A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

School Reform and Student Diversity - September 1995

Table 2
Case Study Research Area #1B: The Context for Reform
Factors Affecting Implementation at the Elementary Grades

FACTOR DEL NORTE HOLLIBROOK LINDA VISTA INTER-AMERICAN
Time in Operation The bilingual program has been in place since 1974 when the district began bilingual education Restructuring began in 1989-90; the bilingual program is still developing. Restructuring began in 1988; the program has been evolving since. Pre-kindergarten began in 1975; the school grew by one grade per year until school had grades pre K-8.
Impetus for Reform The school has gone through an evolutionary reform process. Reforms were implemented on the basis of need to improve aspects of the program. The school staff recognized the need for change as a result of the dramatic growth in the Latino population in the neighborhood in the last ten years. A bilingual program was created and the use of primary language for instruction is being expanded in response to state laws. Restructuring began as a result of participation in the Accelerated Schools program. The principal and teachers felt that the ESL pull-out program previously in place fragmented the school's educational program. The school was founded by parents and teachers who worked together to develop and implement a program that emphasized bilingualism and biliteracy. The program has evolved over time in response to research and to student needs.
Role of District The district is a strong advocate of school restructuring and bilingual education. There is a strong district tradition of site-based management; they are financially supportive. They have just recently begun work to develop policies for the education of LEP students. The district is facilitative; it supports restructuring and the development of programs to meet the needs of LEP students. The district was not initially supportive of the program, but the school is now regarded as a model for the district's nine other immersion programs.
Principal Leadership The principal is a strong instructional leader with an open management style. The principal who initiated the reforms focused on the process of reform and teacher empowerment in decision-making. The current principal has focused more on parent involvement and community relations. The principal who initiates the reforms created and supported a climate of risk-taking; she is an instructional leader and knew how to build staff support. The principal's style is collaborative. Works to ensure program integrity and involves staff in decisions.
Staff Role in Reform Bilingual program staff report that they have a strong voice in school governance. Staff have been involved in reforms through Accelerated Schools decision-making processes. Teachers all serve on two schoolwide committees which have helped to steer the reform effort; the resource teachers play a leadership role. Staff play a role in school governance through the LSC.
School Climate School climate is very positive with focus on quality teaching and learning. Climate at the very large elementary school was generally positive. The school has a positive climate with high value placed on serving LEP students. The school climate is positive with emphasis on bilingualism.
Community Involvement Full-time parent liaison offers ESL for parents, parents' club, and volunteer program. Community members did not play an active role in the school's reform; the parent center attract significant parent involvement. Collaboration with the community is also a current priority. Community members have not played a large role in reform efforts, but community involvement is targeted as a goal of reform efforts. Parents have a substantial role in school governance through the LSC and the PAC.

FACTOR DEL NORTE HOLLIBROOK LINDA VISTA INTER-AMERICAN
Staff Qualifications All teachers in the program are native Spanish speakers and all hold bilingual credentials. There is a limited supply of bilingual teachers which has caused students to be transitioned to English earlier than if they had greater staff capacity. Most teachers in the school have bilingual or language development credentials. Of the 16 designated sheltered teachers, 10 have a language development credential and 6 are in progress. 7 of the 9 bilingual teachers have bilingual credentials; the others are in progress. All teachers at the school are Spanish speakers and all hold bilingual credentials.
Administrator Background The principal was a bilingual teacher and a bilingual supervisor. The principal was a former high school administrator. A former principal initiated the reform. The current principal has been principal at other "minority isolated" elementary schools in the district. The principal was a former teacher.
State Policies Texas is implementing a new accountability system that increases site-level autonomy and hold schools accountable for student performance on TAAS, the statewide assessment. Texas is implementing a new accountability system that increases site-level autonomy and hold schools accountable for student performance on TAAS, the statewide assessment. Also, the LEP student program is impacted by the state mandate requiring primary language instruction. Finally, the pre-kindergarten program is funded though state program. The school is supported in its restructuring through a state restructuring grant. In addition, the school operates a state-funded pre-K program. State legislation mandates site-based management and establishment of Local School Councils. State policies also mandate that all Chapter I funds must be spent at the site level. IN support of programs for LEP students, the state supports additional teachers and pre-K programs at schools with significant LEP student populations.
Federal Policies The school is eligible for schoolwide Chapter I and 85 percent of students benefit from federally-funded nutrition programs. The school is eligible for schoolwide Chapter I and a large percent of students benefit from federally-funded nutrition programs. The school is eligible for schoolwide Chapter I and 88 percent of students benefit from federally-funded nutrition programs. The school is eligible for schoolwide Chapter I and 56 percent of students benefit from federally-funded nutrition programs.
Desegregation Policies No major impacta neighborhood school No major impacta neighborhood school The school is designated "minority isolated" meaning that its population is less than 35% White. Because of this status, it receives a district grant that supports parent involvement, academic achievement, and social development. Magnet school with district-supported transportation. Ethnic balance and student selection determined by district lottery.
External Partner(s) The school program was developed without the help of an external partner. Assistance in targeted areas was sometimes provided by UTEP. The schools' involvement with Accelerated Schools led them to restructure. Partnerships with the National Alliance, ACOT, etc. supported the schools' reform goals. The school program was developed without the help of an external partner. Research-based information, however, was critical to the development of the program.

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[Table 1 Case Study Research Area #1A: The Context for Reform Demographic Conditions at the Elementary Grades, 1993-94] [Table of Contents] [Table 3 Case Study Research Area #2A: Design and Implementation of the Reform at the Elementary Grades]