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Model Programs/Practices

Middle College High School

Model Programs and Practices

Name of Model Program/Practice:  Middle College High School Dual /Concurrent Enrollment

Length of Model:  20 years

Target Area(s):  Professional Development, Parent, Family and Community Involvement

Target Population:  African American, Hispanic/Latino, First Generation College, Low Socio-economic/Disadvantage

Strategies:  School Climate, Parent Engagement, Professional Development, Small Learning Community, Common Core Standards, Data Driven Decision Making, Academic Supports, Technology

Middle College HS is co-located on Los Angeles Southwest College campus. Unlike other LAUSD schools, we are not bound by residency requirements. This allows us to expand our middle college /dual enrollment program to underserved, under privileged, at-risk students who otherwise may not be considered as college potential. Our students take college classes during their seven period, block schedule, school day.  Through college courses students acquire both high school and college graduation requirements simultaneously. Our college experience allows students to broaden their interests and discover new abilities. Students are able to complete an Associate degree in a specific area, take classes that guarantee UC/ Cal State acceptance and they have the opportunity to take an array of classes not offered in a traditional high school. Middle College students and parents are not responsible for college tuition or textbook fees.

The Middle College model was needed in our community due to the underrepresented minority population that does not complete college degrees. By matriculating in a structured, well supported college/high school environment, students are encouraged to take a challenging academic program, monitored by administrators, counselors and teachers and given the supports necessary to allow them to succeed in their endeavors. The four years at our Middle College dual enrollment program builds students with an academic skill set, self-confidence and the ability to maneuver the larger institutional university upon graduation.

One core essential resource is our MOU with LA Southwest Community College. This agreement guarantees having enrollment in classes that enable students to earn a high school diploma and an Associate Degree ( AA ) or (IGETC) Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum certificate from the community college.  This agreement also provides college counseling, access to all community college programs, to all college courses, college services and extra-curricular activities. Additional resources include, The National Middle College Consortium, LAUSD funding, which provides college textbooks and staff funding that allows smaller class size and an additional counselor position.

We also have a plethora of community resources that provide our students with field trips, academic supports, mentoring, and opportunities for student community service such as:

Parent Community Organizations:

  • Parent Booster Club
  • School Site Council
  • Parent Volunteer Group
  • Community Foundation Programs
  • Urban League
  • West Adams- Westmont Community Organization
  • Shields for Families

Community Service Partnerships:

  • Students Run LA
  • Omega Mentor Program
  • Heal the Bay Environmental Project
  • Tree People Environmental Program
  • Red Cross organization

Educational Collaborations:

  • UCLA Collaborative
  • Upward Bound
  • AP Boost Readiness Program
  • South Central Scholars
  • Trio Scholarship
  • Posse Foundation
  • Educational Talent Search

Teachers, counselors and administrators attend professional development both locally and nationally to support our goal to graduate students prepared for success in the university and to sustain a school culture that respects and enhances the academic and psychological needs of our underrepresented population. These include, The Middle College National Consortium, UCLA- Collaborative, SBAC Data in-service, Naviance Training, Middle College HS and LA Southwest College academic articulation.

At MCHS, we set lofty goals: 100% high school graduation rate, 100% college enrollment and at least one third of our graduating class receiving an Associate Degree or an IGETC certificate. Our parents and community are learning to support our students in post-secondary endeavors through our wide variety of parent and community networks.

The benefits of the Model Program are evidenced through the rise in our SBAC scores over the past four years. In ELA , the number of students not meeting the standards decreased from 14% in 14-15 to 2% in 17-18. In 14-15, 57% of the students, met or exceeded the ELA standards compared to 86% in 17-18. In math the number of students not meeting the standard decreased from 57% to 20% in 17-18.  Likewise, in 14-15, 13% of the students met or exceeded the math standard compared to 44% in 17-18. Additionally our graduation rate has consistently remained above 95%. The class of 2017 graduated all but one of the students and the class of 2018 had 100% graduation.

The MCHS school culture embraces all unique student populations. Students who have experienced previous bullying situations thrive at MCHS because they receive respect and acceptance from students and staff.  Because of an open door policy of all staff, students from social economic environments that were a barrier to their academic progress have been embraced and achieve.  Students who have always had high achievement are celebrated and highlighted which gives them the freedom to excel. Our culture at MCHS is one of continuous celebration: Student of the Month, High GPA (Honors Luncheon), Monthly Perfect Attendance, College Acceptances, SBAC Proficiency, Grade Level Assemblies, Channel 9 teacher and student of the Month spotlight, and in-school grade level and homeroom competitions. Our restorative justice program and our small counselor student ratio support our positive school culture.  Acting and thinking like a college student brings a level of maturity which has resulted in no suspensions, fights or campus disruption.  Our school’s student government and leadership class act as role models in character along with promoting school spirit with lunch time celebrations, extracurricular social activities, pep rallies, spelling bees and video game competitions.  Every month Middle College High School is awarded for having the highest student attendance in LAUSD, Local District West. We maintain an attendance rate of 97% which exceeds the attendance goal set by our District due to a positive and nurturing school culture, high expectations and supportive staff. This past October, one MCHS student earned  LA Rams tickets in an event sponsored by our Local District for perfect attendance. For the past three years, MCHS has received Local District recognition for making double digit growth in SBAC ELA and math.

Implementation & Monitoring

MCHS parents are fully engaged in our school’s procedures and success. Our parent representatives present timely workshops on graduation requirements, passport communication system, athletics, the California Dashboard data base, and our school report card (SARC).  Our School Site Council parent members vote and make critical  budget decisions on Saturday math academy, summer bridge program for incoming ninth graders, updating our technology and the Single Plan for Student Achievement.  We communicate with our parents through school tours, take home flyers, blackboard connect messages, Parent Conferences and Back to School Night activities. We have regular parent meetings, parent workshops, and parent award celebrations which are highly attended. Our parents evaluate each meeting and have the opportunity to contribute their opinions and concerns through our California Department of Education School Report Card, (SARC). Additionally, parents evaluate our school program through the task of assessing and contributing to the Single Plan for Student Achievement. Our high number of parent volunteers that assist our students and participate in student activities give the parents an opportunity to discuss any concerns and suggestions they may have with our administrators and staff. Our parents communicate that they feel welcome and supported through workshop evaluations and a high involvement in our school activities. Last year, for the first time, Local District West had a Parent, Community and School Site Administrative summit. Parents felt supported, empowered and were enthusiastic about participating.

We have school site professional development for our entire staff each week based on the needs set by our District, our administrators and our Instructional Leadership Team, (ILT). We also participate in all District course specific professional developments that are provided by LAUSD for teachers, administrators and non- instructional staff.  Our participation in professional development deepens the knowledge of teachers and staff in the California Content Standards, enriches our dual enrollment program and promotes student success through parent involvement. Our ILT, composed of teachers, counselors and administrators, designs data driven, teacher-led professional development to facilitate our school action plan, share teaching strategies and promote our small school culture.

The LAUSD School Dash Board indicators show MCHS has a  highly effective learning program with a suspension rate less than 1%, high graduation rate of over 95%( past five years), 90% of our students having completed A-G requirements and are college and  career ready, and significant growth in ELA and math. Our SBAC scores over the past four years show growth in ELA from 57% students meeting or exceeding the standard in 2014- 2015 to 86% of our students meeting or exceeding the standard in 2017-2018.  Additionally, the number of students not meeting the ELA standard has decreased from 14% in 14-15 to 2% in 17-18. Likewise in math, our students meeting and exceeding the standard has risen from 13% in 14-15 to 44% in 17-18, and the students not meeting the standard has decreased from 57% in 14-15 to 20% in 17-18.

Our graduation rate for the past three years has been 96%, 98% and 100% which shows that students are effectively learning and meeting LAUSD graduation criteria.  Our Fall 2018 PSAT mean scores for 10th grade at Middle College High School  are at 941 which  is significantly higher than LAUSD District’s overall mean score of 885.  The ERW ( Evidence Based reading and Writing) section of the PSAT shows a MCHS mean score of 71%,indicating that our students outscored both the District at 44% and the State at 60%.  The LAUSD Dashboard indicator shows positive academic growth is indicated by our decreasing gap in the score needed to meet the math SBAC standard. In 2015-16, MCHS students scored 47.6 points from meeting the standard, in 2016-2017, students were 35.6 points from meeting the standard and in 2017-18 our students were only 16.1 points from meeting the standard. These positive growth results are an indication that we will continue to fund our math boot camp program.

Results of Model Programs and Practices

MCHS administrators, teachers and support staff we are in a constant state of evaluation, debriefing and revision to improve the academic program, school culture and social -emotional components of our school. We use several tools to measure our student outcomes: SBAC results, Interim Assessment Blocks, academic grades, PSAT and SAT results, NCREST data (National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching), SARC (School Report card and  ICA’s , (Interim Comprehension Assessments).  From these results we make major decisions on our school matrix, class scheduling and offerings, purchasing technology and educational software, budgeting for Saturday School and teaching positions.  Because of our ongoing monitoring of grade reports we have  opened algebra and geometry tutor labs, hired an additional math teacher, hired an additional counselor to give students more 1:1 support, created a technology coordinator position, increased AP enrollment, and opened a freshman seminar class to help freshmen transition from middle to high school. After reviewing our NCREST data, we have restructured our articulation with LA Southwest College to give our students priority registration for classes mandatory for an Associate Degree or an IGETC Certificate.

The ongoing review of data, parent/ student surveys and evaluations resulted in an improvement in test scores, positive school climate and overall student achievement with a significant rise in SBAC scores over the past four years; 86% of our students meeting or exceeding the ELA standard and a rise in students meeting the math standard from 13% in 2015-16 to 44% in 2017-18. Additionally in 2017 ten Middle College students competed in the American Mathematics competition sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.  In 2018, we had 100% graduation rate and in 2017, thirty-six of our seniors graduated with an Associate Degree / or an IGETC.  Also in 2017 every senior was accepted to a UC, private, state or community college.

Another highlight at Middle College was being nominated by our Local District to be showcased by Channel 9 station for the “Teacher and Student” of the month. Our entire student body was part of a televised news segment where our teacher and student of the month were awarded for their “Excellence in Education.” Our parents, community members and college family attended the event to support our success.

For two years in a row Middle College students have been nominated and won the Warren Christopher Scholarship for $20,000.These awards and highlights speak to our strong academic program, academic support structures and dedication to students. We push and inspire our students to believe in themselves and to take risks.

At Middle College High School  we fully embrace the words of Janet Leiberman, “Help them realize they belong in college by letting them take college classes while they are in high school; have them work toward a diploma and a degree at the same time. Provide them with tutoring and other supports so that they are likely to succeed in those college classes.”