For the beginning of the 2020-21 School Year, Mrs. Christensen presented changes in the Secondary Student Handbook. The following change in Senior Open Campus was proposed:
Senior Open Campus - 9th Period -- Gives Seniors the privilege to leave school grounds during Directed Study Hall.
Seniors will be given the opportunity to have Open Campus Privilege if they meet the following criteria:
Passing grade in all classes. -- No more than 2 missing assignments.
Attends school on a regular basis and is on time for classes. -- Has 3 or less minor discipline/office referrals per quarter.
Has less than 2 major office referrals for the year.
She also proposed that the option for Juniors to have Open Campus for 2nd Semester be deleted. These changes were approved by the School Board at a Special School Board Meeting on August 5, 2020.
When reviewing the following information, it is apparent that Emmetsburg needs to do a better job of setting expectations, holding all accountable to those expectations and making our students Future Ready.
2018 class 4 year
Dropout Rates: 2018-19 - 4.46>#/p###
2018 class 5 year cohort
Remedial Coursework: 7.2% of graduates from EHS took at least 1 remedial English or Math Course.
2019 class 4 year cohort
Attendance: 16.4% Chronic absenteeism
12% is the State Average
Number of Failed High School Classes Each Semester - Need for Graduation
2nd Sem (3rd Q)
Number of Missing Assignments
College Classes -- Number of Failing/Withdrawn College Classes each Semester & Cost to District
Cost to the District
Total 3 Year Cost to the District: $32.697
Discipline - Not enough data collected to give a clear picture of what was actually happening.
Opportunity for Online Learning
With our Return to Learn Plan, students that are hesitant to be in the building to learn have an opportunity to sign-up for online learning with parent approval. While State Law does not allow these students to participate in extracurricular activities, it does give students an opportunity to learn at home and not in the building.
Mrs. Christensen’s Vision for the Future
As I started reviewing this information last Spring, my vision for the High School started taking shape. I attended several meetings with the AEA to determine what support they could offer and collaborated with our High School staff to determine the needs identified above. Here are the things we are working on and, given that change takes 3-5 years to really put in place and see results, we will continually review our progress, make changes, and show improvement in all areas.
My top priority is creating a culture in which teachers can teach and students can learn. We are here to educate our students in many facets of life. We have a wide variety of student needs to meet in our District and, therefore, must look at a variety of ways to address those needs. All students have a right to an education that prepares them for their path after high school; whether this is college or entering the workforce.
Collaborate with BLT to implement a Tier II MTSS Intervention System. We have students falling through the cracks and we know that. We have purchased an assessment system that will continually give us data to support student needs and track student progress. We plan to implement this during the already created 9th Period, but use this time effectively for student learning.
Standards-Based Grading has not been fully implemented with fidelity at the High School. Staff reached out to me last Spring and we have created a Secondary SBG Team. This Team met all summer to create plans and a process to 1) get our staff on the same page so this is implemented consistently in all classes; 2) develop training for our staff so they understand the importance of standards-based learning; and, 3) ensure student understanding of the standards being taught.
I have worked with the AEA and we will develop a Portrait of a Graduate. Through this process we are looking at including teachers from all levels, community members, parents/students, Iowa Lakes personnel, and business members. This team will help determine important competencies our students need to be successful after graduation. This team will determine how these competencies will be taught, a way to measure these competencies and then make changes, if necessary. This process will help us identify needs for our students and various ways to address these needs with input from various stakeholders.
I am meeting with Iowa Lakes personnel to determine how to partner with them to implement programs in the best interest of our students. My vision for college classes is they benefit students after graduation. We should be helping students identify their career paths, determine what they need and then address these needs through our registration process. We will continue to work on this process and our partnership with Iowa Lakes to ensure students can transfer these credits to their chosen path after graduation.
I put together a team last Spring to apply for the Stem Best Grant and was awarded this $25,000 grant. We will use this money to plan our own “Iowa Big” or “No Boundaries” program. Mrs. Saxton was awarded a Stem Innovator grant and has been working to determine how best to use these funds and programs to help implement this program. This opportunity exists for neighboring schools and our students are missing out on this opportunity to participate in project-based learning that will incorporate Iowa Standards and give them real world experience on a daily basis. Getting students involved in this program will help them identify their strengths and have opportunities we cannot currently offer.
Last Spring I started working with the State to determine what needs to happen to put an Apprenticeship Program in place at Emmetsburg. This will take a lot of planning but will also correlate with our work to get an “Iowa Big” school in our District. These opportunities could result in students receiving on the job learning and have the opportunity to get paid while doing it. With Iowa Lakes programs in many of the areas in which these apprenticeship programs exist it is an avenue we need to explore.