2018-19 CA Distinguished Schools Model Programs and Practices NarrativeLFCS's model programs and practices consist of assessment driven targeted intervention and parent involvement. At LFCS's Liberty Charter High School, all enrolling students take placement assessments that measure their math, reading fluency, reading comprehension, and writing skills. We use this data to place students in the appropriate math and reading based courses. Students reading and/or writing below an 8th grade level participate in our Academy program where students receive targeted instruction in reading fluency, reading comprehension, and writing. Based on continual assessments, students earn their way out of these Academy classes once they reach 8th grade level proficiency. Academy classes are designed to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities, English language learners, and any students who are below grade level. Building these foundational skills allows students meaningful access to the core academic program, UC a-g approved courses, and AP classes. Additionally, the vice principal checks every student's grades every 4.5 weeks and refers students who are not otherwise supported by our SPED staff and who are failing classes to our Response to Intervention (RtI) coordinator. In conjunction with teachers, parents, and the student, an RtI is established and extra supports and accountability put into place. As a result of these model programs and practices, over the last three years LCHS' graduation rate averaged 94%, the percentage of students meeting UC a-g requirements has risen from 25% to 56%, school attendance averaged 95%, and LCHS has consistently outperformed the state, county, and district on the CAASPP ELA and Mathematics assessments.
The LFCS's Junior Academy, serving students 4th-8th grades, has a similar “academy” type program in 7th and 8th grade. During this designated time, students' specific learning needs are met. SPED students receive their SAI instruction, English learners receive their targeted interventions, and students who are on a MTSS are able to get their individualized intervention. Regular assessments are done during this time to ensure that progress is being made. Other students use this as extended learning time to work on homework, do their reading projects or participate in enrichment activities. A team of intervention specialists as well as classroom teachers monitor this program to ensure all students are receiving specific targeted support. The success of this program has been marked by better work product and happier campers in the 7th and 8th grade. Additionally, those students with multiple needs for intervention are having their academic needs met and are not missing core instruction. LFCS students consistently and considerably outperform the state, county, and district on the CAASPP ELA and Mathematics assessments.
LFCS's Liberty Academy (LA) serves students in K-6th grades. Intervention at this campus and at the Primary Academy, K-3rd (PA) and our Junior Academy, 4-6 (JA) are all similar. In the first quarter there is a “first grade academy” program that has been designed to specifically work with our incoming first graders who are very low in basic phonic skills. This program is a trimester program and serves as a stop gap until full assessments can be done in the first trimester to determine which students require Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention programs. Assessment data drives this program. Once the assessments are done 1st - 6th grade (LA), 1st-3rd grade (PA), and 4th-6th grade (JA) intervention groups are created and specific targeted intervention begins. Students move up and down in the intervention groups with the goal being to move completely out of the groups once their skills are in place. Specific intervention specialists are trained to work with these small groups. We have seen marked improvement in students' reading and math skills as a result of these programs. LFCS has developed its own specific monitoring program that allows teachers and all intervention specialists the ability to keep track of data, update RtIs, ensure SPED “minutes” are being met and generally help all parties be accountable for the success of all of our students K-12th grade. Our staff are committed to the improvement of each student and hold each other accountable through this monitoring program for improved student learning and performance. Again, our CAASPP ELA and Mathematics scores attest to the success of these support programs.
The above intervention programs at each of our campuses align to our LCAP Goal 4 which commits us to providing a positive learning climate to support the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of all students.
At every LFCS campus, parent involvement is encouraged and achieved. Student led parent conferences are held for all students three times per year at which time students are able to discuss and explain their academic growth and the reasons for their successes and failures. This allows a joint conversation with parents and teachers to better target instruction to meet each student's academic potential. Each campus hosts a Back to School Night in the fall and an Open House in the spring. Parents volunteers are an invaluable asset to all LFCS programs. Parents serve as volunteers in the classroom, working with small groups and in sports as drivers and team parents. Additionally, parents are integrally involved in many special events that are school wide including our Jogathon, K-12 Olympics, and Book Fair (to name but a few events). Parents serve as coaches for teams 5th through high school too. Current and former parents act as mentors for the LCHS Robotics team. Parents are invited to “coffee” at a parent connection four times throughout the year that maintains an ongoing discussion about LFCS programs, plans, and promises. Parent input is gathered to measure our attainment of our LCAP goal 3 (parent engagement) as well as for garnering feedback on best practices and student success.
While our K-8 campuses reside in the footprint of the Cajon Valley Union Elementary School District and our high school resides in the Grossmont Union High School District, our schools are not associated with these districts. Consequently, we have little direct knowledge of the model programs and practices within those districts, making a comparison difficult. However, our intentionally small sized campuses, robust student support programs, significant parent involvement, and high CAASPP scores (3-11 grades) clearly distinguish us from district schools.
The combination of high expectations for academic success, trained and invested staff members, and engaged and motivated parents has proven to be a very successful combination for student success at LFCS K12, not just in exceptional test scores but in overall attitude of joyful learning.