Submitted by David Herrera, Principal
Note: The information in this profile represents SY2012-13 unless otherwise indicated.

School/organization overview

Name Downtown College Prep Alum Rock
Type Charter School
Locale Urban
Headquarters San Jose, California
First year of operation SY2000-01
Grades served 6-12
Enrollment 660
% FRL 87%
% Black or Hispanic 91%
Per-pupil funding $7,500 (SY2011-12)

School/organization background

History and context
Downtown College Prep was founded in 2000 as the first charter high school in Santa Clara County. DCP opened with the explicit mission of serving low-income, first generation college students. Although our first school is located across town from East Side San Jose, nearly 40% of ours students were taking the bus to get to our high school campus.

Seeing that community need, we opened DCP Alum Rock to provide an option for families seeking the DCP model in East Side San Jose. Blended learning is a natural fit with our model, as we are seeking to create a school that customizes the learning for students and enables them to learn to their full potential.

Blended-learning program

Name N/A
Focus General
Year launched SY2011-12
Enrollment 260
Blended grades 6-8
Blended subjects Math, English Language Arts
Content Achieve 3000, Khan Academy, PLATO Learning, Mangahigh, TenMarks, NoRedInk, AcademicMerit
SIS PowerSchool
Independent LMS None
Independent gradebook None
Independent assessment  OARS, MAP (NWEA)
Professional development None

Program model

Program model: Individual Rotation

Model description
Our students have customized playlists and rotate through different learning modalities on a fixed schedule. Students generally rotate through each station, but have different content within each station.

Program description

How much time do students spend on campus in this blended-learning program? How much of this time do students spend learning online or with educational software?
Students spend approximately 18 hours per week in blended classes. Of that time, they spend approximately 6-8 hours learning online (while at school).

Briefly describe the offline components of this blended-learning program.
Humanities: integrated social studies and language arts instruction that incorporates Reader’s/Writer’s workshop. Students read leveled texts and the focus on developing writing skills. Small group instruction is primary mode of instruction.
Math: standards-based instruction that is primarily delivered in small groups based on assessment current student needs.

How does this blended-learning program fit into the rest of the students’ school day?
The blended classes–math and humanities–comprise two-thirds of the student schedule.

What are the teachers’ roles and responsibilities in both the online and offline components of this blended-learning program?
The teacher’s role is to explore the viability of new tools and to push themselves to constantly rethink their role.

What other adults are involved in this blended-learning program (e.g., paraprofessionals, learning coaches, counselors) and what are their roles and responsibilities?
A lead Individualized Learning Coach (ILC) manages two additional ILCs. The Lead ILC’s role is to support blended learning, account management, and facilitate teacher learning of how to use new tools across all content areas.

Briefly describe the set-up of physical space for this blended-learning program.
In Humanities and 6th grade math, all students are within a traditional classroom and rotate through stations. In math for grades 7 & 8, students are in two adjacent classrooms and rotate throughout stations between the two rooms. This has more to do with the space constraints of the facility we were able to secure than an intentional program design.

How are students grouped within this blended-learning program?
They are currently grouped by grade level. However, we are headed towards multi-age grouping for math.

Do students have some element of control over the pacing of their learning? Are students tied to a semester-based course schedule or can they complete courses at any time? Briefly describe any requirements or benchmarks in place to ensure student progress.
In math: Students have playlists which specify the minimum amount of content they must master. Students can progress as fast as they are able. We have assessments that are embedded within the software, teacher designed assessments, and other assessments to measure student progress.

In humanities: students can control their reading content and the amount of work that they do in order to raise their reading level. Course completion is tied to the academic calendar.

Student progress is reviewed on a weekly basis in both subject areas.

Describe the academic results of the program, using quantitative data where possible.
In ELA: We increased the percentage of students scoring at proficient/above from 37% to 53%. The percentage of students scoring at Far Below/Below Basic decreased from 35% to 21%. We also received an award from Achieve3000 for having the highest lexile gains of all schools in the Western United States. 98% of students passed the state writing proficiency exam.

In Math: We increased the percentage of students scoring at proficient/above from 43% to 55%. The percentage of students scoring at Far Below/Below Basic decreased from 24% to 17%.

Contact information

Name: David Herrera
Title: Principal
Phone: 408-942-7000


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