Ernest Righetti High School, in partnership with Allan Hancock College, and UCSB, formed a collaborative team to ensure students in the Santa Maria Valley, CA have equal access to college. This effort is funded by California Academic Partnership Project – Dissemination. Our Team is teacher led and focuses on actions that better meet the needs and goals of our students. We aligned the high school curriculum with the local community college, produced more A – G completers by changing policy, class offerings, and providing opportunities for advancement. We built a solid bridge between our educational institutions, including, but not limited to, having college and university counselors on every high school campus, changing testing and assessment practices, and learning about each others’ systems to better implement organizational change.
Our Team Members:
Yolanda Garcia, CAPP Facilitator –
LeeAnne Del Rio, Lead Teacher & Grant Writer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Geri Coats, English Teacher, ERHS – email@example.com
Cat Petty, English Teacher, ERHS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne Tiente, Dean Of Students, AHC – email@example.com
Julia Raybould-Rodgers, English Professor, AHC – firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Farley, English Interventioan Specialist, AHC – email@example.com
Mayra Morales,Couselor, AHC – firstname.lastname@example.org
Britt Ortiz, Director EAOPS, UCSB – Ortiz.email@example.com
Jose Pereyra, Counselor, ERHS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Santoyo, Counselor, ERHS – email@example.com
Eric Blanco, Counselor, ERHS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dutch VanPatten, Math Teacher, ERHS – email@example.com
Samantha Van Patten, Science Teacher, ERHS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sal Reynoso, Administrator – email@example.com
Ernest Righetti High School CAPP
Summary of Successes:
In three years, we have successfully created a team of teachers and administrators who admitted we were not serving our students well enough in our high schools, community college, UCs, and CSUs for a successful transition into their next post-secondary step. Together, we sought-out ways to catch students before they fell through the cracks, creating stronger bridges for high school adaptation, testing success, college application, college success, and develop a united front to invite the families of our students into the world of academics that many of our parents and guardians previously viewed as unfamiliar.
Partnership with AHC:
START Testing on ERHS site! Previously, we asked students to go to the college and test on a Saturday, finding their way to the campus, testing center, and navigating our bus system all at the same time.
3 AHC counselors on each of the high school campuses, 5 days a week from 9:30 am – 1:00pm!
Testing Practice provided to all senior students in their English class, given by AHC
Registration numbers for every senior ERHS student now provide for testing, enabling all ERHS students to be tracked and easily enroll in community college
Increased articulation and communication
We now know what each other are doing, how our systems work and how to navigate each other’s systems with more fluidity.
AHC Counselors going directly to Guadalupe to meet with students and families, teach them about college enrollment, Financial Aid, and the process of registration in Bilingual environments
AHC English Boot Camp:
So successful, now being piloted to be institutionalized
2-3 sections running this summer = 80 students enrolled
78% success rate in bringing students that score right below grade level, to test at grade level, reducing the remedial placements and starting more students off at the college level by fall.
Guadalupe visits from AHC Counselors:
Steve Molina, LCAP Director, provided a list of student names to AHC counselors. Each student household was called individually by AHC counselors urging families to attend one of the two workshops offered on student orientation for AHC and a Financial Aid.
200 students showed up with their families and registered
37% spike in AHC College registration for Latino students!
Increased student connection to a high school culture and our RHS community
Continued support throughout the year as 15 out of the 32 come back to visit both Geri Coats and Cat Petty every day at lunch and touch base with them throughout the year
Cohort mentality developed for support throughout their high school experience
50 students participated in our 2015 Summer Program
2 vans approved (last year 1 van approved)
Student from each of the 5 communities/cities we serve represented
UCSB EAOP on our high school sites:
UCSB brought their EAOP program to ERHS, now, an EAOP College Site Coordinator works at all 3 high schools in the SMJUHSD. It was so successful, the district hired three fulltime EAOP Coordinators (we split the cost of their employment 50/50 with UCSB), one for each high school, ensuring greater numbers of college and university enrolled students, as well as support to reward students and promote a college going culture by acknowledging student who meet and exceed A – G Requirements.
EAOP students will be the first priority for concurrent enrollment.
UCSB will pay to rent books for their courses while students are still in high school.
The first time SMJUHSD and UCSB have hired an employee together
Math and now English have a practice/ refresher course for seniors to practice math concepts some haven’t seen or used for 2 years to prepare for the testing process to get into AHC.
Using multiple measures to assess student readiness and placement for AHC College math courses
The student appeal process is now clearly described to students and an expectation to question the results, as well as set-up processes and shared policies are in place to assess students’ transcripts.
Students now can appeal the test if they score one course below high school class last finished, within 2-3 years, and if the student received an “A” or “B”. Therefore, AHC can now ignore the placement test and use the high school transcripts for placement in the community college.
We are still assessing the data to see what percentage of students are being promoted by multiple measures and whether the new placements are creating successful students.
Accelerated Geometry Course:
Having an accelerated Geometry class, allows juniors, becoming seniors to get back on the A – G track by providing the course they need to finish the A-G Math by Senior year!
Allows freshmen to move forward to a Calculus Track for senior year.
Increasing the probability and opportunity to offer these same options for English, Science, and further Math offerings
Using the college model for our accelerated courses
We are particularly proud of our partnership with Allan Hancock College, our accelerated Summer Geometry course, our Summer Jump Start program, and the effect going directly into communities and presenting college registration, financing, and over all access into our college institutions, scholarships, and support systems. Our Summer Jump Start program welcomes incoming freshmen students to begin forming a “high school going” culture and begins to create friendships between students from five different communities that all share the same high school site.
Our ability to break the cycle of expecting students and their families, unfamiliar with our college systems, to figure-out how to apply, register, test, and attend college is truly one of our most valued achievements. Our college counselors now go into our surrounding communities, speak Spanish so the information is obtainable, bring computers for registration, FASFA Application, and bring other forms of scholarships and students loans to the forefront to ensure every student who wants to attend college obtains access and the families are given access and understanding of the college system to support their children.
Ernest Righetti High School teachers improved relationships with neighboring colleges and universities, and we gained comfort approaching colleges and universities to increase the access for students. When we began seeking partnerships, we were not sure whether we were supposed to call them, email, make an appointment with the President of the college, call department heads, etc.… It all seemed unfamiliar, like we were groveling for some attention and time that no one really wanted to give. What we discovered was so much different! Instructors, Chairs, the President, EAP Directors, EAOP Directors, and the head of the Counseling departments were so happy to hear from us and very willing to meet with us.
We also learned about each other’s systems. We didn’t know how anything worked, who to talk to, what the processes were for change, or the even the shape of the power pyramid. We found ourselves asking questions like, “How hard is that to change? Who do you or we need to speak to? Would it be helpful to have our principal call or the UCSB EAOP Coordinator there? We learned how to navigate each other’s system and bring in back-up if need be, because now, we had back-up, we had to build a foundation of trust by continuing to show-up to meetings, try new routes, and sometimes sit patiently and wait, trusting that the person who was pursuing change just needed more time.
As a team, we have accomplished a greater number of our students enrolling into college, better test scores, more A – G completers, and more accurate placements as our students transition from high school into a post-secondary institution.
We created a means to produce more A-G completers by creating an Summer Accelerated Geometry course, so that students could get back on the A-G track. Our counselors are mapping-out the A-G track courses, and our EAOP Coordinators on campus from UCSB are recognizing students who are on the A-G track with Academic Achievement Receptions that include ice cream parties and Certificates of Achievement.
We have systems set into place now for students to utilize their grades in Math courses to get into the next level of college course, ensuring the placement is more accurate and the institution does not have to wait for the official transcript to be released before the student can enroll into their college courses the first semester. The Boot Camp provides a review of writing concepts to enable students to re-test and score higher, into college level classes within 6 weeks. This alone saves student money, time, and the possibility of dropping out of college before the student is earning college credits.
We have learned to listen, trust, believe in our ideas, and work as a unit to brainstorm ideas, work on solutions, and dream together to make what we want for our students to become a reality in a very short time. We aspire to extend our hand into the middles schools, multiply our reach into our communities, and utilize our team to change our organizations to ensure access, success, and the equalize the playing field for all of our students.
Many of our actions have been institutionalized.
Our Boot Camp at the community college is now funded through the college and accelerated courses tied to the Boot Camp are now available for the Allan Hancock College to offer out of the college catalog for registration.
Our Accelerated Geometry class has now doubled in size and in beign brought to the school board next month (May 2016) for a district-wide availability at each comprehensive high school.
START Testing for our community college enrollment, assessment, and placement is now offered on the high school campuses throughout our district.
Our combined high school and college counselors who go straight into our impoverished community areas to support greater access to enrollment information, financial aid, and bilingual services are now being looked at for institutionalization from both the high school system and the college system based on the greater number of Latino enrollments.