Muncie Southside High School 1601 E. 26th Street Muncie, IN 47302 Telephone: 765-747-5320 FAX: 765-747-5325 Principal: Rebecca Thompson Grade Levels: 9-12 Muncie Southside High School Web Site
Annual Review May 2006 BACKGROUND Muncie Southside, located in Muncie, Indiana, is a midsized school in the heart of Midwest America. The city of Muncie is known as "Middletown USA" because it was the site of sociological studies done in the 1920s and 1930s to ascertain what typical American attitudes and lifestyles were. Muncie is home to more than 70,000 citizens representing diverse racial, economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Even though a large part of the area immediately surrounding Muncie is rural and agricultural, the majority of employment in Muncie itself is based on industry, Ball State University, and Ball Memorial Hospital. The vast majority of parents whose children attend Southside High School are employed in blue-collar fields such as factory work, service professions, and manual labor positions. Ball State students have been learning to be teachers at Southside High School for many years. The most typical interactions have been in the areas of the junior-level participation class and in the senior student teaching experience. Yearly, there are 23 participants a semester, or 46 students, and a small number of student teachers, typically 5-8 per semester, or an average of 14 student teachers a year. In total, there are approximately 60 Ball State students formally assigned to classes at Southside High School in a given year. Approximately twenty-five Southside teachers per semester supervise Ball State students. This number is not doubled over the year since many teachers are willing to accept students in both semesters. Perhaps, there are as many as forty different teachers a year who have participants. The student teacher/supervisor ratio, of course, is 1/1. The Shared Model of Supervision discussed below acts as a support for teachers who are assigned student teachers. The formal PDS relationship between Ball State and Southside is now concluding its second year. The Ball State liaison to Southside is Karen Dowling, a former teacher of Japanese at the school. The Southside liaisons to Ball State this year were Lynn Engle and Vicki Marcus. They have been accorded adjunct faculty status. Becky Thompson is Southside High School's principal and has been most supportive of the Ball State/Southside PDS partnership. Mrs. Dowling is also the Ball State liaison to Wilson Middle School, the school from which most of Southside's students are drawn. This year, a productive relationship was forged between the two schools. TEACHER PREPARATION Goal: Shared Supervision Model Southside teachers will work toward bringing classroom teachers further into the process of evaluation of EDSEC 380 students and student teachers. Progress: The Model of Shared Supervision has been gradually implemented by faculty at Southside. Contrary to the old model of the university supervisor validating the observations of classroom teachers, classroom teachers are recognized by the university supervisor as competent, and their judgments are taken as authoritative. As a consequence, there is increased professional dialogue between classroom and university faculty; students, then, understand that their supervision is truly a partnership between theory and practice. The large number of Ball State students and of Southside teachers working with these students has created a real sense of a working Ball State presence among the teachers in the school. This year, the teachers of Southside High School participated in a discussion with two state teachers of the year to increase dialogue about schools and education around the state. Teachers also met with Mrs. Dowling in order to review the expectations of student teachers and student participants within the school and to explain the assessment process. During the week of ISTEP, the student participants this year were given the opportunity to participate in a program called Ipods in which they shared information about "college life." Mr. Basham presented this concept at the spring PDS meeting. Goal: Increased Number of Student Teachers Ball State will work toward increasing the number of student teachers placed each semester. Southside High School would appreciate having a greater number than they are currently receiving from BSU. Progress: In the fall of 2004 there was only one student teacher at Southside. The reason for the small number could not be explained, since students had been interviewed and placed the year before. In the spring of 2005, there were six. Cherlynn Renner and Karen Dowling shared supervision over ten student teachers in the 2005-2006 school year. This number does not include student teachers from Ball State University that come from the areas of special education and physical education. Goal: LAM Project BSU, in its effort to measure student teaching effectiveness through the LAM project, will be able to provide feedback for teachers about their own students' achievement in specific units of learning taught by student teachers. Progress: Although student teachers did complete the LAM project, they did not share those results with their teachers. The LAM project has had the intended result of providing student teachers evidence that their teaching is or is not effective, and they are able to show those outcomes with data. Future Goal: As with last year's "Future Goal," interviewing and recruiting students for EDSEC/EDJHM 380/385 should continue to create an increasing presence at Southside as well as providing a continuing presence from the 380 participation experience through to the student teaching experience. This occurred with two spring semester student teachers at Southside and two at Wilson. The rapport established and the relationships built through the participation experience solidified a stellar student teaching experience for these students. BSU and Southside will explore ways of collaborating in informing and preparing student teachers for the special education students, IEPs, and special education issues that they will deal with in the future as beginning teachers. Student teachers will continue to evaluate their teaching using this Learning Assessment Model and share their results with their teachers. STAFF DEVELOPMENT Goal: In-Service Experiences Mrs. Dowling and Mrs. Thompson will explore ways of introducing school goals into staff development activities. Progress: Mrs. Dowling and the adjunct faculty members as well as a pending site council are preparing for a new teacher group with the leadership of Mrs. Thompson and Mr. Basham. The PDS adjunct faculty would like to be in attendance for the new teacher beginning-of-the-year activities. This opportunity will help build confidence for the group as collaboration occurs, planning takes place, and the calendar is shared. After attending Poverty Training through WIPB, Mrs. Dowling would like to share this information. Furthermore, the adjunct faculty and Mrs. Dowling are looking into collaborating with Dwayne Richmond in Southside's program for minority students and academic achievement. Future Goal: An excellent goal would be for Wilson Middle School and Southside to communicate in the planning of each school's staff development. While their goals may differ, their populations are the same. RESEARCH Goal: Teachers' Own Questions of Practice Southside teachers will have the opportunity for conversation regarding their vision of how research may be helpful in their own practice. BSU will be available to develop ideas with teachers, if teachers express an interest. Progress: One of the staff development opportunities for faculty in the spring of 2005 was a presentation on action research. However, faculty members do not seem motivated to utilize action research to explore areas of concern that they have identified. It is an ongoing work in progress to encourage teachers to involve themselves in action research. Future Goals: Southside and Ball State will continue to explore the possibilities of action research. STUDENT LEARNING Goal: Transition from Middle School to High School Teachers and administrators from Southside High School and Wilson Middle School will meet to see how they can work together to improve student learning. Progress: Teachers and administrators from Southside and Wilson had a most successful joint site council meeting at Wilson. A full agenda of items was discussed. Among those were the problems faced by new ninth graders as they enter the high school. Wilson is a school that is organized according to a team approach, and Southside is organized departmentally. These differing organizational structures may present a challenge for the average student in transition. A number of suggestions were made at this meeting including:
Many issues were raised at this meeting and it lasted long after the usual adjournment time of most after-school meetings. This late adjournment seemed to reflect a great deal of enthusiasm. Future Goal: Continuation of these interschool discussions could really serve the goal of student achievement by introducing ninth graders to their next educational step without the stress of a difficult adjustment. Many suggestions were made and many issues were identified. The site councils of both schools should hold onto the momentum they have created. SUMMARY This year, there have been four significant events defining the Ball State/Southside High School PDS partnership.
What have not been discussed in this report are the overwhelmingly positive reports of BSU junior-level participants and of student teachers to their experiences at Southside High School. This is an outcome that continues semester after semester. Ball State students repeatedly say that their Southside classroom supervisors, their Southside students in the classrooms to which they are assigned, and the climate and school spirit experienced at Southside are unmatched by anything in their past. These comments are available in writing. Students say that the Southside experience has changed their thinking about teaching and their plans for the types of schools where they want to teach and the teachers they want to become. Karen Dowling
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