Learning Community at  Buckhorn High School  2011 Alabama State Transition Conference March 7, 2011 So-Young Lee  (slee@ma...
What is the Learning Community? <ul><li>The learning community is designed to help those students with disabilities to ach...
Learning Community <ul><li>The structure of the learning community is heterogeneous to create equal opportunities. It is a...
The meaning of “Learning” and “Community” <ul><li>In Chinese, the term “learning” is represented by two characters: </li><...
Positive School Environment <ul><li>A positive school environment is the key to a successful learning community.  </li></u...
Friendship Day <ul><li>Purpose :  Friendship day was designed to improve student’s social, communication, and problem solv...
Friendship Day <ul><li>Community Agreements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attentive Listening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apprecia...
Friendship Day <ul><li>We conclude every Friendship Day activity in a community circle to reflect on any questions, commen...
School Wide Involvement <ul><li>Core subject teachers come to The Learning Community each day of the week from different s...
School Wide Involvement  <ul><li>Lunch Buddies: every Friday students from our Freshman Academy join our students for lunc...
School Wide Involvement <ul><li>Our students are also involved with the pep rallies and special events at our school. </li...
High School Transition Program at BHS <ul><li>To Improve Social Skills:  Friendship Day, Music Class, Lunch buddies, & Pee...
Implementing a Peer Mentoring Program <ul><li>Peer mentoring has been successful at Buckhorn High School. It has created a...
Music Class <ul><li>Joining a band or choir sometimes seems out of reach for students with disabilities. In large part of ...
Functional Curriculum <ul><li>Schools need to establish a successful community-based transition program that promotes dail...
Recycling with the  Leadership Class
Positive Behavior Intervention <ul><li>Creating a positive climate through classwide interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Resea...
Team Work <ul><li>In order to achieve a successful program  everyone must work together as a team for the good of the stud...
Professional Learning Communities at Work <ul><li>Educators –  Regular Education and Special Education </li></ul><ul><li>A...
A Shared Vision <ul><li>What is our purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we hope to become? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The vision...
Communication <ul><li>This is the most important element for keeping improvement in the forefront.  </li></ul><ul><li>Posi...
 
Questions?
References <ul><li>1)  DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (1998).  Professional   Learning Communities at Work.   Bloomington, IN:  N...
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Buckhorn Learning Community

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Buckhorn Learning Community

  1. 1. Learning Community at Buckhorn High School 2011 Alabama State Transition Conference March 7, 2011 So-Young Lee (slee@madison.k12.al.us) Victoria Hensley (vhensley@madison.k12.al.us)
  2. 2. What is the Learning Community? <ul><li>The learning community is designed to help those students with disabilities to achieve their IEP goals throughout the school year in a very structured, positive, active, and creative environment. It is also a place where positive learning happens with regular education peers and adults. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Learning Community <ul><li>The structure of the learning community is heterogeneous to create equal opportunities. It is a combination of interactive and functional curriculum to focus on daily living, vocational, communication, and social skills . </li></ul><ul><li>As a result of our interactive programs we </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spend less time managing student behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have more time for creative teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enjoy teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over time, improve academic and social skills </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The meaning of “Learning” and “Community” <ul><li>In Chinese, the term “learning” is represented by two characters: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to practice constantly. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community means different things to different people. To some it is a safe haven, to others it is a place of emotional support with deep sharing. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Positive School Environment <ul><li>A positive school environment is the key to a successful learning community. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: Our tree planting ceremony (April 23, 2010) hosted by the leadership team was in honor of the learning community. The ceremony symbolized the unity of our regular education students and the learning community by planting the tree. As trees need nourishment and attention, so do all students in our school. The tree’s growth will be a reminder of the great changes that have and will take place within our school environment. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Friendship Day <ul><li>Purpose : Friendship day was designed to improve student’s social, communication, and problem solving skills. Friendship Day implements a research program called “Tribes: A New Way of Learning and Being Together”. by Jeanne Gibbs. We use several elements from the Tribes program in our curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>When : Every Wed, 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>Who : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buckhorn Leadership Class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Community </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Friendship Day <ul><li>Community Agreements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attentive Listening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appreciation / no-put downs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Right to Pass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutual Respect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maintain a positive learning environment in the classroom </li></ul>
  8. 8. Friendship Day <ul><li>We conclude every Friendship Day activity in a community circle to reflect on any questions, comments, and appreciation the students may have. </li></ul><ul><li>-Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content-Why are wishes important? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social-How do you know they listened? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal-How did you feel while you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>were sharing your wish? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appreciation- “I liked when….” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. School Wide Involvement <ul><li>Core subject teachers come to The Learning Community each day of the week from different subjects. </li></ul>Social Studies Language Art Science Math
  10. 10. School Wide Involvement <ul><li>Lunch Buddies: every Friday students from our Freshman Academy join our students for lunch to discuss current events inside and outside of school. </li></ul>
  11. 11. School Wide Involvement <ul><li>Our students are also involved with the pep rallies and special events at our school. </li></ul>
  12. 12. High School Transition Program at BHS <ul><li>To Improve Social Skills: Friendship Day, Music Class, Lunch buddies, & Peer Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>To Learn Independent Living Skills: cooking, school based jobs (recycling, lunch room helper, jobs in both classes everyday; breakfast helper, cleaning tables, calendar helper, kitchen helper, time keeper, sweeping & laundry) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Implementing a Peer Mentoring Program <ul><li>Peer mentoring has been successful at Buckhorn High School. It has created a more positive school environment for, not only disabled students, but also their general education peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Peer mentors assist our students doing Math and Reading one on one. </li></ul><ul><li>Working with regular peers helps students with disabilities to improve social skills. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Music Class <ul><li>Joining a band or choir sometimes seems out of reach for students with disabilities. In large part of the cooperation of the choir and band teachers, music class has made our students feel apart of something that they did not think could be possible for them. </li></ul><ul><li>I have observed students freely express themselves by performing and dancing. The benefits of these two classes are amazing. </li></ul><ul><li>Our music class promotes social skills and allows our students the wonderful opportunity of expressing themselves. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Functional Curriculum <ul><li>Schools need to establish a successful community-based transition program that promotes daily living skills for the work force. </li></ul><ul><li>A functional curriculum is a curriculum that focuses upon independent living skills and vocational skills, emphasizing communication and social skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Buckhorn High School emphasizes a functional curriculum. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Recycling with the Leadership Class
  17. 17. Positive Behavior Intervention <ul><li>Creating a positive climate through classwide interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Research-based effective teaching strategies used positively and preventively </li></ul><ul><li>Taking preventive measure </li></ul>
  18. 18. Team Work <ul><li>In order to achieve a successful program everyone must work together as a team for the good of the students. It is important that everyone is on the same page in everything that we do in order to accomplish a strong learning environment for out students. </li></ul><ul><li>The administrator’s role is to support the program in it’s entirety. </li></ul><ul><li>The regular education teacher’s role is to communicate within school settings and to include self-contained student’s in their classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>The special education teacher’s role is to facilitate collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>The parent’s role is to support their children, teachers, and school. </li></ul><ul><li>The aide’s role is to assist teachers in any and all activities and lessons. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Professional Learning Communities at Work <ul><li>Educators – Regular Education and Special Education </li></ul><ul><li>Administrators </li></ul><ul><li>Students – regular students and students with special needs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership Class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community outside of school </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Counselors </li></ul><ul><li>Vocational Rehabilitation / MR Board </li></ul><ul><li>Transition Services I </li></ul>
  20. 20. A Shared Vision <ul><li>What is our purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we hope to become? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The vision must be related to both questions and the discussions with group stake holders that are on an ongoing basis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How must we behave to make our shared vision a reality? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Communication <ul><li>This is the most important element for keeping improvement in the forefront. </li></ul><ul><li>Positive based communication leads to more effective change and lessens tension. </li></ul><ul><li>Stake holders must work collaboratively for transition based skill acquisition not just focus on academic learning. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Questions?
  23. 24. References <ul><li>1) DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (1998). Professional Learning Communities at Work. Bloomington, IN: National Education Service. </li></ul><ul><li>2) Gibbs, J. (1995). TRIBES A New Way of Learning and Being Together. Sausalito, CA: CenterSource Systems, LLC. </li></ul>

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