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Another Course to College

Updated Sep 25, 2017
612 Metropolitan Avenue - Hyde Park MA - 02136
Type of autonomy arrangement: pilot schools
Basic Profile

Opened In

2003

Grades

9 through 12

Environment

Urban

Type

District - Pilot
Autonomies
Select leaders
Determine learning program
Select colleagues
Determine professional development
Transfer or terminate colleagues
Determine whether to take, when to take, how much to count district/EMO/authorizer assessments
Determine tenure policy
Make formal arrangements with district/EMO/authorizer to allow multiple measures in determining school success (not only a mean proficiency score)
Evaluate colleagues
Set schedule
Set staff pattern
Determine teacher workday
Determine school budget
Set school-level policy
Determine compensation
Teacher Authority Is...
De Jure and De Facto
De jure authority is granted to the school governing board via the pilot agreement, which is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between BPS and BTU. The MOU gives the board authority to make decisions in some areas. De facto, the governing board transfers this authority to the teachers, who collectively make decisions in areas indicated. In addition to the MOU, teachers collectively write an Elect to Work Agreement (EWA) for their site on an annual basis that outlines the working conditions at the school that are different from those outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between the district and union. For example, they can expand their own work hours, require participation in school events, and expand professional development requirements. This is a means to exercise more autonomy at the school level, at the will of the teachers. Teachers at the site vote on the terms they outline in the EWA, and anyone who does not agree to work under the conditions will enter the district’s hiring pool and default to the working conditions outlined in the existing collective bargaining agreement.

About the Learning Program

The curriculum in all academic courses is rigorous, and designed to prepare students for four-year colleges. Classes are heterogeneously grouped and the academic expectations are the same for all students. Students have the option of taking any course as an Honors course by meeting additional requirements that include additional work and/or taking additional exams or writing additional papers.

ACC teachers use a variety of instructional approaches that enable students to be independent thinkers and cooperative learners. Strategies include a constructivist approach to learning and a focus on seminar-style discussions that enable analysis and analytical writing. In the constructivist approach, students create and shape their own understanding of the work at hand, while being challenged by their teachers and fellow students for sound argument, depth of analysis, and thoughtful evaluation.

Through a variety of instructional methods and assessments, students make meaningful connections between their personal experience, background knowledge, nightly reading, and class work. Teachers design curriculum that aim for a balance of breadth and depth in subject matter. The teaching staff works to enrich students with an expanse of cultural literacy, and gives them the power to focus their research, analytical and evaluative skills for depth of understanding.

To further engage students, teacher created curriculum is encouraged and valued. An engaged teacher leads to engaged students. Giving teachers the freedom to craft their own curriculum, guided by the high expectations of the school’s college preparatory mission, helps to create energy in the classroom, job satisfaction among teachers, and achievement in our students.