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Mira Costa Self-Study Preface: Event Details and Process Information

This preface will be continually edited throughout the process, so as to reflect the movement from theoretical design to actual practice upon completion of each phase of the process.
This self-study seeks to take an evidence-based, data-driven approach to the reflection of our school, with specific and focused guidance of discussion based on current identified areas of need. These areas have been previously identified both by the prior self-study published in March of 2015, as well as the visiting committee's revisions and recommendations during the three-year mid-cycle visit in March of 2017. Presentation of data and feedback as provided by the school-wide community will then culminate in revisions to prior goals for continuation of sustained practice, or the creation of new areas of focus for the next several years, with the intent of aligning a unified, theoretical vision, to actual environmental and pedagogical practice through measurable, actionable goals.
As of December 2019, self-study coordinators have been identified and are in the process of organizing and aggregating preliminary data for the school and community profile (chapter 2). Coordinators have also organized and selected voluntarily leadership for the Focus Groups and setting collaborative groups for each focus which includes district personnel, administration, faculty and staff, parents, and invested students(chapter 3). Break-out meetings will begin 29 January 2020, with periodic, focused meetings throughout the Spring Semester.
In order to provide more clarity of focus, all stakeholders have been asked to provide detailed reflections regarding the three identified critical areas of need provided by the visiting committee during the three-year mid-cycle report of 2017. Faculty and Staff, Administration, Parent volunteers (and community organizations), and student volunteers have been sent Google Form surveys through which to provide personal reflections on the development of those prior goals. Throughout the final weeks of December and into the first few weeks of January, the self-study coordinators will read, compile, and reflect on the data provided by these surveys with the hope of identifying several patterns from which to build the first chapter of the self-study report, which gives overall reflection and assessment of those critical areas of need as identified. Chapters 1 and 2 will be shared with all stakeholders (Home Groups and Focus groups alike), and patterns identified will become specific themes and questions that will drive prompted discussions during Focus Group meetings in the Spring. The goal of this process is to utilize Focus Group meeting time effectively through sustained focus and organization through the completion of the self-study, while also providing a narrowed scope so as to target major areas of need for school improvement moving forward.
Faculty Meeting, 21 January: Self-study coordinators introduced the semester schedule, the student snapshot observation activity, and focus group and meeting schedule during the faculty meeting. Self-study coordinators then met with the WASC Leadership team in Orientation (post-faculty meeting) in order to provide information regarding the intent of the study, the calendar of events for the completion of chapter 3 of the self-study report,etc.; each group received an introductory packet which included printed versions of all pertinent information, including current group rosters (also being updated in the shared Google drive folder), a printed version of the section template, and this month's meeting prompts as specific to each focus group (in order to provide basic pacing for completion of the chapter before the end of the school year).
WASC Focus Group Meetings, AM/PM Office Hours, 29 January: The Leadership team began facilitation of their Focus group meetings, and provided the means for data collection for all stakeholders in their respective groups moving forward. More information about this meeting can specifically be found on the meetings schedule page.
In order to provide evidence of practice for the self-study, a variety of activities are available throughout the semester to all stakeholders in order to provide further input. While the feedback form submitted in December focuses on a narrowed set of prior goals, these activities will be aimed at a more holistic picture of our current educational environment:
Student Snapshots (begins on 1/21, and is ongoing): Faculty and staff will be asked to complete a series of observations throughout the Spring Semester (with periodic due dates). The goal of these 'snapshots' is to provide an objective view of what students are currently doing (or being asked to do) on campus, as well as provide data that will support the establishment of our school student-learner outcomes, which will become a foundational part of the development of school-wide need that will drive policy and action-plan goals by the end of the self study. The editable pdf form for this activity can be found here. Faculty and staff are asked to complete at least three of these observations over the course of the semester (in order to get a full picture of a semester's worth of activity for a more diverse sampling), in each of the following areas:
      • in own classrooms
      • in other classrooms (please seek appropriate permissions and abide by teacher's guiding principles)
      • in various on-campus activities outside of the classroom (e.g., extracurricular functions, club meetings and activities, AM/PM office hours)
Observers will submit to mchswasc@gmail.com within the following deadlines (and can complete the observations in any order):
      • First Observation due 28 February 2020
      • Second Observation due 3 April 2020
      • Third Observation due 5 June 2020
Observation forms do not ask for observer's identification (though forms will be submitted by email, only the self-study coordinators have access to the email--forms will be moved directly to the WASC data collection folder for chapter 1, and will not retain the identifying email address), and observers should take care to avoid identifying any individuals observed in the study.
Group C Lesson Plan Collection (all teachers)
Group C focuses on Teaching and Learning, and assesses the way in which curriculum goals are actually disseminated in praxis, and processes through which students' collective and individual goals are realized through individualized learning, modification and adaptation plans, etc. In order to begin the narrowing of focus, group C leadership is asking teachers to provide examples of the following:
    • individual teachers' most creative lessons
    • lessons that include clear use of differentiation techniques
    • lessons that integrate the effective use of technology
    • lessons that are built from resources beyond an adopted course textbook
    • lessons specifically addressing career-preparedness and real-world experience
    • lessons that spotlight diversity and inclusion
Teachers may submit plans through the two means below:
Submissions for this are requested by 28 February.
WASC Focus Group Meetings, AM/PM Office Hours, 26 February: Focus groups will meet to further discuss their sections of chapter 3, with specific focus this month on SLOs (groups B, C, and E), and particularly writing across the curriculum, diversity/inclusion, and inter-disciplinary collaboration. More information about this meeting can specifically be found on the meetings schedule page.
In order to ensure accuracy of the school community profile, self-study coordinators have completed a preliminary draft of chapters 1 and 2, which will be shared with Home Groups (departments, organizations, student and parent groups, etc). Home groups may decide the way in which to disseminate this draft to their members and how to elicit feedback on the draft, which in turn will be shared with the self-study coordinators (e.g., email document to department for individuals to read, then discuss at department meeting). Initial feedback should analyze specifically for errors in the report, and identify areas where more information is needed; this will help self-study coordinators ensure that all information is accurate and represents a complete profile of the school. Departments may also provide specific information about their individual endeavors, goals, or past/current practices, as well as submit evidence to support these reflections--this information will be shared with Focus Group leaders. This month's meetings will focus on integrating the identified SLOs from February, so as to begin to build consistency across the whole document--attention should be paid to how we address the SLOs already, and areas where we are falling short; these will likely become areas of focus for our future action plan (aka, areas of need).
In April, Focus groups will look to further specify and materialize student learning areas of need. These 'needs' (practice) will later become a point of comparison for student learning 'outcomes' (theory), and will become a foundational point of reflection in the creation of the critical areas of need for chapter 4. Self-study coordinators will elicit process feedback from Home Groups with specific aim and streamlining or amending processes for the subsequent school year leading up to the WASC visit in Spring of 2021. Self-study coordinators will also seek feedback from the Home Groups on the first draft of chapter 4, which identifies a few critical areas of need--these needs will be compiled from the data collected by Focus Groups, as well as from previous Home Group meetings. These areas of need will specifically be determined by areas where data for our school's identified learner outcomes is lacking (where identified outcomes intersect with current learner needs). These will provide the basis for early discussion of identified goals for the next few years of school and community practice, which will become the action plan of chapter 5. Focus Group meetings for this month should continue to elicit specific discussion and evidence of school-wide practice in relation to specified prompts as designated by the leadership team.
Second Student Snapshot Observations due 3 April 2020.
"Costachella"--Student and Parent Gallery Walk: During Office Hours, students will be provided a forum to volunteer feedback on a few open-ended prompts regarding aspects of their educational experience at Mira Costa. Prompts will likely be taken from patterns that develop from the initial feedback form sent in December, in order to elicit more specific information of evidence-based practice. They may also be asked to reflect on various aspects of the school and community report, so as to ensure accuracy, or possibly identify trends or critical areas of focus. The same forum will be open to parent volunteers in order to provide similar feedback from a different perspective. Both the gallery walks and the snapshots will begin to provide evidence that will be pertinent to early reflections of the various tasks of each Focus Group, likely becoming the first set of prompts for discussion.
    • Student Gallery Walk: MCHS Mall, 1 April 2020
    • Parent Gallery Walk: MCHS Mall, 5:00pm - 7:00pm, 1 April 2020
By April, Focus Group meetings should now be analyzing all provided data and specific evidence of practice, so as to identify each focus' areas of need, which will be used to corroborate and/or revise the preliminary draft of chapter 4. The goal will be to have alignment in all of these processes so that our school will have a few major goals upon which to build the action plan for the next 3-6 years. Self-study coordinators will also seek feedback regarding the overall process of the self-study so as to make any necessary revisions for the following school year leading up to the WASC visit in Spring of 2021. The Leadership team will also begin compiling the preliminary draft of chapter 3, which will be shared with all stakeholders in June, for feedback.
By June, self-study coordinators hope to have functional preliminary (and even some revised) drafts of chapters 1-4. The Leadership team will elicit feedback on all aspects of the document, with the intent of making any major amendments before school begins again in the fall. Feedback forms will likely be sent to all stakeholders for reflection of the document in order to facilitate this endeavor.
Third Student Snapshot Observations due 5 June 2020.
Projected: Fall 2020 - Spring 2021
Over the course of the Fall, all stakeholders will begin creating the action plan, chapter 5. The action plan will be based on data provided in the reflection chapters of 1-4, with specific focus on critical areas of need identified in chapter 3, and the overall assessment of those identified needs in alignment with chapter 4. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic. Chapter 5 will also fit these goals to specific timelines for completion over the next 3-6 years. Stakeholders should aim also to begin thinking about ways in which these goals will affect them personally, looking for ways to engage them in theory and in practice in preparation for implementation. Specific goals should also align to the school's overall mission, so as to provide a guiding framework for consistency across disciplines, subjects, and skills.
Self-study coordinators will aim to also share the revised self-study report chapters 1-4 with the visiting committee during their initial meetings in late Fall (November). Feedback will still be elicited in the process of revising this draft before the WASC visit in Spring. Self-study coordinators intend to have a fully complete, revised, and finalized document by early Spring in preparation for the visit (as the document must be submitted to the visiting committee at least eight weeks prior to the official visit).
During the official visit, members of the visiting committee will seek to corroborate our reflection with their own observations. They will visit Focus and Home groups in order to discuss aspects of the report in order to validate the findings and ensure honest and genuine reflection process. They will also meet with the Leadership team to go over the process as well, and will ultimately report their findings and provide any feedback for revisions, as well as approval of--or recommendations for--the action plan.