Hartmann: Coronado Success Initiative continues positive progress

The Coronado High School Success Initiative is 18 months in progress, launched in January of 2017, with much to celebrate and equally more to do.

Kim Hartmann

As a reminder as to why this Scottsdale Unified School District initiative is so important: SUSD, with 23,000 students in five high schools and PreK-12 learning communities, maintains a nearly 90 percent high school graduation and college-going rate.

However, historically, success has not been evenly distributed across all five learning communities with Coronado High School at a 73 percent graduation and 40 percent college-going rate.

The good news is, this is changing, as a result of committed administrators and teachers, a focused community and eager students.

The CSI program launched with the financial support of the Scottsdale Charros and the Innovation Engine of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. These two early adopters and innovators continue to support the multi-year CSI program while attracting and expanding additional support across the community.

As with any significant undertaking, there have been trials and tribulations.

However, the CSI initiative has proven to be worthy of the effort. The 2016-2017 (2017) school year has served as the initiative’s base year, thus with the closing of the 2017-2018 (2018) school year, we have our first year of results. These results are early indicators of the longer-term success metrics and target of a college and career ready Coronado Don’s student body.

The following are a few of the first school year ending 2018 versus 2017 academic performance results:

With college and post-secondary certification as the goal, the following are the school year ending 2018 versus 2017 college-knowing results:

The CSI student results are headed in the right direction, however, there is still more work to do and the Coronado teachers were the first to recognize it. While teachers across the state were rallying for more pay this past Spring, the Coronado teachers were proposing a longer work day to the SUSD Governing Board.

Next year, Coronado will add two additional 30-minute sections a day of academic instruction and support during lunch time, calling it the Coronado RISE Hour. Students who choose to participate in this voluntary program, will be receiving the equivalent of 15 days of additional academic support. In addition, ELA and Math intervention courses are planned for next Fall to supported student-specific targeted learning opportunities.

Next year will also begin, a downstream PreK-8 learning community intervention to support improved academic results and vertical matriculation.

There is a concerted focus on college and career readiness. Next year, Coronado will be adding at least five additional Continuing Technical Education classes, including: Business 102, Hospitality and Tourism, Software Development I and II, Film and TV, and Law and Public Policy.

In addition, there will be additional sections of JAG, Intro and Advanced Sports Medicine, Mariachi and Varsity Choir. Additional AP English and History classes, as well as, ELA and Math Intervention classes are being added to the schedule.

Last, but certainly not least, it takes an entire community to realize full Coronado student potential. Nationwide Insurance and Walgreen’s, two significant Scottsdale employers, have each launched paid internship programs, in partnership with Business United for Scottsdale Schools, to provide Coronado High School students real work experience opportunities and potential career opportunities.

BUSS will also be piloting a student and business professional dinner and discussion program called Pizza with a Professional, sponsored by Blaze Pizza and the Scottsdale Rotary Club, which will allow Coronado High School students to meet with business professionals to explore various career opportunities while enjoying pizza!

This is in addition to community mentor program that was piloted this past Spring with ten Coronado students and the hope to expand the program next year.

My hope is this update continues to illuminate both the need and the aspirations of an important SUSD and Scottsdale community. Significant challenges do not happen over-night nor can they be solved over-night.

Instead they are tackled by passionate and persistent teachers and partners that support and measure progress, one day, one year and one student at a time. I look forward to sharing the next round of results and encourage anyone interested in supporting or participating in the CSI initiative to contact me at khartmann@susd.org or Dr. Amy Fuller at afuller@susd.org. BUSS information can be found at bussfoundation.org.

Much continued thanks and gratitude to our CSI administrators, teachers, community partners, parents and students. Go Dons!

Editor’s note: Ms. Hartmann is a member of the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board

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