Opening a new high school in an established district is a challenge that can be daunting in many respects. Mountainside High School in the Beaverton School District (Beaverton, Oregon) is no exception. A team from EPIC worked with the Mountainside leadership team to help clarify the importance of shared cultural identity and its role in the success of the school.
At EPIC, we have made it our mission to first understand what knowledge, skills, and abilities students must possess to be successful in postsecondary education or training that will lead to productive careers, and second, to develop systems to support educators in achieving this student- and work-centered goal. We aim to create systems that will…
EPIC is pleased to welcome three new board members to our organization. As our work with school leadership teams continues to grow, we want to expand our capacity to work with schools and districts. In order to do this, we need board members who share our vision that it’s not just the content, but the context and a growth mindset that will prepare today’s kids for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities. We have recently identified the need to diversify our board’s experience to include folks who have worked in schools, and can help us contextualize our work within their own experiences in schools and districts and to focus our language and stories as we empower educators to embrace a renewed vision of student readiness.
At the 2017 annual AERA conference in San Antonio, TX, Division C – Learning and Instruction awarded EPIC’s Senior Lead Researcher Ross Anderson and his coauthor, Matthew Graham, the Outstanding Poster Award for their study on how adaptive and maladaptive aspects of motivation and school engagement change during the transition to high school.
A recent article in Getting Smart, Santa Ana Unified Creating Incredible Pathways for Students K-12, features Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) and includes EPIC’s work with Valley High School over the past three years. The district is providing incredible learning environments for K–12 students, and EPIC has been instrumental in creating change in one school, Valley High School. We have been strategic in supporting Valley in three areas: (1) developing a shared positive language and culture; (2) transitioning Valley to a wall-to-wall academy; and (3) implementing an adolescent literacy development plan focused on universal (schoolwide) strategies that support all students every period, every day.
At EPIC, we firmly believe that our schools and our society have the responsibility to prepare students for life, not just tests. In today’s global, connected world, information itself is available 24/7. In the end, it’s no longer about what you know, but what you can do with this knowledge. And programs like the AP Course Audit support our educational systems in creating the talent supply chains necessary to effectively power our future!
In order to share the great student success efforts of Oregonians highlighted last week, below I’ve organized panelists’ presentations into principles of effective curriculum alignment from EPIC’s decade of research and implementation experience.
Over the past year and a half, the ESP team has supported Valley’s goal to have all of its students participating in academies by providing technical assistance in the development, growth, and implementation of a wall-to-wall academies model. With over 40 years worth of research showing that the academy model is one of the best strategies for high school improvement and reform, increasing the likelihood of high school graduation particularly for at-risk students and Latino and African American males, it has been the school’s mission to build on the strength of their academies and ensure that all students have the opportunity be part of an academy community. As they have made this shift, the school leadership and ESP team have been intentional about engaging a diverse group of stakeholders throughout the process to ensure school-wide buy-in. The wall-to-wall academies design team is made up of teachers, administrators, students, parents, community partners, and staff from High School Inc.
In order for schools to operationalize college and career readiness for all students, it is critical to identify the outcomes schools should be addressing and students should be expected to demonstrate to ensure they are ready to succeed in life beyond high school.
As the Associate Director of Transfer Admissions at Long Island University (LIU) Brooklyn, I met each day with students to discuss their higher education goals. It was my job to review their transcripts from their previous school with them, recommend classes they should be taking, and discuss the requirements of LIU’s programs. But, more often…