PHS WASC: A Mid-Cycle Review

indexPiedmont High School, like all high schools, must go through a process every few years of program review and goal-setting to maintain accreditation.  The purpose of this accreditation process is to foster continuous improvement of school programs, to meet the needs of diverse learners.

PHS recently completed a progress report on the goals established in the last accreditation cycle, in March 2012.   The report details significant changes and developments at PHS.  See the complete report here:  http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/phs/pdf/wasc/2012_WASC_Report.pdf

Some of the highlights of the recent progress report include:

  • PHS is piloting a new bell schedule, which is designed to relieve student stress by offering a later start to the school day, and to increase time for teacher collaboration.  Teachers use this collaboration time to support the implementation of new curriculum standards, and strengthen horizontal and vertical alignment of courses.
  • PHS now uses teacher coaches and focused collaboration time to help implement differentiated instruction.
  • PHS is working to increase consistency in instructional strategies and work expectations across like courses, within departments and across departments.  Teachers share best practices and assessments to provide students a similar learning experience.
  • PHS is offering three new UC/CSU approved courses — Spanish 3 in Action, Physics of Alternative Energy Design and Construction, and Publications: Writing, Design and Management.   In addition, PHS offers Culinary Arts (ROP)—http://goo.gl/wg3O88, a Culinary Arts course.
  • PHS is preparing to offer new courses in Exploring Computer Science (a one semester course), Mobile Applications Programming and Development (a one semester course), and Integrated Math and math support classes.
  • Across departments, the English Department and Social Studies Department have collaborated to identify shared curricular themes at both the sophomore and junior levels.   The Math and Science Departments also engage in interdisciplinary discussions on various ideas and connections between science and mathematics, and how to incorporate these shared concepts into the classroom.
  • PHS now participates in the California Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy Program, which honors students who are proficient in English and either Spanish, French or Mandarin.
  • PHS has partnered with Challenge Success to develop research-based strategies that provide students with the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed now and in the future. http://www.challengesuccess.org/
  • PHS has implemented grade-level service learning curriculum and projects with the following themes: 1) Senior class: Economic Disparity, 2) Junior class: Poverty and Homelessness, 3) Sophomore class: Racial and Gender Discrimination, and 4) Freshman class: The Environment and Pollution.

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