Examples of innovative practices and collaborative work:
As a result of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Review that took place on our campus in Fall 2012, Piner is presently in the process of re-visioning itself. As the Vision Statement on the Home Page of this website indicates, the Piner High School community is commited to a focus on the future. We recognize that education is a dynamic process that requires communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. We are implementing the four Cs in a variety of ways this spring. Innovative educational practices are present school-wide and within individual departments and classrooms. Here are some examples of the work taking place at Piner:
In the area of student discipline Piner is implementing a new practice known as Restorative Resources in order to offer our students a means of providing restitution for actions that violate school rules and/or California Educational codes. This is a more humanistic approach to consequences for misbehavior, and our Assistant Principal Tim Zalunardo is leading the way. Please see the video provided here.
Administrative Focus on Reflection
On Monday mornings, the PHS Administrative Team meets to set calendars and discuss schoolwide issues. This year we have also incorporated reflective conversations into our practice as a means of enhancing our leadership capacity. Currently our discussions are focused on two pedagogical texts: Leaders for Learning by DuFour and Marzano and Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. Click on the book titles for a full description.
Faculty Focus for Common Core Implementation
On May 20, the entire faculty will meet for professional development that is focused on a single young adult novel, Neal Shusterman'sUnwind. This is a jumping off point for Common Core collaboration and integrated curriculum development school-wide following a staff presentation about Common Core Standards on April 17. Books were distributed at that meeting, and teachers are now eager to have conversations about potential project-based learning assignments that can be developed using overarching themes that span several disciplines. The May 20th meeting, the first of its kind on Piner's campus, will be a community-building activity that has far reaching implications for staff and students alike, as the entire school moves more deeply into the adoption of the Common Core Standards.
Early College Magnet Program
Piner High School has joined with the Santa Rosa Junior College in an educational partnership that offers the Piner High School-SRJC Early College Magnet Program to qualified incoming ninth graders. This exceptional educational opportunity provides our students with accelerated learning in the company of other college bound students, while preserving their high school experience in sports, drama, music, student government, and other extra-curricular activities. Students in this program are able to earn up to a year's worth of college credit while still in high school.
Freshmen Transitions Program
While the Freshmen Transitions Program impacts students school-wide, the main emphasis currently is in the Computers for College and Careers classes and the Ninth Grade English classes. The initial purpose of the program is to reduce truancy and increase positive engagement of students and parents at the high school level. Along with this aim is the goal to assist freshmen students in the creation of a four-year plan that leads to graduation and success in higher level education and/or the world of work. See the slide show below for more details:
Piner High School is very proud to be the first full MAKER class in the Santa Rosa City School District. Piner has been choosen to be the pilot program for the district to hopefully spawn the district wide incorporation of MAKE programs in all schools in the SRCS. This will add to our already many great programs at PHS. Here at Piner we are incorporating many different aspects of MAKE into our pilot curriculum. Click the Blog button below for the full story.
The staff and students at PHS have begun to explore the possibilities of our STEAM emphasis. The strands of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math come to life in various ways on our campus. Our Health Science and Biotechnology Pathway and Health Occupations Student Association both offer students unique opportunities to blend their science learning with real-world applications in the health field. In the Geographic Information Systems and Space Science courses, students use mapping technology to extend their knowledge of Earth and beyond, and they actively contribute to exciting new fields of study. Computer classes, such as Web Design, give students additional opportunities to broaden 21st Century skills. PHS also emphasizes creativity in classes such as Ceramics and Culinary Arts. In response to student interests and our changing world, we reflect and add courses as needed, such as the new offerings of Advanced Placement Statistics and Commercial Art and Design in the coming school year. In the realm of professional development, some members of our staff have developed their own “STEAM Team,” which meets on a bi-weekly basis to collaborate and develop cross-curricular thematic units of instruction.