Ongoing budget cuts and two years of significant layoffs have resulted in a lot of teacher mobility across our large urban district. Many of the mentors have changed schools, or been replaced by someone new serving as the site mentor teacher. Providing ongoing training for site counselors (schedulers) and mentors, to ensure efficiency of the remote online programs, continues to be a challenge.
The biggest obstacles have been: 1) the ongoing changes in state and district requirements related to approvals for online courses, and 2) state and district budget cuts have drastically reduced our site discretionary budget over the past four years. As a result, 1) we are constantly reviewing online content and submitting lengthy course-approval-request packets to the district curriculum committee, and 2) we were fortunate to be the recipients of a sizable virtual learning grant that will support us financially through summer 2015.
An online credit recovery program was piloted at each high school in SY2007-08. A small-scale iHigh Virtual Academy pilot online program with four core subject teachers was piloted in SY2008-09, serving a small population of full-time and dual enrollment students. In August 2009, iHigh was assigned a CDS code and became a district high school. This was partly to retain a growing number of high school students who were seeking online charter schools or other online options, as well as partly to provide students with an opportunity to experience online learning prior to post-secondary courses. Perceived savings on staffing, facilities and building maintenance were also factors.
Contact: Patricia MacIntyre
Contact Title: Principal
iHigh Virtual Academy
2375 Congress St
San Diego, California
In 2014-2015 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
In 2014-2015 California tested students using the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), administered through the online Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. These are comprehensive, end-of-year assessments of grade-level learning that measure progress toward college and career readiness. Each test, English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics is comprised of two parts: (1) a computer adaptive test and (2) a performance task; administered within a 12-week window beginning at 66 percent of the instructional year for grades three through eight, or within in a 7-week window beginning at 80 percent of the instructional year for grade eleven. The summative assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA and mathematics. The tests capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing—efficient and precise measurement across the full range of achievement and timely turnaround of results.
Each spring, students in grades two through eleven take a STAR test. The STAR Program looks at how well schools and students are performing. Students take tests in math, reading, writing, science, and history. Teachers and parents can use test results to improve student learning. The STAR Program includes four tests: the California Standards Tests, the California Modified Assessment, the California Alternate Performance Assessment, and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish.
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