While implementing the Long Beach College Promise and further enhancing the Seamless Education Partnership are central pieces, the Academic and Career Success Initiative includes many other integrated district efforts:
College "A-G" Course Awareness, Access and Completion
The “A-G” courses are a sequence of high school courses that students must complete, with a grade of C or better, to earn minimum eligibility for admission to California State University and the University of California. Students and parents will be made aware of these requirements beginning in sixth grade, and the school district will provide a written notice to parents of students in grades eight to 12 annually. Counselors will work to make certain that any student considering college is enrolled into “A-G” courses and made aware of programs available to help them succeed in those courses. The school district’s goal is to increase the number of students successfully completing the “A-G” course requirements by the time they graduate.
In January 2008, Board Policy 6153 Course of Study was revised to include language that aligns with the Academic and Career Success Initiative’s goal of improving college and career readiness.
College and Career Awareness and Enrichment
Beginning in the upper elementary grades, students will gain college and career exposure that will continue through high school. Coursework will incorporate real-life and relevant activities so that students see a stronger connection between school and the real world. The district will continue enhancing and building the career-focused small learning communities, academies and specialized programs available at high schools. The district will also continue offering career and technical education courses, as well as ROP (Regional Occupation Program) courses that allow students to practice their skills in a real work environment. Lastly, the school district will annually provide a written notice to parents (for students in grades eight through 12) that includes information about Career Technical Education along with information about the “A-G” college entrance requirements.
For more information about Career Technical Education and ROP, click on the links below:
Parents play a critical role in the academic and career success of students. The school district is committed to educating parents about the programs available to their children, the requirements for graduation and college eligibility, the options available after high school, and much more. This education will begin in the 6th grade and will continue through graduation. Additional staff will help coordinate these efforts with parents.
State Assembly Bill 1802 has allowed the school district to increase the number of counselors serving students. Counselors now provide stronger support services to meet the academic, career and personal needs of all students, including those requiring more intensive services. Beginning in middle school, every student will have at least one meeting with their counselor annually. Parents are encouraged to attend. These meetings will help keep students on track for high school graduation, college eligibility and career success.
The Middle and K-8 Schools Office, in partnership with community organizations Academic UpRise and Kingdom Causes, provides mentoring for middle school students to better prepare them for success in high school and beyond. Superintendent Chris Steinhauser has challenged the LBUSD community to get at least 500 active mentors across our school sites as soon as possible. If you are interested in becoming a mentor and making a difference in a student’s life, please call (562) 997-8100.
Early Algebra Readiness and Completion
For many students, algebra is one of the toughest requirements needed to graduate from LBUSD and be eligible for entrance into most colleges. The district is committed to ensuring that students are better prepared for Algebra, and prepared for it much sooner. The goal is for more students to successfully complete Algebra I in middle school. This can help improve graduation rates and will allow students to take other courses in high school they may need for college entrance or as a prerequisite for a career technical education course sequence. The school district is piloting a successful elementary school math program (MAP2D) in four middle schools, and if successful, the program will be expanded. Lastly, the district is providing additional training for math teachers, and is carefully monitoring student placement into appropriate math courses.
To achieve academic and career success, students must be able to read, write, speak and understand English. This can be especially challenging for students whose first language is not English, and for students with special needs. Teachers will receive additional training in both of these areas. The school district is expanding an academic vocabulary program that provides students, especially children still learning English, with key vocabulary needed for success in math, science, English and history. In addition, the school district will continue using research-based instructional materials while also continuing to develop and enhance student monitoring assessments.
Academic interventions are the steps taken to assist students who need extra help or may not be exhibiting a normal pattern of progress. Effective interventions keep students on the path to academic and career success. The school district will evaluate and monitor interventions more systematically, and will eliminate or modify interventions that are not effective. Once proven to be effective, interventions will be expanded or used more frequently. For example, the district expanded a successful Saturday school program, and will modify certain summer school programs to increase their effectiveness. At the same time, additional counseling will provide earlier and more intensive interventions for students who need it.
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and it is an academic program that prepares students for college. It is an elective class for sixth to twelfth graders who want to go to college, but may not have the life skills, knowledge or background that can help make college dreams come true. AVID provides academic support and teaches students study and organizational skills, writing, and other skills needed to succeed in college. Students visit colleges and do in-class activities to learn about college, the college application process, financial aid opportunities, and available scholarships. In addition to the elective class for sixth to twelfth grade students, the district is gradually incorporating AVID strategies into the fourth and fifth grades of elementary schools.
Advanced Placement Course Expansion
Advanced Placement (AP) courses prepare students for the rigor of college and can save parents thousands of dollars in tuition by helping students earn college credit in high school. Student enrollment in AP courses has increased 65 percent between 2003 and 2007, with African American student’s participation increasing by 85 percent, and Latino students emerging as the largest ethnic group taking AP courses. The district plans to keep this upward trend by continuing to identify new students for AP courses, continuing to make AP courses available to all students, providing additional teacher training, and enhancing student support.