382 West Main Street
Forest City, NC 28043
All Rutherford County students will graduate prepared for college and
School Improvement Plan
Chase High School
Mr. Kevin Bradley, Principal
1603 Chase High Road
Forest City, NC 28043
Telephone: 828-245-7668 | Fax: 828-248-3584 http://chs.rcsnc.org/
The nature of education today is an ever competitive one. CHASE High School (CHS) furnishes an educational experience that offers students a variety of learning options. By implementing the NC Standard Course of Study with fidelity and staff use of 21st century instructional practices, our students are prepared to pursue postsecondary educational opportunities. Those seeking a more rigorous path to higher education may do so through Advanced Placement and college courses, both of which allow students the opportunity to earn college credits before leaving high school. Through high school Career-Technical Education (CTE) offerings, our students can earn industry recognized certifications in the following areas: Automotive Technologies, Cosmetology, Nail Technician, Nursing, Microsoft, Welding and Criminal Justice. Additionally, all CHASE High students may explore areas of career development in arts, business, marketing, finance, agriculture, trade & industry, family consumer sciences, music, and foreign studies. While enrolled at CHS, students are provided an Apple MacBook. Each student has the opportunity to use that MacBook throughout their high school experience, both at school and at home. In addition, each classroom has an interactive Promethean board for teacher and student use.
CHASE High operates on a traditional block schedule, and students can earn a minimum of 8 credits each year. Students must adhere to state requirements of 16 core credits as well as earn an additional 12 credits in order to be eligible for graduation. CHASE’s student attendance rate was 92%, indicating an overwhelming majority of our students benefit daily from the resources provided to them. Last year the average class size at CHASE was 20 students per class.
CHASE High students are afforded the opportunity to become well-rounded individuals as they broaden their knowledge of leadership, teamwork, and citizenship through campus supported extracurriculars including athletics, student organizations, theatre & drama, debate & forensics, and many others.
CHASE began the 2017-2018 school year with 737 students in grades 9-12. This is a 7% decrease from the 2016-2017 enrollment. The current racial distribution of the student body is 77.5% white, 8.4% Hispanic/Latino, 6.9% African American, 6.6% Multiracial, and 1% other.
Although employment opportunities and county economics seem to be stagnant, the CHASE community and student body remain strong. Our students are taught by a staff of 50 highly qualified teachers. Of those teachers, 60% have more than 10 years of experience and more than 25% of them have advanced degrees. Additionally, our faculty exceeds the district and state averages for National Board Certified Teachers while having a lower turnover rate.
Data suggest that in areas of low economic stimulus and high unemployment, student achievement will decrease due in part to families with higher educational attainment leaving for areas of greater job opportunity. CHASE High is defying those statistics by steadily showing an increase in educational targets established by state and national standards. CHASE’s graduation cohort rate has increased from 59.4% in 2008-2009 to 93.1% in 2016-2017 which exceeds the current state average of 86.5%. Over 95% of our students met the Math Course RIgor target by successfully completing NC Math 3. In addition, our efforts over the past few years have increased ACT performance from 54.9% of students meeting the UNC System minimum ACT score in 2014-2015 to 62.2% in 2016-2017. CHASE High School continues to focus on students at risk of dropping out and uses best practices to increase the cohort graduation rate and decrease the dropout rate.
While nestled in the southern rural portion of Rutherford County and in an area of high economic poverty, CHASE High continues to build strong relationships with its students while individualizing their educational opportunities. With no municipality in its district, the high school continues to be the foundational root of the community and relies heavily on its stakeholders to help sustain the educational and extracurricular work being done. In spite of all obstacles, the support of stakeholders remains high as evidenced in recent Teacher Working Conditions Survey and AdvancED stakeholder surveys. In 2015 and 2016, results from AdvancED stakeholder satisfaction surveys revealed that our school’s purpose and direction was the highest rated area among parents, students, and staff. Parent and staff results concluded that our school's purpose statement is clearly focused on student success, while student survey results evidenced that they believed our school programs and services are available to help them succeed. Furthermore, based on the most recent 2016 Teacher Working Conditions Survey, we surmise that CHASE is improving in all areas of school culture defined by the survey. Teachers across NC rated their own schools using the same survey and our teachers rated CHASE High School higher than the state averages in Facilities & Resources, Managing Student Conduct, Teacher Leadership, School Leadership, Professional Development, Instructional Practices and Support, in Overall Satisfaction.
Beliefs and Mission
CHASE High School’s vision is that all students will graduate prepared to be productive and competitive citizens in a global society. To accomplish this shared vision, our staff agrees that our mission must be to inspire lifelong learning and citizenship by enabling our students to read comprehensively, write logically, think critically, and act ethically thus preparing and enabling them to be competitive in a global society. We know that all our students hold the potential to be great. We continue our collaborative efforts to work with families, community members, and other stakeholders to ensure that all are aware of their students’ educational, social, physical, and emotional needs.
Our faculty and staff provided input and feedback to their respective departmental heads and school improvement team which resulted in a shared statement of vision and mission. The vision and mission reflect our current initiatives to prepare our students for postsecondary success in a global environment where they will be expected to communicate in collaborative environments and demonstrate both written and verbal literacy skills. It drives our instructional practices and expectations and is resonated in the fabric of our classrooms as all students are expected to read, write, think, and talk in every classroom, every day. The official mission continues to be included in all written communication with staff and is posted throughout the school. Externally, we continue to communicate our vision and mission on all official documents and are intentional that school communication with parents focuses on preparation for their student’s next steps after high school graduation.
Desired Outcomes and Results
On August 23, 2017 the faculty of CHASE High School convened in the school’s media center for a beginning of the year faculty meeting and school improvement work session. The staff was led in a strategic planning and data overview session related to the Rutherford County Schools strategic plan. The staff was given an overview of the district's strategic goals and data trends from CHASE High School as compared to the benchmarks set forth by the district goals. The areas specifically studied were: EOC proficiency results, ACT college readiness results, ACT WorkKeys results, Math Course Rigor results, SAT scores, annual dropout rates, and cohort graduation rates. Our staff acknowledges that these areas directly reflect the preparedness of our students for postsecondary goals and their ability to reach those goals. The areas also align and reflect state and national marks of student preparation.
Through this work session, the staff of CHASE High noted that the most significant areas of gain were in our ACT results and graduation rates, both of which were the focus of previous school improvement plans. Other areas were noted as above regional medians including low school dropout rates, WorkKeys results, and Math Course Rigor. However, several areas were noted as needing improvement based on the data including EOC proficiency percentages in English II, Biology and Math I.
Understanding that assessment results in these areas contribute to the success of our school’s vision, the high school must take measures to boost student success related to these assessments. Our mission is to enable our students to be comprehensive readers, logical writers, critical thinkers and ethical citizens thus allowing them to compete in all areas of a global market. Outcomes and results from the areas noted above are great indicators of our progress towards our mission and will be a focus of our school’s improvement actions.
Analysis of Organizational and Instructional Effectiveness
The Rutherford County School’s strategic plan is comprised of three transformational goals which are addressed in relation to CHASE High School in detail below: 1) Engage every student in rigorous 21st century instruction focused on college and career success. 2) Deploy a comprehensive, integrated system of support that is responsive to students’ evolving social, emotional, and developmental needs. 3) Ensure all students’ equitable access to safe, modern educational facilities and appropriate learning resources.
CHASE High School purposefully designs programs and implements strategies to engage each student in rigorous 21st century instruction with specific focus on college and career success. With teacher access to EVAAS data for students, teachers can intentionally focus on each individual student and his/her success and growth. They can see potential exam scores for their subjects which helps identify potential students who may struggle with a particular subject matter. This identification allows teachers to modify instruction, and create plans of action targeting specific students through varied methodology continuing to incorporate 21st century skills.
The district’s one-to-one laptop initiative is equipping students with access to learning opportunities that will ensure success in a competitive global society. Through the assistance of the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation, district level grants, as well as proper budget planning at the county office level, we are able to fund our one-to-one initiative. Teachers can design specific content instructions utilizing this technology which prepares them to be competitive in an ever changing global society. This initiative also allows CHASE to provide a campus lab for online courses available through North Carolina Virtual Public Schools and a facilitator, as well as a partnership with Isothermal Community College, which allows our students access to college level resources, courses, and support. We have experienced a surge in student enrollment in these courses, which allow students to graduate with post secondary credits.
Through the continued implementation of Trojan’s Excel flex time during the school day (25 minutes), appropriate grade level strategies can be designed and implemented. Each student is assigned a teacher for Excel time based on his/her grade level. Currently, freshmen students focus on SAT/ACT throughout the school year; Sophomores split their focus between SAT/ACT prep; Juniors rotate every 3 weeks to different teachers in the areas of math, social studies, science and English to receive subject matter review to prepare them for the upcoming ACT (taken their junior year) and SAT (taken junior and senior years); Seniors focus on SAT preparation, WorkKeys and career/college preparedness. On Monday and Tuesday of each week, students meet with their 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th period teachers on a rotational basis to receive remediation time, while SAT/ACT prep and subject review occurs Wednesday-Friday, with needed club meetings and/or assemblies on Fridays. The percentage of juniors demonstrating college readiness by earning at least the UNC minimum composite score of 17 on the ACT assessment has increased from 49% during the 2013-2014 school year to 62% during 2016-2017. Curriculum for grades 9, 10 and 12 is currently being developed to model the current 11th grade structure which has yielded positive student growth.
The success of the McNair Educational Foundation is an additional important factor in our students’ success. This foundation pushes students to reach beyond their potential using informative, motivational, and financial assistance with the goal in mind to allow all students to set goals that lead to collegiate learning. Specifically, through McNair, each student is assigned a mentor from the community upon entering their freshman year who meets with the student on a regular basis to direct, encourage, and assist, which continues until graduation. McNair also participates in informing our students about collegiate opportunities, while assisting them in applying for college. Our McNair Coordinator plans informational sessions, especially for juniors and seniors, assists students in applying for college, and assists parents and students in the completion of the FAFSA, a financial requirement for all college bound students.
Likewise, CHASE High School deploys a comprehensive, integrated system of support that is responsive to students’ evolving social, emotional, and developmental needs. CHASE recognizes that student’s social, emotional, and developmental needs evolve and purposefully implement programs/strategies to meet the needs of our students.
Rutherford County Schools employs several Graduation Coaches utilized at the high school level. These coaches are responsible for identifying students who are at risk of dropping out, and for meeting with them to discuss opportunities and options to keep them in school. Often the coaches recommend they attend our alternative school to allow them to graduate in a timely manner and to keep them from dropping out. CHASE High’s 4-year cohort graduation rate continues to improve increasing from 82% in 2013-2014 to 93% in 2016-2017.
CHASE High continues its partnership with Davidson College which allows the school to have a college advisor on campus on a daily basis. This opportunity is funded by a special grant received by Davidson College. CHASE High was selected to participate in this program due to our economic and rural status. Davidson’s college advisors design and display several college focused communications throughout their assigned school, informing students of important college related dates and pertinent information. They also actively inform seniors of scholarship opportunities, design activities for College Application Week that involves seniors receiving incentives for each college application submission, and involve teachers through competitions such as a college/career door decorating contest and a teacher spirit contest.
Through CHASE’s Student Services Management Team (SSMT), teachers are able to meet with students who are struggling with emotional, academic, and social issues to individualize their educational plan. Students deal with many situations external to their educational environment that often require special treatment at the school level. SSMT provides an additional opportunity to intervene on behalf of students to help them achieve overall success.
The school is also involved in Project Unify, which is a program that brings regular education students into our Exceptional Children (EC) classrooms to work with students with intellectual disabilities. Both our EC and regular education students benefit from this program experience which has altered the culture of the entire student body at CHASE High. Students and faculty maintain a positive culture that nurtures students with intellectual disabilities.
CHASE High School works to ensure all students’ equitable access to safe, modern, educational facilities and appropriate learning resources. Again, our current one-to-one initiative equips each high school student with a Macbook for educational utilization, both inside and outside the classroom. Our one-to-one initiative provides access to a variety of applications and digital resources, giving them a competitive advantage in the global job market.
Implementation of faculty proxy cards (magnetic keyless entry), allows the majority of outside doors to be secured, requiring students to use the interior corridors and limiting unauthorized external access to the facility. All visitors must enter through the main office for authorized entry. An established check-in procedure adds an additional level of security.
As a focus for the 2017-2019 School Improvement Plan Cycle, CHASE High School will implement several purposefully designed strategies and programs to address areas of needed improvement based on data released from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in relation to student achievement indicators. Under the READY accountability model for North Carolina, CHASE exceeded expected growth and was assigned a grade of “C’ for the 2014-2015 school year. CHASE maintained exceeded growth status for the 2015-2016 school year and progressed to a grade of “B” performance. However, CHASE did not meet expected growth during the 2016-2017 school year and received a school report grade of “C” performance. The table below illustrates End-of-Course (EOC) performance for the last three years.
English II 2014-2015: 55.0% 2015-2016: 51.3% 2016-2017: 49.8%
NC Math 1 2014-2015: 36.8% 2015-2016: 53.1% 2016-2017: 50.0%
Based on overall analysis of available data, CHASE High commits to the following three SMART goals to address EOC performance areas over the next two school years:
- Proficiency rates on the NC End-of-Course test in English II will increase to at least 54% in the 2017-2018 school year and to at least 58% in the 2018-2019 school year. - Proficiency rates on the NC End-of-Course test in NC Math 1 will increase to at least 53% in the 2017-2018 school year and to at least 56% in the 2018-2019 school year. - Proficiency rates on the NC End-of-Course test in Biology will increase to at least 60% in the 2017-2018 school year and to at least 65% in the 2018-2019 school year.
In addition, CHASE is committed to its focus on improving the percentage of juniors demonstrating college readiness by earning at least the UNC minimum composite score of 17 on the ACT assessment by increasing the 2016-2017 rate of 62% to at least 64% by the end of the 2017-2018 school year and to at least 66% by the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
Through continued work of departmental Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), continued implementation of our Trojan’s Excel daily flex time, and daily instruction, all teachers and administrative staff will collectively and individually make concerted efforts to support all goals in the current SIP cycle as outlined in our Action Plan located in Section 5. Continued participation with both the Literacy Design Collaborative and the Math Design Collaborative, as well as, the school’s focused implementation of Learner-Centered Strategies across all curriculum areas to ensure active student engagement and participation, allows everyone to be actively invested in overall school improvement. In addition, a commitment to incorporating test-taking strategies into instruction, including strategies for mastering multiple choice questions and using text-based evidence for answer choice justification, provides support for all End-of-Course and NC Final assessments school-wide.
Furthermore, continued work within PLCs to develop, administer, and analyze results of common assessments will allow teachers to address shared content standards that need additional support, as well as, provide opportunities for them to continue their work as reflective practitioners whose instruction is informed by the direct performance of students. The faculty and staff of CHASE High School are very much committed to continuing our efforts with increasing the overall growth and success of our students and ensuring they are skilled and equipped to pursue their interests beyond their time as CHASE High Trojans.