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My name is Clement E. Hill, I hold three positions at Miami Palmetto Senior High, Business Manager for the Athletics Departmant, teacher and I am the Department Chairperson of a program we have entitled "Innovations in Education." I teach a combination of subjects involving, Leadership and Personal Development Skills and Techniques to ninth and tenth graders. I am very interested in meeting with other teachers interested in these topics.
This program is a new approach to students who, are average to above average academically. However,in the past, they have demonstrated behavior patterns that place them in a category of a potenial drop-out or under-achiever. A majority of these students are, or have been enrolled in Honors or Advanced Placement Courses.
In the evaluation process for selection, we review records of incoming students and any student that shows a trait or indicator is then flagged. We then interview each student and in some cases with parent/guardian to select the best direction for the student. (student and/or parent are afforded the option to enter the program) A letter discribing the program, its' purpose and goals are then sent to both parent and student for signature and acceptance. Once enrolled, student or parent have the option to request removal. Prior to this, there is an exiting interview to ensure the decision is being made without pressure or duress from other sources.
Our study has showned the majority of the students are suffering from low self-esteem and high rate of absenteeisms or behavorial patterns not conducive to the academia environment. The concept of the program places the student in a cluster type atmosphere with emphasis placed on a small class environment. We have four teachers assigned in the program, Social Science, English, Mathematics and my discipline. The average class size is 24 to 1. Each teacher adheres to the Sunshine State Standards but, are afforded latitude to enhance their disciplines as needed for success of the student. We work closely together and are in constant contact discussing situations and progress of each student. Teacher-Parent contact is ongoing and encouraged.
Areas taught in my discipline include but, are not limited to self-esteem, communicative/written skills, behavior and motivation modifications. We also deal with and address current issues and life type situations. Because, this is a "real life" type educational program, I place more emphasis on group like projects and individual participation. Therefore, with this concept in mind, I do not rely on homework or standardized tests as the gauge for evaluation.
As a student progresses through the program and gains the skills, confidence and disciplines required, we reevaluate and recommend placement back into a mainstream atmosphere. In most cases, students remain in the program for the complete academic year.
Search engines are a great way to find useful information on the Web. One of my favorites is Education World
Click on the image below to visit the Education World site
Currently we are involved with a National Science Foundation grant awarded to the the Mathematics Department of Miami Dade Community College-Kendall Campus to improve writing and Mathematic Skills. This program has been in operation for two years in three middle schools and Miami Dade Community College. We are the first senior high school to be a part of this program in Dade County. In addition, we are awaiting the results of our grant request submitted to the Benjamin Banneker Foundation. For further information, please feel free to contact me at:
or: Dr. Suzanne S. Austin, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org