Sanger High School

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

During the 1998-1999 academic school year, Sanger High School was a low achieving high school that was not competitive with other schools in neighboring school districts.  The Academic Performance Index measured SHS at a 576 at the beginning of our academic journey.  This academic measurement highlighted the need to address the concerns with graduation rates, test scores, grades, expectations, rigor, and the achievement gap between white and hispanic students.

In response to a less than favorable 2003 WASC report, Sanger High began to search for a solution to address the critical areas of attention defined by the WASC committee.  The school district and school site were committed to finding solutions for poor student performance, inequitable curricula, and inconsistent student progress monitoring.  One solution that has the most impact on both teacher and student learning was the implementation of Professional Learning Communities.  Since the introduction of PLCs in 2004, teachers have embraced the opportunity to collaborate, lead and learn.  Over the years, teachers went from teaching in isolated silos, with their doors closed, to working in collaborative teams sharing best practices and student data.  This did not happen overnight. 

With a commitment of support from the school district and the school site, teacher leaders were identified and trained.  Protected time was provided for teachers to meet on a regular basis, this was one key element that helped move teachers.  Content and grade level teams were established and the meeting protocols were set.  Site administration was very involved in providing agenda items, student data, and topics to discuss.  Teachers were apprehensive about exposing their data with each other at the beginning of the PLC journey.  It was not until PLCs continued after its first year, that teachers knew that this was not just the new flavor of the month, or just another program.

Teachers then began to take ownership of their PLCs.  Administration began a gradual release of control of the PLC protocols.  PLC leaders began to establish their own agenda items and gathering their own student data.  PLCs took ownership of their curricula by establishing curriculum maps, common assessments and common response to interventions.  Instead of dictating to PLCs what should be addressed during their PLC, administrators asked the following questions:  What do we expect our students to learn?  How will we know they have learned it?  How will we respond when students do not learn?  How will we respond when students already know it?  These essential questions have allowed PLCs to flourish under a loose-tight leadership model.  Teachers are growing more dependent on each other and the collaborative culture that PLCs produce.

With the support of a strong PLC network, Sanger High has been able to continue to increase it's graduation rate to 98.6%, increase it's API score from 576 in 1999 to 794 in 2013.  The achievement gap between white and hispanic students has decreased with the collective efforts of teachers working together to establish goals and developing a plan to achieve these goals within their PLCs.  The next areas to focus on are assessments that have typically not been a part of achievement rating formulas that our PLCs are beginning to focus more of their attention.  These areas include ACT, SAT, and AP scores, just as in the past, PLCs are turning to each other to develop plans to take our school to the next level.  

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Our PLCs have established protocols that require teachers to bring various forms of data to each PLC meeting.  These forms of data go beyond test scores, but include writing samples, projects, and other academic artifacts.  PLCs agree to deadlines for the administration of assessments as well as class assignments, projects and essays.  This provides a level of accountability for teachers to each other.  When teachers hold each other accountable, it provides for real time evaluation of student learning.  For example, English PLCs collaborate to determine writing prompts, rubrics and expectations for students.  They then come together in their meetings to calibrate essay grading to evaluate and monitor student learning.

As our PLCs have matured, we have been able to look at data beyond spreadsheets.  As a high school site, there are multiple forms of data that must be monitored to ensure overall student success.  One measure is the A-G completion rate.  Working in conjunction with the counseling staff, teachers in PLCs understand their roles in students' achievement of A-G requirements.  When our teachers are able to see their role in this kind of data, they are able to take ownership of the data and thus, allows for more focus and dialogue in this area.  This is evident in the increased number of students satsifying the A-G requirements, growing form 35% in 2010, to 52% in 2013.  

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

Our PLCs have matured to the point where they not only are able to develop common curricula and assessments and evaluate data, but they are also able to develop a plan for intervention.  PLCs have the autonomy to develop their own interventions together.  The Sanger High School bell schedule provides for a tutorial period every other Wednesday prior to the start of the school day.  All teachers are in their class during this period and students can choose where to go for extra support.  However, at the end of the school day we have PLC driven intervention available for students.  Each group of teachers staff their own intervention and determine how to utilize that time.  Some PLCs agree to use the after school intervention for reteaching or restesting, while others utilize it for make up work or to address grade deficiencies.  The power of these interventions is that the teachers drive the direction of the interventions and thus are more prone to take ownership of the process.

With power provided to the PLCs, teachers are able to focus their intervention to the students who have the most need.  The CAHSEE is a great example of the focus on intervention.  Before the administration of every CAHSEE in both English and Math, our PLCs plan a 2 week crash course for all students taking the test.  This crash course has been developed and adapted to address the needs of our Special Education students in the CAP Study Skills courses; our EL students in the English Lanugage Development and SDAIE courses.  The specific cohort CAHSEE breakdown data allows for teachers to provide strategic interventions and support.

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

Over the years, the school site has built trust with our PLCs to shape the collaborative culture that is required for PLCs to thrive.  The data that is used, the agenda items that are discussed, and the PLCs are respected by site administration.  This does not mean that administrators are hands off in the PLC process.  The collaborative group of teachers do not only consist of the teachers of the same content area and grade level.  Some of these groups now include school counselors, to help manage support for students of that assigned PLC.  Some groups also have a special education RSP teacher assigned to the PLC to help provide a differentiated perspective to the ongoing conversations that occur during our meetings.  Administrators regularly visit PLC meetings, but is merely a participant, in a collaborative group run by teacher leaders.  This approach has proved to be successful as teachers feel more ownership over their curricula, teaching, and response to student learning.

STUDENTS ENROLLED IN COLLEGE FIRST YEAR AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Total in the Class

575

576

586

626

565

Enrolled Anywhere 1st Year

416  (72%)

417  (72%)

463  (79%)

483  (77%)

417  (74%)

Enrolled in 2-Year 1st Year

273

252

307

266

250

Enrolled in 4-Year 1st Year

143

165

156

217

167

Hispanic Enrolled

261 (68%)

269 (68%)

333 (77%)

343 (74%)

320 (75%)

White Enrolled

68 (77%)

64 (75%)

60 (77%)

55 (81%)

40 (62%)

EL Enrolled

30 (56%)

22 (52%)

20 (74%)

14 (64%)

20 (74%)

A-G COMPLETION RATE
         

Year

Sanger

County

State

2011

41%

36%

37%

2012

52%

40%

38%

2013

52%

42%

39%

2014

43%

43%

42%

2015

54%

45%

43%

GRADUATION RATE

Year

SHS

County

State

2010

96.6

74.9

80.5

2011

95.4

74.1

74.4

2012

97.3

75.3

78.7

2013

98.2

77.3

80.4

2014

96.3

78.8

81.0

2015

97.7

 81.9  82.3

API DATA

 

P21 National Exemplar School 2016

Newsweek's America's Top High Schools 2016: Beating the Odds

California Gold Ribbon Award 2015

WASC 6 year accrediation awarded 2015

CSU Fresno Bonner Character Education Award 2015

PBIS Gold Level Award 2015

California State Distinguished School Award 1996, 2005, 2009

US News and World Report Silver Medal 2012-2014

US News and World Report Bronze Medal 2007-2011

H.B. McDaniel Award for Counseling 2012

Title One Academic Achievement School Award 2005-2007

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