In the spring of 2015, the San Leandro Unified School District began the process of considering changes to elements of its secondary schools’ program design. This strategic consideration was a consequence of several of the following influences: changes in curricular standards across several content areas, a more performance based assessment system, a new district technology landscape, research and development instigated by the state’s Career Pathway Trust (CPT) grant, anticipated refocus on career technical education, and an overall emphasis on increasing college and career readiness.District staff worked diligently with parents, teachers, site administrative teams, community members, trustees, and experts from the field to inform the decisions associated with the changes. Last year, our board of education approved the suggested changes that emerged from a year long program evaluation and redesign process. Several of the changes are soon to be implemented in the upcoming 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years. Now, in January of 2017, we remain committed to communicating these exciting changes well in advance of the fall to ensure staff, parents and students are prepared for the transition.Below you will find a comprehensive list of the new, exciting practices that will begin to be implemented at our SLUSD middle and high schools:
- New 9th grade College and Career Seminar course- All incoming 9th graders in the 2017-2018 school year will be enrolled in a semester long course called, College and Career Seminar. This captivating new course will provide 9th graders with the necessary skills to launch their high school experience positively. Our 2017-2018 9th grade cohort will attain a strong foundation in executive functioning, organizational skills, time management, & self awareness about their learning styles through this semester long experience. College and Career Seminar is a one-semester course for ninth grade students only and will be paired with the one-semester Health & Safety class to equal a full year sequence. The comprehensive College and Career Seminar is a college and career readiness course, designed to help students achieve academic success and learn how to set and achieve life goals. Students participate in a variety of collaborative activities to help them identify their interests and life goals, discover a career suited for their interests, and set a plan for their future. At the end of the course, students will have developed a personalized 10-year career and educational plan that is updated throughout high school and used by the student and advisors for counselling and academic coaching. This personalized plan provides students with the focus and motivation to succeed in high school, college, at work and in life.
- High School Block Schedule- San Leandro High School will adopt a two day block schedule in the 2017-2018 school year. This two day block schedule will still allow for students to enroll in the traditional 6 course schedule per semester. However, now students will meet with all of their teachers 4 days a week; 3 of those days will be during nonblock schedule days, and the fourth day will be during a block schedule day. Two days of the week, known as the block schedule days, will now include longer periods with only half of the students’ classes. Details about which days will be designated “block days” along with new start and end times will be provided to families early this spring. These longer periods will allow for deeper learning and more project oriented, experiential teaching. Teachers will be trained this spring and next fall on effective teaching practices within a block schedule model.
- FTK Campus- The FTK campus will no longer serve as a campus solely for 9th graders. All 9th graders will be integrated across both campuses in order to fully take advantage of all high school programming available to them. Departments will be housed at the FTK facility in 2017-2018. The departments that will be relocated there for next year is still to be determined and will be communicated to staff, students and families in the next few weeks. The facility will now function like any other building on the campus. The new block schedule includes a longer passing period (10 minutes) in order to accommodate students being able to get to classes between facilities.
- Middle School Advisory- A pilot advisory was conducted at Bancroft Middle School in 2016-2017. Based upon the positive feedback and evaluation attained through this pilot, Bancroft Middle School will continue with the implementation of the advisory in 2017-2018 and John Muir Middle School will implement the advisory in 2018-2019 to support 6th-8th graders with positive socio-emotional development. In the advisory period, students and teachers will build strong, respectful relationships that help personalize the learning experience for students within our large middle schools. Advisory serves as time within the instructional day when advisory teachers support the development of a positive school community based on strong, respectful relationships, and reflect school culture and climate. The advisory outcomes would be the following: 1) build a relationship with a mentor who understand the demands of secondary programming 2) build relationships with peers 3) learn effective executive functioning skills 4) learn the practices and attitudes necessary to be a successful student.
- Career Pathways officially launch for the Class of 2021- The Career Pathway programs are optional educational pathways that provide students additional college and career readiness support through their high school years through a focused area of course study. After our incoming 9th grade cohort completes their first year of high school, the class of 2021 will have the opportunity to take advantage of the new Career Pathways programs as sophomores. In 2018-2019, San Leandro High School will offer Career Pathway programs in the areas of study described below. These programs consist of a three year course sequence that culminates with a capstone project and is coupled with career related internship opportunities.
The explosion of new technologies combined with an aging population has created a high demand for biomedical health professionals. Whether discovering new cancer treatments or teaching healthy lifestyle choices to communities, today’s biomedical science professionals are tackling big challenges to make the world a better place. Students in the Biomedical Health Pathway pursue a meaningful career helping others by engaging in compelling, hands-on activities and projects that professionals encounter in the workplace. Students in the Biomedical Health Pathway prepare for careers such as nursing, pharmacology, medical careers, health care administrative services, physical therapy, forensics, dentistry, veterinary medicine, sports medicine, occupational therapy and biotechnology.
Advanced manufacturing is an exciting field that invents and creates the products that people need and want in a modern world. Manufacturing has moved from manual equipment to highly computerized equipment and innovative processes like 3-D printing. Today’s employers are looking for people who have strong math skills and be able to apply scientific and technical principles to structures and manufacturing processes which is why many of California’s Community Colleges are preparing students for high paying jobs in advanced manufacturing. San Leandro’s advanced manufacturing pathway provides students with an understanding of manufacturing processes and systems common to careers in machine tool and materials forming industries. Students in the Advanced Manufacturing pathway prepare for careers such as CAD/CAM specialist, CNC machinist, manufacturing engineer, materials/supply management specialist and quality assurance technician.
Information Communication Technologies (ICT)
How can computing and developing information communication technologies change the world? Just look what phones looked like ten years ago, five years ago and today. This pathway is for students interested in software and systems development and focuses on stimulating creativity and problem solving ability while connecting the relevance of computer science to society. The first course is introduction to computer science which emphasizes the content practices, thinking and skills central to the discipline of information communication technologies. The second course is an intellectually rich and engaging course that focuses on computational thinking practices, connecting computing, developing computational artifacts, communicating and collaborating. The capstone course is AP Computer Science A. Students in the ICT pathway prepare for careers in software developer/applications, information security analyst, web developer, computer programmer, E-Business specialist and operating systems managers.
The digital media arts pathway inspires, develops and equips students to gain a creative and exciting career in digital media arts. Students learn how to create, refine and share work in the digital media pathway that promotes teamwork, communication, creative thinking, and decision-making abilities which are traits that are necessary to be successfully competitive in a media-rich 21st century workplace. The digital media pathway includes those occupations that use visual art, digital media, and web-based tools and materials as the primary means of communication and expression. Students in the digital media pathway prepare for careers such as digital animator, graphic artist, artistic director, commercial artist, web designer, videographer, and production manager.
Public Service & Law
The public service law pathway exposes students to careers that are provided by government to its citizens, either directly or through the financing of another entity to provide that service. Students interested in the public service law pathway have a desire to help support and connect with people and their communities. Careers in public service are unique because they center on challenging issues that define the public agenda and involve the provision of vital services to the public from local to international levels. Students in the public service and law pathway prepare for careers such as public safety, emergency response and legal practices.In summary, we look forward to making these exciting new programs to our students and families in SLUSD. If you have any specific questions regarding these new programs and initiatives at our middle and high schools, please be sure to contact your school site principal or assistant principals.