Wilson High Reform Approved by Superintendent

Hilda Solis Academy High School applicant teams go back to the drawing board.

By EGP News Report

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy has approved 19 Public School Choice 3.0 plans, 12 of which only received provisional approval, the school district announced March 29.

“These proposals are both comprehensive, and driven by teachers,” Deasy said in a written statement. “We look forward in working with the applicants to provide a quality education for thousands of our students.”

Lea esta note EN ESPAÑOLPlan de Reforma para la Preparatoria Wilson es Aprobada por el Superintendente

Now in its third year, Public School Choice is an in-district reform initiative that allows education-based groups to take on the management of poor-performing LAUSD schools. Selection is based on an application process, which includes providing the district with a proposed management and instructional plan aimed at turning the low-achieving school around.

Wilson High School in El Sereno is among the existing schools being processed under the third round of public school choice. The reform plan for Wilson, headed by Principal Ursula C. Rosin, received provisional approval last week.

Wilson’s instructional program is modeled after an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme.

“If the outcome of the upcoming IB review is favorable, the district would have its first IB feeder pattern, as the feeder elementary and middle school are both approved IB schools,” according to the school district.

Under this plan, Wilson will be reorganized into six Small Learning Communities: Environmental and Urban Studies; Business and Technology; Agents of Change; Visual Arts; Performing Arts; and Health Science; and two magnets Police and Law.

However, the district is concerned that the annual academic performance targets for Wilson are “strikingly low and do not communicate confidence in the instructional plan submitted,” according to the school district’s provisional approval.

In addition to improving and updating its performance plan and getting IB approval, Wilson must also receive UTLA waivers to realize a proposed Expanded School Based Management (ESBM) governance model, which the school staff and administration must also vote on.

The school was also asked to further clarify its Service Plan for Special Education.

Proposals to run a new high school in East Los Angeles did not fare as well as at Wilson.

Both of the applicants for the Hilda Solis Academy High School were asked to rewrite their plans, and a previously rejected public school choice applicant was invited to reapply.

The campus was previously referred to as East LA Star.

One of the returned applications — Hilda Solis Learning Academies —was from a team led by UTLA, the union that represents teachers in the school district. The other returned proposal was from a team from Local District 5, and called Hilda Solis Medical & Health Academy.

Like Wilson, the Hilda Solis Medical & Health Academy is proposing to run an IB program at the school, “but it does not explain how it will be rolled-out or implemented or what it would look like across the school,” the order to rewrite states. The district, however, says the plan shows “a strong connection to the community and detailed parent and community engagement plan.”

Both the UTLA and the LD-5 proposals must receive UTLA waivers for the school’s staff. The teams must also revise and resubmit the curriculum and instruction sections,
the professional development, and assessments and school-wide data sections of their proposal by April 27.

The teacher-led team, whose “Technology, Business and Education School” proposal was originally submitted for the new Sonia Sotomayor campus in Glassell Park during the second round of the reform process, was invited to submit an updated proposal to run Hilda Solis Academy.

This plan needs to identify whether waivers will be needed, and if so, the rationale for approving. LAUSD staff will be assigned to support the school during the rewrite process, according to the district. This plan also must meet the April 27 deadline.

Several changes to the Public School Choice reform have taken place since the last cycle. The Superintendent’s recommendation is now final and no vote by the Board of Education is required, according to LAUSD.

Schools selected for reform under PSC 3.0 are scheduled to reopen under new management in the summer or fall of 2012.

Parent and community engagement meetings for Wilson and Hilda Solis took place in February, between 50 and 60 people attended each meeting, according to Gayle Pollard-Terry, LAUSD Deputy Director of Communications & Media Relations.

For more information visit http://publicschoolchoice.lausd.net.

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April 5, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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