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    Dream School Essay (2201 words)

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    I am going to write my paper on my vision of the perfect school. In describingmy dream school I will explain how it will operate, involve special educationstudents and prepare students for life after high school. A strong site basedadministration is not only my preference, but is also the system that is mosteffective. I will first identify the individual positions of my dream school andthen define their roles. I will call my school Dream High School. Dream Highwill have a traditional administrative chain, consisting of a principal and avice-principal.

    There would be a dean of discipline for each grade, and a FAC(Faculty Advisory Committee) made up of two teacher representatives from eachgrade; one person from the classified staff and two from the parent teacherassociation. There will also be one student from each grade on the FAC. With theassistance of the two deans of discipline, the student body would establish aPeer Court. This would consist of seven members elected from the student body atlarge.

    Dream Supreme Court would be made up of the principal, vice principle,both deans and two teacher representatives. The principal would be responsible,primarily, for the business management of the school. Budgets, building,schedules, transportation and personnel issues fall into the area covered by theprincipal. The vice-principal would assist the principal in all areas. Inaddition, the VP must deal with staff development concerns. He or she willfacilitate the mentoring program, manage the training schedules and ensure thatall staff is allowed to attend seminars each year to further their expertise.

    All discipline issues not covered by the PEER COURT system-suspension,expulsion, safety- will be dealt with by the deans of discipline. The PEER COURTwould be responsible for holding weekly sessions to address routine concerns. Students’ accused of violating a rule will come before the PEER COURT for ahearing. In my school the accused will have an opportunity to present theirside, witnesses may be called and may testify. The PEER COURT will thendetermine guilt and impose consequences.

    The accused may appeal to the deans ofdiscipline. The VP and deans must approve of the imposed consequences. The DreamSupreme Court must automatically intervene when issues of safety, security, andor state law are involved. Otherwise, the decisions of the peer court are final.

    The Parent Teacher Association is an integral part of the running of my school. Formally, they are represented on the FAC. It is the representatives’responsibility to bring to light concerns, issues and desires of the community. It is an absolute mandate that the staff be responsive to community concerns. The school, primarily through the PTA, must actively seek not only their in-putregarding concerns, but also their needs and wants. The expertise of everyone inthe site community must be sought to enhance the overall effectiveness.

    Eachprofessional at Dream High will be assigned to his or her best area ofexpertise. The staff would have the FAC to deal with their issues while thestudents would have representatives on the FAC as well as their own PEER COURT. I believe that when those involved have direct control over their lives, theresults will benefit all involved. Giving control to the local community,students and staff members will increase the feeling of belonging and investmentof all who come in contact with the school. DREAM SCHOOL ISSUE: SPECIAL EDDISCIPLINE Dream High will include its Special Ed students with the mainstreampopulation with regards to discipline. Since federal law interjects formaldiscipline guidelines, someone must be placed in charge to over see thisprocess.

    The case manager (Special Ed teacher) for each student will act as the”legal advocate” for the Special ED student on his or her caseload. Thisutilization of the teacher will accomplish several things: First, federal andstate laws will be followed. It is simply not reasonable to expect all staff,FAC members and student PEER COURT officers to be familiar with all legalstatues. Therefore, the case manager will guide all involved through thediscipline process. Next is the possible communication concern.

    Many Special Edstudents are dramatically delayed in the communication and social skill areas. Having the case manager present will alleviate some of this concern. Thestudent(s) will certainly feel much more comfortable with a known spokesperson. The student will be able to “voice” his or her case through the advocate.

    IDEA mandates that schools discipline Special ED students as mainstream studentsare treated. Therefore, it will be required that ALL students be disciplined inaccordance with the Dream High School governance system. CURRICULUM DreamHigh’s curriculum will be based upon the fact that it is a two year (11-12)school. The Base curriculum will be made up of the following core classes: MathEnglish Social Studies Science Physical Education Humanities In addition to theabove-mentioned classes Dream High will have an interactive agreement with thelocal university to provide college level math, English and science courses tothe students. These courses will be offered during the evenings and weekends soas to allow students the opportunity to enjoy a variety of classes both duringthe school day and outside of the school day if the student elects. Thealternative classes offered will include: Welding Auto-Shop Cooking Wood WorkingCarpentry Computer Technology Cosmetology Drama For all of the above mentionedclasses industry leaders will be called upon to help develop the curriculum andcourse content.

    It only makes sense that the people that are working on a day today basis in the fields that apply to these courses would be better suited toestablish the levels of importance of course content. An engineer working at IBMfor example would be working not only on the Computer Technology class but onthe math curriculum as well. Construction firms and local architects would beable to build a class that would target what skills are most important for astudent that is interested in working in their field. Skilled Chef’s would beworking with our curriculum design team to identify the basics that anapprentice Chef would need to know when entering the workplace. In short, it isimportant that the people with the most expertise in the selected areas shouldhave input on what course content should be.

    Because technology and techniqueschange on a rapid basis the curriculum would be reviewed on a bi-annual basisand innovations would be implemented at that time. Specialty Area-Music Themusic program in most high schools is probably one of the most under appreciatedprograms in general. Administrators tend to believe that these programs do notneed the funding or support that athletics or core classes need but often thisis not the case. It has been proven through numerous studies that students witha musical background perform better in school, have better study habits andgrasp abstract thinking better that those students that are not involved in amusic program. It is for this reason that Dream High will place great value andpride in both the music program and the athletic program.

    The following classesin music will be offered: Music Theory Music Appreciation Concert Band ConcertChoir Jazz Band Jazz Choir Students entering their first year at the school willbe required to take music theory and music appreciation regardless if they playan instrument. This is to provide the student with a basic knowledge of musicand it’s history so that the student may have a well rounded education. Bandand Choir students will be offered lessons free of charge from an agreement madewith the local music store. Experienced staff and instructors are compensatedfor their time by having students promote music throughout the community byvisiting local elementary schools, civic events, and entertaining the residentsof local nursing homes. Students will also experience seminars given throughoutthe year by experienced professional musicians so that they better understandthe demands and rewards of a career in music Individual Educational ProgramsStudents at Dream High will be participating in academic classes until the 10thgrade when they would be tested in academics, take an interest inventory test,and complete a comprehensive Individualized Education Program (IEP).

    Studentswith academic abilities who wished to continue on a “college prep” schedule,would do so. Those who are not as strong academically would address possiblevocations that would appear in the Interest Inventory Test. At that point, eachstudent would develop a comprehensive IEP. Most students have a good idea ifthey want to go to college or not and what they are good at.

    Most have thoughtabout, and may know, what they want to do when they are grown-up. Most of them,however, do not know what’s involved in achieving their goals. An IEP is veryhelpful in developing a “plan of attack”. It gives the student manageablesteps to take to be successful.

    Having goals helps keep students motivated. There are fewer discipline issues and their transition into adulthood is mucheasier. The IEP’s would focus on the present levels of achievement,social-emotional adaptation, future goals and objectives as well as address theseven intelligence’s. The “seven intelligence’s” are; interpersonalrelationships, introspective abilities, spatial (visualization), athletic,musical, and verbal or mathematical intelligence’s.

    The principle would be”How are you smart, not how smart are you?” At my school I would endorsethese intelligence’s to where students are in “a state of flow”, thatlearning lane that is challenging, but not so much as to cause anxiety. Studentswould be learning within their strong suit and therefore, would be motivated andsuccessful, requiring very little direct instruction. Students in their junioryear, who did not plan to go to college, would be placed in a vocationaltraining program and in their senior year, they would work as apprentices withinthe work force of their chosen area. Instruction Business people would be actingas “teachers” in the work force, with teacher support when needed.

    Businesspeople are not trained educators, and therefore, tend to fall into “incompleteteaching” naturally. They present the task with brief directions and then,usually, walk away, leaving the student to rely and hone his problem solvingskills based on his or her short term memory and seven intelligence’s. Thistype of learning is what is lacking in the schools today, because students donot have a personal interest in the topic and very little to figure out, theyare simply required to use rote memorization. Special Program Preparation forLife: A transition program from school to community Abstract of Program:Preparation for Life would be a program that is designed to prepare individualswith special needs for the transition from school life to adult life.

    Throughclasses and experiences, individuals with special needs will gain insight intothe areas of work, leisure activities, adult living realities, and skills neededto be independent in the community. The program has 3 levels, based on the gradeand need of the student. In the following composition, the 3 levels of theprogram will be described. Level One: The first level would be for 9th and 10thgraders. During this level, students receive much of their instruction in highschool classes that are geared towards the individual student needs and goals. Instruction during the 9th and 10th year is intended to prepare students for thenext level.

    Students at this level will be taken into the community to learnaspects of transition, including; grocery shopping, going to the doctor, goingto the post office, public/private transportation, etc. Students will have theopportunity to be paid for school-based work experiences, to build andstrengthen positive working skills. Academic training during this level would bebased on practical needs of individual students. If a student is not ready tomove on to the next level, then that student will stay in level one until he/sheis ready to move on. Level Two: Level two would be made up of 11th and 12thgraders. At this level, students spend more time in the community.

    Most studentsspend ? of their school day in classes and the other ? in the community,usually being paid to work at a business, in a group or individually. Classes atthe school would be based on job seeking skills (where to look for a job, how tocontact job sites, how to keep a job, etc. ), how to fill out variousapplications, interview skills, how to be a good employee, etc. Students wouldalso become more independent in the community.

    When students have successfullycompleted this level of the program they will go through the graduation processto signify the completion of high school. Based on what the need is, somestudents will not go onto level three, they will stay in level two until their22nd birthday. Those students will not go through the graduation ceremony untilthat point. If a student moves on, he/she goes to level three. Level Three: Themain focus of this level is independence. Once students have reached this level,they no longer attend high school classes.

    Students are hooked up with adultsupport programs, such as Vocational Rehabilitation, JOIN, OARC, etc. The schoolwould still support individuals, but the support would come from as job/lifecoaching in the community. At this time the students would be given the optionto work full time for pay. Living arrangements may include; at home with familyor in assisted living situations. It would be expected that the student displaya certain amount of responsibility by showing up to work on time.

    Once a studentturns 22 he/she will have completed level three. At this point the individualshould be ready to be an active part of the community. A program such asPreparation for Life would be designed to prepare individuals with variousspecial needs for a life after school. The program would help to ease thetransition from school life to adult life, a successful transition based onindividual needs and goals.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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