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January 28, 2004

Partner Schools Show Early Indicators of Success

The development of a comprehensive accountability system for the high school reinvention process began last spring with an extensive evaluation of the first two partner schools (ECHOES and Adventure School) that were implemented in the fall of 2002. Parents, staff, and students participated in focus groups and surveys evaluating each schools effectiveness in three categories: academic mission, personalization, and real- world connections. In addition to the focus groups and surveys, several classroom observations were also conducted. The results of this evaluation were compiled over the summer and shared with the staff this fall.

The initial findings are very encouraging and show strong indicators of success. Overall,...

There was an increase in the number of students who met the standard on the reading and math portions of the 10th grade WASL compared to the same group of students who took the 7th grade WASL. This is in contrast to the state trend where there is a decrease in the percentage of students who pass in 10th grade compared to the passing rates of the same students in 7th grade.

Students reported that their school work is more meaningful and focused on their own interests.

Students see the school as being more of a community with meaningful relationships with teachers and other students, and this positively impacts their learning.

Students believe the school is more relevant to the "real world" and that it is preparing them for college and for life.

Students recognize that curriculum is more integrated and organized around projects and that this impacts their learning.

Our next step in the evaluation is to connect the information from the interviews, observations, and student surveys to the achievement indicators for success identified by the high school and community. In addition, the interest-based schools begun this fall will be included in the on-going evaluation.

For more information about these findings please contact gail_miller@enumclaw.wednet.edu or jill_burnes@enumclaw.wednet.edu.