Robertson Continuation High School

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

School Profile:

Robertson High School is a Title I alternative program for students who have encountered difficulties within the traditional high school setting.  Robertson is the only continuation high school serving the five comprehensive high schools in the Fremont Unified School District in Fremont, California.  Students may transfer to Robertson every nine weeks, and must be at least 15 ½ years of age to attend. Most students attend Robertson voluntarily because they are deficient in credits; however, some students are involuntarily placed. The Robertson program provides two opportunities for students:  they may complete the necessary classes and graduate from Robertson or they may return to a comprehensive high school after at least one successful semester.

                                                                                         

Notable Demographics*

Hispanic/Latino

54%

White

20.5%

Asian

9.9%

Black

8.1%

Socio-economically Disadvantaged

51.6%

English Learner **

12.06%

SPED

23%

*data shifts every 9 weeks due to changes in enrollment

** An unusual, historic low

 

What we were:

Before 2008, Robertson, like so many other continuation high schools, was simply put, a dumping ground for students who were not making it at a comprehensive site. There was a loose structure, no definitive guidelines for course completion, packet-based instruction, no collaboration, no meaningful planning or feedback to students, and an adult-focused culture. There was a need to transform the school’s culture, systems, processes, philosophy, and structure. Thus began our ten-year journey.


 

Change process:

Changes began with a shift in philosophy.  Staff created a clear vision and goals that included high expectations of both students and staff, built on the belief that all students can learn at high levels. Strategically, instruction was moved from packets to researched-based direct interactive instruction. At first, not all staff embraced the changes; however, through courageous conversations and a high level of staff turnover, the administration was able to transform the school culture. Student-learning became the center of decision-making.

To facilitate this transition, teachers were provided with research-based professional development, such as Action Learning Systems’ Direct Interactive Instruction training. Changes were also made to the master schedule. For example,  the length of the school day was increased to provide for additional instructional minutes, classes were purified by grade level and subject, and time was allocated for school wide collaboration and ongoing professional development. Modifications have continued over the years to include more rigorous course offerings and to provide time during the school day for “will” and “skill” intervention. Our staff led research-based professional development from authors such as: Robert Marzano, Richard Dufour, John Hattie, Grant Wiggins, and Jay McTighe. The PD began by building a collaborative culture around learning, and then moved on to strategic curricular planning and data analysis.

The cornerstone of change has been the continuous improvement of instructional practices. To begin, teachers collaboratively identified priority standards and created a viable curriculum.  Collective instructional practices include: a daily “What, Why, and How” lesson objective; a lesson structure and sequence that provides modeling, guided practice, and independent practice; and frequent checks for understanding. To support this work, teachers conduct quick visits to provide feedback. In this way, staff hold each other accountable for increased student learning and commitment to instructional practices.

 

Where we are now:

Moving into a highly collaborative culture has allowed our staff to assess the current practices and procedures, see their impact on student learning, and identify areas of growth to ensure continual improvement.  High levels of support for teachers, including co-planning/co-teaching and instructional coaching, drive collaboration and create accountability amongst staff. Staff communicate honestly and consistently around student progress and teacher learning. Collaboration time is utilized for teachers to examine their data sheets and discuss and plan intervention and enrichment groups and lessons. It is our core belief that ongoing reflection is paramount for growth. Robertson is proud to be a student centered community with student learning as the focus.  

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Robertson is a singleton program, where each course is taught by one teacher.  For this reason, entire department teams collaboratively created the backwards-design unit plans for all courses offered at Robertson.  They started by identifying essential standards for each course. From there, they began developing backwards-design unit plans: standards-based unit goal, essential questions, summative assessment, learning targets, and finally multiple formative assessments (exit tickets). For example, in Math, the department looked at the standards for every single course offered and decided as a team, which ones were priority.  Next, they developed backwards-design units for every single course. This was a strategic approach to ensuring that courses were set up to create continuity between math courses and also bridge the gap as the students moved to more rigorous classes. Every department has gone through this process of creating a viable curriculum to address PLC question one: What do we want all students to know and be able to do? Having these learning targets and formative assessments built into the backwards-designs, enables teachers to strategically intervene or enrich during Flex time.

In addition, as a best practice, all teachers use the “What, Why, How?” format, which includes posting and referencing the learning target (what), relevance (why), and agenda (how) during the lesson. Due to the explicit nature of this practice, students immediately know what the learning outcome is for the day. This also provides students the awareness to self-assess their progress on meeting the learning target.

Teachers conduct regular checks for understanding throughout instruction. Checking for understanding extends beyond asking the whole class questions. It occurs frequently, strategically, and informs instruction.  Teachers halt instruction, reteach, intervene, or work with students individually based on this feedback.

For every learning target, teachers develop at least one formative assessment (FA). These formative assessments are utilized daily in the form of exit tickets or independent practice, as evidence of student learning. Students receive feedback immediately or no later than the next day. In some departments, Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) have been developed, despite each teacher in the department being the sole teacher of his/her subject matter. As a solution, CFAs are designed through assessing priority literacy standards that are essential across all subject areas as opposed to specific content standards. Teachers use the data gathered from both FAs and CFAs to determine if there needs to be reteaching, intervention or enrichment. Many times, a combination of all three are necessary to address the needs of a whole class. Since Robertson’s Flex time intervention period occurs on a daily basis, the data and feedback is provided to students in a timely manner.  Monitoring student learning happens daily and strategically.

Teachers also utilize data sheets, which track formative and summative assessment data by each student and each learning target. Data sheets have been especially helpful for departments that conduct CFAs. In fact, in analyzing the data from CFAs, those departments reflect and collaborate on best practices or trends in learning, then decide how to  coordinate department-wide intervention or enrichment. In many courses, students utilize their own personal data sheets to self-assess and reflect on their individual learning. These sheets promote a sense of responsibility and ownership of their own learning progress.

School Loop is an Internet-based tool that all stakeholders use to monitor student learning. The school-wide expectation is that teachers update their students’ scores at least once per week to provide students with timely feedback on their current level of mastery. Staff work to ensure that every student is registered on School Loop. During Back to School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences, staff show  parents how to use School Loop to monitor their child’s progress. Teachers also regularly provide students with copies of their progress reports to help students monitor their learning.

 

2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

Robertson staff used to  offer extra support for students at lunch and after school.  However, this practice was not sustainable for students and teachers. The time was unstructured, not-strategic, and intervention on specific learning targets was not occurring. Also, push-in intervention teachers in core classes offered targeted student support. Despite their successes, the support was occurring in only a handful of classes each quarter and the need was greater than what the system could offer.

After implementing RTI and creating a strong Tier I academic program, staff realized the need to establish a structure to support the skill and will intervention students needed during the school day. In order to build in that intervention time, staff spent many hours discussing Flex time: thirty minutes of intense intervention or enrichment, four days a week. Staff established norms for how that time would be utilized. For skill, teachers agreed to use Flex time for targeted intervention or enrichment based on data collected from FAs or CFAs. It was also agreed that the intent of Flex was not to make up missing assignments, but rather a time to re-teach, practice towards mastery, or delve into the “nice to know” learning targets as enrichment. Some departments also committed to conducting department-wide intervention, grouping students using data sheets and providing the intervention they need.  The staff decided that Flex would be sacred time in which an “all hands on deck” approach would be implemented. Counselors, classified staff, and teachers would either be in classrooms or conduct Will intervention. In this way, all teachers have push-in support. After much deliberation, staff voted and decided to implement Flex time.

Staff realized that teachers cannot address students’ skill deficiencies until will issues are addressed. To address will issues, staff created a program called “Fight Club.” Staff invited students by screening for 70% attendance and one or more Fs in their previous grading period. Nine coaches (mentors) meet with three students on a weekly basis. We use a curriculum centered around socio-emotional learning that covers content such as compassion, patience, oppression, social justice, gratitude, and perseverance. This opens up opportunities for rich, meaningful discussions with students who never get the chance to explore these topics in a structured, safe manner. During this time, coaches also review each student’s weekly progress and create plans to improve, if needed. Additionally, a nurse comes once a week to conduct Mindfulness sessions with these students to support them in their self-awareness. Fight Club uses a points system in which students receive points for their grades, attendance, attending Homework  Club after school, and attending Mindfulness sessions. Each student had a baseline score from the previous quarter. At the end of the nine weeks together, points are totalled up and if the student showed even one point growth, they are awarded the opportunity to attend a field trip such as going to a Ropes Course in Mt. Herman.

 

3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

Robertson has created a culture that is committed to student learning. Staff members find PLC work meaningful and are determined to provide  every student with high quality educational opportunities. The foundation of the work lies in holding each other accountable to student learning and success.

There are structures and systems in place that have created this high-performing, collaborative team culture, but in the beginning, much work went into developing a common philosophy around what makes at-risk students successful.  Much energy and investment was spent to create a culture centered around student learning,. Shared research, professional development, staff and department meeting agendas, Restorative Practices, and all other efforts were strategically designed to develop a common staff philosophy with the focus on students’ academic and social emotional needs.  Through these efforts,developed strong relationships among the staff which continue to flourish today. Staff became united in their efforts to help all students on campus.

There are a number of teams that are committed to ensuring that all students experience academic success.  The Leadership Team (department chairs), Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), Counseling Team, Departmental Teams, and the Coordination of Service Team (COST) meet regularly with the emphasis on student achievement and support.  The Leadership Team ensures that a focus on student achievement is on the agenda for all other meetings on campus. The members of the Leadership Team then disperse to their own Department Team meetings to share the focus with the department.  Department Teams have created SMART goals, identified priority standards, developed learning targets and CFAs, and analyzed student work. Department Teams determine how to best utilize Flex time across their departments to ensure that PLC questions 3 and 4 (intervention and enrichment) are being answered.

The ILT provides feedback to teachers on backwards-design unit plans, as well as via periodic instructional rounds.  Observation tools are shared with teachers and individual feedback is offered to those who want specific notes.  The Counseling and COST Teams work to provide social-emotional support, and to intervene when “will” issues arise.  The COST Team conducts meetings to address specific, individual student needs and develops action plans to help resolve issues that may impede student learning.  All teams have created norms and have agendas that focus on clear outcomes. To collaborate in this manner, administration has set aside time every morning and every Wednesday afternoon, as well as release days and additional time, to accomplish PLC goals.

Finally, a key element to the success of all of these teams is the involvement of support staff, such as the attendance clerk and office assistants.  Each support staff member plays a role during Flex time, ensuring that all students are held accountable and provided support for intervention and enrichment.  These staff members are vitally important to the success of each RHS student, as they go above and beyond their job descriptions, developing positive, role model relationships with students that continue well after they leave the campus.  Without their involvement, the work of the high-performing, collaborative teacher teams on campus would not be as successful as they are in ensuring that each student achieves at high levels.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Robertson is an alternative program for students who have encountered difficulties within the traditional high school setting. 

 

Demographics

 

District

Robertson

African American

2.20%

8.10%

American Indian or Alaska Native

0.30%

0%

Asian

61.50%

9.90%

Filipino

5.40%

5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.80%

54%

Pacific Islander

0.60%

1.20%

White

12.20%

20.50%

Two or More Races

2.90%

1.20%

 

The district data is very different than the RHS data.  Students who are referred to RHS have very different demographics than those of the district as a whole. 

 

Student Subgroups

 

Homeless
Youth

Disabilities

Socioeconomically
Disadvantaged

District

0.70%

8.90%

17.90%

Robertson

5%

23%

51.60%

 

Many of Robertson's subgroups differ largely than those of the district as a whole.  RHS has a much higher percentage of students that fall into categories such as socioeconomically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and homeless youth.

 

Course Completion Data

Year

Previous High Schools

Robertson High
School

2014-2015

47.23%

85.78%

2015-2016

55%

85.26%

2016-2017

60.40%

81.99%*

 

The above chart shows the completion rates of RHS students at their previous school and at RHS.  The data was calculated by dividing the number of courses completed by the number of courses attempted.   The data show that students are completing a higher percentage of their course once they come to RHS.

*The course completion rate during the 2016-2017 school year decreased slightly due to the implementation of backwards-design unit plans which require students to learn at higher levels of Depth of Knowledge (DOK).

 

GPA

Change in GPA since attending RHS

Number of Students

% of Students

< 0% increase

42

32%

0 - 50% increase

36

27%

51 - 100% increase

23

18%

101 - 200% increase

17

13%

201 - 300% increase

4

3%

301 - 400% increase

3

2%

401 - 500% increase

1

1%

501 - 600% increase

0

0%

> 600% increase

5

4%

 

The above chart shows the change in GPA since students transferred to RHS.  It illustrates that students are more successful (increased GPA) in their courses at RHS versus their home high school.  69.1% of students were able to increase (or maintain) their GPA since transferring the RHS. 

 

School Student Achievement Data

State Accountability: CAASPP

Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Proficiency

 

2014–2015

2015–2016

2016–2017

SUBJECT

Robertson

Fremont USD

California

Robertson

Fremont USD

California

Robertson

Fremont USD

California

English

10.00%

71.00%

44.00%

35.00%

75.00%

49.00%

22.00%

75.00%

49.00%

Mathematics

2.00%

70.00%

37.00%

2.00%

71.00%

37.00%

3.00%

71.00%

38.00%

 

Students enter RHS every 9 weeks and can exit every 18 weeks upon successful completion of courses.  This movement makes comparison data from year to year very difficult and sometimes inaccurate.  For instance, a student may arrive a few days or weeks before taking the CAASPP.  Due to our continually changing student population, state accountability measures such as CAASPP data does not truly reflect student achievement at Robertson High School.

 

Robertson students do not take the ACT, SAT, or AP tests.

 

RHS will team created a will intervention program to target intentional non-learners.  Students were eligible to participate if they had at least 70% attendance and were failing two or more class.  Twenty seven students agreed to participate.  After nine weeks of participation in the program, thirteen students (48%) increased their attendance and fourteen students (52%) increased their grades as a result of this program.  Twenty one students (78%) made growth in one or both categories.  Six students (22%) made no trackable growth based on the scoring system.  

Will Intervention Data

Change in Attendance

Number of Students

Percentage of Students

Results after 9 weeks

13

48%

Increased attendance

3

3%

Attendance did not change

11

41%

Decreased attendance

 

Change in Grades

Number of Students

Percentage of Students

Results after 9 weeks

14

52%

Grades Increased

3

11%

Grades did not change

10

37%

Grades went down

 

Overall Change (Qualified for Field Trip)

Number of Students

Percentage of Students

Results after 9 weeks

17

63%

Made overall growth

3

11%

Made growth (including HW club)

7

26%

Did not make overall growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model Continuation School, 2013, 2017

Alameda County Teacher of the Year, 2015

FUSD Teacher of the Year, 2015

Fremont Education Foundation, Educator of the Year, 2016

CCEA Region 4 Teacher of the Year, 2014

CCEA Region 4 Administrator of the Year, 2014

ACSA Region 6 Co-Administrator of the Year, 2016

South Bay Athletic League Basketball Champs, 2015, 2018

South Bay Athletic League Softball Champs, 2016, 2018

South Bay Athletic League Volleyball Champs, 2017

 

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