While the SLC grant helped Glenville only with the ninth grade academies, Principal Jacqueline Bell credited it with helping the staff learn about, understand, and support the concepts of smaller, more personalized learning communities.
Principal Bell indicated that student input has been critical in the design of the four new small schools, and students helped guide the staff and teachers towards the themes for the new schools.
Principal Bell indicated that the four schools will function as individual schools and the budgets, staffing and hiring, record-keeping, calendars, and instructional models will all be separate and distinct.
staff indicated that ongoing professional development has been a key ingredient to ensure staff support for the changes.
The school uses outside experts and has sent staff to visit other schools to learn about new models, but Bell
indicated "the best resources are in-house.
Teams of teachers are now reviewing student work and sharing information and insights on why students are succeeding or failing and are improving their understanding of how to use assessments, such as the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT), to improve instruction.
When staff was asked how they learned about research on small schools, they replied they were "gently guided" to research-based and best practices by Principal Bell and that she constantly shares information with them.
also said they learned a great deal from having the opportunity to visit small schools with block scheduling in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Many staff members also visited John Ford Rhodes High School
in Cleveland, which had already switched to block scheduling and ninth grade academies.
said that teachers were mainly convinced about the need to change by hearing from students about how much better block scheduling and small learning communities are for their learning.
The student voice, she
said, made a huge difference in getting the teachers to approve the changes.
Ms. Jacqueline Bell
Glenville High School
650 East 113th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44108