[Eligibility Certification][Background & Demographic Data][Summary] [Vision/Mission Statement] [Learning Centered Schools Criteria][Special Emphasis][Appendix]

AllenISD Blue Ribbon School Award Application

Lovejoy ISD students starting with the graduation class of 2010 will no longer attend Allen High School
Lovejoy ISD will open it's first high school Fall 2006



A Student Focus and Support
A1. How would you describe you student population? What are your students' needs? How do you assure that the needs of all students are met?
With a fast-growing community situated within one of the nation's telecommunications centers, Allen High School's largest challenge is meeting the individual needs of over 2,400 students. Growing at a pace of almost 200 students per year, AHS has a student population that comes from every state in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and various other countries. Each student brings a wealth of prior experience and anxieties about coming to a new setting. Part of the beauty of AHS's student population is that most of our students have moved to Allen in the past seven or eight years. This means that most of our students remember what it feels like to be a new student, and they empathize with our newest students and absorb them quickly into the fabric of AHS. Allen was a small farming community with little diversity up until the late 1980s. Now the ethnicity of our population is 85.3% Anglo, 4.9% African-American, 6.8% Hispanic, 2.8% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.25% American Indian.
AHS is apportioned into four "houses." These houses are an integral part of how we meet our students' needs. Each house consists of a House Principal, House Counselor, and a House Secretary. The House Offices are located away from the main office in four different locations. Students are split by alphabet into houses: House 100 has all students whose last names begin with A-D, etc. This fits the model set forth in Breaking Ranks by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The document recommends splitting schools into "smaller learning communities." Each house serves approximately 600 students' daily needs; from maintaining students' schedules and graduation plans to helping the students and their parents acclimate to high school life. Each House has a Student Support Team (SST) that meets twice a month to discuss specific students' needs. Teachers, parents, or other staff members refer students to the SST based on specific concerns that need to be addressed to help the student be successful. The SST consists of teachers assigned to the house, the House Principal, the House Counselor and any other support personnel that may be needed such as the school nurse or campus support counselor. The houses also have a House Improvement Team that meets monthly to discuss how to best meet the needs of students both within the house and elsewhere on campus. The HIT consists of students, teachers, parents and the House Principal. The House Concept gives our students a "school-within-a-school" where they can be known and cared for by adults in a more contained system.
In the past two years, AHS has begun coordinating benchmark testing in each course to ensure that all students are receiving the essential knowledge and skills, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). This year each department developed semester exams for each course. These exams, written by teachers who teach the courses, include TEKS. In the 2001-2002 school year, each department is developing benchmark exams that will be given in each course between the 6th and 8th week of the semester. These exams will tell whether the scope and sequence for each course is being followed and help determine which groups of students need more time on specific TEKS in order to master the required material.
The AHS administrative mission statement reads: "Every student's potential will be revealed, respected and fulfilled." To ensure that this mission succeeds, AHS offers a wide range of courses and course settings. Ninety-one percent of the Class of 2001 plan to attend post-secondary institutions according to a graduate survey. To help students prepare for this challenge, AHS offers a full-diploma International Baccalaureate (IB) campus offering sixteen IB courses and eighteen Advanced Placement (AP) courses. One of only 19 Texas public high schools to offer both IB and AP programs, AHS considers it necessary to expand student opportunities, and to enhance the chances of students being accepted into the university of their choice. AHS students took over 325 AP & IB exams in the spring of 2001. More than 60% of these students received scores high enough to qualify for college credit. AHS also has a strong partnership with Collin County Community College (Quad C). Quad C maintains a satellite campus at AHS that includes offices and three classrooms totaling over ten thousand square feet. More than one hundred and thirty AHS students are enrolled in college courses directly from Quad C this school year for dual enrollment credit. In the 2000-2001 school year, 36% of AHS juniors and seniors (519 students) took college-level courses (IB, AP and/or Quad C courses). AHS also stresses that students should take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) both their sophomore and junior years. Last year, AHS had over 570 students take the PSAT. AHS took the results of the sophomore PSAT and created a summer Scholars Program for those students that demonstrated the potential of becoming National Merit Scholars. After instituting this new program in 2000, the number of National Merit Scholar recognitions more than doubled from seven to fifteen students.
By using flexible scheduling, AHS also allows students to accelerate their high school program. AHS has an AB block schedule in which students may take eight classes over a two-day period, four ninety-minute classes each day. Students wishing to graduate early - either mid-year or three-year graduates - may take accelerated block classes that meet daily for ninety-minutes allowing the students to get a full-year credit in a course in a single semester. AHS also offers an accelerated block of English I and English II that gives students that have failed English I prior to coming to AHS an opportunity to earn two English credits during their sophomore year. Plans are to expand these offerings to other subject areas in the 2002-2003 school year. Students who perform below the state standard on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) are required to take a TAAS remediation course in the subject (reading, writing, or mathematics) until the student achieves success on the TAAS. AHS also offers extensive courses of study in Health Occupations, Computer Science, Agriculture, Business and Technology, Visual and Performing Arts as well as Athletics.

A2. What nonacademic services and programs are available to support students, and how do they relate to the student needs and school goals identified?
Believing that students who participate in co-curricular activities will be successful in school is a belief and practice of AHS. AHS offers over 70 clubs, organizations and programs. Approximately 80% of the student body are involved in at least one of these activities. These offerings include competitive activities (athletics, choir, band, debate, robotics, University Interscholastic League academic teams, etc.), service organizations (Student Council, Key Club, National Honor Society), and specific interest clubs (Black Youth of America, Future Farmers of America, etc.). AHS is conscious of making programs inclusive and building programs that draw students.
The IB program emphasizes that students should be involved in nonacademic pursuits. This past summer several students created a junior volunteer auxiliary that was committed to supporting child abuse victims in Collin County. These IB students volunteered their time at the Collin County Children's Advocacy Center. One of these students recently wrote about her experience of working at the center: "I never thought the 'magic' of this Center would take over me so much, but it has. When I started working here, I thought it would be good, but depressing work. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is a happy place, a place of solved problems and new beginnings, and above all … hope." These types of experiences help our students understand that education is not just academics. Education includes learning how to interact with diverse groups of people that have different experiences. AHS is committed to making the community an extension of the campus and to allow the students to gain as many life experiences as possible before they go on to post-secondary pursuits. The Peer Assistance Leadership (PALS) Program offers three important services to our students, district, and community. First, they serve as the ambassadors for new students. A PALS student gives each new student a tour of the building. They walk through the new student's schedule, ensure that the student has someone to sit with at lunch the first week, and help the new student get a better understanding of what programs and services are available at AHS. Second, PALS also are available for peer mediation when the counselors, administrators, or other staff members identify students that may need mediation. PALS students that participate in peer mediation have been trained on how to handle tough situations and how to reach an understanding between peers. Third, PALS students also travel to each of Allen ISD's ten elementary campuses to work with students that need an older role model. The elementary campuses depend upon these students to help younger students gain self-confidence and to be successful in school and in life.
Students at risk of dropping out of school are monitored through each house. The House Principal and Counselor monitor student grades and attendance for signs that a student is not succeeding. When these students are identified, the House Principal or Counselor call on the Student Support Team to help design a program or options that will allow the student to find success at AHS. One option is to refer the student to AHS's support counseling program. AHS has a full-time support-counseling department that offers both individual and group counseling opportunities. Over 200 students are served annually through the support program. There are 12 to 15 groups going at any given time dealing with such varied issues as substance abuse, bereavement, new students, family issues, divorce, and self-esteem. Responses from students about the groups have included: "We got to learn about … how to take control of our stress. I loved the way we could tell everyone how we truly felt." "I've learned to deal with my emotions and living with my Dad." The dropout rate at AHS over the past several years has consistently been less than one percent.
Health services are offered to students through a wide array of opportunities and health checks done through the nurse's office. In addition to dispersing medication, the nurse and her assistant keep track of student health records, being sure that students have the required vaccinations and examinations done in a timely manner. The nurse plays a much bigger role at AHS, though, than just being a nurse. She is an extension of the counseling department, another venue for students to find support and encouragement on a daily basis. The nurse or her assistant often identifies a student that is about to drop out of school and to bring them to the attention of administration. Medical problems that other health services have not detected are often noticed in the nurse's office. The nurse is adept and working with staff members, and often becomes their primary health service source in many cases offering blood pressure checks, flu shot information, and advice. The key to health services at AHS is that the students and the staff trust and respect the nurse's office where they know they can receive quality help and confidentiality.

A3. How does your school determine and address the developmental needs of students as they move from grade to grade?
With rapid changes occurring in the work force, it is evident that workers in the 21st Century will have to be flexible, problem-solvers that have strong critical thinking skills. AHS has developed a series of evening seminars known as Eagle Vision to help students, parents, and community members better understand the transitions from grade school to high school to post-secondary pursuits. Eagle Vision is designed to assist our students in passing through high school to post-secondary pursuits. Each fall, grade-level meetings are held beginning with Senior Eagle Vision and working down by grade to sixth grade. Each program is designed to address the specific needs of the grade-level group in question. For instance, the PSAT, and how students need to participate as sophomores for taking the PSAT during their junior year to pursue National Merit Scholar recognition is discussed in the Sophomore Eagle Vision seminar. These seminars have become popular with parents and students, and normally between 300-500 people participate in each meeting. Discussion begins with the lower grades about how colleges and other post-secondary institutions view applications. Admissions' representatives from colleges attend Eagle Vision to discuss how to give applicants the best opportunity to be admitted. In addition, with the younger students, emphasis is placed on planning the high school program. Topics such as how grade point averages impact future options, AP, IB, as well as discussing the importance of taking rigorous coursework throughout high school are explained in detail.
AHS also hosts a College Night each fall in which 80-90 colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions set up booths and make themselves available to students and parents. AHS encourages lower grade-level parents and students to attend College Night to raise the level of expectation and to begin thinking about what institution best fits the needs of the student. More than a thousand people attend College Night each year. Beginning each January, academic course guides for the next school year are passed out to students. Counselors meet with 25-30 students at a time to explain the options to incoming freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. AHS also holds evening meetings with parents to explain the process, timelines, and options that their students need to consider. By March, a tentative listing of each student's choices in mailed home to parents to ensure that the proper choices have been made. Administrators and counselors are available from February through July to meet with students and parents to discuss specific concerns or options. Before the school year begins, students come to the high school and pick up a copy of their schedule. Because they are new to the campus, sophomore parents and students are invited to attend a Sophomore Orientation one evening they week prior to the beginning of school. This year over 500 parents and students participated.
Another practice that AHS uses to ensure that our students are fulfilling their potential is Eagle Scholars, a program whose requirements exceed the Texas Scholar Program (TSP) by one math credit. This program dovetails with the TSP that recommends students to graduate under the Recommended High School Plan. In Allen, the plan requires students to take four years of mathematics, three years of science, and at least two years of a foreign language. AHS received special recognition from the Texas Education Agency for having 55% of the Class of 2001 graduating under the Recommended High School Program. The Class of 2002 currently has 70% of its students on the Recommended High School Program.
As previously stated, AHS uses PALS to help new students with the transition to a new school. Beginning this year AHS held a New Student and Parent Reception in which the House Principals, Counselors, and Secretaries were introduced. Program opportunities for new students were discussed, and PALS students were available to give tours of the facilities to parents and students. The House structure (A1) assures that all students will have a principal, counselor, and secretary to meet their needs as they develop during their years at AHS. Students often have the same teacher for more than one year, helping to build additional close relationships upon which students can rely.

A4. What co-curricular activities are available for students and how do these activities extend the curriculum?
AHS has a proud tradition of offering a broad array of extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities. Eighty percent of the student body participates in some school program, club, or organization. In athletics, AHS offers all UIL-approved athletic programs, as well as supporting Allen students participating in gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, and rodeo. There are 36 separate teams fielded with approximately 750 students participating. Girls make up approximately 40% of the total. Band, drill team, cheerleading, color guard, choir, theater, and debate involve another 500 students. Additionally, there are another 30 school-related programs available, including A-Team Robotics, FFA, FCCLA, Health Occupations Society of America, Future Business Leaders of America, French, German, and Spanish Clubs, UIL academic teams, Distributive Education of America, National Honor Society, Academic Decathlon, and the Thespian Society. There are also a number of service organizations such as Key Club, Black Youth of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletics, and the Student Council.
The principal meets monthly with a group known as The Principal's Council. This group is composed of officers of every school organization, program, and club on campus. The Principal's Council includes approximately 100 students. Part of the goal is to help groups expand their membership to include a more diverse group that reflects the diversity of the AHS student population. Meetings are designed to give students in leadership positions and administrators an opportunity to discuss topical issues that may be global, or pertain just to AHS. The dialogue helps students feel as if they have a direct voice in school affairs. The Principal's Council takes the message of the meeting back to students, helping to make AHS a better place to be. Additionally, The Principal's Council fosters a better understanding between students and administrators, and provides an opportunity for students to mature in their role as leaders.
The underlying premise of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities at AHS is to be inclusive. Last year new clubs were initiated by students: Black Youth of America, Cartoon Club, Poetry Club, and Vegetarian Club. As AHS grows each year, it becomes critically important to find new ways to involve students. This requires the commitment of the staff to be involved in student activities as well as a commitment from administration to find creative ways to market and communicate opportunities for students. AHS sponsors a Program Fair each spring to allow each organization, club, and program to showcase themselves for the underclassmen in grades 8-11. The Program Fair is planned to occur during the period of time when students are making their decisions about which classes to take the following year.

A5. How does your school address the accessibility of its facilities to students and others with disabilities?
AHS was constructed in 1999, and was designed to fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are five elevators spread throughout the campus, and all entrances have wheelchair access. The main entrances all have automatic doors for the disabled. Pushing a button that indicates wheelchair accessibility operates these doors. Handrails and areas for wheelchair access are set up in the gymnasium and at the football stadium. Students in wheelchairs actively participate in theater productions (where sets are built by Technical Theater class to allow wheelchair-bound students to act on stage) and as student trainers in athletics.

B School Organization and Culture
B1. How does the culture of the school support the learning of all its members and foster a caring community?
Allen High School provides the opportunity for all students and staff to feel an integral part of a caring and nurturing academic and social community. The Principal's Council (A1), Campus Improvement Team (CIT) and four House Improvement Teams (HIT) meet monthly to receive information about the campus, discuss concerns and ideas for improvement, and to make decisions by building consensus among groups. The CIT builds the Campus Improvement Plan that includes budgetary, staffing, and program needs at AHS. In addition, the Department Coordinators meet to consider and review instructional and campus issues. These meetings, plus a monthly faculty meeting, create a webbing effect that communicates the direction of the campus to all campus stakeholders.
Teachers are encouraged to look at the "big picture" and offer suggestions for improvement of the school. One recent example is the addition of IB Advanced Math as a needed asset to our set of rigorous courses. This addition was first suggested by the physics teacher who saw the need for students to apply mathematics beyond the level of calculus. Another example is the increased effectiveness of the human health program when a clinical rotation class was added. This particular class was suggested by the human anatomy and physiology teacher as a way to better prepare students to fill the increasing need for medical technicians and nurses within the community.
Students acquire a sense of belonging to a smaller community within a large community as they find their niche within the four houses. Within a house, students work with the same counselor, principal, and secretary for all their personal and academic needs. They have a chance to build a rapport with these adults who can call them by name, and students do not feel like a number in a large high school. The administrative staff in each house also builds a relationship with parents over a three-year period and is better able to accommodate the academic as well as personal needs of the students. Teachers also belong to a house and build relationships with the administrative staff as well as other teachers in their house. Teachers in each house plan social activities that help new teachers to sense a feeling of belonging as soon as they join the staff.
The instructional culture of AHS is one that fosters the expectation that all students will be prepared for the work environment they will be a part of in the 21st Century. Rigorous coursework is mandatory throughout high school. As an example, the number of students taking physics has increased from 110 in 1998 to 375 in 2001. Other courses such as chemistry and pre-calculus, considered electives at most schools are considered mandatory at AHS. Students use every course to prepare for post-secondary pursuits. Technical skills are developed and enhanced in AHS students. Students use the Internet for research, and teachers and students have access to 36 Internet connections in each classroom. Computers on Wheels (COWs) may be brought to class, or classes may be taken to one of two computer labs in the library. Communication skills are developed as students take languages other than English, socially interact in a variety of situations, and work in both large-group and small-group settings. Staff models citizenship. Ethical behavior, service to the community and obligation to make the school and society better are emphasized. Students observe staff as they participate in blood drives, Love Week, and in club organizations.

B2. What opportunities do students have to build sustained and caring relationships with teachers and other adults? How does the school promote a healthy peer climate among the students?
From the moment a student enters Allen High School, he or she feels a vital part of the school. Our support counselor conducts New Student Support groups at the beginning of the year. Not only do new students build relationships, all students have tremendous opportunities to become involved in co-curricular activities (A2 and A4). Students enjoy a variety of clubs (Student Council, Key Club, America's Pride, Pals, Art Club, Spanish Club, French Club, Chess Club, Vegetarian Club, Cartoon Club, Poetry Club, and others) that help students become involved with each other and with adults. Teachers sponsor these clubs outside the classroom. The goal is to have every student involved in at least one outside activity.
Teachers are encouraged to stand in their doorways during passing periods and engage students in conversation. Teachers and staff are also encouraged to "take the pledge" to find a student in their classes who isn't active in school programs and to establish a nurturing relationship with the student. More than one hundred staff members have agreed to participate in "taking the pledge."
Students are supported academically with school-wide tutoring times. Every Tuesday and Thursday teachers are available for the school tutoring times and have at least two other tutoring times for the convenience of the students. Athletic coaches do weekly grade checks of their players and require them to attend tutoring when their grades drop below 75. This program continues the entire school year and is not limited to the game season. Students are also supported with co-teaching in certain classes. A regular education teacher teams with a special education teacher to work with those students with special academic needs.
A healthy climate prevails throughout the school because the students understand the need to give back to the community. Clubs including National Honor Society, PALS, Key Club and IB students perform hundreds of hours of community service with such activities as Toys for Tots drive, Christmas Dance at retirement center, Red Cross Blood Drive, and visits to nursing homes. Students also provide a healthy climate in other schools in the district when PALS travel to middle schools and the Alternative Education Center to mentor students who need a positive role model. Athletes participate in ball buddies and build relationships with grade school boys. A recycling program to recycle paper has been developed within the school. Students become involved in Red Ribbon Week that reminds students of the pitfalls of drinking.
The entire school body becomes involved in Love Week, a unique program, designed to help a person or family in the community with a medical or other problem that presents a financial need. Students participate in projects to help raise money to donate to this cause. Love Week culminates with a school-wide celebration of student efforts and a presentation to the deserving recipient.
In promoting a healthy peer climate among students, adults realize that the students' concerns must be addressed. Last year several black students raised the issue of AHS's lack of interest during Black History Month. Because of their concerns, the Black Youth of America Club was organized. They established peer tutoring among their group by the end of last school year. This year the group is planning additional emphasis during College Night, college entrance exams, and other ways to help all students at AHS.

B3. How are teachers hired in the school? How are teacher assignments made?
The most important criterion in hiring a new teacher is that the prospect genuinely cares about students. Each House Principal is responsible for approximately forty teachers and staff members. When a position is open in any of the four houses, the House Principal works with the district's Human Resources Department to locate qualified candidates. The Deputy Principal becomes the liaison that gathers applicant resumes and references. The House Principal and Department Coordinators interview the candidates. When the appropriate candidate has been identified, the Deputy Principal and Principal then interview the candidate, ensuring someone with excellent "people skills" and the needed subject knowledge has been chosen. AHS also hosts a district-wide job fair each spring. This past spring, more than 600 interested candidates attended the job fair. Four teachers that were first interviewed at the fair have been hired this school year. AHS also sends administrators to job fairs at universities within a 300 mile radius. AHS recruits through its web site where interested applicants can get a copy of an application and see examples of the positive environment generated at AHS.
A variety of factors influence teaching assignments, including teacher certification, student enrollment, and teacher requests. Special training is provided for teachers who seek new assignments. As an example, teachers of regular courses may teach AP and IB courses after they are sent to special training courses during the summer. Student enrollment has a large impact on making teacher assignments. Teachers are assigned where the needs are, based on enrollments in particular courses. Teachers are provided the opportunity to request an assignment. These requests are granted when, in the view of the administration, those assignments are in the best interests of the students.

B4. What is the school's plan for school safety, discipline, and drug prevention? What is the record for the past five years?
AHS considers itself a showcase in school safety. A campus-wide camera system affords 50 different views of the building and perimeter including all hallways, entrances, and gathering areas. Security officers are on-site twenty-four hours per day, every day of the year to monitor cameras and walk the halls. Security officers also drive through the parking lots on a regular basis. Three School Resource Officers (SRO) are stationed at AHS in conjunction with the Allen Police Department. SROs are constantly in the halls, at lunch, and interacting with the students to create positive relationships. The officers also do classroom presentations to help students gain a better understanding of how law enforcement works.
All persons entering the campus must wear identification badges so that the identity of each person is known. Staff and student badges have photos and barcodes, as well as the staff's positions and student badges have identification numbers. Student and staff badges may be used to pay for food in the cafeteria on a pre-payment basis.
The Touchdown Club, one AHS booster organization, is sponsoring "Shattered Dreams" later this year. This is a cooperative effort involving the police, fire department, local and state alcohol and drug abuse agencies, community organizations and student organizations in a re-enactment of a serious accident involving the use of alcohol. In addition to a voluntary drug-testing program of students is offered to parents, the district uses drug-sniffing dogs to perform random searches of automobiles, classrooms, and other areas in the school. Each year a speaker presents a program about the dangers of drinking and driving before the Senior Prom.
Each year the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook is updated through the CIT (B1) to ensure that developments and trends are addressed. Beginning this year, the Principal's Council (A4) will discuss issues where the school has latitude within which to make changes such as dress code, public displays of affection, and tardiness to get students involved in cooperatively making AHS a more user-friendly campus. This process will also serve as a venue for having deeper discussions with students about how to deal with drug abuse and potential violent acts on campus. AHS Support Counselors (A2) also offer individual and group counseling in areas such as "stop smoking," an insight group for students using an illegal substance, and a concerned students group for teens with a parent or sibling with a drug problem.
Discipline is maintained within the classrooms by teachers whenever possible. Teachers are free to post individual classroom rules, but all teachers are required to maintain the rules in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook. When students violate rules repeatedly or in a way that is difficult for the classroom teacher to handle, a student may be referred to the House Principal. These methods have proven successful. AHS has seen a steady decrease in numbers of expulsions, from seven four years ago to none last year, even though the student population has grown by more than 500 students.

C. Challenging Standards and Curriculum
C1. How does the curriculum serve the broad goals for student learning and development that the public generally expects education to achieve: personal and intellectual growth, citizenship, and preparation for work and higher education? What relative emphasis does the school place on these goals in the curriculum?
Allen High School is pleased with the high academic standards embedded within the curriculum. The curriculum is designed to balance between the students' academic and intellectual development as well as their personal growth as citizens and workers. AHS is proud that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) rated the school as exemplary - the State's highest rating - in 2001. AHS is one of only 23 high schools in Texas with more than 2,000 students to achieve this rating.
The expectations of AHS are built around the State of Texas's identification of the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful, the TEKS (A1). AHS requires all students to take four years of mathematics (only three years are required by the state) and three years of science (only two years are required by the TEA). Students are encouraged to take rigorous coursework. Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses (A1) have open enrollment opportunities for all students.
The expectations are being met by AHS students. In a Senior Exit Survey, 91% of the Class of 2001 are pursuing post-secondary education with 72% of those going to a four-year college. With 36% of our juniors and seniors taking AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses, AHS is preparing students for their futures in higher education. All AHS students are encouraged to graduate under the Recommended High School Plan. This is the plan the Texas State Board of Education recommends as best preparing students for post-secondary education or the workforce. Included in the plan, students take a minimum of two years of foreign language, four years of English, four years of social studies, four years of mathematics and at least three years of science. AHS has over a thousand students taking a foreign language this year with 686 students taking Spanish. The push to upgrade mathematics and science instruction has resulted in the increased number of students taking pre-calculus and calculus from under 300 in 1998 to 592 students in 2001. In addition to its Exemplary High School rating, the TEA gave additional recognition for students completing the Recommended High School Program (as opposed to the Minimum High School Program, with 4 fewer required credits and less emphasis on science and mathematics), with almost 80% set to graduate on that plan this year.
AHS ensures that students falling behind in core subjects have opportunities to accelerate their programs to catch up with their peers. This is accomplished by double blocking classes (A1) and by taking reading, writing, and mathematics classes to help the students prepare for the TAAS (A1).
Citizenship is modeled by all adults at AHS. Additionally, the Social Studies Department infuses citizenship, individual freedoms, and the importance of voting in the curriculum. The Science Department, PALS, and the Student Council emphasize the civic duty of donating blood in two drives annually. Citizenship and leadership is also taught overtly in PALS, Student Council, Peer Tutors, and Leadership class. As a part of citizenship, abundant community service is emphasized. The IB Program, National Honor Scociety, PALS, and Key Club all require community service hours. Students in biology classes are urged to volunteer at the Heard Natural Science Museum for extra credit.

C2. How is your school organized to provide for differing student academic needs within the school's goals, priorities, and curriculum?
The goal to have all Allen High School graduates take the Recommended High School program (C1) clearly demonstrates that AHS is serious about preparing all students for post-secondary pursuits. Requiring all students to take a fourth year of mathematics, a third year of science, and at least one year of fine arts - requirements that are above the minimum standard set by the state - is another indicator of the goal. Students are heterogeneously grouped in all classes. Enrollment in AP and IB courses is open. Teachers, administrators, and counselors constantly advise students about appropriate course choices the students move through their high school career. There are three categories of courses: a.) Regular courses that prepare students for post-secondary pursuits; b.) Pre-AP and Pre-IB courses that prepare students for taking college-level courses while still in high school; and, c.) AP, IB or Collin County Community College courses that gives high school students college-level experiences and expectations.
The block schedule allows students to get up to 32 credits by the time students graduate. This is significantly more than the 24 required by the TEA. Having additional opportunities for students allows more variety in course scheduling. Creativity in scheduling allows students to reach their maximum potential for achieving thier goals. In addition to the regular block schedule, some students take a "0" Period at 7:00 AM. Others enroll in college courses before, during, or after the regular school day. This year two school-wide tutoring times are available to students, in addition to two times set by teachers in each class.
The AHS campus improvement plan's first goal is to meet the state's Academic Excellence Indicators System (AEIS) standards for an exemplary campus, the state's highest rating. In the process of meeting that challenge the following were accomplished: a.) For three consecutive years, all qualified AHS students have passed all levels of the TAAS (A1), meaning no student was denied state graduation because they failed to meet the state standard; b.) Enrollment in college preparatory (Pre-AP & Pre-IB) courses and college-level courses has increased to over 45% of AHS students; and c.) The campus attendance rate of 94.8% missed the state goal of 95% by only 0.2 percent. In 2000-2001, 435 students took AP & IB courses at AHS, 105 students took college courses from CCCC on the AHS campus, and 2,325 students were enrolled in Pre-AP and Pre-IB course sections. Examples of the numbers of students taking rigorous courses that AHS stresses include Spanish 3, French 3 and German 3 (329 students), Chemistry (735 students), Physics (385 students), Algebra 2 (887 students), and Pre-Calculus (430 students).

C3. How does the school ensure that diverse learners (for example, students with disabilities, gifted and talented students, students with limited English proficiency, migrant students, and students placed at risk) have the opportunity to learn challenging content and achieve at high levels?
All courses are open to students with disabilities, and students are encouraged by their House Counselor to attempt courses that are both mentally and physically challenging. Peer tutors are provided for students with disabilities to ensure success. One example is the provision of scribes for students who cannot take their own notes or write out test information. Gifted and talented students have specially designed courses such as Phoenix English, an AP English course that extends the AP standards by having students creative solutions to unique problems. Academically advanced students enroll in AP and IB programs to challenge them. Some students also receive college credit by taking the AP exams in the spring. Students who have limited English proficiency are assigned mentors. They have an ESL class and Content Mastery Classroom (CMC) support for courses in which the students have difficulty. CMC supports students in reading, test taking, class work, and other identified difficulties the students may experience. Students at risk may be placed in several support settings when identified by the Student Support Team (SST). These students may be referred to the Support Counselor or to an outside counselor. They may placed in the CMC for extra tutoring for instruction. Additionally, they may be assigned a mentor teacher who monitors their progress and is available for additional individual support.
The 504 committee meets to review students that do not qualify for the Special Education Program, but possess special needs that cannot be met in the regular classroom. The Attendance Committee reviews students that have violated the 90% attendance rule mandated by TEA, and determines if a waiver should be granted to students that provide information relative to their absences. All professional personnel are given student Individual Education Plans at the beginning of the school year to assist the teacher in student modifications to aid in student success. The Co-Teacher Program supports identified students within the classroom settings that need direction. Nine Special Education teachers assist the classroom teacher with assignments and monitor the approximately 170 SpEd/504 students in 20 sections for a total of 600 students in various capacities within the classroom.

C4. What is the process for continuous curriculum renewal at your school? What questions about curriculum is your school currently addressing?
AHS is in the midst of a three-year plan to create curriculum documents for all courses. These documents will include curriculum guides, scope and sequence, as well as benchmark exams for each course. Last year each department created semester examinations for each course offered, meaning that all chemistry teachers gave the same final examination that covered the state-mandated TEKS for the course. This helped create the beginnings of a scope and sequence for each course. In 2001-2002, each department has developed benchmark examinations for each course. These benchmark exams cover what is to be taught during the first six to eight weeks of the school year in each course. The teachers are given a two-week window in which they are to give the benchmark exam. The results are used to determine which TEKS objectives students are learning, and which ones need more emphasis. By the beginning of the 2002-2003 school year, the plan is to develop curriculum guides for each course based on the scope and sequence that evolves from the benchmarks and semester exams. These guides will help teachers, especially new teachers and teachers teaching courses at AHS for the first time, understand the sequence that needs to be followed in teaching course material. This process has created better vertical dialogue between the teachers within each department as well as creating a better transition with the teachers at AHS's feeder campus, the Lowery Ninth Grade Center. Meetings are held that include Ninth Grade Center teachers in each department multiple times during the school year.
Course alignment has also been addressed in each department to ensure that students are receiving the best sequence of learning to prepare them for their future. The focus is to get all students into courses that are more rigorous, and for students to continue to take these courses throughout high school. AHS is in the process of requiring all students to take mathematics through their junior year and English through their senior year, whether they have completed graduation requirements or not. These requirements are a response to the need to prepare students for post-secondary pursuits.

C5. Successful schools offer all students opportunities to be engaged with significant content. How does your school ensure that students achieve at high levels in the core subjects?
A. English - The English Department strives to meet the academic needs of all Allen High School students by providing a comprehensive and diverse curriculum. To satisfy graduation requirements, students must take four years of English. The core English courses include Resource English, English I -IV, Pre AP and AP English, Pre IB and IB English, Pre AP and AP Phoenix for gifted and talented students, and English Composition and Rhetoric dual credit courses with Collin County Community College.
English I - IV classes integrate literature, writing and grammar, and prepare students for college and post secondary courses as well as future careers. English II is a survey course of diverse genres. English III focuses on American Literature; and English IV studies British Literature. Teachers also focus on critical thinking skills and test taking strategies to help students succeed on SAT tests, TAAS tests, and End of Course tests. Semester exams are departmentalized and objectives tested correspond with the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) as taught in the school curriculum. Teachers meet two or three times during the six weeks to discuss scope and sequence and objectives during the grading period.
Those students wishing to receive college credit enroll in Pre AP in the 10th grade, AP Language in 11th grade, and AP Literature in 12th grade. These classes have open enrollment. The enrollment for the 2000-2001 school year was 269 Pre AP students and 210 AP students. Teachers of these courses attend seminars presented by the College Board during the summer at least every other year.
Pre IB and IB classes are also available and 103 students were enrolled during the 2000-2001 school year. IB students follow an international standardized curriculum and complete internationally moderated exams. IB teachers also attend seminars and receive specialized training.
The learning styles and academic needs of the gifted and talented are addressed in AP classes known as Phoenix classes. In order to be enrolled in these classes, students must be evaluated through testing, a portfolio, and parent and teacher observations. These students receive one credit, and may take the AP English test for college credit as well.
Students may receive college credit by taking English Composition and Rhetoric as a dual credit course with Collin County Community College. Presently 80 students are in enrolled in these classes. Last year 85 AHS students received 6 hours of college credit by completing these classes.
Allen High School also offers elective courses of SAT Prep, TAAS Reading, and TAAS Writing. School Board policy makes it mandatory for any student who fails TAAS his or her sophomore year to take a TAAS class. We also provide a creative outlet for students by providing a Creative Writing Course. This class is offered second semester and will publish a literary magazine for the school.
In an effort to keep up with the needs of all students, three new courses were developed for the 2000-2001 school year (Accelerated English I & II, English IV, and Business and Technical Writing). Accelerated English meets daily and is designed for those students who failed English I. They can receive two credits (English I and English II) in one year. Since these students struggle with English, they become more proficient by having daily reinforcement. English IV Accelerated has been established for those students who wish to graduate early. They also meet daily and can finish English IV in one semester. Senior teachers also saw the need for a Business and Technical Writing Class for those students who are on the minimum graduation plan and want to develop communication skills needed after graduation. These classes are co-taught with a teacher from the special education department and students receive better-individualized assistance.
English teachers realize the importance of preparing our students to excel once they leave our school. Our state TAAS scores last year in Reading (96.6% passing) and Writing (94% passing), combined with the number of students receiving college credit for AP (79 students in 2001) and dual credit English courses (85 students in 2001) indicate the dedication to learning and excellence in the English curriculum.
B. Mathematics - Skill development and success in math are tied to a strong aligned curriculum. At AHS each subject area - Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math Models, Pre Calculus, Calculus, and Probability and Statistics - is completely aligned with the TEKS, and TEKS are aligned with the Standards and Practices of the NCTM. Students are challenged at every level: regular, pre AP, AP and IB. For those students whose algebra skills are not at a level to allow them success in Pre Calculus, we have instituted an Algebra III class. It is designed to fulfill the fourth math requirement at AHS, and prepare the students for College Algebra or Pre Calculus.
Clear and productive communication among the two middle schools and the Lowery Freshman Center has led to consistent content mastery and performance. Meeting in subject area groups, teachers discuss pacing, sequencing and lesson presentation. Benchmark testing has been instituted to track the success of the curriculum alignment. Each subject area uses the same semester exam to assess students' performance. These tests are aligned with the TEKS and our local curriculum.
To assist students struggling to pass the TAAS test AHS offers Math Strategies classes. The teacher of this class strives to reteach the skills necessary for students to pass the test. Besides teaching the specific content of the TAAS test, the teacher works on arithmetic skills and building a conceptual foundation for understanding math in general.
In cooperation with the Science Department, algebra classes emphasize math content that is essential for success in chemistry and physics. They solve equations with variables other than x, changing units in a mathematical manner, and understanding slope as a rate of change in a variety of situations. Projects assigned in some of our Algebra II and Pre calculus classes allow students to investigate math in the context of history and see its function in society. In Geometry, students make 3-dimensional art that represents tessellations and planar surfaces. Career investigations also enable students to see how math is integrated into professional life.
Last year, 18 AP math exams were taken: 15 Calculus and 3 Probability and Statistics. Of those taken, 12 scored 3 or better. Five IB exams were taken with 3 passing. Of those taking the February, 2001 TAAS, 94% of sophomores passed - an improvement of 8% over the previous year. Because of our district commitment to 100% of our students passing the TAAS before graduation, in the past 2 years, we have had no senior fail to walk the stage because of failure on TAAS.
C. Science - The science curriculum includes Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Biology, AP Biology, IB Biology I and II, Chemistry, Pre-AP Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Physics, Pre-AP Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics, Principles of Technology, Aquatic Science, Environmental Science, and Geology. All students at AHS - excluding those students who graduate according to their I. E. P. - exceed the state minimum science requirements of two credits. Additionally, 55 percent of the graduating class of 2000 graduated on the recommended plan with at least biology, chemistry, and physics credits.
Critical thinking skills and problem solving techniques are stressed with an emphasis on equipping students with the tools necessary to formulate and present informed, explicit solutions when faced with academic, business, or life challenges. Lab reports are used to help students to plan and implement investigative procedures followed by analysis of data and formulation of conclusions. In addition, guided reading activities develop student's abilities to understand and decipher science text, helping students with standardized testing as well as enhancing reading objectives.
Curriculum alignment within content areas, vertically and horizontally, and across disciplines has recently been accomplished. This alignment is based on the National Science Education Standards and the TEKS. Alignment discussions and planning take place through many different venues during the year including district planning sessions facilitated through Allen ISD Curriculum department, departmental meetings, and meetings between the math, English, and science coordinators. These meetings have resulted in the science and math departments functioning with an interdisciplinary curriculum helping to reinforce and support both areas. For example, the math department uses specific science topics such as the use of slope to determine density and acceleration, while chemistry and integrated physics and chemistry use methods similar to math teachers when covering scientific notation.
Purchase and use of equipment has been coordinated between the advanced classes, chemistry, biology, and physics, allowing more students to be use calculators and Computer-Based Lab (CBL) equipment for data collection for analysis during laboratory and field experiments. CBL probes are used in physics and chemistry to measure kinetics and in environmental science, aquatics, and biology to measure pH, oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels in solutions.
The professional accomplishments of the science staff assure that students will receive excellence teaching. A number of teachers serve as officers in science associations and on various committees within science associations at the state and national levels. One physics teacher holds patents on inventions created while doing laser research with the government. Another physics teacher is a Physics Teacher Resource Agent (PTRA) for the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). One of the biology teachers is coauthor of the textbook used in the course, and has been president of the National Association of Biology Teachers and is the founding president of the Texas Association of Biology Teachers. This year teachers will be making presentations at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers (CAST) on the state level, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) on the national level, and at Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico on the international level.
D. Social Studies - Students offered the mandated state curriculum and have the opportunity to take advanced, college credit, and electives classes. Psychology, Sociology, and Film as a Reflection of Society are electives. Pre-AP World History, Pre-AP World Geography, AP American Studies, AP U.S. Government, AP Economics, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, and AP European Studies are advanced level courses taught according to the College Board Standards. Students also have the opportunity to receive an International Baccalaureate diploma. Dual Credit classes give the students the opportunity to earn both high school and College credit at the same time. CCCC has classes at AHS. Several teachers also teach at the college.
Each Social Studies class incorporates TAAS skills into their curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to use several types of learning techniques. Cooperative learning groups, problem solving, analyzing events and using technology are just some of the techniques used in the student-driven curriculum. AP Government class has a website to trace bills in Congress, Art History has a website that allows students to visit museum and U.S. History has a history display comparing the Vietnam War and World War II in the library. These are just some examples of the student-driven activities.
E. The Arts - The AHS nationally recognized fine arts department includes Visual Arts, Band, Orchestra, Choir, Drama and Dance. AHS is fortunate to have an exceptionally talented group of students and faculty as exemplified by honors at the state, national, and international levels. Every course meets or exceeds the TEKS, state standard objectives for knowledge and skills. All graduates have taken at least one fine art credit.
Offerings in art include Art 1 and Pre-AP Art 1 as prerequisites to Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Electronic Media, Graphic Arts, AP Studio Arts, and IB Studio. Basic skills and concepts in relation to creation and analysis of art are taught through the elements and principles of design. Math is integrated into the art curriculum as students determine and analyze measurements, ratios, and proportions. Students acquire and organize knowledge in four themes: perception, creative expression/performance, historical and cultural heritage, and critical evaluation.
The Theater Department offers courses in performance as well as technical theater applications. Technical Theatre designed for the student interested in the technical aspects of the theater and hands on experience in stagecraft. Theatre Arts designed for the student interested in competitions, performances and productions. Theatre Production designed for the student interested in hands-on experience in acting and stagecraft through public performances. Subject content addresses the TEKS, and lessons in time management, public relations, successful teamwork, effective communication skills and career focus are included. AHS hosts the UIL One-Act play competition. The Theatre Guild is a club open to all Thespians interested in theatre.
The Choir Department offers vocal/choral techniques, music theory, and music history. Students may join the Encore (show choir), Acapella (varsity mixed choir), Touch of Class (select women choir), or Eagle Women (beginning women choir). This year the Eagle Corps (all male choir, grades 7-12) has been added to the curriculum. Theatre and Choir Departments work together in hosting a madrigal dinner in the winter. The students perform and compete in a festival in Ensenada, Mexico. The past 2 years AHS Choir had six students make the region choir. The Choir produced two musicals Grease and the Music Man as well as performs for the Rotary club and the opening of the Legacy Bank in Frisco.
The AHS Band is comprised of approximately 270 students in grades 9-12. During the marching season, all students combine with the color guard and drill team units, to form the 340-member marching unit, Allen Eagle Escadrille. The Escadrille performs at all football games, pep rallies, UIL marching contest and special civic events. The marching band has received over 20 consecutive first division ratings at the UIL region marching contest. The marching band has also made several appearances at the state finals including two first-place finishes. Other notable performances include the Macys' Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. Five concert bands are available for students in spring. These bands perform at several concerts, UIL concert and sight-reading contest and an out-of-town spring festival. Last years festival included a trip to Orlando, Florida where all of the bands received top ratings including two Best-In-Class Awards. Band students also have the opportunity to participate in various venues such as the UIL Solo/Ensemble Contest, Region/Area/State bands, and the Jazz Band. These venues provide our students with the opportunity to achieve on a much more personal level.
The AHS dance program offers Dance 1, 2, 3, and 4, Drill Training. Drill Team and Color Guard. Each level studies the techniques of various dance forms, dance history, choreography and performance. Drill Team and color Guard perform at various school functions as well as compete in the band UIL competition in the fall. Drill Team competes in area and statewide contests and has won numerous awards, including Sweepstakes (Division 1 rating in three routines), outstanding showmanship, outstanding precision and the judges award. The Color Guard recently begun competing in area winter guard contests and received recognition on their programs.
F. World Languages (other than English) - Language classes are offered in French, German and Spanish. In each languages, offerings include Levels I-V, both regular and advanced levels, including both AP and IB. The core of the foreign language curriculum develops skills in the communicative domains of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Additionally, emphasis is given to understanding the cultures of the people who speak the target languages. Activities focusing on the TEKS engage students in practicing their language skills in academic, social, business, and literary climates through performance-based simulations including role-playing and paired interviews that are recreated both in classroom and laboratory settings. Additional enrichment is given through exposure to the history, geography, film, current events, literature, art, music and foods native to the target cultures. Foreign exchange students bring added enthusiasm and richness into the classes and at club meetings. Students have opportunities to extend their experiences as they attend contests, perform at local festivals, and participate in state symposiums. Staff members attend state and national workshops and conferences to continue professional growth and bring the most modern application of linguistic pedagogy into the language programs.

C6.What other content areas or programs play essential roles in your schoolwide curriculum goals?
Broadcast Journalism at AHS is nationally recognized for the innovative use of technology in. The KGLE Radio Network, our high school radio station, KGLE 3, our high school television station, and Cable Channel 17, our district cable channel provide creative programming. A daily newscast from the campus is aired to AHS students and the community. Creative programming includes "The Bistro," a cooking show, "Allen, The TV Show," a soap opera based on the old "Dallas" series, "Knowledge Quest," an academic game show, and live sports and sporting events. These programs provide both entertainment and school and community information. In using both writing and oral formats, the TEKS and TAAS objectives are reinforced. Most importantly, however, they provide students with opportunities for success in the world of journalism.
CCCC plays another essential role in the program of AHS. With a 30,000 square foot satellite on the AHS campus, students are in a unique position to maximize their potential to complete high school requirements while getting college credit. In 1999-2000, the first year of operation, two students received 21 hours of college credit from CCCC, and entered university as transfer sophomore students. In 2000-2001, 85 students received dual credit in English, and a similar number in Social Studies. These numbers are actually doubled when one considers that students take two semesters of college to receive one credit for high school. CCCC provide college advisors to plan out an entire college career, and have remedial courses in reading, writing, and mathematics for students who do not pass the Texas Assessment of Skills Placement test (TASP).

C7. What requirements must be satisfied before a student is promoted to the next grade level of schooling?
Since AHS is a grades 10-12 campus, students that have completed a year at Lowery Freshmen Center (or in another district) are admitted to AHS no matter what their credit total is. This practice is to avoid having older students retained at Lowery Freshman Center. Core discipline courses are double-blocked to allow students that are behind on graduation requirements to catch up. Students must have completed 6, 12, and 16 credits to be classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior respectively. Students wishing to graduate a year early must officially apply for early graduation to allow the registrar's office to determine if the student has earned enough of the graduation requirements to be classified as a senior. In 2001-2002, AHS has approximately 50 students that have applied for early graduation. Early graduates receive a $1,000 scholarship from the State of Texas.
AHS students must complete 24 credits to graduate on the minimum graduation plan, two more credits than the State requirement. Students must complete 28 credits to graduate on the Recommended High School Program, four more credits than the State requirement. Approximately 70% of students at AHS graduate under the Recommended High School Program. In granting AHS Exemplary High School status, the Texas Education Agency also gave an additional recognition for students completing the Recommended High School Program (A3).

C8. What are your course requirements for graduation? What percentage of the last graduating class completed curriculum requirements typically required for college admission? What percentage of the last graduating class completed a course sequence designed to prepare them for a transition to work? What percentage of the graduates completed some other sequence required for graduation?

State High School College Prep Career Other
Courses Graduation
Requirements # of
Years % of Grads. # of
Years % of Grads. # of
Years % of Grads.
English 4 4 4
Mathematics 3 4 4
Algebra 1 1 1 1
Geometry 0 1 1
Algebra 2 0 1 1
Other 0 1 1
Social Studies 4 4 4
Science 2 3 3
Lab Science 2 3 3
World Language 0 2 0
Arts 0 1 1
Technology 1 1 1
Career Related 0 0 2
Health/Physical Ed. 2 2 2
Other 6 7 3
# of Credits 22 28 72% 24 28% 0

Allen High School recommends that all students begin on the Recommended High School Plan, "college prep" plan. By the end of their senior year, many students transition into the state minimum plan which does not require two years of World Languages. However, all AHS graduates must have 4 years of mathematics and 3 years of science, a year more than the state requires in either area. Over 25% of AHS graduates earn college credit prior to leaving high school.

D. Active Teaching and Learning
D1. How are teaching practices and learning experiences in the school consistent with current knowledge about successful teaching and learning?
Successful teaching occurs when there is successful learning. Such teaching practices enhance and enable students to construct their own learning. The Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS) is a research-based method of evaluating teaching methods. PDAS stresses the use of multiple activities within a class period, hands-on activities, and differentiation for different students. Hands-on activities such as board games to learn history, building models to understand math relationships, and performing lab activities to understand the nature of science occur in classrooms throughout the curriculum. Teachers receive training for these practices during district and campus-based staff development days, and weekly ACT meetings. The following are only a few examples of teaching practices used to enhance student learning.
· At AHS, math classes have easy access to graphing calculators. Because calculators are available, teachers construct lessons that allow students to discover graphic and algebraic relationships. Their application in introductory levels enhances the understanding of slope, rate of change, and the coordinate system. In upper level classes, their use supports a deeper understanding of the theory behind trigonometry and calculus. Besides calculator use, mathematical modeling classes use CBL and CBR units to gather and analyze data. In order for students to relate math experience to the world, some time is used to discuss current affairs and how math can be used to analyze and study a current event topic such as disease or crime.
· In biology and environmental science, live animals are used in the classroom. Students relate the classification system to characteristics of the species. Students study behavior and measure physical characteristics such as heart rhythm and temperature. The "Port-a-pet Program" connects what is studied in the elementary classroom with actual animals. Elementary school students come as a class to the biology lab to investigate the animals and their behavior. As part of the IB program, senior IB students design lessons that they teach at the high school to elementary school classes. By cooperating with an elementary teacher the lessons on the microscope become accessible to young students, while enhancing the experience for the older students.
· Physics includes a long-term project about the roller coaster. While studying forces, speed, and acceleration, students build an understanding of the analytical side of roller coasters. The project culminates in a trip to Six Flags to verify expectations through direct experience with roller coasters.
· Encouraging students to become active in the political life of our country, government teachers provide opportunities to express themselves in class and through the government web page. Students contribute to the web page and maintain it. By actively engaging in political conversation, their study of the function of government becomes relevant.
· Students in computer science experience the process of programming as well as the rewards. Their preparation takes students to a level that enables them to become summer employees and interns at local companies such as Raytheon. The students reach a level of programming experience that has led 6 of them to full scholarships in computer science at the university level.
· In AP Art History, the teacher utilizes the resources of the Internet and the flexibility of computer presentations to make art more immediate and personal. Students create "cave" paintings, Greek art on pots and urns, and an architectural portfolio that uses local structures to catalog the forms studied.
· In English, writing is the centerpiece of the curriculum. As students study literature and the culture that produced the literature, they demonstrate their understanding and integration of the information through essays and critical analyses. Work with grammar is closely linked to student writing. Using self-analysis, students improve their knowledge of the mechanics of language and its use.
· Foreign language students are challenged to work in the language. Frequently in the second and third year classes, the class is conducted in the language. Through exposure to authentic material and the oral practice students are able to become skilled in reading, writing and speaking the language.

D2. In what ways do teaching practices support student-initiated learning?
All departments use a variety of strategies and practices to support student-initiated learning. Students work in cooperative groups and on individual projects both inside the classroom during class time and outside the classroom for homework assignments. Administrators monitor the variety of teaching practices during PDAS evaluations. Time is provided for students to reflect on problems and attempt individual solutions. Some examples of ways teaching practices support student-initiated learning in a variety of curricular settings include:
· Students in broadcasting, produce the daily announcements in a news format complete with news, sports, weather and advertisements. Without the daily contact and planning that goes on between students, this enterprise would fail. It is so good that for 2 years the KGLE, the Broadcast Journalism team, has been nationally recognized.
· Student initiated work extends into Journalism classes that produce a newspaper published six times a year. Students pick news stories, features, and editorials under the supervision of the teacher. It is the students' responsibility to meet deadlines, layouts, and pictures for the stories in a completely cooperative effort.
· Computer science students are given parameters for writing a program for a game, but the balance of the project is their own. The culmination of the project is a presentation to people in the professional community who rate their efforts - much as would happen if one presented an idea or concept to a business. Through this link, there is a dialog between the computer science student and Raytheon, Micorsoft, and local companies.
· Clinical Rotation class allows for student-initiated work in sciences. After a course of preparation in medical terminology, students are supervised through a clinical experience at a local hospital. The ultimate goal is for the student to be prepared to pass their Certified Nurse's Assistant (CNA) test. The students are given direction, but the performance is their own.
· Participation in CoCo BEST competition requires that A-Team Robotics students use the knowledge of robotics that they acquire largely on their own. They compete against other teams given the same problem and the same materials. Students initiate and evaluate their own learning and performance.

D3. How are resources made available to teachers and students for gathering information and sharing the results of their efforts?
The AHS library is a state-of-the-art, user-friendly resource facility that provides equal, open and flexible access to resources and technologies, and is fully integrated into the instructional process. The library provides a balanced, carefully selected and systematically organized, diverse collection to meet the needs of students and faculty. The library houses a small professional library for teachers featuring professional education journals, as well as two computers where teachers can access any of the library's online subscriptions. The Media Retrieval System will be available soon so that all the classes can access and view the same video as needed to enhance student learning. The library maintains extended hours Monday through Friday and operates the Livewire computer lab during and after school, as well as in the evenings.
The library staff engages, directs, and encourages students individually, and in groups, in problem-driven research, application of problem-solving information, and the use of technology. In the 2000 school year inventory, there was a balanced collection of 15,000 items or approximately 5 items per student, including books, periodicals, software, and electronic resources. The library annually subscribes to approximately 13 online subscription services, in addition to the online services it receives through the Texas Library Connection. These subscriptions are accessible to students and teachers from any in-school location where they can login, as well as at home. The library also provides students with two local newspapers, one national newspaper, and a full-text news database. The librarian facilitates teachers in accessing the video collection available through the Region 10 Education Service Center, which provides a two-week lone period on its materials to teachers.
The librarian collaborates regularly with teachers to cooperatively plan curriculum and learning experiences within a flexibly scheduled environment. Teachers in all departments work with the librarian to select and secure materials for research projects. The librarian recruits suggestions from teachers, notifies teachers of materials that would enhance their curriculum, and makes teacher requests a top priority. The librarian consults individually with each teacher when time is reserved for class use.
Some hardware in the library includes 120 computers, 90 of which are housed in two interior computer labs. Additionally there are 40 computers housed in the library's exterior lab, The Livewire. The Livewire is an informal study lab. Included in the library's hardware are three portable video conferencing units that can be used in the classroom, or in any location in the building that has a network connection. There are VCRs, digital projectors, digital cameras, scanners, CD-ROM burners, and video link televisions available for checkout from the library.
The library is a space for a variety of uses. It contains display cases to showcase student and faculty work. Last year students in photography displayed competition photos. Architectural graphics students are presently displaying examples of shelters and house models made from boxes. Space is available in the library for students to congregate to discuss group projects in which they are involved.
Every student at AHS utilizes library services at some time during the school year. In 2000-01, the total number of student contacts, engaged in formal guided research, served by the library's two interior computer labs was 35,048 students. During the same period, the print library served 14,864 students doing formal guided research. Walk-ins average 25 students per day for 4,625 walk-ins last year. The grand total of student contacts for the AHS library in 2000-01 was 54,519 students. The AHS library offers an appealing, effective environment that is age-appropriate for students and reflective of students' interests, the community, and instructional programs.

D4. What technology applications is the school using? How do they relate to the curricular goals and how do they support teaching and learning?
Teaching technology is available to every teacher and student in every classroom. Available technology includes everything from lasers and laser disk players to VCRs and graphing calculators. All classrooms have at least two computers for student and teacher use. Computers On Wheels (COW) labs bring more computers in the form of laptops to classrooms. Teachers throughout the school assign PowerPoint and Hyperstudio presentations. Students use the technology to enhance and showcase their understanding of the content. The following examples demonstrate how the technology allows teachers to design lessons that incorporate its use in their curriculum:
Ø Every math teacher has access to 12 or more graphing calculators in the classroom. Math classes use a discovery approach with respect to graphs and their equations. Probability and statistics class uses both the calculator and computer program to simulate problem situations or to analyze given data. Life science classes use conferencing via computer to learn about other habitats and science teaching.
Ø One biology page contains more than 200 links to web sites that enhance the curriculum. The sites are grouped according to the topic or unit studied. Students are given the opportunity to e-mail researchers in various fields of biology, and to post their results for other students. Assignments, test reviews, and other visual information is attached for student use.
Ø Thoroughly integrated technology is available in government classes. Research using the Internet and distance learning are used often. The AP government classes started a web site called "Students Take Action in National Democracy" (STANDS). The purposes are to show students that the government affects life today, to provide a mechanism for interactive dialog with other students throughout the U.S., and to help students know who their state and national representative are and how they can help. Students research bills in State Legislature and U.S. Congress. The site includes an editorial page where students can voice their opinions. Several lawyers, a judge and a policeman have agreed to answer e-mail questions students may have. STANDS, also, has a list of helpful web sites page. Here students can find WebPages about college grants, AP test reviews, etc. Academically, the teacher can easily inject the essential elements from Government as the students develop the web site. Students publish articles about local, state and international events.
Ø The AP Art History teacher has a web page where students are asked to analyze works of art and e-mail their responses to the art teacher. There are other links where students can take an Egyptian Tour, view Art projects from other schools, visit a Medieval Art and Music gallery and many others.
Teachers are trained to use technology in a variety of ways. Staff development is provided district-wide during the summer months and throughout the school year. Training on use of the electronic grade book, attendance, and computer programs are also provided during ACT (E1). Region 10 Service Center provides additional training for those teachers who need training beyond the requirements of the district.
By graduation, all students have used word processing, spreadsheet, and data base programs to complete assignments in the classroom and for homework. Many of our students have already produced their own web pages before coming to AHS, and all students are proficient at doing research using Internet capabilities, and most can create a web page by the time they graduate.

E Professional Community
E1. What opportunities do teachers and other staff have to build professional community that enhance their collective capacity to work together to support student learning?
AHS provides opportunities for its staff of 173 to develop personal communities essential for student learning. Across the district, all certified professional personnel are required to complete 150 clock hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every five years. These hours may include: (1) district-sponsored CPE activities, often designed by high school staff; (2) approved activities outside of the district; or (3) postgraduate course work through an accredited institution of higher learning. CPE units are part of the employees annual performance appraisal, providing teachers the ability to grow in their given academic arena or expand their interest in others areas for the benefit of their students. Allen Curriculum Training (ACT) sessions are held 45 minutes on a weekly basis to provide information and training on topics covering web pages, the computer grade book (SASI), Special Education Training, software analysis for current software used, technology surveys, sexual harassment training, multi-intelligence seminars, teaching methods, library assistance, and video conferencing among others. ACT had lead to an increase of computer usage in the classroom by both teachers and students. All teachers have web pages that provide information and assignments beneficial to students and acts as a resource for parents.
The arrangement of AHS into four "houses" (A1 and B1) provides the small school atmosphere for the approximately 600 students in the respected "house". The "houses" are divided alphabetically allowing student to stay with the same Principal, Academic Advisor, Secretary, and Student Support Team throughout their high school career. This provides for a smooth transition from year to year, because of the established relationships developed the previous year. Siblings are in the same house, creating a better understanding of family situations, how they affect the family, and support conferences with parents. The House Concept often leads to teachers of Math, English, and Social Studies sharing students, thus having an inside view to academic or behavioral failure yielding strategies to support the student. Common planning time between teachers is provided for teachers in staff development meetings, course meetings before or after school, and during lunches for most teachers.
The Student Support Team (SST) is an integral program in achieving student success. The SST is comprised of an administrator, a counselor, a Special Education teacher, a secretary, and several teachers that have been trained to assist students in need. Teachers, parents, or peers can refer students identified as having issues that interfere in academic success to the SST. Case managers are assigned to each student, collect information from various venues, review and evaluate the information, and present it to the SST. Individual plans for the students are proposed, ranging from mandatory tutoring, daily monitoring by case manager, adult mentors, 504 placement, participation in counselor lead student groups for students, and outside referral if necessary. SST serves to help teachers' help students redirect their focus and regain academic stability.
The Campus Improvement Team (CIT) is composed of administrators, teachers, students, paraprofessionals, community leaders and parents. The CIT meets monthly to discuss issues relevant to campus decisions, problem solving, student-driven issues, and reviews goals and objectives of AHS. Minutes are distributed to all campus personnel. Besides the CIT, the Department Coordinators (DC) play a leadership role in building professional community throughout the school. The DC meets monthly with administration to review, evaluate and create changes in curriculum within the respected departments relevant to student success in the classroom.
The sense of community at AHS is enhanced through social events, athletic and academic events, PTSA luncheons, after school get-togethers, meals for families in times of struggle, and celebration of life events (weddings, births, retirements). AHS shares moments of joy and sadness as a family.

E2. How does a coherent approach to professional development for teachers and other staff ensure their ability to implement effectively the school's curriculum, instructional strategies, and support system? How do organizational arrangements such as time and teaching assignments, and school norms and culture, make professional development a priority?
Professional development as directed in Domain IV of the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) leads teachers to pursue activities that assist them in understanding the individual needs of the students. Our philosophy of staff development is based on the standard of Continuing Professional Education (E1). The philosophy of Allen ISD Professional Development states "being a professional in the field of education implies commitment to continued learning and growth, the ultimate goal is improving student achievement." The standards of this program are based on the National Staff Development Council. The standards include:
· aligning staff development with school and district goals to improve education;
· establishing priorities on what issues to address using student data;
· providing follow-up and support;
· addressing the need for quality education for all children, regardless of race, ethnic background, gender or special needs;
· emphasizing a challenging, developmentally-appropriate core curriculum based on content and objective established by the school, parents, and the community;
· promoting parent and family involvement in education.
Teachers may select classes from the District Professional Catalog, attend district, Region 10, or special workshops, state or subject-specific conferences, Advanced Placement Summer Conferences, and postgraduate coursework in pursuit of personal growth to support improvement in teaching and learning in the classroom. AHS teachers have opportunities to select topics for staff development days through yearly surveys. Teachers are encouraged to develop programs for staff development days sharing ideas and information with colleagues gained through personal development. Allen Curriculum Training (E1) is another opportunity for professional development. Various topics are covered weekly providing new learning opportunities or reinforcement of previous knowledge. Mentoring of new teachers helps to support the learning process that occurs when one enters a new facility. The Department Coordinators play a vital role in the support of new personnel. Regular training sessions indoctrinate new teacher procedures and protocol for success within the high school setting. The district encourages teachers to seek postgraduate work through a partnership with the University of North Texas and an annual stipend for completion of Masters or Doctorate Degree.

E3. How does the school tailor professional development and support to address the differences in career experience or professional responsibility?
New teachers attend a three-day in-service at the beginning of the year in addition to the three regular in-service/workdays that all teachers are required to complete. During this in-service they are trained in the daily operations of AHS and where to find support for those frequently asked questions during the first hectic days of school. In addition, weekly training is given concerning copier machines, computer access, passwords, and general areas of concern that have been identified during departmental meetings by previous new teachers. New teachers are assigned an experienced teacher to mentor them. The mentor is responsible for helping the new teacher with questions concerning the workings of the classroom, where to find help for problems that arise after school has started, and etc. Department Coordinators also help new teachers with problems such as where to get additional books, how to help students with computer log-ins, questions about AHS policies as well as general questions about classroom management, tutorials, calling parents, or how to handle modifications for exams or quizzes. Within departments, subject areas also have meetings, usually weekly or biweekly, to insure with horizontal curriculum alignment. During these meetings teachers help each other find new ways to present difficult material, identify problem areas for new teachers that experienced teachers have encountered previously, and ways to avoid those problems or help students through those areas. For instance, chemistry teachers meet to review the labs that will be done the next week.
The district offers a wide variety of after-school technology classes that are tailored to the attendee's experience level regarding specific areas. Some classes include basic computer training, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and PowerPoint training with varying levels of expertise offered (novice or experienced), using the internet in the classroom, web page design, etc. The actual classes that are offered are based on a survey that is done at each campus within the district. After analysis of the survey, a catalog of classes is sent to each school and teachers sign-up for their choices. These classes are also offered through the continuing education department during the summer. In addition to the opportunities for teachers, counselors, aids, office personnel, custodians, and cafeteria staff participate in staff development. The counselors, secretaries, and paraprofessionals have been involved in training within the areas of discipline, use of body language when dealing with students, parents, or the community, and computer proficiency with a variety of programs used in AHS. The custodial staff attends a series of safety training each year. Office personnel attend Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) workshops and other workshops at Region Service Center XIII related to campus goals.
District and school training are normally accomplished using AISD or AHS staff. Both AHS and the district have professionals who possess excellent skills in presenting staff development. Our teachers are often featured at state, national, and even international conferences, and in other venues that train teachers. For example, last year teachers presented at the National Association of Biology Teachers Convention, the Conference for the Advancement of Science, and Universidad Regiomontana, among others.

E4. How does your school use the processes and results of student assessment, staff evaluation, and school review to support professional growth? How has teacher professional development improved teaching and resulted in higher student achievement and success?
Enhancing teacher expertise to improve student achievement is a focus for meaningful professional development. TAAS, AP, and IB examination results are used to assess student achievement. The results are also used to gage the effectiveness of teachers. Teachers attend conferences and seminars that are specifically geared to help them increase student achievement (E3). Teachers who attend these training sessions are instrumental in designing new activities and communicating these with other members of the professional staff. As students achieve at higher levels than previously, teachers work harder to see that the potential of all students is realized.
Resulting from an analysis of the AP English exam results in Phoenix classes, for example, it became obvious that the course needed increased rigor because students were not doing well. After a teacher was provided with expertise from an AP English seminar, she received reassigned to teach the class, and AP English scores in Phoenix classes have improved.
PDAS (E2) is used to identify areas of strength and weaknesses in staff. Strengths are used to place teachers in courses that are more appropriate and involve teachers in additional curricular activities. When weaknesses are identified, additional training, a mentor, or a deficiency plan for improvement. Both of these improve the effectiveness of the staff, resulting in greater student success in the classroom. CIT (B1, B4, and E1) suggested that TAAS data be used to place students in classes to improve skills in reading, writing, and math. Consequently, all students have passed TAAS for the past two years. The HIT (A1, F1, and G1) made the recommendation that all teachers of AP and IB classes receive additional training. Therefore, no teacher is assigned to AP or IB classes unless they attend summer workshops.

F Leadership and Educational Vitality
F1. How does leadership move your school towards its vision/mission? How is the instructional leadership role defined and implemented? How are resources aligned with goals?
Strong, supportive leadership is an important aspect of AHS. Bob Caudle is currently serving his second year as Principal, where he has been instrumental in developing and monitoring guidelines for the school. Department Coordinators were reintroduced after a two year absence because Mr. Caudle saw the need to have subject area expertise directly available for teachers. Mr. Caudle has been proactive in preparing teachers and students for the TAKS (C5) to be implemented in 2003. Deputy Principal, Billy Coburn, has assumed a major responsibility for day-to-day program objectives and student activities. House Principals provide leadership within their houses through monthly meetings, leadership of SST and CIT meetings, and staff appraisals. Decisions regarding curriculum and procedures are first-line teacher based, then considered by department chairs, and ultimately approved by the budgeting committees. The child's interest is critical in the decision-making process.
Collaborative leadership promotes ownership in the decision-making process. Through the Student Council and President's Council, a representative group of student organization officers, the Principal meets and listens to the requests and interests of the students. In this way, special programs such as Program Fairs and student activities can be scheduled. Teachers, parents, and students meet monthly on the Campus Improvement Team (CIT) to review policy and procedures that may need to be addressed - change is often made as we find need to change.
HIT representatives meet monthly to discuss areas of concern. The CIT, Department Coordinators and others may later address these concerns. Curriculum work is done to ensure curriculum alignment both vertically and horizontally in major core areas as well as special needs areas such as technology levels. This ensures a smooth transition from middle school to high school.
The SST (A1) was established within each house to evaluate students' needs. Through advisor and teacher evaluations, special programs can be developed to ensure student successes, including special monitoring programs, revised schedules, or alternative learning programs. Parents are involved in this process.

F2. How does the school engage its internal and external stakeholders in leadership and decision-making? What is the relationship between the principal and stakeholders?
Teachers and students initiate change on many levels. New courses, such as clinical rotation and IB Advanced Math, have often been implemented because of the suggestions of teachers (B2). Black Youth of America (B2) is not a course. This student-initiated organization was established because some students felt that their culture was not fully included in the curriculum and celebrations at AHS. Since establishment of this club, peer tutoring and a greater emphasis on Black History Month has occurred.
The AHS leadership is founded on mutual respect for all participants. The CIT (Campus Improvement Team) is a 20-member group of department representatives, parents, and business representatives that meets monthly. The goals of the CIT, developed by the principal, elected teachers, and parents, are parallel to those of the district. The expectations of the district and AHS are evaluated annually to assess successes and benchmarks.
As problems arise, group decisions may be made quickly. Our lunch program began the year with three lunch schedule times. Another lunchtime was initiated when it became clear that this was an inefficient schedule. Our lunch program is a prepaid system with cash to be used in only specific lines. To quicken the lunch process, CIT requested the lunch prices be placed on a marquee over the lunch lines offered so students could better manage the amount of money they knew was in their accounts.
Surveys are often employed when major decisions are implemented. When AHS was constructed, the community was involved at all levels for a period of almost a year. Many of the suggestions from the community survey were implemented. One of these was that we have one high school rather than two. The natatorium, being constructed jointly for city and school use, was another suggestion by the community. Students and parents have been surveyed about the dress code and changes were made as a result.
Community plays an important role in our student offerings and coursework. AHS is located in a highly technical area. The A-Team CoCoBEST (Collin County Boosting Engineering Science Technology) has hosted the area robotics competitive contest, sponsored in conjunction with Raytheon. In this group, students create robots, maneuver them by remote control, and make them perform designated duties in time-regulated segments.

F3. What kind of participatory school improvement process operates at your school? How did your school prepare its Self-Assessment for the Blue Ribbon Schools Program and how did this initiative relate to other school improvement and planning efforts.
At the end of the 2001 school year, the CIT reviewed the year's activities and data including numbers of students in each house, and structured a plan that made the numbers more equitable in the upcoming school year. Our strengths and direction included the continued alignment of our curricula to ensure transition from school-to-school or program area-to-program area (e.g. Science, math, history). Support of our House concept, the curriculum teams, the SST programs, the Principal's Advisory Council, and open communication lines with the faculty, staff, and community keep our goals foremost in view. In recognizing our own shortcomings, we are better able to redirect some of our programs to meet student need and diversity.
A member of the CIT, Allen Kimball, was sent to a seminar at Region 10 where the Blue Ribbon application was discussed. In reviewing the criteria for other noteworthy educational certifications, such as TEA Exemplary status (C1), the requirements were similar. The internal review of the campus and district goals assisted in the planning and working of this Blue Ribbon application. Through this self-study, AHS was able to align and implement processes such as Department Coordinators and curriculum specialists structuring curriculum alignment, vocational departments working on career tech initiatives, and experienced teachers assisting new teachers in training and mentoring programs. A committee of CIT and Department Coordinators met during July. The committees began to analyze the data and criteria needed to complete this document. Information was gathered from administrative sources and surveys of the district that had been prepared for end-of-year reports. Teachers were surveyed to review their experiences and their involvement in both school and non-school activities. The parents were offered the opportunity to provide input and to read the application for accuracy. The application provides a framework from which to view the school on a broader perspective than has been done in the past. It will be used as data when additional changes and realignments are suggested to improve the school. Many teachers hold prominent positions, and many teachers have worked in other capacities, bringing multi-talented information into our curriculum areas (H8).

F4. How does the school leadership use the most current information about education to promote continuous improvement in the school? How does such evidence influence decision-making?
In February, a retreat was held by the CIT to formulate goals for the upcoming year. Objectives and strategies were diagnosed and the changes or efforts will be applied with the new school year (F7). Videotapes by Dr. Harry Wong have been provided for all new teachers. Dr. Wong's book, The First Days of School, is suggested reading for all teachers. Using the suggestions by Dr. Wong, teacher expectations are clearly stated and instruction begins on the first day of school.
The Campus Improvement Team (CIT) uses data from AEIS, TAAS, SAT, ACT, and AP reports (see H4-6, Appendix I, and Appendix II) to formulate goals. As the data was analyzed, new courses in math and English were initiated to help students improve in these areas. TAAS test results of Spring 2001 showed a passing percent of 96.6% in reading, 94.4% in math, and a 94% in writing. Consequently, there were improvements in these core areas.
As new trends in education become apparent, course offerings are introduced. The CISCO Systems program was offered for computer-assisted learning. This is a training program that the CISCO Systems company normally requires tuition and a waiting list. Out students can be hired directly into the company directly upon completion of the course and graduation from AHS. The Health Occupations program was developed for students interested in the medical fields. The training provided by this program, including clinical rotation class, also allows students to become employed in the health care field as a technologist or Nurse's Aide upon completion.

F5. Reflecting on the last five years, what conditions or changes have contributed most to the overall success of the school?
AHS has experienced many challenges during the last five years, including an expanding student population, a new facility, and an expanded curriculum. These challenges have been considered opportunities rather than problems, resulting in a renewed vigor at AHS. Conditions that have contributed to our success include:
· A new facility, opened in 1999, has brought a new interest to our community. Our one-high school town is drawing new businesses and new construction. New incentives have drawn qualified personnel to our district. Our community has grown at a 6-7% growth rate with approximately 1, 000 new students enrolled in the Allen ISD system.
· AHS has an ongoing commitment to curriculum alignment. Pathways are being implemented to coordinate core curriculum through the elementary, middle, and high schools. This alignment will assist in maintaining high curriculum standards. The course offerings reflect technical learning as evidenced by AutoCad classes and Broadcast Journalism courses.
· Collaborative leadership will be a continued effort to coordinate our house concept. House Improvement Teams (HIT) and Campus Improvement Teams (CIT) work together to make changes in policy and procedures as needed. Team leaders from various departments discuss concerns and the ultimate decisions are referred to the CIT.

F6. How has the school integrated technology to improve management and program efficiency and effectiveness?
Technology has been an area of emphasis for more than six years in our district. Laptops were issued to all teachers and administrators for use. Teachers are given in-service instruction on use and application of software for meeting course objectives using technology across the curriculum. Grades and attendance are recorded electronically and progress reports are issued at the mid-six weeks grading period, and as a report card each six weeks. ACT (Allen Curriculum Training) sessions are used to introduce new procedures to all teachers. An instructional designer, a professional trained in technology use teaches small groups to use special software programs, such as Inspiration, html, and e-mail grouping. Approximately 70% of students' homes have computers with Internet connections. E-mail is increasingly used as a communication between teachers and parents. All teachers have web pages, and most include information on assignments and additional Internet links for students. Parents are provided with information about classes and methods of contacting teachers via web pages. Approximately 20 students are taking virtual high school subjects from other school campuses as an alternative course offering.

F7. What are the major educational challenges the school must face over the next five years, and how does the school plan to address them?
As a new facility in an established community, we can expect some future problems or adjustments. We can expect that positive results will come from meeting the following challenges in a proactive manner:
· Increasing growth will be a major factor. Current rate of growth appears to be 6-7%. As students continue to enroll, growth will affect our teacher-student ratio and could ultimately affect student proficiency and teacher morale. Student population currently is 2,437. New construction is planned and that may assist in reducing class loads, as new classrooms become available. As a result of new construction and additional students, at least one additional House will be added.
· With the increased numbers of students, comes the responsibility of providing curriculum choices. Considerations for flexible scheduling and alternate school attendance such as arriving early or staying later may be an alternative to allow students a better off-campus work option, at the same time alleviate the flow of traffic within the halls. Correspondence courses, independent study programs, and on-line courses may all become a greater part of the future.
· Development of business-related programs may be necessary to meet the needs of students and the area's demand on what the students are capable of doing when they join the workplace. Again, we can site the Health Occupations curriculum, media preparation through journalism and yearbook, and business applications using Microsoft as curricula that meet both of these objectives.

G. School, Family, and Community Partnerships
G1. What are the goals and priorities of the school, family, and community partnerships? How have the school and community both improved as a result of these partnerships and how did the school measure the improvements?
To determine satisfaction and areas that need improvement AISD conducts a Community Attitude Survey with our patrons every two years. The next survey is scheduled for October 2001. Parents, students, and community leaders are involved in Strategic Planning and district-wide focus groups. Last year the focus groups included budget development, calendar development, communications, recruitment, and retention of staff. The CIT (B1) meets monthly to review and refine the campus improvement plan, which is developed annually at the CIT retreat. Input is provided to these representatives from a monthly HIT (A1), Principal's Student Leadership Council, PTA and others as appropriate.
Extensive collaboration between the school and community is part of the uniqueness of the school climate. AHS is the flagship for the city of Allen. It is the center for numerous city, business and recreational activities. These partnerships are evidenced by a new Medical Technology Program. In collaboration with the new Presbyterian Hospital, it offers 20 students a medical rotation, providing them an opportunity to work and learn in the hospital environment. The primary goal of these partnerships is for the graduates of AHS to have useful and employable skills upon graduation.
Our partnership with CISCO Systems has offered our students the unique opportunity to obtain their technology certification while attending high school. Currently, our Career Technology Program has 14 businesses working with our office administrations program, 47 businesses working with our marketing students, 18 businesses working with the family and consumer science program and 11 businesses with our agriculture students. Additionally, AHS agriculture students are collaboratively working with the city of Lucus to build and irrigation system for that community.
Another example of collaboration is the planning, funding, and building of our new high school facility that houses both Allen High School and a satellite campus of CCCC. This inter-local agreement provides our students the ability to enroll in college for dual or concurrent credit while never leaving our building. Last year CCCC offered 46 college credit courses and 41 continuing education courses with an enrollment of 251 high school students and 469 Allen citizens. In addition to traditional college classes, CCCC offers a Culinary Arts Program in Hotel Restaurant Management. The 30,000-sq. ft. facility also provides AHS and the community advisement, assessment, admissions and financial aid information, plus an information commons area with on-line access and complete audio and visual services.

G2. How does the school involve families in their children's education?
Family involvement and partnership begins early with Allen High School. Eagle Vision seminars are held annually at both middle schools and the Lowery Freshmen Center. The purpose is to begin academic planning and support a smooth transition to AHS. Our Sophomore Eagle Vision seminar was held the night before school started this year to provide guided tours, answer questions, clarify expectations, and calm the nerves of students and parents. These Eagle Vision Meetings continue with each class to provide information for academic planning for high school and to provide information for the college application process and career technology planning. With over 200 new students to our school this year, a New Student Reception was held the first week of school to meet, provide information, and begin to develop relationships with new students and parents. AHS sponsors a Program Fair (A4) for AHS students and the incoming sophomore class each April. This gives our students and parents information concerning the content of classes and extra curricular activities.
Parent and school communication is a vital link to student success, and AHS has developed a plethora of communication strategies. The use of KGLE school television station (reaching all students in AHS and available to homes equipped with cable access), e-mail, voice mail, school web sites, and teacher web sites are some examples. A weekly email, E-nouncements, is sent to approximately 1,000 parents' homes explaining upcoming events. Such parent contact provides continuous information to the Allen community. This is combined with the more traditional approaches of newsletters, parent mailings, open house, parent conferences, and meet the teacher night to facilitate communication with parents. Our parents held 83 booster club meetings last year to plan and provide support for our students. Many programs in our school hold annual banquets that are sponsored by the booster clubs. Parents volunteers also accompany the many groups that take trips around the country to participate in national competitions. Forty parents accompanied the band to Orlando last spring and stood night watch, managed instruments and helped supervise the 240 students on the trip. The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) held 14 meetings and had a membership of 670 parents, teachers, and students. An example of the support was our senior "After Prom" Party, in which over 100 parents sponsored an exciting and safe all-night event for 650 seniors. The PTSA volunteers are always a phone call away as they proved after a fatal car accident with two of our students last Fall. The AHS parents organized and were at the school in force to help identify students in need and help the staff manage the crisis at our school. They also provided a hospitality room for the many counselors and clergy that were in our school to work with our students for several weeks.
Homework is an important component of the rigorous academic standards at AHS. Students are issued a set of textbooks to keep and use at home at the beginning of each semester. A class set of textbooks is also maintained in each classroom. In addition, all teachers offer tutorials Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoons and two additional tutorials each week. Parents are encouraged to utilize these opportunities for students that need additional instruction. Study guides are provided for all semester exams to allow appropriate preparation at home.

G3. How does the school support the needs and concerns of families?
Fostering a caring community and meeting the individual needs of each student in a high school with more 2,400 requires an intentional process that is clearly understood by staff and students. The staff primarily utilizes the four student support teams that are part of the house concept. The house principal, academic advisor, special education teacher, and a minimum of four regular teachers receive referrals from staff and students. The nurse, school crisis counselor, or parents are included as appropriate. The teams meet on a regular basis to staff each student referral. A case manager (teacher) is assigned, strategies are developed to address the student's academic or emotional needs, and communication strategies are developed to work with the student, parents, teachers, and staff. Student referrals are reviewed at each meeting to determine progress and develop additional interventions. This process is utilized for a wide range of student needs. The evidence of the effectiveness of this process could be that approximately 10% of students in House 200 were referred to their student support team and the majority of cases were closed when the concerns were addressed or remediated. Some cases continue as open for an extended period if the team feels that success has been limited or monitoring appears appropriate.
The school nurse and nurse's aide work with from 125 - 200 students daily during the school year. In addition to providing medical services to students, they are a vital link for many students to access advice and referrals to appropriate school and community services. Nutritional education is part of the health curriculum that is required for graduation. Currently, particular emphasis is being placed on the trend of using and misusing nutritional supplements. At parental request and for a nominal fee the nurse will provide voluntary hair testing for substance abuse. For students experiencing emotional, substance or family issues, AHS provide one full-time and a part-time support counselor that work with groups and individual students. Last year, they served 120 students in 15 groups that addressed issues of sobriety, grief, family issues, stress management, self-esteem, social skills, smoking cessation, new student on campus and female issues. They also worked with approximately 25 students weekly in individual sessions. A book review group focused on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. The support counselors act as the primary referral source for students and their families.
Currently, AHS has only two teen mothers in our student population. Individual plans were developed for each student. Both students are on an early graduation plan for December. One student participates in the non-traditional program at the alternative school. The other student attends school on a shortened school day, and is enrolled as an office aide. She is allowed support by her counselor on a daily basis.
Transportation is available to students who live more than two miles from the school, or if their pathway to school is determined to be hazardous. Students with special needs are provided transportation to their residences.
In addition to 469 adults enrolled in college classes and seminars in CCCC (C2), approximately 5,000 adults and children participated in Community Education classes last year. Two hundred and twenty -seven classes were available to the community with 95% of the classes offered in the high school facility. Traditional offerings such as computer classes, aerobics, craft classes were available, as well as, less traditional classes like hula, sign language, and belly dancing.

G4. How are educational resources in the school and the community used to extend learning opportunities for students, teachers, and families?
The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has many opportunities for our students to enrich their learning. AHS students participated in extended learning experiences on 48 field trips last year. They experienced a variety of resources, including the Dallas Visual Arts Center, Kimball Art Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art. The AP/IB Physics classes use Six Flags Over Texas to complete a project on mechanics and motion.
The summer academic program at the high school facility offered classes for middle and high school students. Classes included the opportunity to gain credit for advance coursework and classes to receive credit for previously failed classes. A TAAS Class (A1) was offered at no charge to provide remedial reading, writing, and math to middle and high school students. The enrollment for the summer of 2001 was 333 students. In addition, a Super Scholars Program was provided for thirty 11th grade students whose scores on the PSAT indicated the potential to receive National Merit Recognition.
The Summer Athletic Program included 650 students enrolled in the Adam's Course (a strengthening and conditioning program), including 250 females and 10 adults. Over 1000 students participated in the Allen Athletic Camps that were primarily located on the high school campus. The new AHS Activity Center is open to the community for individual exercise and weight training as well as formal classes for adults. Last year 80 adults enrolled in the fitness program and 175 in the Adams Course Speed Development Course. Currently, the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium is under construction and scheduled to be completed this spring. This joint venture with the city of Allen will provide our students with and outstanding facility for swimming classes, swim team practice and competition. Additionally, the community will enjoy a beautiful, year-round recreational swimming pool.
As the flagship of the community, AHS provides the citizens of Allen a location to participate in life-long learning at CCCC or in adult education classes, or enjoy recreational and leisure activities. The AHS building is open 7 days a week and from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. weekdays. Last year in partnering with the community, an International Gymnastics Competition was sponsored
Allen High School provides the citizens of Allen a location to participate in life-long learning at CCCC or adult education classes, or enjoy recreational and leisure activities. The AHS building is open 6 days a week, weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The most appropriate description of the partnerships between the citizens of the City of Allen and the AHS is the slogan that some students wear on their T-shirts - "One Town, One Team, One Dream."

H. Indicators of Academic Success
H1. What is the school's overall approach to assessment? How do the methods align with the educational vision/mission and curriculum? What questions about assessment is the school currently addressing?
The rigorous curriculum, in combination with the school mission, is the driving force in producing well-prepared students. The curriculum is continuously monitored both informally and formally. Students are assessed informally in individual classrooms using teacher-constructed tests and observations to monitor progress. On a more formal basis, internal assessments include results of TAAS, Benchmarks at the 3rd, 18th, 21st, and 36th week in each course to see that TEKS are being taught, ACT (E1), and SAT exams. Diagnostic exams are given prior to entering some courses such as Phoenix, although it is the general philosophy that all courses be open to all students. Students at AHS consistently score, as a group, well above the state average on the End-of-Course exams (EOC) in Biology and Algebra. However, the EOC exams are used to determine if students are on target for passing the TAAS. If students are not, they may take TAAS preparation courses, or other classes to help them be ready for the TAAS. Additionally, the PSAT is used as a predictor of student achievement on the SAT and Act. All of the data is used to encourage students to take courses that will challenge them intellectually. SAT and ACT (Appendix I) and TAAS and EOC (Appendix II) assessments have consistently been above state and national means.

H2. How does the school use assessment results to understand and improve student and school performance? How are data used to influence decision-making?
Assessment data allow the staff and students to understand where students stand in relation to the present norms for local, state, and national exams. AHS deliberately seeks to challenge the norm. Assessment tools are used to set direction for both staff and students as we seek to enhance the achievement and fulfill the capabilities of each student. Examples of ways data has been used to influence decision-making include:
¨ A TAAS practice test is administered in the 10th grade and the results are used to provide additional learning opportunities for students who appear to be at risk of not meeting the passing standards. As a result, all students have passed TAAS before graduation for the last three years.
¨ Analysis of the number of tardy students in 1998-1999 led to a "tardy sweep" in which students were sent to a central location where detentions were assigned. Since then, the program has been re-evaluated and students are now sent automatically to the House Principal where they are assigned a tardy detention. The obvious decrease in the number of students in the hallways is evidence that this procedure is working.
¨ Because of assessing the progress of Limited English Proficient (LEP) failure rate in regular courses and on TAAS, a TAAS preparation course for LEP students was instituted this year.
¨ House Counselors analyze the transcripts of all students to assess the numbers of credit-deficient students. This analysis was the basis for implementing accelerated programs in English so that students could catch up and others could accumulate credits to graduate early.

H3. What assessment data are communicated to students, parents, and the community? What are the purposes of these communications? How does the school ensure that these stakeholders understand the standards for judgment and the meaning of the data?
Communication with parents and the community is an important aspect of the partnership that AHS shares with its stakeholders. All parents are made aware of TAAS results by sending student scores, with an explanation of the results, through the mail. House Counselors and Case Managers from Special Education or 504 talk with each student about the results of their TAAS tests. Students who do not pass TAAS are counseled individually with regard to preparations that they need to make to improve their scores during the next testing period. This information is also provided to parents by mailings, E-nouncemnts, cable channel 17, and PTSA. Results from TAAS, ACT, SAT, and AEIS are published in local newspapers, mailed to parents, posted on the districts cable network, presented at school board meetings and in the AHS E-nouncements.
Additionally, House Counselors call in each student and explain the results of the PSAT to each student. Students are given information and strategies to help them improve their scores on the SAT, and students who show the greatest potential of becoming National Merit Finalists are encouraged to take special preparation classes in the summer.

H4. What standardized norm-referenced tests developed on the national, state, or district level has the school given in the last five years? What are the results for the last five years?
AHS does not administer a norm-referenced test to all students. The state-mandated TAAS is used for curricular assessment. However, approximately 67% of students take the SAT or ACT. The number of students taking these tests has increased every year. The nationally validated PSAT, SAT, and ACT are available for students as juniors and seniors. AHS consistently ranks above the state and national averages. The results of SAT and ACT scores are given in Appendix I.

H5. What criterion-referenced tests does the school use? What are the results for the last five years?
The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) is the criterion-referenced text used by public schools in Texas to determine if students are meeting state standards. Allen has had all students pass by the time of graduation for the past three years. The 2001 TAAS results include special education populations. TAAS results are presented in Appendix II.

H6. What alternative assessments of student performance does the school use?
AHS uses several methods of alternative assessment. All art classes use a portfolio as part of their assessment. Students entering the Phoenix program present portfolios and take placement tests developed for the program. Phoenix students also use their portfolios when entering college, and two students received college credit for their portfolios (at Southern Methodist University and University of Mississippi). Many students in the AP and IB Program take the AP/IB test at the end of the year. Last year 365 students took AP exams. Students in C++ Computer Programming design a game, and receive an evaluation from the teacher as well as other students.
Other assessments include mock trials and mock elections in government classes, skits and creative projects in English and biology classes. Speeches, debates, interviews, and presentations are the norm across the curriculum. Students are expected to be able to be able to perform in front of an audience of their peers and these performance assessments are a part of each student's grade in a variety of curricular settings.

H7. What are the data for the past five years in the following areas that serve as quantitative indicators of the school climate and engagement?
Student attendance has increased as students have been held accountable for the 90% rule to receive credit and as they have been informed of the importance of their attendance on the school's rating. Many teachers relocate when their spouse are transferred or assume a new position within their corporations.
2000-2001 1999-2000 1998-1999 1997-1998 1996-1997
Daily Attendance figures 95.2% 94.8% 94.7% 94.9% 93.9%
Daily Teacher Attendance 99.7% 99.6% 99.7% NA NA
Teacher Turnover Rate 20% 24.8% 28.3% 21.5% 18.1%
Student Dropout Rate 0.25% 0.5% 0.3% 0.3% NA
Student Dropoff Rate

H8. Which awards received by the school, staff, or students are most indicative of school success?
The faculty, staff, and students at AHS understand that success is attainable at many levels. Awards are one way that our society recognizes outstanding examples of success. Corporate, small group, and individual successes are celebrated at AHS with regularity and with increasing consistency. The examples provided below are intended to demonstrate that AHS achieves success at all levels.
ü Allen High School was named an Exemplary High School for the 2000-2001 school year by the Texas Education Agency.
ü Shawn Risener was named the 2000 Texas Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Texas Professional Communicators (TPC).
ü Alton Biggs, a 25-year veteran teacher at AHS, won the Texas Outstanding Biology Teacher Award on two occasions (1982 and 1993), the only teacher in Texas ever to do so.
ü The Broadcast Journalism Department was a National Broadcast Pacemaker Winner in 2000 and 2001. The National Scholastic Press Association presented this award, considered the Pulitzer Prize of scholastic journalism.
ü A-Team Robotics won the CoCo BEST Founders' Design Award at the regional level for the most innovative robot design in 1999.
ü KGLE, the AHS television station, has ranked among the Top Five high school broadcast programs in the nation for the past 4 years.
ü PALS was chosen to represent statewide PAL programs as a pilot site for virtual communication nationwide.
ü In 2000 and 2001, Kathleen Moore and Shannon Vaughan respectively, students in the AHS Agriculture won State Agriculture Scholarships from the Ford Corporation.
ü Amy Geer won the 3rd Congressional District's Grand Prize in art, a full scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and a place in the Texas Capitol Art Show for 2001.

H 9. What were the students who graduated in the Spring of 2001 doing as of September 2001?
Graduating Class Size 399
Enrolled in a 4 year college or university 72.2 %
Enrolled in a community college 12.0%
Enrolled in technical training 6.0 %
Found employment 8.8 %
Military Service 5.3 %
Working full time 8.8 %
Other (travel, exchange student) Unknown
Unknown 5.5 %
Percentages do not add to 100% because some graduates are enrolled and working full time. Data is determined by the analysis of the Senior Exit Survey completed by all 2001 graduates.

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