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Sophomore Academy Case Study

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As the Assistant Principal on our campus, my role as a collaborative leader is to support our students, instructional and administrative staff and school, to foster a shared vision, in addition, to providing leadership to help increase student achievement for all students. Our goal is to establish high expectations, focusing on results and academic achievement while keeping in mind, all decisions are based on what is best for our students.
Over the years we have had the opportunity to welcome into our doors an increasing number of students, however, over the past several years our demographic has changed drastically. Cypress Creek High enrollment is between 3000 to 3500 students and we have a rising population of “at-risk” students. Of our
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Quite a few of our teachers were not interested in being in a grade level academy setting. We needed the teachers to want to be in the Sophomore Academy; however, we did not get a 100 percent buy in. Most of the teachers wanted to keep our traditional school setting (grades 9-12). The Sophomore Academy would be located in a specific location in our building and our school bell schedule would use a traditional scheduling with a two-day block schedule. Prior to our change to the Academy system, teachers were accustomed to planning with their curriculum team weekly, but in our academy system, teachers would have to meet weekly with their grade level team and meet with their curriculum team once every three weeks. Our principal had already received approval from the Texas Education Agency and there was no going back to the traditional school setting or bell schedule for the next two years. As a result, teachers did not feel as if they had a voice, they made negative remarks about the academy system and morale was low. As the Assistant Principal, it was my job to get the teachers on board as well as to lead our Sophomore Academy to a successful year for our…show more content…
They loved the idea of being empowered to help build our Academy from the ground up. Instead of criticizing, they focused their energy in a more productive way once they knew that they would be heard. The Sophomore Academy met weekly and we worked on making our academy better day after day. Some of the tools we use in our meetings the teachers were able to take back to their classrooms, i.e. Plus/Delta, Gallery Walk, and Parking Lot. We came up with ideas that benefit the students, teachers, academy and school. One idea that was developed is the Red Light/Green Light discipline procedure. This was such a success that our discipline decreased by 32% and now our campus is using this discipline procedure as well as other schools in our district has requested that we share what we are
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