2013-2014 Action Plan Progress Report
- 1 Changes Since March 2012
- 2 Ongoing Follow-up Process
- 3 Action Plans
- 3.1 Curriculum
- 3.2 Data Usage
- 3.3 English Language Proficiency
- 3.4 Legal Status Change
- 3.5 Resource Master Plan
Changes Since March 2012
On April 1, 2013, the school changed its legal status from a foundation juridical person (zaidan houjin) to a school (gakko houjin). This change was part of CAJ's improvement plan.
Winnie Langelaar was appointed as middle school principal, to begin serving in SY 2013-2014. Jean Hino was appointed to serve as interim elementary school principal for SY 2014-2015. Hiroaki Tada was appointed as government liaison. Brian Vander Haak, head of school, announced that he will be resigning at the end of June 2015.
The school’s 1-to-1 laptop program has been expanded to now include grades 10-12. The school now has 25% of its operating budget in cash reserves (a requirement for getting the new legal status).
Ongoing Follow-up Process
The Leadership Team, supported by focus group leaders and academic department chairs, is responsible for implementing and monitoring the schoowide action plan. The Leadership Team and appropriate staff provide input for the progress report, which the school improvement coordinator then uses to draft the annual report. The Leadership Team reviews and revises the draft, and then publishes the progress report as part of the school’s annual report, which is made available online to all stakeholders.
Further develop an aligned curriculum that has refined scope and sequences and unit maps that meet baseline criteria, implementing it with increased differentiated instruction and student use of technology for learning (possibly, in part, by implementing technology standards/learning targets across the curriculum).
Teaching staff have made progress on further developing the curriculum, thereby supporting student achievement of all student objectives:
- Academic departments, using the Understanding by Design framework, have made significant progress toward completing the documentation of the alignment of the student objectives, standards, assessments/rubrics, instructional strategies, and technology resources (*WASC 2).
- Teachers, using the Understanding by Design framework, worked to get unit maps to baseline, which included aligning learning targets, enduring understandings/essential questions, and content/skills; and learning targets and assessments. As of June 11, sixty courses are to baseline; over 25 teachers will be working during the summer on unit maps/curriculum alignment for pay (*WASC 2).
- Middle school teachers provided middle school students and parents with standards-based reporting for all middle school learning targets addressed in middle school courses, based on the refined alignment of middle school learning targets, assessments, and rubrics (*WASC 2).
- The prompts and rubrics for senior comprehensives, CAJ’s culminating experience, were refined, and the backward designing of high school department assessments (in Bible, English, and social studies) from senior comprehensives was initiated (*WASC 2).
- Secondary Bible refined its standards and learning targets, and secondary English and social studies refined their scope and sequences for MLA style and department assessments.
- A plan for further developing the health/guidance (inclusive of technology behaviors) was approved and initially implemented.
- Teachers continue to take steps to increasingly use differentiated instruction and technology for learning.
To support these efforts, teaching staff received training and support for Understanding by Design (chapters 9-13), technology integration, the Big 6 research framework, and differentiated instruction. Additionally, the Learning Team annually reviewed the option of developing and implementing technology standards/learning targets across the curriculum, deciding to reconsider this option next school year.
Next steps include:
- Backwards designing all appropriate department assessments (in secondary Bible, English, social studies, and other subjects as appropriate) from senior comprehensives.
- Documeningt a curriculum for K-12 health/guidance (inclusive of technology behaviors), composed of administrative maps and baseline curriculum maps, a scope and sequence chart, and a plan for providing instructional strategies.
CAJ staff are increasingly using data to drive achievement of board ends, including student achievement of the student objectives. Focus groups, for example, monitored the achievement of the ends by analyzing the school profile, parent survey, and key performance indicators; they also suggested additional key performance indicators. Some academic departments used student assessment data to modify instruction. The headmaster is increasingly using data to support his board monitoring reports. Our use of data helps improve decision-making, thereby supporting student achievement of all student objectives.
To support data usage,
- Meeting leaders were encouraged to model data usage and have meeting participants use data.
- Initial discussions were held regarding modifying PHOENIX so that it provides data on standards and rubric criteria and provides a more effective breakdown of the assessment data and report card data for use by professional learning communities, divisions, and individual teachers (*WASC 3).
- An online professional development application process that further links data from instructional supervision, student outcomes, and student assessments has been implemented (*WASC 1).
- The Professional Development Plan has been reviewed and further aligned with ends (including the student objectives). The plan’s goals address ongoing needs and the school improvement plan, both of which involve a review of student assessment data and instructional supervision data. The plan now more clearly identifies strategies for implementation (*WASC 1 and 3).
- Staff continued to receive data training that emphasized the importance of using data to support statements (*WASC 3).
- Key performance indicators have been developed for focus groups and selected professional learning communities (*WASC 3).
Next steps include:
- Modifying PHOENIX so that it provides data on standards and rubric criteria and provides a more effective breakdown of the assessment data and report card grades for use by selected PLCs, the high school division, and individual teachers.
- Implementing a review process for administrative policies and plans in SOPHIE.
- Each focus group using key performance indicators.
- Professional learning communities, as appropriate, developing and using key performance indicators.
English Language Proficiency
To address our demographic shift, increase students' English language proficiency (reading, writing, and vocabulary).
Given the focus on further developing the curriculum, CAJ intentionally invested limited energy in this action plan. Teaching staff have made progress, thereby supporting the achievement of 1 student objective (Effective Communicators):
- Reading standards have been integrated into middle school math, and writing standards have been integrated into secondary science.
- The Leadership Team reviewed with the staff the connection between the EAL admission policy regarding English language proficiency and the decisions that are made.
- Charts for key performance indicators related to English language proficiency have been developed.
- Teaching staff received training in English language acquisition and in effective instructional strategies for language proficiency, including differentiation and EAL (ESL) strategies.
- Middle school core teachers have discussed the importance of academic vocabulary using the book Building Academic Vocabulary, and some faculty members completed a book discussion on vocabulary instruction.
Next steps include:
- Integrating reading and writing into secondary standards for high school Bible and other K-12 subject areas as appropriate, integrate writing into middle school standards for math, and integrate reading secondary standards for science.
- Using a task force to assess our EAL (ESL) program including the impact of providing EAL (ESL) support in middle school English and elementary language arts, and exploring providing EAL (ESL) support in content courses other than middle school English and elementary language arts.
- Explore student performance data related to English language proficiency.
Legal Status Change
Complete the change of CAJ’s legal status from zaidan houjin to gakko houjin.
At a ceremony with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on April 1, 2013, CAJ completed the change of its legal status from zaidan houjin to gakko houjin. This change involved establishing a cash reserve that is equal to 25% of the operating budget by November 2012, successful submission of the application in November 2012 (which involved completing the revision of core legal documents and getting them approved by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, finalizing accounting changes required by the transition to gakko houjin status, and submitting required personnel and financial documents), and a January 2013 site visit from government officials who toured the school and asked questions about CAJ's revenue, admissions, program, and accreditation.
Resource Master Plan
Collaboratively develop a Resource Master Plan that provides clear direction for future facilities and equipment that support the educational program for students and account for student safety.
For a number of reasons, but primarily because of the need for key support staff to focus on efforts to ensure the legal status change, the timeline for the strategic plan has been revised. Progress to date includes (*WASC 4):
- Ongoing opportunities for all staff to provide feedback.
- The collection of “need” and “want” statements from the staff, administration, board, and community.
- Work on student population number projections and the implications of growing or reducing in size or maintaining current numbers.
- The collection into an accessible database of the facilities history and maintenance/purchasing cycles.
- Work on financial projections in anticipation of a significant building project within the next 10 years.
Next steps include:
- Presenting a master resource plan to the board that reflects staff and leadership team input, assessment of the current situation, projections for enrollment and revenue, and is realistic in scope and ambitions.
- Proposing a cycle for regularly assessing the plan, and request the addition of an executive limitation to ensure annual reporting to the board about the resource plan.
*Red text indicates a task related to a major critical area for follow up from the 2012 WASC Visiting Committee Report.