Vista Ridge High School Academic Departments
Creating a zone of innovation will allowed all POWER Zone schools to operate as one unit with one clearly unique overarching mission and value system. Vista Ridge High School and the other schools in this zone, aligned their curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development practices to a zone wide calendar that supports the mission and values of the teachers, parents, students, administrators and community members.
Vista Ridge High School acknowledges the potential of powerful educational research.
- Improved instruction. Providing teachers time to work in collaborative teams is the best way to improve schools. (Dufour, 2009).
- Establishing effective procedures and routines. Establishing effective procedures and routines are the most important step in establishing a well managed classroom. (Harry Wong, 2001).
- Classroom management. Classroom management will be better because teachers will be able to focus on establishing effective procedures and routines rather than assessing students. Anxiety affects testing results. (Driscoll, 2006) Giving the students time to get to know their teacher before testing will produce valid benchmark assessment scores, increased accuracy in testing.
- Higher employee morale. Employee engagement in work place decisions leads to increased productivity. A calendar sensitive to the needs of staff will lead to more effective staff (United States Personnel Management, 2010).
- Quality instruction. Time spent teaching is time students are learning. Seat time in school is not what produces student achievement. (Nelson, 1990). This proposal promotes quality instruction which creates engaged learning time for students.
- Timely conference days. Designated conference days increase parental involvement. (Henderson, 2002) Increased parental involvement significantly increases student achievement.
- “Buy in” from our stakeholders. Change of calendar honors community needs as evidenced through POWER ZONE proposal process.
- Respectful relationships. Respectful relationships are a zone value. Strong staff relationships will allow more effective PLC and fewer discipline referrals.
POWER Zone Graduation Requirements
Policy IKF specifies that graduation from District 49 must be based on demonstrated mastery of Colorado Academic Standards. One method of demonstrating mastery is successful completion of a sequence of courses. In the traditional model of earning credits toward graduation, each course is associated with an academic content area as well as a number of credits earned. The following table establishes the baseline expectations for credit-based demonstration of mastery toward high school graduation. In this model, one credit denotes the successful mastery of content that has traditionally been incorporated in a full year of study. Credit is awarded on a semester basis only and requires a passing grade of "D" or higher.
A class of 2017 diploma shall be awarded to POWER Zone students who earn the following credits by the end of the 2016-2017 school year:
Content Area Credits English 4.0 Social Studies 3.0 Science 3.0 Mathematics (at high school) 3.0 Practical Arts or Foreign Language 2.0 Fine Arts 1.0 Physical Education 1.0 Health 0.5 Elective Credits 6.5 Pathways 0.5 Total: 24.5
Section I: Instruction
ICA School Year/School Calendar/Instruction Time
Prior to the end of the school year, preferably by the February regular meeting, the Board of Education shall adopt a calendar for the following school year. The calendar shall specify the days during which district schools shall be in session, the days on which the district will close in observation of federal holidays, and the dates of major breaks.
ICA-R School Year/School Calendar/Instruction Time
The following criteria apply to the District 49 School Family Calendar and should be used when calculating instructional time:
IE Organization of Instruction
The Board of Education shall provide elementary and secondary education extending from kindergarten through grade 12.
IG Curriculum Development
The Board of Education is required by state law to determine the educational programs delivered in the schools of the district. Curriculum shall be aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards to ensure that each student is provided the educational experiences needed to achieve or exceed grade-level standards or complete the requirements and goals as listed on a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
IHACA Law-Related Education
The Board of Education recognizes the importance of a law-related education program to enhance student awareness about the law, the legal system, and the fundamental principles and values upon which our constitutional democracy is based.
IHAK Character Education
The Board of Education believes that while parents are the primary and most important moral educators of their children, the school and community should reinforce parental efforts.
IHAL Religion in the Curriculum
Informed by the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution, which specifies that congress will make no law respecting the establishment of religion, public entities should neither promote nor disparage any religion.
IHAM Health and Family Life/Sex Education
The Board believes a comprehensive health education program is an integral part of each student's education. The health education program should emphasize the functioning and proper care of the human body and encourage the development of lifelong, positive health habits. In addition, it should inform students about potential physical and mental health hazards they are likely to encounter in various life situations and help them make sound, intelligent decisions when they are confronted with choices that could affect their health or that of others.
IHAM-R Health and Family Life/Sex Education (Exemption Procedure)
Exemption will be granted from a specific portion of the health education curriculum on the grounds that the material taught is contrary to the religious beliefs and teachings or closely held personal beliefs of the student or of the student’s parent/guardian. If the request for the exemption is from a specific portion of the health education curriculum that concerns human sexuality, no reason must be given by the parent/guardian when requesting the exemption.
IHAMA Teaching about Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
In accordance with state and federal law, the district shall provide age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate drug and alcohol education and prevention programs from early childhood (preschool) through grade twelve (12).
IHBB Gifted Education
The Board of Education is dedicated to providing comprehensive programming for the identification and education of gifted students. Gifted students are those students between the ages of four (4) and twenty-one (21) whose abilities, talents and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. The Board believes that a quality instructional program that differentiates curriculum and instruction is essential so all students can learn and grow to their level of potential.
IHBD Equivalence of Services (Title I)
Pursuant to federal law, school districts receiving Title I funds to provide educational services to students must do so in accordance with Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
IHBEA English Language Learner
In keeping with the intention of the state of Colorado to offer educational opportunities to those children whose dominant language is other than English, the district shall provide suitable research-based language instructional programs for all identified English language learners in grades kindergarten through 12 in accordance with the requirements of state and federal statutes, Colorado State Board of Education rules and the Colorado Department of Education guidance.
IHBF Homebound Instruction
The purpose of homebound instruction is to maintain continuity in the educational process for those students who, because of a temporary extended illness or condition, cannot attend school.
IHBIB Primary/Preprimary Education
The District shall establish and maintain a kindergarten program or programs.
IHBIB-R Primary/Preprimary Education
The following criteria have been established for the admission of students to the District's preschools:
IHBK Preparation for Postsecondary and Workforce Success
The Board believes that to decrease student dropout rates, increase graduation rates and encourage all students to reach their learning potential, it is important to support students in planning for postsecondary and workforce opportunities throughout their education. To promote students’ postsecondary and workforce success and in accordance with state law, the district shall provide the following opportunities and information.
IHBK-R Preparation for Postsecondary and Workforce Success
Implementation Plan for Student Individual Career and Academic Plans
IHCDA Concurrent Enrollment
The Board believes that students who wish to pursue postsecondary level work while in high school should be permitted to do so in accordance with this policy and accompanying graduation requirements for successful completion of approved postsecondary courses offered by institutions of higher education.
IHCDA-R-2 ASCENT (Accelerating Students Through Concurrent Enrollment)
ASCENT is Concurrent Enrollment that extends the opportunity for postsecondary enrollment one year beyond the 12th grade year for qualified applicants.
IIB Class Size
The Board is aware that class size has bearing upon effective teaching. It therefore directs the Chief Education Officer to work with principals in establishing a reasonable and equitable class enrollment for each teacher.
IJ Instructional Resources and Materials
As the governing body of the school district, the Board is legally responsible for the selection of instructional materials. Since the Board is a policymaking body, it delegates to the District’s professional personnel the authority for the selection of instructional and library materials in accordance with this policy.