The PHS HOME ROOM PROGRAM
Students meet every Monday with their grade-level specific Home Room teacher and class team. They receive the weekly videocast, school announcements, and school-wide lessons and competitions.
Our Initial Roll out of Tutorials in 2019
Introducing the NEW Pacifica High School Tutorial Bell Schedule (Archived from 2018-19)
We are very excited about the idea of providing targeted assistance to students on a more frequent basis. Pacifica will roll out a new bell schedule 2nd semester that will support students in the classes for which they need the most help. We will use January to practice the schedule with the students.
Based on feedback from parents, students, and staff, a need exists to take a different approach to our existing Extension schedule. Under the current Extension schedule, every class period is “extended” by 25 minutes once every two weeks to provide additional support to students. So, students receive extra time in every class they take, once every other week.
PHS 2019 Model Program & Practices
Fall 2020 Distance Learning Tutorials
Tutorial Program Report for WASC Report (2020)
Pacifica’s Tutorial Program is a modified and enhanced version of our previous Professional Learning/Extension Schedule (PLEX) Program, which was awarded the 2015 Gold Ribbon Schools Program award. Based on feedback from parents, students, and staff, a need existed to take a tailored approach to our previous Extension schedule.
Our current Tutorial Program is designed to provide students with an academic setting where they can receive additional support in any of their classes. Specifically, the Tutorial schedule provides two avenues towards increasing student achievement: (1) building professional capacity and leadership; and (2) addressing school improvement as follows:
(1) The first is a built-in late start every Wednesday, which gives teachers one hour per week to meet and collaborate within their normal contractual hours. We currently use one Wednesday per month for a whole staff meeting, one for department meetings, and two for department, cross-curricular, Task Force, or focus group collaboration.
(2) The second feature of our program is the weekly tutorial bell schedule. Under PLEX, every class period was “extended” by 25 minutes once every two weeks to provide additional support to students. So, students received extra time in every class, once every other week. The improved PHS Tutorial Program now provides a 33 minute “Tutorial” period at the end of 2nd period on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During this Tutorial time, students report to the class in which they need the most help. For example, a student who needs help in math can attend math tutorials four times in a two week period. So a student who chooses help in one class will be provided 132 minutes of additional help in that class instead of 25 minutes once every two weeks. Students who are failing classes may be assigned “Mandatorials,” meaning they must attend tutorials for D/F grades.
In terms of the first avenue, the collaborative culture emphasizes the communal application of effective teaching practices consistent across all grade levels and content areas. Pacifica High School believes in developing shared expertise and perspectives with a common vision focused on teaching and learning processes, examining student data, and developing a sense of mutual support and shared responsibility for effective instruction. This shared expertise and collaborative spirit is the foundation for continued development and implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLC): The PLC is a community of teachers and administrators who create a collaborative culture where teachers share their practices and put trust in one another, in students, administrators, and parents to increase student achievement. All members involved share the same vision and mission with a compelling purpose, shared standards, and an academic focus.
In regards to the second avenue, the improved Tutorial Program allows for targeted additional time to improve student achievement while narrowing the achievement gap. The tutorial activities are collaborative in nature, allowing for a combination of both purposeful teacher support and individualized student-centered activities. Although some of the Tutorial activities are teacher facilitated, including re-teaching previously taught material, providing grade checks to all students, especially those at risk, conducting review sessions for upcoming unit exams, SBAC training and practice tests, practice AP exams, and providing one-on-one tutoring support, most activities foster the collaborative spirit as gathering missing or late assignments, retaking assessments, working on extended projects and if time allows, working independently on improving grades in targeted courses. The Tutorial Program also allows students to take initiative to reach the necessary standards and progress towards passing the course, resulting in an overall school-wide decrease in the D and F rate.
Implementation and Monitoring
Back in the Spring of 2010, the PLEX Program was introduced and the staff collectively came to consensus to increase the minutes in their contractual day in order to assist with efforts towards closing the achievement gap. Working with our District goals and analyzing school data, PHS staff worked together to create a schedule that would provide opportunities to close the achievement gap in two ways:
1) Teacher Collaboration: Built in weekly collaboration time enables teachers and staff to work together, focusing on ways to improve student achievement. This valuable time has grown to include cross-curricular collaboration, Inclusion collaboration (time for Special Education teachers and content teachers to co-plan for co-teaching) and collaboration for horizontal/vertical alignment.
2) Extension Schedule: Designated time in the weekly schedule that would allow teachers to focus on student needs. Over time each department created extension activities, and as teachers continue to explore ways to better meet students’ needs, they share schoolwide their discoveries, which include Google 20 Time and Flipping the Classroom.
Since that time, the District has incorporated a new Strategic Plan which includes new Vision and Mission statements that aligns to the District’s LCAP priorities. The new GGUSD Vision Statement “drives why we do what we do, where we are going and who we are.” In the quest to prepare “all students for success”, PHS adheres to the GGUSD Mission Statement: “To ensure student success, we will provide a rigorous and supportive academic experience that motivates all learners to meet high expectations.” Three goals accompany the Strategic Plan: Goal 1- Academic Skills, Goal 2- Personal Skills, and Goal 3-Lifelong Success.
As we strive for continuous improvement, Pacifica stakeholders provided constructive feedback and input as we seek to best meet the needs of our students. Continued conversations within departments and across campus revolve around how to best use our collaboration and extension time, as well as what changes may be needed in our schedule to best serve our students’ needs.
After careful review of our teacher, student, and parent surveys, as well as multiple sources of student achievement data, we unanimously decided to modify the extension schedule to ensure targeted student support via our current PHS Tutorial Program, while keeping the existing effective Collaboration Wednesdays. That is, Tutorials are now held Tuesdays and Thursdays weekly, with the exception of Final Exam or Testing days.
During a whole-staff examination of the data during August 2018, the faculty began to brainstorm ideas for refining the extension system in order to meet targeted areas of needs in order to address the achievement gaps between overall outcomes and sub populations. The faculty developed the Tutorial bell schedule that would refine the existing Extension schedule in order to address targeted needs and close achievement gaps.
Overall, Pacifica students have achieved steady overall positive trends in student outcomes with respect to SBAC performance in ELA and Mathematics, D/F grade distributions, and percentage of students who completed the a-g requirements for college admissions. There are some gaps however. Even though we closed the a-g achievement gap for Latino students (17 point gap in 2017 to a 14 point gap in 2018), the gap still exists. Our SBAC ELA achievement gaps increased for Latino students (6 points), English Learners (5 points). In SBAC Mathematics, although our overall and subgroups score improved significantly, gaps still exist (Latino 14 points, and 39 points EL).
As we focused on closing the achievement gap, we realized that the PHS Tutorial Program would provide students with multiple opportunities to increase academic achievement. For instance, students now have the flexibility to choose which tutorial to attend based on their performance in current classes. At the same time, teacher teams also work together to make exceptions based on content need. To share, our teachers regularly communicate with each other to ensure that struggling students get balanced support from all needed classes.
For monitoring purposes, students sign-up ahead of time in the teacher’s designated Tutorial Binder to provide the reason for signing up and identify the class in which they need support. Teachers will then review students’ requests to provide individualized support tailored to students’ needs. To add, if students have all Cs or above, they can choose which of their classes to attend (unless a “Mandatorial” is given). “Tutorials” can be turned into “Mandatorials” based on teacher decision. A “Mandatorial” is simply requiring a student to attend a specific tutorial to receive additional help. If students have a D or an F in one or more classes, they must attend tutorial in those subjects until their grade improves to a C or above. If multiple D’s and F’s, they divide their time between those classes.
In addition to teacher monitoring, PHS counselors and site leadership team also work tirelessly to ensure ongoing student progress and achievement. In addition to advocating for students’ well-being and offering valuable resources for their educational advancement, site counselors and administrators allot dedicated time in direct service to and actively make contact with students to discuss student progress towards goals. Their duties are focused on the overall delivery of the total program through student counseling, individual student planning, and targeted enrichment/ intervention/ responsive services.
Overall, PHS’s Tutorial Program provides students with needed individualized attention. Our teachers and staff are committed and dedicated to prepare all students to successfully achieve their personal and academic goals both inside and outside of school.