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Future Wave High School 1900 Old Brick Road Washington D.C. PH 555 555 4765 FX 555 555 4766 www.FutureWaveHigh.org New Charter School – Future Wave High School July 20XX
Prepared for. Christine Lee D.C. Public Charter School Board Prepared by. Rebecca Joseph Central Coordinator Please find enclosed our concepts for our new charter school Future Wave High School. We plan to occupy the currently vacant building at Old Brick Road. The Future Wave High School will be bound by the mandates of the District of Columbia school system in terms of providing instruction in all required core subject areas. However our school will have particular emphasis on math and science. Proposal Number. Rev B1 Our pledge to the community is to offer an outstanding education to high school age children. To meet that pledge our outcomes must be measurable and accountable. Here is our plan for accountability within the new Future Wave High School.
Measuring Student Performance Measuring student performance is always tricky issue as any student can have bad day or experience poor relationship with teacher. To eliminate those problems we propose to use the following standards. To eliminate teacher bias all students will be measured and graded numerically by percentage of correct responses. In subjects in which responses are not multiple choice or true false such as essay creative writing scores will begin at percent and deductions will be made for measurable mistakes—errors in critical thinking grammar punctuation etc. There will be no grading on the curve—if all students achieve excellent results all students will receive high grades. Rather than focus on one or two giant tests teachers will test their students every week or nearly every week to be specified in each class schedule at the beginning of the year and all these scores will then be averaged for quarterly grade. Poor scores will be reported to mentors as well as parents so that students can get the help they need to do better. We must of course obey any national or district regulations that specify standardized testing and comparisons with other schools and these results will be made public. In addition our students will take the SAT at the end of each school year to determine how well they are doing in general. SAT results will not be publicized but will be given to the individual student and her his parents. Measuring Teacher Performance Teachers at the Future Wave High school must have bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field in which they are teaching as well as at least five years of teaching experience. Certification is desirable but not required. In addition teachers must pass thorough background check in which investigators will interview former colleagues and students to form ‘real world’ analysis of their teaching and social skills.
We believe that this rigorous hiring process will result in an excellent teaching staff. But we must also evaluate teacher performance on regular basis as follows. All teachers will be evaluated by principals in terms of student grades and improvements in poor student grades. They will also receive anonymous evaluations from all their students their students’ parents and their teaching colleagues. Based on numerical score achieved from averaging these results teachers will be retained or dismissed for the following year. Teachers that rank above the dismissal score but below desirable score will be paired with high ranking mentor on staff for advice on how to improve their results during the next year. Many charter schools have been developed to serve only specific group or to exclude certain groups from the student population. We intend to foster an atmosphere of unity and common aspiration for educational excellence at Future Wave School. To that end we will use the following policies at our school to create culture of acceptance and focus on education instead of social differences. Acceptance of All Races Political Persuasions and Cultural Groups There will be no racial political or cultural criteria for entry into the school and no space for indicating these on our application forms. After admission however we reserve the right to count and publish statistics on our student population. Respect and tolerance for all races and cultures will be paramount at our school. No hate speech or action against any group or recruiting activities for specific political or cultural groups will be tolerated among students or staff. Tolerance for All Religions At Future Wave School we believe that religion is strictly private personal issue. No hate speech or action against any religious group including atheists or recruiting evangelical activities for specific religious groups will be tolerated among students or staff. Acceptance of All Socioeconomic Levels We expect to have students from all economic levels of society at our school and have taken the following steps to ensure that poor students are not considered inferior to rich ones.
. Mandatory Study Hall So that our working students will not have to stay up all night to complete their homework to compete with their peers each student will have mandatory study hour in each school day. If student is diligent that student should be able to finish most homework assignments during this hour. . Scheduled Recreation Activities During School Hours So that our students who need to work after school will not be excluded from extracurricular social activities we will periodically schedule social events such as football and basketball games and school dances and concerts during the school day. This way all students can feel included and enjoy these activities with their peers. . Dress Code for Students We recognize that clothing and jewelry and other possessions often become reasons for people to judge and criticize each other. For this reason all students will wear uniforms consisting of readily available black leather shoes khaki trousers button down shirts and pullover or cardigan sweaters; list of acceptable brands and styles will be given to each student and parent on acceptance. Jewelry other than modest earrings will not be permitted in the school. All students will be issued the same laptop computer. No cell phones or PDAs will be allowed during school hours. . Dress Code for Staff All staff members will also wear uniforms of sort consisting of black trousers and shirts blazers and sweaters of approved types and colors; list of acceptable brands and styles will be given to each staff member on hiring. Jewelry other than wedding bands and modest earrings will not be permitted in the school. Mentor Program To foster spirit of unity and cooperation among students and staff we will institute mentor program in which each student will be assigned mentor for each school year. See the Mentoring page for more information.
Focus on Education We want our students and staff to focus on education. For this reason we will allow no devices or items not needed for class or study in the classrooms or study halls. This means no sporting equipment no music devices or radios no animals or plants no artwork or comic books and especially no cell phones or PDAs or unapproved computers in classrooms or study halls. Students must leave all such materials in their lockers with all electronic devices turned off. Teachers and other staff may keep devices turned off in their desk drawers during class time. Punishment for violations of these rules will be explained in student and staff handbooks. Focus on Technology We do want to be school that is preparing our students for the 21st Century. To that end each student will have laptop computer and many school assignments will involve using software and the internet or our intranet over our secure wireless network. However as we want to reserve school time for education we will prohibit access to social sites email and instant messaging during school hours. Who will the new Future Wave High School serve. Following are our answers to that question. . Some former students of Old Brick High School Old Brick High School had students in grades 10 12 at the time it was closed in last year due to lack of enrollment. As charter school we will have no minimum or maximum class size mandate and we will receive the standard district budget allotment per student. The younger students who were displaced by the school’s closure will most likely want to return to their local neighborhood to finish their high school education.
. Neighborhood middle school students There are currently children enrolled in grades 9 in the Old Brick neighborhood. Many of these children would elect to attend Future Wave High School in the coming years. . Students within the D.C. School District dissatisfied with their current schools As we all know the D.C. School District has high dropout rate. Some of this reflects lack of motivation on the part of teachers and or students but lack of sufficient structure and low expectations play big part too. At Future Wave High School we will accept only students recommended by five former teachers and we will ask all our students and their parents to sign pledge of their dedication to academic excellence. We will have strict no tolerance policy on social distractions cell phones PDAs individual clothing music players religious or political clubs etc.. We believe that the egalitarian studious atmosphere we create will be great relief to many students currently attending public schools. . High school students from neighboring districts Some high school students from neighboring districts may elect to enter our charter school. Their educations will be funded by transfer of funds from their home school districts or by tuition system depending on our D.C. District’s current agreements with those districts. The Future Wave High School will be bound by the mandates of the District of Columbia school system in terms of providing instruction in all required core subject areas. However our school will have particular emphasis on math and science. In addition to the required high school classes we will offer advanced classes in the following subject areas. . Calculus . Trigonometry . Advanced Geometry . Astronomy . Biology including Human Physiology Microbiology and Botany
. Chemistry . Physics . Critical Thinking Logic and Analytical Writing Skills . Computer Usage word processing spreadsheet database and search programs . Computer Programming These classes will be available to all students who meet the prerequisites. Course offerings will be adjusted annually based on student and community demand and the expertise of available staff members. Making Time for Achievements Obviously we are setting high standards for our students and staff. To meet these demands and to foster excellence in our students our school day will be 1.5 hours longer than the typical public school day and our school year will be weeks longer than most. Each student will also have mandatory study hall session each school day. This will allow our economically disadvantaged students to get homework done freeing them to work after school. Of course even if not employed after school smart students will use this period to do homework which will allow them more time to engage in other activities after school hours. Teachers will rotate to monitor the study hall periods and use that time for their planning periods. Keeping Our Curriculum Up to Date
It’s important for any school to keep its curriculum up to date. We have formed an alliance with our local business bureau to get timely advice on skills needed in the current workplace. We are also part of the national charter school network which studies successful programs and makes recommendations on what to include in or drop from curricula. In addition we will solicit suggestions from students parents and teachers about subjects they’d like to see offered at the school. Competition bullying and harassment among students is common in many public schools but will not be tolerated at our school. To foster spirit of unity and cooperation among students and staff Future Wave High School will feature mentor program in which each student will be assigned mentor for each school year. Student Mentors for Sophomores and Juniors Peer pressure among teens is fact of life. We plan to turn the natural peer pressure among our students into positive influence by having older students mentor younger ones. This way older students are encouraged to be role models and younger ones are encouraged to live up to expectations. Having older students mentor younger ones also fosters sense of unity within the school as students in lower grades and higher grades will be linked through mentors. Grade and students will be assigned same sex student in the next higher grade as mentor. Mentors will be assigned randomly by computer selection. If gender proportions or numbers of students do not match up from grade to grade it’s possible that grade or student may need to serve as mentor to more than one lower level student or that grade student may occasionally mentor grade student. Adult Mentors for Seniors Grade students are about to graduate into the adult world and so will be assigned same sex staff member or parent volunteer as an adult mentor. Mentoring staff may include school office or security staff as well as teachers. As senior students will outnumber school staff and parent volunteers adult mentors will have multiple mentees and may choose to meet with them as group if all agree. How It Will Work During the first week of school all students staff and parent volunteers will attend mentoring instruction session during which mentoring responsibilities will be explained. During the second week of school students will meet and have lunch with their mentors—Grade students meeting mentors on Monday Grade on Wednesday and Grade on Friday. They will exchange email addresses and any other communication information they wish to share. Mentors are expected to meet with their mentees at least one day per month to discuss any problems the student may be having. This meeting may take place during the regularly scheduled lunch hour or after school as agreed by both parties. Advice given to mentees may and should often consist of recommendation to meet with school counselor or teacher for expert advice. Checks and Balances Students may request different mentor at any time by meeting with their school counselor. At the end of each quarter students will rate their mentors and may ask for different match at that time. Mentors who fail to live up to their mentoring agreement will be reported to the school counselors or in the case of adult mentors to the principal.