Program Rule (160-4-8-.12) to expand the following types of curricular programs into its definition: Attendance Recovery, Credit Recovery, Disciplinary Program, Early College, Evening School, and Open Campus. As a result of these shifts in Law, funding and policy, many Georgia school districts began reorganizing their alternative education program options and changing the names of their (original) CrossRoads academies to reflect more localized initiatives.

Although, from its inception, CrossRoads HS/MS primarily provided a disciplinary alternative setting for high school (9-12) students, its curricular and operational programming evolved to provide the following educational components:

  • enrolment of volunteer students, middle grade (6-8) students, and in specific circumstances, students with disabilities;
  • choice of alternative instructional delivery models (both teacher-directed and student-directed instruction);
  • choice of textbook and computer based instructional units;
  • initial credit, credit acceleration, and credit recovery options to meet state and local graduation requirements;
  • student mastery of the content material as the determining factor in awarding course credit, rather than instructional contact time;
  • opportunities for attendance recovery; and,
  • expansion of choice in curricular offerings in response to student needs and interests. For example, ACE Academy was the first CCSD high school to provide students the choice of German as a foreign language option.

Therefore, considering that:

  • the State School Board Rule establishing the Crossroads Alternative Education Program has been replaced with the Alternative Education Program State Board Rule, which is much more inclusive of other educational delivery model choices;
  • CrossRoads HS/MS had developed far past the initial conceptualization and continues to provide a proven record of success;
  • CrossRoads HS/MS was positioned to be instrumental in the further development and expansion of truly alternative education delivery program choices; and,
  • the Cherokee County School District began developing and implementing the Academy Initiative to enhance school choice within and throughout the district;

It was recommended that the school’s name be changed from CrossRoads HS/MS to ACE (Alternative Choices in Education) Academy. This name change fully supported the belief that ACE Academy better reflects the uniqueness of this excellent program, the opportunities of choice provided to CCSD students of the Cherokee County School District, and its potential position within the concepts postulated for the future of the Cherokee Academy Initiative.

MOVING AND THE FUTURE:

Marie Archer Teasley Middle School opened on Knox Bridge Highway in September, 1983. In 1996, 3 additional sections were added to the main building. Over time 5 mobile units with 10 classrooms were located on the property. As part of E-SPLOST 2011, a replacement facility for Teasley MS opened in August, 2014. Included in E-SPLOST 2011 was the relocation of ACE Academy from its location in Holly Springs to the Knox Bridge facility. This relocation was completed in July, 2014 and ACE Academy began SY 14-15 in its “new” location at 8871 Knox Bridge Highway.

The relocation of ACE Academy offered great potential for program development, enhancement, and growth. As SY 15-16 began, 10 academic classrooms, 5 support classrooms, and 3 elective classrooms remain vacant. As additional allotments are provided by CCSD Office of Personnel Management, these rooms will be utilized. Additional allotments will provide the opportunity to significantly increase student enrolment and eliminate the waiting list for prospective students. At any given time the waiting list for volunteer students averages 70 high school students who want to attend ACE Academy taking advantage of the options provided by ACE Academy.

In addition, 4 academic classrooms were left vacant to provide for the placement of the Cherokee Cyber Connection (C3) Academy with ACE Academy. As the C3 Academy develops, students from across the school district will be provided the opportunity to advantage of alternative opportunities afforded through virtual/online/digital learning.

It was projected by OPM that ACE Academy would have an average daily enrolment 250 students for SY 15-16. ACE Academy started SY 15-16 on August 3, 2015 with 215 students. As of December 8, 2015, ACE Academy had a current enrolment of 262 students, with a total of 352 students being enrolled at some time so far this school year. It is anticipated that ACE Academy with have, and maintain for the rest of SY 15-16, an average daily enrolment of 300 by the start of the 2nd Semester, SY 15-16.

B.   School Configuration:

ACE Academy is an alternative program serving six high schools, seven middle schools, and twenty elementary schools (sixth grade only), designed for students who meet certain criteria regarding their school behavior, including poor attendance or academic deficiencies. ACE Academy provides chronically unsuccessful and disruptive middle and high school students with the opportunity to improve their academic, social and behavioral skills in a safe environment. Enrollment is an option provided by the school district to students referred to ACE Academy as a result of either a disciplinary due process/tribunal hearing, a special education manifestation/placement hearing, or as a voluntary placement pending space availability. Students are interviewed and accepted for the program with tribunal referrals given priority. Upon enrollment, students sign 90 day contract agreements which detail expectations for behavior, attendance, and classroom performance.

The program is “zero” tolerance based, meaning any violation of the student disciplinary code may result in expulsion from all Cherokee County schools. Students enrolling as a result of a disciplinary due process/tribunal hearing do so under an expulsion order. As a result of a single significant infraction or a repeated pattern of unacceptable behavior, the expulsion order can be invoked and the student expelled for the period of time designated in the original expulsion order.

The academic curriculum in a classroom setting is designed to capture the interest and involvement of each student. The teachers are highly qualified in their academic knowledge of the coursework and specifically design and tutor students in individualized learning environments. The ACE Academy staff is dedicated to assisting and encouraging students to set goals as a motivational tool and obtain what life has to offer for the future. Contrary to stereotyped beliefs about “alternative” schools, ACE Academy is not a “prison-like” setting, but is a school that cares about its students and their primary objective of earning a high school diploma!

The principal and the teachers develop and facilitate an individualized instructional program for each student. Students proceed at their own pace using assigned books and materials in accordance with the state and county curriculum guidelines. Student grades are based on completed assignments, test scores and a final competency examination for each of the core courses.   Once the student completes a course, he or she moves on to the next course in sequence.

The curriculum material from computer-based curriculum, mastery learning and individualized instruction has been adopted to assist students to reach competency level. Teachers certified in academic content areas facilitate all instructional activities which are monitored by the principal, assistant principal and counselor. When a student completes a unit, the teacher administers the unit test.   Upon satisfactory completion of the unit test, the student continues until he/she has completed the course assignments and curriculum requirements. Upon satisfactory completion of all units of study, the student takes an examination. If the student fails to pass the examination, he/she is redirected through the course materials and after proper remediation the student is allowed to take the examination again. However, a student is only permitted to attempt a test twice before they are required to begin remediation. Upon successful completion of all course requirements the principal and counselor certify credits to be posted on the student’s transcript.

The progress of each student is monitored closely by the principal, teacher and counselor. Although ACE Academy does not utilize traditional report cards, Performance Evaluations are issued to parents every six weeks. The Performance Evaluations include the student’s academic grade and evaluations in two performance criteria: 1) time management and 2) satisfactory progress towards course completion. Students who repeatedly receive Unsatisfactory or Needs Improvement evaluations are placed on Academic Probation and assigned a Response To Intervention (RTI) case holder to monitor academic progress. Students who do not respond positively to RTI may be withdrawn from ACE Academy.

The administrators and teachers of ACE Academy recognize that a student’s attendance and success in school are linked together. The student must attend school to maximize the learning opportunities provided by ACE Academy. Students attending ACE Academy are not allowed to miss more than seven days of school for any reason during a 90 day contract period. Students who exceed the number of days allowed may be withdrawn from ACE Academy.

ACE Academy is a collaborative approach to education that utilizes educators, community groups, law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice agencies, and business leaders to meet the needs of the students and to achieve the eventual goal of integrating students back into their home school setting.

C.   Certified Employees:

 

Certification Types of Staff # Male Female Endorsements
Years of Experience 1-5 years 2 Administrators 2 2 0 Gifted Yes 6
6-10 years 8 Counselors 1 0 1 Working Toward 0
11-15 years 8 P.E. Teachers 1 1 0 No 24
16-20 years 5 Music Teachers 0 0 0 ESOL Yes 6
21-25 years 1 Art Teachers .33 0 .33 Working Toward 0
26+ years 6 Health .33 0 .33 No 23
Degrees Held T-1 Vocational 0 FACS .34 0 .34 Reading Yes 6
T-2 Vocational 0 Bus Ed 2 0 2 Working Toward 0
T-4 Bachelors 2 MS ESOL Imm 1 0 1 No 24
T-5 Masters 14 HS ESOL Imm 1 0 1 Teach 21 Yes 4
T-6 Specialist 12 MS 3 1 2 Working Toward 0
T-7 Doctorate 2 HS ELA 4 3 1 No 26
# Working toward a higher degree T-5 Masters 0 HS MATH 4 3 1 TSS Yes 1
T-6 Specialist 0 HS SC 4 2 2 Working Toward 0
T-7 Doctorate 0 HS SS 4 4 0 No 29
SPED 3 1 2 National Board Yes 0
SPED PARA 3 1 2 Working Toward 0
Food Services 2.5 0 2.5 No 30
Secretaries 2 0 2 LFS Yes 6
38.5 18 20.5 Working Toward 0
No 24

 

D.  Demographic Data: (May include charts/graphs)

 

Ethnicity Male Female Total Percentage
Hispanic/Latino 35 27 72 26.5
Asian 1 0 1 0.4
Black 30 9 39 14.3
Indian 0 0 0 0
White 94 58 152 55.9
Multiracial 7 1 8 2.9
No Race Indicated 0 0 0 0
Total 167 95 272 100

 

E.  Student Distribution: (by gender)

 

Grade Male Female Total
6th 1 1 2
7th 6 2 8
8th 15 7 22
9th 53 15 68
10th 47 26 73
11th 29 28 57
12th 26 16 42
Total: 177 95 272

 

 

F.  Free/Reduced Lunches:

 

            Grades

 

Number of students eligible for free priced meals Number of students eligible for reduced priced meals Total number of student eligible for free and reduced priced meals Total student enrollment as 9/26/2014 Percentage of students eligible for free and reduced priced meals
6 – 12 131 16 147 272 54.04%

 

G.  Assessment Results: (Refer to charts/graphs in Part 6)

 

H.  Trends That May Impact the School in the Next Five Years:

1.      ENROLLMENT:

A.    Continued growth of CCSD student enrolment will impact the enrolment of both tribunal/expelled and volunteer students. With the increase in student enrolment numbers, there will naturally be an increase in the incidence rate of disciplinary infractions that lead to tribunal and expulsion. In similar manner, the increase in the district enrolment will also see an increase in the number of students seeking to transfer voluntarily to ACE Academy.

B.     The relocation of ACE Academy to the vacated Teasley Middle School facility took place during the summer of 2014. This relocation provides the opportunity for expansion of the program and increased student enrolment. After the assignment of all current staff and faculty members, there are 21 classroom spaces still vacant allowing for such expansion and growth.

C.     As the Office of Personnel Management continues to evaluate student enrolment numbers and curriculum needs, it is hoped that additional staff allotments will be provided. ACE Academy is different from her district sister schools, in that student enrolment is based upon space availability rather than student enrolment determining staff allotments. In addition, given the disciplinary/expulsion mandate, ACE Academy must always maintain a percentage of “vacancies” all through the school year. Due to this limitation, a “waiting list” for volunteer students seeking transfer and enrolment to ACE Academy for academic reasons has been maintained. Additional staff allotments could potentially eliminate, if not significantly reduce, the waiting list.

2.      PROGRAM ALTERNATIVES:

A.    Given the educational choices currently provided by ACE Academy, the opportunity to merge with Polaris Evening Program offers a significant increase in options provided students in Cherokee County. A possible configuration would permit students who are attending ACE Academy voluntarily, would have the option to “flex their schedule” to attend classes as needed during the morning, afternoon, or evening. Allowing students to “flex their schedule” would add an “Open Campus” option similar to a college schedule. Students attending ACE Academy under an expelled status could only do so during regular day school hours, i.e. 8:40 AM to 3:15 PM.

B.     In addition, the development, implementation, and location of the Cherokee Cyber Connections (C3) Academy at ACE Academy provides CCSD students access to digital, on-line learning opportunities adding another level CHOICE to those found at the Alternative Choices in Education (ACE) Academy.

3.      ESOL IMMERSION:

A.    For the past 7 years the district’s ESOL HS Immersion program has been housed at ACE Academy. In SY 13-14, this program was expanded to include Middle School students. This program provides an academic year of reading, writing, and language fluency skill enhancement to students with limited English proficiencies. After this year of fluency building, the students transition to the regular schools to continue their academic career.

B.     However, this program was reconfigured for SY 15-16. Students at the high school level needing an immersion program are served within their Innovation Zone high school. Middle school students living in the Cherokee Innovation Zone are enrolled in Teasley Middle School for the Immersion Program. Middle school students living in the other Innovation Zones continue to be provided Immersion services at ACE Academy.

I.   Stakeholder Input:

In the development of the School Improvement Plan (SIP), what opportunities were given for stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, business and community partners, etc.) to provide input/feedback?

 List chronologically all meetings or opportunities for stakeholder input. Topics of discussion should be very short.

Examples: Selecting objectives, preparing the action plan, overview of the plan, how to obtain funds, ways to make partnerships more productive.

J.  Stakeholder Groups:

Dates SIP-Related Topics of Discussion
New Student/Parents/Guardians Weekly ·        Weekly orientations providing all new enrolling students and their parents/guardians overviews of the program of ACE Academy, including: expectations for students and parents/guardians; contracts for behavior, attendance, and academic progress.
Faculty Monthly ·        Review of SY 14-15 SIP, collected data, academic progress reports, RTI plans, and student contracts.
Department Chairs Monthly ·        Review of SY 14-15 SIP, collected data, academic progress reports, RTI plans, and student contracts.
Administrative Team Monthly ·        Review of SY 14-15 SIP, collected data, academic progress reports, RTI plans, and student contracts.
Parent Representatives Quarterly ·         Review of SY 14-15 SIP, collected data, academic progress reports, RTI plans, and student contracts.
Business Partners Quarterly ·         Review of SY 14-15 SIP, collected data, academic progress reports, RTI plans, and student contracts.

 

K.   Business and Community Partners:

Company/Organization Address Phone # Contact New / Continued
Dept. of Juvenile Justice 130 E. Main St., Ste 203

Canton, 30114

Office:770-720-6617

Cell: 770-720-3556

Fax: 770-720-3559

Katie White Continuing
Fellowship of Christian Athletes P.O. Box 801432

Acworth, 30101

Office: 770-794-6528

Cell: 770-833-5145

Fax: 7-218-1585

Marcus Fox Continuing
Towne Lake Community Church 132 North Medical Parkway

Woodstock, 30189

Office: 678- 445-8766 Bill Ratliff Continuing
Publix 120 Prominence Pt Parkway

Canton, 30114

Office:770-345-5389 Continuing
Walgreens Drug Store 101 Prominence Point Parkway

Canton, 30114

Office: 770-704-4045 Kathy Sumner Continuing
Goshen Valley Boys Ranch 387 Goshen Church Way

Waleska, 30183

Office: 770-796-4618 Zach Blend Continuing

PART 2: BELIEFS AND MISSIONS

A.   Cherokee County School District’s MISSION STATEMENT:

 

We, the School Board of Cherokee County, Georgia, commit ourselves to a philosophy of respect and high expectations for all students, parents, teachers and other staff. Our mission is to enable all students to become contributing citizens who can communicate effectively, gather and use information, make responsible decisions, utilize technology effectively and adapt to the challenges of the future. This mission will be accomplished by providing a variety of learning opportunities and experiences for students, both in school and in the community.

 

 

B.   Cherokee County School District’s BELIEF STATEMENTS:

 

v  All students deserve the opportunity to learn, achieve success and become productive citizens.

v  Education/learning is a shared responsibility and should take place in the home, at school and in the community.

v  All students can learn; but they learn in different ways, at different rates and with different preferential learning styles.

v  Learning is achieved through the use of a variety of effective teaching techniques.

v  A safe and secure environment is essential for teaching and learning.

v  All students should be taught by teachers and parents how to learn and how to become lifelong learners.

v  All students deserve equal access to a quality education.

v  Quality education requires quality staff, programs, facilities, equipment and technology.

v  Parent and community participation, support and responsibility are essential to the positive social, emotional, cultural and academic development of every student.

v  Student achievement is enhanced through partnerships with parents, businesses, community-based organizations and agencies, local institutions of higher learning and other public entities.

v  All policy, administrative, instructional and educational support decisions should be based on student needs and what is best for students.

v  Diversity should be promoted so that isolation of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups is avoided and education is enhanced in a diverse, inclusive setting.

v  All schools should be accountable for improving student achievement.

v  All schools should reflect school-based, participatory management.

v  All students must be prepared to function effectively in a knowledge-based, technologically rich and culturally diverse 21st century.

v  All staff should have access to results-driven professional development and training which is aligned with the School Board’s Major System Priorities and School Improvement Plans. Such professional development and training must be standards-based, job-imbedded, collaborative and build an organizational culture that insures continuous improvement.

 

 

C.  Cherokee County School District’s MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES:

1.      Establishing internationally competitive standards for student performance and an accountability system and policy framework designed to insure that all students are challenged individually and collectively to meet more rigorous standards.

2.      In collaboration with technical colleges, other institutions of higher learning and the local business community, insuring that vocational/technical education programs prepare students for a diverse and technologically rich society.

3.      Insuring that all students and staff have a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning.

4.      Attracting, retaining, and training the best teachers, principals, and support staff.

5.      Utilizing technology both to improve student achievement and to increase the school district’s productivity and efficiency as a major business enterprise.

6.      Increasing parental and community involvement through public engagement policies and practices that treat parents, businesses, community-based organizations and agencies, local institutions of higher learning and other public entities as true partners in the educational process.

7.      Addressing exploding student population growth, recognizing that there is a large gap between the school district’s facilities and technology needs and available capital outlay revenue.

8.      Reviewing the potential for utilizing the school district’s existing public education facilities to establish self-supporting community school evening/ week-end education programs for interested Cherokee County adults.

PART 2: BELIEFS AND MISSIONS

A.   Cherokee County School District’s MISSION STATEMENT:

 

We, the School Board of Cherokee County, Georgia, commit ourselves to a philosophy of respect and high expectations for all students, parents, teachers and other staff. Our mission is to enable all students to become contributing citizens who can communicate effectively, gather and use information, make responsible decisions, utilize technology effectively and adapt to the challenges of the future. This mission will be accomplished by providing a variety of learning opportunities and experiences for students, both in school and in the community.

 

 

B.   Cherokee County School District’s BELIEF STATEMENTS:

 

v  All students deserve the opportunity to learn, achieve success and become productive citizens.

v  Education/learning is a shared responsibility and should take place in the home, at school and in the community.

v  All students can learn; but they learn in different ways, at different rates and with different preferential learning styles.

v  Learning is achieved through the use of a variety of effective teaching techniques.

v  A safe and secure environment is essential for teaching and learning.

v  All students should be taught by teachers and parents how to learn and how to become lifelong learners.

v  All students deserve equal access to a quality education.

v  Quality education requires quality staff, programs, facilities, equipment and technology.

v  Parent and community participation, support and responsibility are essential to the positive social, emotional, cultural and academic development of every student.

v  Student achievement is enhanced through partnerships with parents, businesses, community-based organizations and agencies, local institutions of higher learning and other public entities.

v  All policy, administrative, instructional and educational support decisions should be based on student needs and what is best for students.

v  Diversity should be promoted so that isolation of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups is avoided and education is enhanced in a diverse, inclusive setting.

v  All schools should be accountable for improving student achievement.

v  All schools should reflect school-based, participatory management.

v  All students must be prepared to function effectively in a knowledge-based, technologically rich and culturally diverse 21st century.

v  All staff should have access to results-driven professional development and training which is aligned with the School Board’s Major System Priorities and School Improvement Plans. Such professional development and training must be standards-based, job-imbedded, collaborative and build an organizational culture that insures continuous improvement.

 

 

C.  Cherokee County School District’s MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES:

1.      Establishing internationally competitive standards for student performance and an accountability system and policy framework designed to insure that all students are challenged individually and collectively to meet more rigorous standards.

2.      In collaboration with technical colleges, other institutions of higher learning and the local business community, insuring that vocational/technical education programs prepare students for a diverse and technologically rich society.

3.      Insuring that all students and staff have a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning.

4.      Attracting, retaining, and training the best teachers, principals, and support staff.

5.      Utilizing technology both to improve student achievement and to increase the school district’s productivity and efficiency as a major business enterprise.

6.      Increasing parental and community involvement through public engagement policies and practices that treat parents, businesses, community-based organizations and agencies, local institutions of higher learning and other public entities as true partners in the educational process.

7.      Addressing exploding student population growth, recognizing that there is a large gap between the school district’s facilities and technology needs and available capital outlay revenue.

8.      Reviewing the potential for utilizing the school district’s existing public education facilities to establish self-supporting community school evening/ week-end education programs for interested Cherokee County adults.

D.   School Mission Statement:

ACE Academy provides students the opportunity for academic and social success, seeking to develop positive self-concepts that allow students to compete and contribute to our society.

 

E.   School Belief Statements:

  1. All students are capable of learning.
  2. ACE Academy is an effective means of providing an education in a non-traditional manner.
  3. A school cannot efficiently operate without community support and involvement.
  4. A nurturing, caring, and concerned school atmosphere must exist before a student will recognize education as a priority.