After 17 years of teaching a variety of classes on the campus of Carson High School, I joined a design team to create a pilot school with a health/medical focus. We spent 18 months designing our proposal for the Academy of Medical Arts, which was approved in May, 2012. The school, which is comprised of 525 students, 18 teachers, a principal, a counselor and an office manager, opened August 12, 2012.
Based on the following outcomes, the Implementation of the Plan, was successful.
I looped teaching 9th and 10th grade students from 2010 through 2012. During that time, I taught an ELL elective class that was designed to reinforce basic language acquisition skills for students who had not passed the CELT. After working with this group of students, there was a 71 point increase in the CAHSEE English Language Arts scores for this identified subgroup.
The API score of the Academy of Medical Arts increased by 49 points (to 749) during our inaugural year, while the API scores of the two other schools in the Carson Complex remained about the same as the previous year.
Student exit surveys indicate that the rigor and high expectations they encounter as scholars at AMA is worth it. They tend to compare their learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom, with those of their peers who attend the other schools in the Complex.The consensus is that AMA is,"Academically harder but that it is worth it."
I told my students their slogan, "We are AMAzing," has been officially proved by their API score gains.
The 12th grade Interdisciplinary Unit was recognized by LAEP during the 2011-2012 year-end recognition ceremony.
I spent my first 11 years as a dedicated 10th Grade English Teacher. During the school year, I taught Honors and non-honors students. During the summer months, I taught students who had failed 9th or 10th grade English.
After one year, I was invited to join the Humanitas Program as the 10th Grade Teacher. The challenge was that I had to recruit my own team.
We built an initial team of three teachers: English, World History, and Integrated Science. The Integrated Science changed to Chemistry after two years.
The greatest longterm achievement was co-creating The Academic Olympics, that served as an Alternative Assessment following the Ancient Period.
The following year, we co-created two Salons by dividing the number of our students in half. Students had to "show" what they had learned, and were allowed to add contemporary culture.
Both of these Project/Assessments still exist; they have evolved, grown and now incorporate English, History, Chemistry, Foreign Language, Math, and Hospital Occupations.
After being awarded the CPA Grant, and becoming CHAMPS, our grade-level interdisciplinary teams began submitting academic units.
Several of our 9th and 10th grade units were recognized by LAEP.
I served as adviser for the monthly school newspaper from 1999-2004, and again during the 2009-2010 school year.
I believe wholeheartedly believe in the Humanitas pedagogy. Students who join the program by choice, are the most likely to be/become successful. Students who have their subjects linked thematically, make stronger connections to the curriculum and are more academically successful. Teachers who participate within a network of support feel less isolated and become more successful. That success translates into feeling energized and optimistic about their students' potential for success. Student who participate in meaningful groups, feel responsible to their peers, and have fewer absences.
After 19 years of classroom teaching, I feel even more committed to these basic principles.
As a member of the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment BTSA) program, I earned my secondary credential by attending classes most Thursday evenings from 4:00-7:00pm from July, 1995, to June, 1998, when I received my Single Subject Clear Credential in Secondary English Language Arts.
Clear Credential, English Language Arts
Crosscultural Language, and Academic Development (CLAD)
Certified to teach Advanced Placement English Literature
Trained to teach Advanced Placement English Language
Certified to teach ERWC - Expository Reading and Writing Course
The Los Angeles Education Partnership - Network Member
Facing History and Ourselves - Affiliate Member
Contemporary Art Start - The Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A.
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles Opera - Opera for Educators/School Programs
Skirball Cultural Center
The Getty Museum National Education Association The California Writing Project - 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005
National Education Association
The California Writing Project - 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005
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