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How New Community High School Will Be Organized

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(Editor'sl"Noíé The followling article is one of a series about the newly authorized IXnn Arbor Community High School, scheduled to open next fall. The articles, prelared by the Ann Arbor ISchool District administraItion, will appear periodicalBy.) I In previous articles, this Lolumn has listed the personeel involved in t h e preplanning stage of the Ann Arpor Community High School, end has cited precedents both ttn example and in educational theory supporting the community school concept. The next three articles will contain excerpts f r o m the proposed school program. A pescription of the entire program is contained in the Blue'print for Ann Arbor Community High School. Copies of the Blueprint (and shorter abstracts of it) will be available for community critique starting on Wednesday. The public is invited to piek up a copy of the Blueprint at any of Ann Arbor's six secondary schools, or at either the Main or Loving Branch of the Public Librarv. Copies may also be obtained from the Office of New School Planning, Ann Arbor Public Schools, either by stopping in at 2555 S. State St., or by calling 665-0681, or having a copy mailed to you. Sessions at which public commentary will be solicited will take place on April 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 at sites and times to be announced in this column next Sunday. The Office of New School Planning requests that all public comments and suggestions regarding the Blueprint be turned in by Friday afternoon, April 14. The proposed Blueprint creates the following internal ganizational design for the school: Community High School is directed by the dean. As head of the school, he assumes the responsibility for coordinating all personnel assigned to the school, evaluating staff and program, defining school budget, representing the school to teachers, students, parents and community, and providing support and recognition for groups within the school. As the educational leader of the school, the dean coordinates the cultural studies program, contacts new community resources, develops new programs, encourages innovation among staff, provides fcr professional development of staff through, for example, confeernces, inservice, workshops and institutes, and considers carefully staff, parent, student, and community suggestions. As head of the school, the dean provides for an environment conducive to positive feelings of personal and professional worth on the part of students and staff. Working directly under the dean are the assistant dean and the counselor for ing education. The assistant dean concentrates on the mechanics and operations of the school. He schedules course offerings, coordinates transportation systems, coordinates s t a f f supervisión of community courses, seeks new community resources, coordinates volunteers, and serves as a school contact for business, university and community resource people. The assistant deán has a full-time secretary. In addition to regularly defined duties, the secretary will share the high school's catalogue of community resources w i t h schools throughout the system. Wherever possible, the assistant dean will offer courses and advise independent studies. The counselor for 1 ing education provides I teacher-counselors and s t 1 dents information about I . high school opportunities andl facilitates the transition ofl students f r o m Community I High School to whatever 1 lege, occupational or 1 tory program the student I wishes to enter. The counselor I for continuing education I sumes the responsibility of making available to students information about the collegt boards, apprenticeship programs, and scholarship opportunities. Community High School will be divided into units or houses, composed of one unit manager, five teachercounselors, 130-135 students, and a parent support group. Within each unit, each student and teacher-counselor will belong to a smaller group called a forum. Each forum will be composed of one full-time certified teacher-counselor and 22 students. All units and all forums will be cross-aged, cially and sexually mixed. The units are designed to facilítate student-staff interaction, provide opportunities to büild effective interpersonal relationships, a n,d offer avenues through which par ents can become actively involved in the learning actMties of the school. The forums are structured to facilítate communication, a 1 1 o w for scheduling, evaluation and counseling and to provide an organization that guarantees expo s ure to multi-ethnic m ateríais. The staff of each unit, like the composition of the students within the unit, should be comprised of men and vromen of different ages and different races. The staff should also, insofar as possible, be diverse in interests, talents and training. Following an orientation experience and prior to the beginning of formal classes, students will list their preferences for teacher-counselor. A committee working with the dean will assign students to forums. They will follow, insofar as possible, the preference of students while maintaining heterogeniety. Each unit has a parent support group, composed of parents of students within the unit, and representative of the ethnic groups comprising the unit. This support group joïns with students and staff to evalúate programs, develop new directions for the school, suggest new resources, and work with school activities and pro.iects. Next Week: The Role of the Teacher-Counselor QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS: Question: Will the new school have report cards based on letter grading? Answer: Yes. Question: Will there be interim reports? Answer: Periodic ■tion will take place during Ifrequent conferences with the I student and parent throughout the grading period. I Question: What will the Ipolicy be on absenteeism? I Answer: The attendance policy will reflect thOse proce[ dures established at Pioneer. Questions regarding Community High School may be answered in this column. Direct questions to: Office of New School Planning, Ann Arbor Pubüc Schools, 2555 S. State St.


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