• Chapter 3: WASC Criteria and Indicators

    Category A: Organization for Student Learning: Vision and Purpose, Governance, Leadership, Staff, and Resources

     

    Criterion A1: Vision and Purpose

    The school has established a clearly stated vision and purpose reflecting students’ needs, current educational research-based practices, with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and a belief that all students can learn and achieve. Supported by the governing board and the district Local Control and Accountability Plan, the school’s purpose is defined further by schoolwide student goals/graduate profile and academic standards, supported by the governing board and the district Local Control and Accountability Plan.

     

    A1.1 Vision and Schoolwide Learner Goals/Graduate Profile: The school has established a clear, coherent vision and purpose and schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile based upon high-quality standards congruent with research and school practices, and aligned with district goals for students.

    A1.2 Equity and Inclusion: The vision and purpose of the school reflects a belief that all students can learn and achieve.

    A1.3 Development/Refinement of Vision and Purpose: There are effective processes in place to ensure involvement of all stakeholders/educational partners in the development and periodic review and refinement of the vision and mission, and schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile.

    A1.4 Communicating and Understanding Vision and Purpose and Schoolwide Learner Goals: There are effective processes for communicating with all stakeholders/educational partners to ensure the understanding of the vision, purpose, and schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school has effectively established a clear, coherent vision and purpose and schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile based upon high-quality standards congruent with research and school practices, and aligned with district goals for students.

    The vision and purpose of the school effectively reflects a belief that all students can learn and achieve.

    There are somewhat effective processes in place to ensure involvement of all stakeholders/educational partners in the development and periodic review and refinement of the vision and mission, and schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile.

    There are somewhat effective processes for communicating with all stakeholders/educational partners to ensure the understanding of the vision, purpose, and schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile.


    Aragon has established Vision, Mission and Values Statements that are shared in varies places, such as the school website and in our school profile. They are aligned with the LCAP and SPSA goals. They were created collectively between staff and from input from SSC (School Site Council). 

    Upon reviewing them this WASC cycle, most staff members noted that the 2017 Vision and Mission continue to be adequate, though some discussion and potential updates may support our shifting foci.  As such, our staff plans to revisit them this year.

    The 2018 Aragon CARES values statement (more detail in Chapter 1) underlies our commitment to the social-emotional well-being of the school community, aligning with broader goals and guiding student self-assessment. The counseling department gives targeted annual grade-level presentations to all students related to behaviors that uphold the CARES statements.

    The schoolwide learner outcomes posted on the school website serve as a concrete representation of our dedication to defining the expected knowledge, skills, and attributes that students should acquire during their time at Aragon.

    New and potential families are also acquainted with our Vision, Mission, and Values through diverse presentations

    Summary analysis: Aragon staff are working to support students in accordance with our established Mission, Vision, and Values. However, our context, community, and students have changed as a result of the pandemic. We need to ensure a regular, collaborative process for revisiting, reexamining, and evaluating our Mission, Vision, and Values. Academic success has been valued in our community. Now, we look to strengthen the ways in which we meet our students’ mental, physical, social, and emotional needs. 

    In service to all our students, we will consider the following questions: Where are we going? Who do we want our students to become? How do we seek to listen to, serve, and support members of our community who have been disenfranchised in the past? How will we follow through on the commitments we make?  

     

    Criterion A2: Governance

    The school’s purpose is aligned with governing board goals and policies and focused on student achievement and well-being through data driven decisions with the aim of preparing students for college and career readiness.

    A2.1 Relationship between the Governing Board and the School: The school community has a clear understanding of the role of the governing board and how the governing board’s decisions, expectations and initiatives guide the work at the school with the aim of improving academic achievement and well-being of all students.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school community has a highly effective to somewhat effective understanding of the role of the governing board and how the governing board’s decisions, expectations and initiatives guide the work at the school with the aim of improving academic achievement and well-being of all students. 

    The Aragon school community, including teachers and parents, receive Board agendas via an electronic newsletter. The communications also includes a preview of actions that will be considered, discussed, and/or adopted by the Board. The Board website is also linked and on the District website. On that website, one can access various information like previous meeting agendas, the Board’s YouTube channel to watch meetings, and Zoom links for meetings. This site also includes a page with information related to reports made to the Board related to student success, areas for improvement, and student outcomes. 

    While the  above information is shared, this group felt there is a lack of clarity on how actual decisions are made within the Board. The process for adding items to the Board agenda is also unclear. The group stated concerns about transparency regarding the Board's role and decision-making process, as well as uncertainty about the Board's authority and its impact on the school. 

    Additionally, it was noted by some people that some Board members may make decisions without thorough inquiry and may be influenced by potential legal issues and politically charged public commentary.

    It's worth mentioning that there are two new Board members, which could potentially bring changes or improvements to the situation.

    Summary analysis: Resources are publicly posted and shared with staff on each campus, but there is a lack of understanding of the decision-making processes of the Board, leading to concerns about the quality of decision-making. There is a need for improved communication and clarity in the functioning of the governing board to enhance the effectiveness of decision-making, its impact on the school community, and improve the results for our students.

     

    Criterion A3: Leadership for Learning

    The school leadership, faculty, staff, and parent/community collaborate, make decisions and initiate actions that focus on all students’ needs and achievement. The result is accountability for implementing practices and programs, including providing services based on the school’s purpose, student needs, and the schoolwide action plan/SPSA goals aligned with the district LCAP.

    A3.1 Broad-based and Collaborative: The school’s leadership, faculty, staff a) assess data to determine student needs, and b) determine and implement strategies and actions, and c) monitor results and impact on student learning to support continuous improvement.

    A3.2 Leadership Role in Accountability: The school leadership and faculty demonstrate shared decision-making, responsibility, and self-reflection on actions and accountability expectations for implementing practices, programs, actions, and services that support student learning.

    A3.3 School Action Plan/SPSA Correlated to Student Learning: The schoolwide action plan/SPSA is directly correlated to and driven by the analysis of student achievement and other data and aligned with the LCAP.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school’s leadership, faculty, staff somewhat effectively a) assess data to determine student needs, and b) determine and implement strategies and actions, and c) monitor results and impact on student learning to support continuous improvement.

    The school leadership and faculty somewhat effectively demonstrate shared decision-making, responsibility, and self-reflection on actions and accountability expectations for implementing practices, programs, actions, and services that support student learning.

    The schoolwide action plan/SPSA is effectively correlated to and driven by the analysis of student achievement and other data and aligned with the LCAP.

    Aragon is collaborative and uses data-driven approaches for continuous improvement in student learning. The school leadership, faculty, and staff assess student needs and implement strategies, with a focus on monitoring their impact. 

    The district-wide schedule facilitates collaboration time, but there are constraints due to reduced meeting times with this new schedule. See Chapter 1 for District-wide schedule info. Teachers in this focus area also noted the absence of a formal process at Aragon to critique and evaluate the effectiveness of all Tier III programs due to time constraints within the allotted meeting time.

    The PD and MTSS TOSA meet together regularly, and as needed, with the principal, to review agendas for upcoming meetings. Much of the MTSS 1 and PD work is determined by student needs and feedback from site staff. The TOSAs also attend their district councils to inform their planning.

    This group did note there is a need for increased collaborative efforts between classified and certificated staff. Many staff members do not know each other and their respective roles on campus.

    Parent group representatives engage in monthly meetings with the Principal, promoting collaboration and insight sharing. The school's action plan (SPSA) is based on the site WASC Action Plan and primarily discussed by the School Site Council, but there is a lack of evidence suggesting that individuals not involved in the site council are aware of or have read the SPSA. This raises concerns about the broader staff's understanding of the action plan. Furthermore, it is unclear who is responsible for reviewing the SPSA. 

    It’s important to note that sites in our district are no longer required to complete a SPSA by the state. Our district no longer allows the sites to make major fiscal decisions with regard to the funding sources traditionally reported in the SPSA. LCAP funding decisions are made at the district level. 

    Recent administrative changes and the new block schedule have disrupted traditional decision-making processes. Challenges include uncertainty about sufficient information dissemination from leadership to faculty and difficulties in integrating data analysis into decision-making. There is a need for improved communication and information sharing within the school community.

    Summary analysis: While Aragon has a rich history of collaboration that has been embraced school-wide, we have progress to make to achieve a state of true shared decision-making, responsibility, and self-reflection on actions and accountability expectations for implementing practices, programs, and services that support student learning. 

     

    Criterion A4: Qualified Staff and Professional Development

    Qualified staff and leadership facilitate achievement of the student academic standards and the schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile through a system of preparation, induction, and ongoing professional development. There is a systematic approach to continuous improvement through professional development based on student performance data, student needs, and research.

    A4.1 Qualifications, Preparation, and Supervision of Staff: The school understands district and school procedures to ensure that leadership and staff are qualified based on staff background and preparation. The school implements effective supervision and evaluation procedures in order to promote professional growth of staff.

    A4.2 Professional Learning and Impact on Student Learning: The school effectively supports professional development/learning and evaluates its effectiveness on teacher practices and student learning, with time, personnel, and resources to facilitate all students achieving the academic standards and college and career-readiness expectations.

    A4.3 Communication and Understanding of School Policies and Procedures: The school implements a clear system to communicate administrator and faculty written policies, procedures, and handbooks that define responsibilities, operational practices, decision-making processes, and relationships of leadership and staff.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school effectively understands district and school procedures to ensure that leadership and staff are qualified based on staff background and preparation. The school highly effectively implements effective supervision and evaluation procedures in order to promote professional growth of staff.

    The school effectively supports professional development/learning and evaluates its effectiveness on teacher practices and student learning, with time, personnel, and resources to facilitate all students achieving the academic standards and college and career-readiness expectations.

    The school effectively implements a clear system to communicate administrator and faculty written policies, procedures, and handbooks that define responsibilities, operational practices, decision-making processes, and relationships of leadership and staff.

    Aragon prioritizes the recruitment of qualified staff and our professional development to improve and enhance student learning. 

    The hiring process for staff is thorough, involving department heads, diverse interview panels, and equity practices that are reviewed with the panel prior to the start of each interview session. The full interview committee provides insight, feedback, and rankings after the completion of the panel process. It is important to note that In the past two years, three new Assistant Principals and a new Administrative Assistant were hired at AHS. The process included paper screenings, panel interviews and input from current administrators and staff working closely with those positions. 

    Our district supports professional development and learning so sites are equipped to better serve our students. At Aragon, our professional development team includes dedicated PD (see Jayson Estassi) and MTSS Tier I teacher (see Steve Henderson) coordinators who work closely together and tailor PD based on current research, student needs, and staff input. The LCAP and district goals are also used to guide PD initiatives. This group also noted a heightened post-pandemic concern and broader societal issue concerning dehumanizing language used among students. Staff needs additional PD to address this issue, as it affects our entire school community. 

    In 2020-2021, a Grading for Equity teacher group met during lunch to explore their grading practices. They adopted various grading strategies into their own classes and shared their findings with the rest of the staff. Teachers also receive a mark distribution analysis after each grading period to inform instruction.

    The PLC process adopted in 2013 is crucial for department collaboration. PLCs have been well-received by all departments and many PLCs use common assessments, rubrics, and curriculum to strengthen and assess their programs in order to better reach their students. 

    The district invests significantly in its own teacher induction and mentor program at all school sites. It is impactful as it offers non-evaluative peer support. Instructional Coaches (ICs) have a release period to observe and meet with teachers they are working with. This program has been effective in guiding teachers toward more focused reflection which often results in change in practice geared toward more equitable teaching. Many teachers see the benefit of being paired with a peer mentor in a non-evaluative way. Counselors also receive similar support and coaching.

    Policy and system reviews are facilitated through various channels, including staff meetings, principal’s Weekly At-A-Glance communications, and an online staff portal. The Campus Safety Team and assistant principal responsible for emergency procedures play key roles in maintaining campus safety and preparedness on site and for families off-site. 

    Summary analysis: SMUHSD and Aragon place a strong emphasis on Professional Development. This group notes that additional PD for co-teachers and classified staff is needed. 

    Due to decreased meeting times with the new block schedule, the following face challenges to effective implementation: 

    • Site’s ability to review systems and policies

    • PLC process 

    • Systematic approach to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.

    It would be beneficial for the district to create a committee to review the effectiveness and short-comings of the district-wide schedule.

    A yearly review of safety procedures outside of traditional classroom settings, particularly during passing periods and lunch, to ensure clarity and effectiveness should be considered. 

    Lastly, we need to work to understand and address the root causes of heightened anger and expressions of dehumanizing language used among students on campus; it is affecting adults and students alike. 

     

    Criterion A5: Resources

    The human, material, physical, and financial resources are sufficient and utilized effectively and appropriately in accordance with the legal intent of the program(s) and LCAP to support students in accomplishing the schoolwide student goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and college- and career-readiness expectations.

    A5.1 Resource Allocation Decisions: School leadership and staff are involved in resource planning and allocation decisions aligned with student and personnel needs, and the goals of the schoolwide action plan/SPSA and the LCAP.

    A5.2 Practices and Procedures: Transparent district and school procedures are in place to develop an annual budget, conduct audits and follow quality accounting practices.

    A5.3 Instructional Materials: The policies and procedures for acquiring and maintaining adequate instructional materials and equipment, such as textbooks, other printed materials, instructional technology, manipulatives, and laboratory materials are effective.

    A5.4 Facilities Conducive to Learning: The school’s facilities are safe, functional, well-maintained, and sufficient to support student achievement and the educational program(s) including the use of technology and digital learning.

    Findings and Evidence

    School leadership and staff are effectively involved in resource planning and allocation decisions aligned with student and personnel needs, and the goals of the schoolwide action plan/SPSA and the LCAP.

    Transparent district and school procedures are effectively in place to develop an annual budget, conduct audits and follow quality accounting practices

    The policies and procedures are effective for acquiring and maintaining adequate instructional materials and equipment, such as textbooks, other printed materials, instructional technology, manipulatives, and laboratory materials.

    The school’s facilities are effectively safe, functional, well-maintained, and sufficient to support student achievement and the educational program(s) including the use of technology and digital learning.

    Aragon’s resource planning and funding allocations are driven by the district and not the School Site Council. 

    The district provides the number of course sections available at each school, with administration making the final decisions on their allocation. Department chairs are involved in discussions about the master schedule, beginning in February with discussion of staffing and enrollment projections. Department chairs have considerable input in teaching assignments and common prep prioritization. The master schedule is created using a combination of student requests and teacher interests, as well as course and teacher constraints, and progress is shared with Department chairs through a shared Google spreadsheet for review over the course of the build process.

    Requests for Aragon Excellence Funds (AEF), or School Essentials budget, is reviewed by the principal and with the AEF committee and approved in open session PTSO meetings. If other line items can cover the requests in the AEF budget (like PD, School Climate, etc.), they are shifted to another budget. Pantry funds (a program that no longer exists as students now receive free meals) have been shifted to school climate use for 2023-24. Department heads receive regular budget updates and manage requests for resources through a structured process. 

    Students have the technology and resources they need. The implementation of 1:1 computing was quickly adopted during the pandemic and is standard practice. The textbook adoption process varies by course. 

    The facilities at Aragon are well-maintained. Recent and planned construction projects enhance the school environment, including transite encapsulation, paint, pool refinishing, new flooring in some rooms, outdoor seating, and a new baseball/flex field. There are plans to build an All Gender Changing Area with lockers and private changing rooms this year. A less jarring bell ring is now being used, as well as a PA system for directing students. 

    Summary analysis: Aragon students and teachers have the resources they need and there is a process in place to allocate resources for school essentials. 

    The School Site Council has not met this year due to a lack of quorum. It is important to form a SSC with the appropriate stakeholders. Over the last three years, wifi access points in classrooms and site switches have been updated, but according to many teachers, the WIFI still needs to be improved. This is a need for the district to troubleshoot. 

    Given the large student population, this group has concerns over staffing levels for technological and facilities support. This is also a need the district should address.

     

    ACS WASC Category A. Organization: Vision and Purpose, Governance, Leadership, Staff, Resources Summary

    Prioritize and list the strengths and growth areas for the criteria and indicators in this category based on the school’s identified major student learner needs.

    Areas of Strength

    1. Staff work with students to further their individual potential in a way that is academically rigorous. 

    2. CARES values have currency and are reinforced in a variety of ways. 

    3. Current Vision represents holistic outcomes for our students (i.e. not just academic success).

    4. The culture of collaboration and shared decision making happens frequently on a smaller scale throughout our school. All departments including academic departments, counseling, campus security, and Wellness meet on a regular basis and examine different forms of data to inform decisions.

    Areas of Growth

    1. Create a regular process for establishing the vision/purpose/mission and evaluating progress that reflects the importance of connection and relational capacity.

    2. Administration and staff need to engage in analysis of different forms of data to determine effectiveness of programs and to what extent we are meeting students’ needs.

    3. Develop practices to strengthen teacher and administration partnership to increase Aragon’s ability to have agency around decisions affecting our campus.

    4. Stop dehumanizing language that make the student body and staff feel unsafe.

     

    Chapter 3: WASC Criteria and Indicators

    Category B: Curriculum

     

    Criterion B1: Rigorous and Relevant Standards-Based Curriculum

    All students participate in a rigorous, relevant, and coherent standards-based curriculum that supports the achievement of the schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and the college and career readiness indicators in order to meet graduation requirements.

    B1.1 Current Educational Research and Thinking: The school provides an effective, rigorous, relevant and coherent curriculum based on current educational research and thinking that supports the schoolwide student goals and academic standards.

    B1.2 Congruence with Schoolwide Student Goals: There is congruence among the concepts and skills taught, the schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and the college and career readiness indicators.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school provides a highly effective, rigorous, relevant and coherent curriculum based on current educational research and thinking that supports the schoolwide student goals and academic standards.

    There is effective congruence among the concepts and skills taught, the schoolwide learner goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and the college and career readiness indicators.

    Aragon actively aligns its curriculum and professional development with current educational research and trends to support schoolwide student goals and academic standards.

    In addition to onsite and intradistrict PLCs for singleton courses (see A4 for more PLC info), other key initiatives include the study and implementation of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Universal Design for Learning, with professional development coordinated by the PD and MTSS Coordinators. This encourages ongoing collaboration and sharing of effective practices. Many programs have also focused on Social Emotional Learning (particularly in support classes), mindfulness training, and research-based strategies like states of "flow" for enhanced student engagement. (See D1.2/D1.4 for our midyear PD shift).

    The adoption of California course standards and collaborative projects in most departments and programs reflect a commitment to innovative and effective teaching methods. Many programs are making content changes to incorporate culturally responsive teaching and diverse authors.

    All teachers received training in Constructing Meaning (CM) supported by the efforts of TSG/PD. It continues to be employed by all departments across all grade levels. This facilitated the integration of writing and speaking skills across all departments. However, it was discontinued in the last three years, possibly due to the emergence of other priorities related to the pandemic. We also had the allocation for an EL advocate for one year. Here were the findings at the end of the year to support our MLLs.

    Our renewed focus on supporting our growing Multilingual Learner students includes ELD section(s) allocated by the district for the 2024-25 school year and other support classes. See E3.1-E3.4 for more about our support classes.

    AVID strategies are implemented across various content areas, and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs align with industry standards, emphasizing career readiness. Some examples include resume writing, workshop tours and shadowing, college tours, and interest and career research. These endeavors align with schoolwide student goals, academic standards, and college and career readiness indicators. See Chapter 1 for info about Dual Enrollment.

    School counselors deliver grade level specific presentations throughout the year and utilize Hatchings Professional Development to enhance counseling practices, focusing on measurable student outcomes and improving equity and access. 

    Summary analysis: Aragon's curriculum is rigorous, effective, and research-aligned, supporting schoolwide goals and meeting academic standards while ensuring congruence with college and career readiness. 

    However, we identified a need for revisiting Constructing Meaning (CM) training, especially for new teachers. This group also mentioned the importance of establishing a process to evaluate the effectiveness of support programs. Staff have also identified a need for clearer communication regarding the rationale behind new program additions and student placements into these programs. Additionally, broader school-wide discussions on grading practices were suggested and potentially building on the Grading for Equity initiative (more info here).

     


    B1.3 Academic Standards and College and Career Readiness Indicators: The school has college and career readiness indicators and academic standards for each subject area, course, and/or program that meet or exceed graduation requirements.

    B1.4 Curricular Integration: There is integration between/among areas of study, academic standards, and college and career readiness indicators.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school has highly effective college and career readiness indicators and academic standards for each subject area, course, and/or program that meet or exceed graduation requirements.

    There is effective integration between/among areas of study, academic standards, and college and career readiness indicators.

    Aragon demonstrates a strong commitment to college and career readiness and academic standards within each subject area and course. Each course adheres to its own set of state content standards

    As mentioned in B1.1/B1.2, counselors provide college and career readiness presentations to each grade level. 

    Data from CAASPP testing shows a high percentage of Aragon students meeting or exceeding standards in Math and ELA. Additionally, the school's A-G completion rate surpasses the statewide average, indicating effective alignment with graduation requirements and readiness indicators.

    However, graduation rate disparities among student groups like Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, Multilingual Learners, and students with disabilities suggest a need for targeted strategies to support these groups. This is further highlighted by the varying percentages of college and career readiness among these student populations.

    Aragon also focuses on collaboration with community partners, local community colleges, and now technical programs, as well as vertical alignment within departments to ensure a coherent educational progression for students. These efforts and trends underscore the school's dedication to meeting academic standards and readiness goals, while also pointing to areas for improvement in supporting underrepresented student groups.

    Summary analysis: Aragon exhibits academic excellence. There is a strong adherence to college and career readiness standards, academic benchmarks, and respective content standards. There are notable graduation rate disparities among groups like Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, Multilingual Learners, and students with disabilities that highlight the need for focused support strategies.


    B1.5 Community Resources and Articulation and Follow-up Studies: The school engages with community partners and resources, articulates regularly with feeder schools, local colleges and universities, and technical schools.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school effectively engages with community partners and resources, articulates regularly with feeder schools, local colleges and universities, and technical schools.

    Aragon actively collaborates with community partners and educational institutions. Initiatives are currently in progress to enhance these educational pathways through programs like Dual Enrollment (DE) and Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. 

    Aragon is focused on growing Dual Enrollment classes, with an emphasis on curriculum development that’s integrated across multiple areas of study. The Middle College program (admission determined by lottery), has proven to be an effective collaboration between our district and our local community college and includes approximately 200 students from our district. See College and Financial Advisor and CTE & Career Coordinator in the College and Career Center for more info.

    Various initiatives and practices, such as AVID presentations to feeder middle schools and specialized support for students with IEPs through the Transition Partnership Program (TPP), reflect a holistic approach to student success.

    Programming nights have been effective in engaging parents, and CTE Programs actively expose students to various College and Career Pathways through field trips, business visits, and guest speaker sessions. 

    Summary analysis: Multiple initiatives at Aragon demonstrate a strong commitment to engaging with community resources and fostering articulation with various educational partners.

    Efforts are underway to improve the process of World Language (WL) placement for incoming 9th graders that is similar to that in Math. The Dual Enrollment onboarding process is being fine-tuned to align teachers with college curriculum.


    Criterion B2: Equity and Access to Curriculum

    All students have equal access to the school’s entire program and the school prioritizes opportunity and advancement for all students. Students receive assistance with a personal learning plan to meet the requirements of promotion or graduation and are prepared for the pursuit of their academic, personal, and career goals.

    B2.1 Variety of Programs — Full Range of Choices: All students are able to make appropriate choices and pursue a full range of realistic college and career and/or other educational options. The school provides for career exploration, preparation for postsecondary education, and career technical options for all students.

    Findings and Evidence

    All students are effectively able to make appropriate choices and pursue a full range of realistic college and career and/or other educational options. The school effectively provides for career exploration, preparation for postsecondary education, and career technical options for all students.

    Aragon provides a variety of programs that are well-rounded, extend beyond traditional academics and offer a full range of choices for students. 

    Aragon offers a comprehensive range of programs that support a wide array of college, career, and educational paths, catering to the diverse aspirations of  our students.

    A significant percentage of graduates complete UC/CSU entrance requirements. Many students participate in AP classes, with a high percentage achieving scores of 3 or higher. The majority of Aragon graduates pursue post-secondary education at two-year or four-year institutions. We also support our students who want to go directly into the workforce, or take a gap year after graduation.

    The Career and CTE Coordinator facilitates career exploration and readiness by helping organize various initiatives, including biennial Career Days with over 75+ guest speakers and a Summer Opportunities Fair that exposes students to different industries and potential job opportunities. 

    Aragon’s robust Career Technical Education (CTE) program currently has five pathways: Design, Visual, and Media Arts, Engineering Technology, Biotechnology, Food Services and Hospitality and Computer Science. They align with industry standards and workforce needs. These programs incorporate practical experiences like field trips, guest speakers, and events focused on enhancing college and career readiness skills. Some skill-building activities include resume writing, interview preparation, and professional networking.

    School counselors play a pivotal role in guiding students through post-high school planning and course selection, utilizing tools like Naviance and Californiacolleges.edu for streamlined college applications and career exploration. 

    The introduction of the Student Success Coordinator position post-pandemic has been instrumental in providing valuable resources like Athletic Study Hall and after-school tutoring to support students' academic success. This coordinator also delivers in-person career opportunities presentations (Fall 2023) to AVID and SSE (formerly Guided Studies) classes, aiming to highlight campus resources and improve students' college and career readiness skills. See our current Student Success Coordinator, Ash Parham, for more info.

    Embedded FLEX time enhances students’ academic success and skills by giving students flexibility in choosing their support options, such as peer tutoring, group work, and teacher assistance.

    While Aragon offers options for CTE pathways, the range is somewhat limited for students who wish to go into the trades. We are making efforts to improve access and CTE pathway options for students in programs like the Bay Academy (See Derrick Bridger for more info). This is a program tailored for students with moderate to severe disabilities, offering weekly Community Based Instruction lessons and hands-on field experiences.

    Summary analysis: Aragon is dedicated to providing students with a comprehensive range of options and programs to support their diverse interests and aspirations for post-secondary education and career paths.

    There is room for improvement in preparing students for non-UC/CSU 4-year post-secondary options. The school acknowledges that there could be more on-campus electives, especially for students interested in trades or non-academic pathways. While there are field trips, there is a desire for more on-campus offerings that actively engage students and enhance their enthusiasm for attending school.

     

    B2.2 Access to Curriculum, including Real World Experiences, by All Students: A rigorous, relevant, and coherent curriculum that includes real world applications is accessible to all students through all courses/programs offered. Course enrollment patterns reflect the diversity of the school’s students.

    Findings and Evidence

    A rigorous, relevant, and coherent curriculum that includes real world applications is effectively accessible to all students through all courses/programs offered. Course enrollment patterns somewhat effectively reflect the diversity of the school’s students.

    Aragon provides a rigorous and relevant curriculum with real-world applications, accessible to all students through a variety of courses and programs. Notably, Aragon offers unique opportunities like the district's only Tech Theater class, which employs Aragon students for real-world tech theater positions at other schools. This class could be enhanced by giving CTE and Dual Enrollment credits. 

    The Advanced Biotechnology Curriculum (Year Long Plan, syllabus, Wolbachia Project) is known for its practical applications, linking students to ongoing projects with local university scientists. Courses like Agency and Social Justice, Culinary Arts, as well as various Science classes, integrate real-world applications, fostering hands-on learning experiences. Ethnic Studies (syllabus) provides a multi-faceted approach to social justice issues, both contemporary and historical, encompassing diverse perspectives and World Language classes utilize authentic resources for language and cultural immersion. 

    Summary analysis: Aragon offers a comprehensive curriculum that blends academic rigor with practical, real-world applications, accessible across its diverse course offerings. 

    Improvements are needed at Aragon, particularly in addressing the disparity between the diversity of the student population and those enrolled in AP and Advanced classes. For example, being allowed to take multiple science classes in one year and not being denied. Additionally, the policy that restricts underclassmen from making up foundational courses in OSCR may limit access to advanced coursework, disproportionately impacting HUG students. Addressing these issues would contribute to a more inclusive and effective curriculum, better aligning with the school's commitment to diversity and comprehensive education.

     

    B2.3 Student-Parent-Staff Collaboration: Parents, students, and staff experience a sense of belonging and value within the school community and collaborate in developing and monitoring a student’s personal learning plan, including college and career and/or other educational goals.

    Findings and Evidence

    Parents, students, and staff effectively experience a sense of belonging and value within the school community and collaborate in developing and monitoring a student’s personal learning plan, including college and career and/or other educational goals.

    Aragon emphasizes collaboration among students, parents, and staff in creating personal learning plans focused on college and career, and other educational goals. 

    Counselors annually assist students with academic planning during course selection, aligning with student aspirations. They use CaliforniaColleges.edu to conduct career inventories for 9th and 10th graders, and sophomores also receive guidance on graduation requirements and transcripts.

    Aragon's diverse parent organizations demonstrate a committed and engaged community, with groups such as Aragon Excellence Fund (AEF), Asian Parent Group, Black Parents’ Association, English Learners’ Advisory Committee (ELAC), Drama Boosters, Music Boosters, Latino Parent’s Group (OPLA), Polynesian Parent Group, and PTSO. However, a parent in this focus group noted that he believes there is a lack of utilization of Canvas and Aeries from non-English speaking parents.

    Events like Back to School Night and Open House foster engagement and provide opportunities for sharing information and addressing general questions for those who are able to attend. This group did note there's potential for more personalized, student-centric sessions.

    Summary analysis: There are multiple avenues for parents, students, and staff to experience a sense of belonging and value within the school community to contribute to students’ learning plans, but there are areas for improvement. 

    It’s necessary to establish regular School Site Council meetings with sufficient representation from all stakeholders to ensure a quorum is formed. Additionally, enhancing support for non-English speaking parents, particularly in understanding platforms like Canvas and Aeries, could improve engagement and strengthen the school community's inclusivity and sense of belonging. 

     

    ACS WASC Category B. Curriculum Summary

    Prioritize and list the strengths and growth areas for the criteria and indicators in this category based on the school’s identified major student learner needs.

    Areas of Strength

    1. Rigorous, academic programs that prepare students well for entrance into 2-year and 4-year postsecondary programs.

    2. Multiple pathways in different content areas to access the curriculum and reach their post-secondary goals.

    3. Curricula changes are embraced well when evidence supports that the change is beneficial. 

    Areas of Growth

    1. Provide a comprehensive career-exploration and readiness program where students engage in career development activities every year.

    2. Increase support classes and structures for literacy, communication, and math skills.  

    3. Engage in ongoing examination of curricula across all departments to craft curricula with better representation of all identities.   



     

     

    Chapter 3: WASC Criteria and Indicators

    Category C: Learning & Teaching

     

    Criterion C1: Student Engagement in Challenging and Relevant Learning Experiences

    All students experience an equity-centered learning environment and are involved in challenging and relevant learning experiences reflecting school wide goals, academic standards, and college and career readiness indicators.

    C1.1 Results of Student Observations and Examining Work: All students are involved in challenging and relevant work in an equity-centered learning environment.

    Findings and Evidence

    All students are effectively involved in challenging and relevant work in an equity-centered learning environment.

    Aragon prioritizes an equitable, challenging education, with students finding their coursework relevant and rigorous, as shown by high AP course enrollment

    The 2022-23 PD focused on culturally responsive teaching, preparing teachers to create such environments. For 2023-24, the focus shifted to Universal Design for Learning. See D1.2/D1.4 for updated PD focus.

    PLC time allows teacher teams to establish common curricular expectations that promote equity in instruction, with teachers differentiating their approach to accommodate diverse student needs. This includes adapting projects and curriculum based on each student's knowledge and skill sets.

    Aragon's curriculum incorporates research-based activities, allowing students to progress at their own pace and tackle challenging content. Efforts are made to level the playing field for students with varying skill-sets. The Special Education SAI classes help support their students in understanding the content.

    The integration of Historical Thinking skills into the curriculum, teaching critical thinking skills like sourcing, corroboration, close reading, and contextualizing, is a valuable addition to both college prep (CP) and Advanced Placement (AP) Junior US History classes. In Social Studies classes, teachers clarify misconceptions and emphasize evidence-based argumentation using primary and secondary documents.This explicit teaching of online sourcing analysis and source reliability fosters real-world skills.

    Student tutors play a crucial role in supporting peers, especially in Algebra 1 and Geometry Roaming models. We also offer acceleration options for all students to have the opportunity to take Calculus. 

    Summary analysis: Aragon prioritizes an equitable and challenging learning environment. Efforts are made to create equal opportunities and conditions for all students. Teacher teams, PD, student tutors, and acceleration options further support student achievement. 

    However, it's essential to acknowledge that some students experience significant academic anxiety due to high class loads and performance pressure. Additionally, equity issues, such as a lack of parental familiarity with academic structures and processes at AHS, can exclude some students from the AP program. This group also discussed the disparities in the quality and complexity of work produced by students from different backgrounds. This emphasizes the importance of continued efforts to improve inclusivity and fairness in the learning environment. Ongoing efforts to remove barriers to learning and provide additional support are essential to bridge disparities among students from diverse backgrounds.

     

    C1.2 Student Understanding of Learning Expectations: All students understand the standards/expected performance levels for each area of study in order to demonstrate learning and college and career readiness.

    Findings and Evidence

    All students effectively understand the standards/expected performance levels for each area of study in order to demonstrate learning and college and career readiness.

    At Aragon, there is a strong emphasis on ensuring students understand the standards and expected performance levels in each discipline, preparing them for academic success and career readiness

    Teachers clearly outline learning expectations in course syllabi and on Canvas, the district's learning management system, where parents can also access this information. Back to School Night facilitates teacher-parent communication about academic standards in all classes. 

    The AVID program, with eight sections, successfully educates 9-12 grade students on college preparation expectations and equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the path toward higher education and future careers.

    The College and Career Center offers additional resources about college visits, presentations, and scholarships. Counselors conduct senior presentations to inform students about post-secondary options and expectations.

    Most teachers provide rubrics to students ahead of major assessments, clarifying evaluation criteria.

    Subject-specific approaches to provide a deeper understanding of the expected performance levels include the following examples: "Essential Knowledge" targets in Math classes; exemplar free responses and solution algorithms in Computer Science; and showcasing exemplar models guided by rubrics across various classes.

    Ethnic Studies emphasizes that assignments are mandatory (not mere requests from teachers), reinforcing the importance of completing assignments on time and positively impacting grades. Students in AP science courses are guided through various "science practices" such as asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, and analyzing and interpreting data. They cultivate critical thinking skills essential for success in advanced scientific inquiry.

    Summary analysis: Aragon ensures that all students have a comprehensive understanding of the standards and performance levels expected in each area of study, ultimately preparing them for success in higher education and future careers. This is demonstrated through various strategies. ​​

    This group notes not all assignments have a rubric. This is an area of growth to potentially look at in PLCs.

     

    Criterion C2: Student-Centered Instruction through a Variety of Strategies and Resources

    All teachers use a variety of strategies and resources to create an equity-centered learning environment that actively engage all students in creative and critical thinking, problem solving and application of learning. 

    C2.1 Teachers Facilitate Learning: Teachers use a variety of evidence-based instructional methodologies and encourage student agency within an equity-centered environment.

    C2.3 Digital Learning and Problem Solving: Teachers use technology and digital learning tools to enhance and support student learning and help students solve real-world problems.

    Findings and Evidence

    Teachers effectively use a variety of evidence-based instructional methodologies and encourage student agency within an equity-centered environment.

    Teachers highly effectively use technology and digital learning tools to enhance and support student learning and help students solve real-world problems.

    Aragon employs a comprehensive approach to facilitate learning and problem-solving, combining evidence-based instructional methods and technology integration in an equity-centered environment. 

    Flex time, twice weekly, allows students to seek personalized academic assistance. The introduction of the Student Success Coordinator and the "Tutors to You" program supported by our further support this flexible learning model.

    In Math, a support structure in the classroom and as a pull-out model provides additional instruction for Algebra 1 and Geometry, emphasizing differentiated teaching. Students struggling with Math are enrolled in Physics instead of Chemistry, as it provides a more accessible learning experience.

    The Strategic English Support program (SES) aids Long-Term English Learners (LTELs) and students struggling with their literacy development across subjects, focusing on academic language skills and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL is in partnership with the Wellness Department). Many SES lessons help students develop their academic identities. Students in these classes have shown growth

    Aragon teachers received CM training (during and prior to 2020) and provide language supports in their classrooms, using CM practices or other literacy development tools. Multiple subjects utilize academic conversation sentence frames and protocols, as well as graphic organizers to enhance comprehension. World Language aligns with current language acquisition trends and utilizes the Communicative Language approach.

    Project-based learning, standards-based grading and retake or test correction opportunities across multiple subjects illustrate how classes at Aragon deepen student understanding. 

    Incorporating technology, Aragon has a 1:1 Chromebook policy and extensively uses the Google Suite and Canvas for information sharing, assessments, and class discussions. Digital tools supported by the District, like Kahoot, Padlet, FlipGrid, and Edpuzzle, support self-paced learning and formative and summative assessments, while specific subjects integrate relevant online resources, interactive labs, and authentic media sources to enhance the curriculum. New Smart Boards, a select group of teachers testing Hapara software, and the use of turnitin.com across departments reflect Aragon's commitment to interactive and integrity-focused education.

    See additional evidence here.  

    Summary Analysis: Aragon focuses on inclusive, effective instruction with a strong emphasis on digital tools, enhancing learning and problem-solving. 

    However, it’s important to address the need for more resources for support classes and programs:

    • The Math support structure has been successful, yet there is no certainty of allocated sections. We hope the school maintains its support for this program by ensuring support sections for Algebra 1 and Geometry.

    • While Intensive English for students with lower reading levels was discontinued, there is a call to reinstate this program given the evidence of its positive impact on LTELs, demonstrated by significant growth on recent CAASPP tests. 

    • There has been a recent shift by the district away from academic literacy. This group noted they’d like to revisit PD focused on literacy and other instructional strategies like CM, Cycle of Inquiry, academic conversations through SST (structured student talk), annotations, and note-taking. 

     

    C2.2 Student Voice and Agency: Student voice and agency are equally applicable for all students, empowering them to be meaningfully engaged in decision making about their own learning, strategic thinking, and problem solving.

    C2.4 Career Preparedness and Applied Learning: Teachers provide learning opportunities that extend beyond the textbook and classroom, deepen students’ depth of knowledge, and prepare them for college and careers.

    Findings and Evidence

    Student voice and agency are equally applicable for all students, highly effectively empowering them to be meaningfully engaged in decision making about their own learning, strategic thinking, and problem solving.

    Teachers effectively provide learning opportunities that extend beyond the textbook and classroom, deepen students’ depth of knowledge, and prepare them for college and careers.

    Instructional approaches at Aragon emphasize student involvement, choice, and real-world readiness. Students actively participate in their learning through various avenues like self-assessments, choosing elective courses based on interest, FLEX time for personalized academic support, and peer-tutoring programs

    Students engage in collaborative and critical thinking activities like Socratic seminars and note-taking, and have platforms like the Student Equity Council (More info in E1) and Panorama surveys to voice opinions and influence school improvements. Most programs offer revision opportunities for assessments, fostering student ownership of learning. 

    Experiential learning is a key focus, with classes extending beyond traditional methods to include real-world applications and project-based activities. Our Career and Technical Education (CTE) program assigns class projects to mimic real-life decision-making processes. Modern World History classes debate controversial issues related to current events. Senior English and AVID students complete career projects and interviews. Science labs use specialized laboratory procedures and equipment.

    Some programs offer field trips like Sojourn to the Past (Social Science) and college tours (AVID). Every year Aragon students travel abroad with CIEE and share their experiences with language classes when they return. 

    Our AP Program is vigorous and continues to grow, with many students enrolling in at least one AP class. Growing Dual Enrollment and Middle College initiatives provide practical, career-oriented experiences. The College and Career Coordinator disseminates information about opportunities related to various fields like the trades, sciences, and health care. 

    Guest speakers’ presentations to classes like AP Environmental Science and US History, and events like Career Day and the College Fair, connect classroom learning to professional paths. See College and Career coordinator Queenia Hua and the calendar for information. 

    Cultural celebrations in our language programs enrich the curriculum. For example, Chinese language classes partner with Leadership students and the Asian Parent group to decorate the school for Lunar New Year. Chinese language classes, Orchestra, and Choir students perform songs and dance. One year an organization performed lion dances. Spanish classes learn about Day of the Dead. After-school activities (different from clubs that meet at lunch but both equally important) like Robotics, Mock Trial, Model UN, and Speech and Debate offer additional learning opportunities. 

    Regular surveys and data collection ensure student needs and preferences guide school improvements, reflecting Aragon's commitment to a dynamic, student-centered educational environment. When completing this WASC process, we conducted multiple student Focus Groups that included students of the following programs: SES, SSE, AVID, and Leadership. Their opinions are embedded into Chapter Three and many of their ideas shared with staff.

    Extensive evidence here.

    Summary analysis: Aragon is focused on empowering all students with voice and agency, involving them in decision-making about their learning, strategic thinking, and problem-solving. Teachers offer extensive learning experiences beyond traditional methods, deepening students' knowledge and preparing them for college and future careers.

    This group observed that despite the availability of elective choices for students, there is a need for an expanded range of elective options, especially in the area of trade-related subjects. In addition to this, executive functioning and emotional regulation skills should be explicitly taught for increased career preparedness.

     

    ACS WASC Category C. Learning and Teaching Summary

    Prioritize and list the strengths and growth areas for the criteria and indicators in this category based on the school’s identified major student learner needs.

    Areas of Strength

    1. Robust technology integration through the use of Canvas, one-to-one computers, Smart TVs, in CTE classrooms, etc.

    2. Rigorous course opportunities at Aragon: robust AP, bigger presence of CTE (Career Technical Education), drama/music program and classes with curriculum reflects real world experiences

    3. Pedagogical strategies to make learning targets/expectations clearer (e.g. modeling, rubrics, PLC shared assessments, etc.).

    Areas of Growth

    1. We need to have a school-wide discussion on school grading policies; there is room for a more consistent grading policy. 

    2. We want professional development that emphasizes the sharing of best practices and strategies that help support student learning and executive functioning for students (specifically MLL + LTEL students). 

    3. We want to foster our students to have a healthy sense of identity, whether that’s pursuing trades/career out of high school as well as college ready students. This could mean more student choice in electives and content within classes.




    Chapter 3: WASC Criteria and Indicators

    Category D: Assessment and Accountability

     

    Criterion D1: Reporting and Accountability Process

    The school leadership and instructional staff use effective and equitable assessment processes to collect, disaggregate, analyze, and report schoolwide student performance data to the school staff, students, parents, and other stakeholders/educational partners. The analysis of data guides the school’s programs and processes, the allocation and usage of resources, and forms the basis for the development of the schoolwide action plan/SPSA aligned with the LCAP.

    D1.1 Professionally Acceptable Assessment Process: The school leadership and instructional staff use effective and equitable assessment processes to collect, disaggregate, analyze, and report student performance data to all stakeholders/educational partners.

    D1.3 Assessment of Program Areas: School teams use assessment results to make changes in the school program, implement professional development activities, and allocate resources demonstrating a results-driven, continuous school improvement process.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school leadership and instructional staff use effective and equitable assessment processes to collect, disaggregate, analyze, and report student performance data to all stakeholders/educational partners.

    School teams effectively use assessment results to make changes in the school program, implement professional development activities, and allocate resources demonstrating a results-driven, continuous school improvement process.

    Aragon employs a rigorous assessment process for continuous school improvement, involving various stakeholders. See a detailed list of our course offerings, master schedule, and our school profile. Multiple assessments, including Reading Inventory (SRI) for 9th and some 10th graders and common Algebra and Geometry assessments, inform student placement in Math and English support programs. A Math placement test is available for incoming 9th graders interested in enrolling in the accelerated Math program. The CAASPP system evaluates student performance annually, and the English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC) determine English language proficiency. (More info on standardized testing)

    ELLevation platform is used for tracking English learner progress and FITNESSGRAM® for assessing physical fitness PE. AP course enrollment and success rates are monitored, with 90% of students scoring 3 or above in AP exams.

    Attendance tracking through Aeries and A2A informs interventions for student attendance issues. Canvas, our online learning management system, is utilized for grade reporting, class and assignment info, and communication with families. Progress reports are sent digitally every six weeks to all families. D and F rates are tracked by the MTSS and Administration team, and interventions are implemented through FLEX periods and tutoring support.

    Assessment data, including pass/fail rates and grade distributions, guide instructional and programmatic decisions. Innovative Tier II practices like Check-In Check-Out (CICO) for student goal-setting and the use of common rubrics across departments enhance the assessment framework. See AP Shannon Lane for more info.

    Staff and teachers analyze various assessment results to guide instructional practices, targeting specific needs in all subjects. The readings from Grading for Equity continue to influence some of our teaching methods. In several courses, test retakes and/or corrections are permitted. Additionally, many disciplines weight assessments more heavily over daily assignments to facilitate learning over compliance.

    Much of Aragon’s professional development is data-driven (D1.2), focusing on staff and student needs, including social and emotional learning, based on surveys and performance metrics. 

    Summary analysis: Our comprehensive assessment approach supports Aragon's goal of continuous improvement and student success.

    There is room for improvement. In recent years, we have not deeply examined our practices as they relate to student performance on the CAASPP and CAST. Focus group members expressed a desire to revisit this practice. 

    Additionally, Department Heads are emailed grade distribution reports for each class, and by teacher, but there has been little discussion of these at department meetings or Department Head meetings.

    We’d also like to note that the Wellness program tracks the numbers of kids that access wellness, but progress from students on a drop-in basis is extremely difficult to measure. It would take a significant increase in training and staffing to improve the analytics of mental health. 

     

    D1.2 Basis for Determination of Performance Level: The school leadership and instructional staff have agreed upon the basis for students’ grades, growth, and performance levels to ensure consistency across and within grade levels and content areas.

    D1.4 Schoolwide Modifications Based on Assessment Results: School leadership partners with district leadership to periodically assess programs and expectations for students’ academic growth and progress.

    Findings and Evidence

    The school leadership and instructional staff have somewhat effectively agreed upon the basis for students’ grades, growth, and performance levels to ensure consistency across and within grade levels and content areas.

    School leadership somewhat effectively partners with district leadership to periodically assess programs and expectations for students’ academic growth and progress.

    Aragon incorporates consistent and effective student assessment. Teachers have established clear criteria for grading and student performance. PLCs play a crucial role, meeting weekly to develop and align assessments and rubrics, with some utilizing shared grading policies (More info on PLCs in C1.1).

    Co-teaching models in various departments promote consistency in grading and assessments, and collaborate on weekly plans for scope & sequence. Teacher-led initiatives have brought about significant changes such as the Math department's minimum % grading policy and the implementation of four-point grading scales in several departments.

    School-wide professional development (PD) has been influenced by these teacher-led initiatives, like the 2022-23 PD that was based on the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. We have shifted our current focus away from Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to address campus issues related to dehumanizing language (link to see the process on how we changed our focus).

    The district enforces GPA and unit requirements for extracurricular activities, supporting academic standards. New initiative, Athletic Study Hall, has been well-received by students. Athletes are monitored by a district committee. The Board also shares memorandums on student data like attendance and discipline.

    The school's Counseling department and Administration regularly hold separate Tier II and Tier III meetings to address student needs with supports. A hired consultant helps optimize the structure of these meetings.

    Though the SPSA is no longer required of us at the state level, the district office also utilizes the annual SPSA revision process (usually carried out yearly in the fall) to conduct a data-driven evaluation of programs and initiatives. Given that each school’s goals are aligned with the District’s LCAP Goals and metrics, programs, and initiatives are evaluated through that collaborative review process. Once school sites have gone through their respective evaluation and planning processes, District leadership reviews and provides recommendations and input as needed. The process is concluded by formally submitting the plans to the Board of Education for approval.

    Summary analysis: Aragon has a solid framework for evaluating student grades, growth, and performance, but lacks uniform grading criteria across all grades and subjects. There is also uncertainty within this group about how our programs are assessed for staffing and resource allocation (ie Support Programs, co-taught classes, etc.). Lastly, the focus group also wants to revisit PD on CM and there's an identified need for PD for co-teachers.

     

    Criterion D2: Using Student Assessment Strategies to Monitor and Modify Learning Progress

    Teachers employ a variety of appropriate assessment strategies to evaluate student learning. Students and teachers use these findings to modify the learning/teaching practices to improve student learning within and across grade levels and departments.

     

    D2.1 Monitoring Student Growth: Teachers determine and monitor all students’ growth and progress toward meeting the schoolwide student goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and college and career readiness expectations.

    Findings and Evidence

    Teachers effectively determine and monitor all students’ growth and progress toward meeting the schoolwide student goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and college and career readiness expectations.

    Teachers diligently track student growth and progress in alignment with schoolwide objectives, academic standards, and college/career readiness. Strategic course placements, like in Math, English, World Language, and Science, are made based on students' past performance, with a focus on providing appropriate challenges for each student. See C2.1/C2.3 for more info on Math and Science pathways and support class placement flowchart.

    As mentioned in C1.1, PLCs are vital for curriculum alignment, standards-based education, and monitoring student progress. In support classes, like Self and Social Empowerment Class (Guided Studies) and the literacy support classes, teachers conduct regular check-ins, monitor grades, and plan social-emotional curriculum.

    Counseling is integral, working closely with students and families, for scheduling, course selection and grade-level presentations, ensuring alignment with post-high school plans. This approach emphasizes individualized educational pathways and open access to a range of courses, including Advanced Studies (AS) and Advanced Placement (AP).

    Summary analysis: Aragon prioritizes continuous monitoring and support to ensure students' growth and progress towards academic and career goals. It could be beneficial to review the process for assigning students to Physics or Chemistry to ensure students are accurately placed.

    Additionally, Math teachers noted that Geometry does not receive the same amount of supports as Algebra. Therefore, Geometry teachers use FLEX to support students to ensure they see the same gains as those in Algebra. Lastly, students who need support in Math should be distributed into both sections and not just one as what is current happening with scheduling. 

     

    D2.2 Teacher and Student Feedback: Teachers provide timely, specific and descriptive feedback in order to support students in achieving learning goals. Teachers use student feedback and dialogue to monitor progress and learn about the degree to which learning experiences are understood, relevant, and prepare students for college and careers.

    D2.3 Demonstration of Student Achievement: Teachers use the analysis of formative and summative assessments to guide, modify, and adjust curricular and instructional approaches.

    Findings and Evidence

    Teachers effectively provide timely, specific and descriptive feedback in order to support students in achieving learning goals. Teachers effectively use student feedback and dialogue to monitor progress and learn about the degree to which learning experiences are understood, relevant, and prepare students for college and careers.

    Teachers effectively use the analysis of formative and summative assessments to guide, modify, and adjust curricular and instructional approaches.

    Teachers emphasize timely, specific, and descriptive feedback to aid student learning, such as using rubrics, Canvas comments, and paper assessments. They regularly update grades on Canvas and use formative and summative assessments to refine teaching methods. 

    Student feedback is gathered through surveys, exit tickets, and reflections to inform instructional changes. Multiple classes have students write goals and reflections for self-assessment. In PE students show individual skill mastery. 

    As mentioned in multiple sections, PLC time is vital for teacher-teams to discuss student progress and instructional strategies, actively engaging in student progress discussions and assessment redesign. Many teachers meet one-on-one with students when necessary to support their progress.

    Summary analysis: While feedback from students is actively sought and utilized for instructional improvement, this focus group expressed a need for a more unified approach to connect learning experiences with college and career pathways at Aragon.

     

    ACS WASC Category D. Assessment and Accountability Summary

    Prioritize and list the strengths and growth areas for the criteria and indicators in this category based on the school’s identified major student learner needs.

    Areas of Strength

    1. Strong PLC’s (curriculum is aligned, rubrics/expectations are aligned in most subject areas)

    2. PD is designed to respond to teacher & student needs

    3. Teachers prioritize student learning/performance, and most students perform well on both internal and external assessments.

    4. Many teachers offer multiple ways to show mastery (lots of variation i.e. retakes, spiral content, etc.)

    Areas of Growth

    1. Interpersonal communication between teachers and admin regarding students who are struggling with executive functioning/communication skills and academics, and how we are using our resources to make the classroom experience better for these students.

    2. School leadership team (MTSS, admin, PD) should engage in data analysis (standardized testing, placement testing, SRI, CAASPP, CST, etc.) and pick some plan skill development areas to work on strategically during schoolwide PD.

    3. Continue to give space for our conversations on grading and assessment. Encourage PLC’s to align on grading/assessment practices.

     

    Chapter 3: WASC Criteria and Indicators

    Category E: School Culture and Support for Student Personal, Social-Emotional, and Academic Growth

     

    Criterion E1: Family and Community Involvement

    The school leadership employs a wide range of culturally sensitive and inclusive strategies to encourage family and community involvement, especially with the learning/teaching process.

    E1.1 Strategies and Processes: School implements a range of culturally sensitive strategies and processes for ongoing family and community involvement in the learning and teaching process for all students.

    E1.2 Inclusive Cultural Understanding: School leadership values the cultures of students and adults through the learning opportunities and materials provided to develop an inclusive cultural understanding. 

    E1.3 Rapport and Trust: School leadership develops rapport and trust with students, staff, families, and the community, valuing the identities of all individuals.

    Findings and Evidence

    School effectively implements a range of culturally sensitive strategies and processes for ongoing family and community involvement in the learning and teaching process for all students.

    School leadership effectively values the cultures of students and adults through the learning opportunities and materials provided to develop an inclusive cultural understanding. 

    School leadership somewhat effectively develops rapport and trust with students, staff, families, and the community, valuing the identities of all individuals.

    Aragon, with its diverse student body, actively implements culturally-sensitive engagement strategies for family and community involvement. The Student Equity Council, consisting of ~40 students, meets weekly, focusing on issues like racial injustice, mental health, and gender equity (e.g. sports), with opportunities to receive college credit for participation.

    Aragon established the Cultural Commission in Leadership in 2022. It celebrates various cultural groups through events such as Lunar New Year, Polynesian Dance performances, International fairs, and the Dia de los Muertos ofrenda by La Raza. Additionally, video announcement segments cover diverse cultures, food, and celebrations.This commission is currently working with BSU to create events for Black History Month and with the AAPG and two teachers to plan Lunar New Year celebrations.

    Efforts to foster inclusive cultural understanding in the classroom include reading diverse authors in English classes. World Language classes incorporate cultural lessons from countries of the target language. Notably, student educators from GSA (Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club) teach all Health classes about sexuality, identity, and allyship and all Ethnic Studies classes about LGBQT+ people's struggles for equality in the US.

    Aragon also has an annual Pride rally during school and a Pride Football game. Class of 2022 organized the painting in rainbow colors of the entrance steps to school

    Aragon maintains active parent groups with involved families, such as ELAC, Latino Parents Group (OPLA), Aragon Asian Parent Group, and communicates with families in various languages digitally. However, the lack of Tongan translation and the shift to digital communication post-pandemic present challenges for some families.

    Building rapport and trust has faced challenges due to leadership reorganization and confusion over decision-making processes. Concerns include the need for more community-focused communication and the limited access to information for families without online access.

    The school's diversity and administrative structure have been noted for a lack of representation, though the addition of a Spanish-speaking administrative assistant and efforts to diversify the curriculum are positive steps.

    Post-COVID, there are noticeable differences in rapport and trust levels with staff compared to pre-pandemic times. Transparency issues and a focus on district vision over individual school needs are concerns.

    Faculty feedback highlights a need for better follow-up on student attendance and discipline, clearer administrative roles, and more opportunities for staff discussions, especially given the constraints of the "full block" schedule which limits collaboration time.

    Summary analysis: While Aragon High School is committed to cultural sensitivity and inclusive practices, there are areas for improvement in communication, leadership clarity, and staff collaboration to better support its diverse community.

     

    Criterion E2: School Culture and Environment

    The school leadership focuses on continuous school improvement by providing a safe, clean, and orderly place that nurtures learning and develops a culture that is characterized by trust, inclusivity, professionalism, and high expectations for all students.

    E2.1 Policies and Resources: The policies, regulations, and resources ensure a safe, clean, and orderly place that nurtures learning for all students, including internet safety.

    E2.2 Trust, Respect, and Equity: The school culture demonstrates caring, concern and high expectations for all students in an environment that honors individual differences, social emotional needs and is conducive to learning.

    E2.3 School Culture: The entire school community has an atmosphere of trust, respect, equity, and professionalism.

    Findings and Evidence

    The policies, regulations, and resources somewhat effectively ensure a safe, clean, and orderly place that nurtures learning for all students, including internet safety.

    The school culture effectively demonstrates caring, concern and high expectations for all students in an environment that honors individual differences, social emotional needs and is conducive to learning.

    The entire school community effectively has an atmosphere of trust, respect, equity, and professionalism.

    Aragon High School's policies, resources, and culture play a critical role in creating a safe and nurturing learning environment. Safety protocols for our school, led by Assistant Principal Andrew Hartig, and regular emergency drills, including the Big 5 from the County, ensure student security. Students' active use of campus facilities like the library and weight room outside school hours reflects their sense of safety and belonging.

    Internet safety is prioritized with tools like BARK for content filtering and Hapara for focused browsing. Pilot teachers also use Hapara as a lockdown browser for formative assessments. See Vince Bravo for more info.

    Collaborative efforts among Leadership students and Student Equity Council members to address various campus issues and uphold CARES values showcase a positive aspect of the school community. See the evidence links for HEW, SEC and other student-led commissions  and clubs for more info. Our HEW Crew (Health and Earth Wellness Crew) Commission does a monthly event for the student body (like stress ball giveaways, essential oils, and a hydration station). They oftentimes support our Wellness Dept's events such as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Building on these initiatives is further strengthening the overall atmosphere of trust and respect.

    Summary analysis:  Aragon’s commitment to professional development and equitable learning opportunities further strengthens our culture, but there are notable challenges that need to be addressed to maintain a culture of trust, respect, equity, and an ideal learning environment.

    • Post-COVID shift in student behavior, with instances of disrespect and targeted harassment. This behavior needs to be stopped and disciplinary measures implemented. Campus Language and Culture Committee is currently being formed for staff and students.

    • Unclear policies, inconsistent enforcement of behavior rules, and lack of clarity and communication regarding students being out of class during instructional time.

    • Maintaining a clean campus mostly due to lunchtime garbage (potentially because of insufficient trash cans and students' lax attitude towards waste disposal).

    • Internet safety education for students is needed.

     

    Criterion E3: Multi-tiered Personal, Social-Emotional, and Academic Support

    All students receive appropriate multi-tiered personal, social-emotional, and academic support to help ensure student learning, college and career readiness and success. Students with special talents and/or needs have access to an equitable system of personal support service, activities, and opportunities at school and in the community.

    E3.1 Multi-tiered Support: School leadership implements personalized, academic multi-tiered support and alternative instructional approaches to meet student needs.

    E3.2 Multi-tiered Support Effectiveness: School leadership assesses the effectiveness of multi-tiered support for students’ social-emotional learning needs.

    E3.3 Student Involvement: The school ensures a high level of student involvement in curricular and co- curricular activities that link to schoolwide student goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and college and career readiness.

    E3.4 Student Self Advocacy: Students deepen their sense of self and make personal and community connections that are meaningful and relevant and allow students to become advocates for their own needs and supports.

    Findings and Evidence

    School leadership somewhat effectively implements personalized, academic multi-tiered support and alternative instructional approaches to meet student needs.

    School leadership somewhat effectively assesses the effectiveness of multi-tiered support for students’ social-emotional learning needs.

    The school highly effectively ensures a high level of student involvement in curricular and co-curricular activities that link to schoolwide student goals/graduate profile, academic standards, and college and career readiness.

    Students effectively deepen their sense of self and make personal and community connections that are meaningful and relevant and allow students to become advocates for their own needs and supports.

    Aragon adopts a comprehensive, student-focused approach with a multi-tiered support system addressing academic, career, and social-emotional needs for all students. Our counseling office has five counselors, with a 338-1 ratio, who follow students throughout their four years at Aragon. The College and Career Center provides extensive post-high school planning assistance. Wellness counselors (since 2016), enhance the social-emotional support system with drop-in sessions, one-on-one counseling, and therapeutic group sessions with themes such as grief, stress, art, and gender non-conforming spaces.

    Collaborative efforts, as seen in weekly Tier II and III meetings, coordinate academic and social-emotional support, with active involvement from multiple stakeholders with various transition programs for post high school success. The AVID program uses high school tutors to help students with organization and classwork. Both AVID and Co-taught classes (D1.2/D1.4) illustrate effective alternative instructional methods. FLEX further demonstrates a flexible and supportive learning environments where students exercise agency over their learning journey.

    SES and SSE Tier III courses, and CLA Tier I course, target specific student literacy and social/emotional needs. The addition of ELD sections for the 2024-25 school year will further support the growing multilingual learner population. Summer School and OSCR programs offer credit recovery options.

    Staff access student IEPs and 504 plans through AERIES and receive tutorials on how to access this data.

    Aragon is enhancing its Tier II program with new interventions and feedback mechanisms to address specific needs like grades, discipline, and absenteeism. See AP Shannon Lane for more info. The Panorama survey plays a crucial role in assessing the effectiveness of the school's support initiatives from student, family, and staff perspectives. 

    Student involvement in extracurricular activities is encouraged, with over 80 clubs, sports, and inclusive events. The school actively promotes college and career readiness through events like College Talks, Career Day, counselor sessions, and programs that support academic tracking and personal growth.

    The school's focus on student self-advocacy is evident in initiatives encouraging community service and personal development. Programs like SSE, SES, AVID, CLA, and Directed Studies emphasize building a strong sense of self focusing on self-advocacy and academic identity, integral to students' academic and personal success.

    Summary analysis: Aragon is dedicated to an integrated, multi-tiered support system, fostering student engagement and advocacy.

    This focus group does seek to reevaluate support programs to better cater to individual learning requirements, emphasizing areas like teacher training, IEP processes, and class accessibility. The discontinuation of Intensive English for lower-level readers is a notable issue, as well as adhering to a realistic ratio of special education students and students with 504s in co-taught classes (no more than 25-30%). Additionally, exploring vocational and elective courses to cater to a wide range of student interests and career goals should be considered.

     

    ACS WASC Category E. School Culture and Support for Student, Personal, Social- Emotional, and Academic Growth Summary

    Prioritize and list the strengths and growth areas for the criteria and indicators in this category based on the school’s identified major student learner needs.

    Areas of Strength

    1. We are committed to supporting and collaborating with one another across all staff positions and departments. 

    2. Students who are identified as struggling academically, socially, and/or emotionally are treated with grace and respect and get the support of staff. 

    3. Our staff is purposeful and dedicated to connecting all students to the school through activities including, but not limited to leadership events, clubs, drama, music, and athletics.

    Areas of Growth

    1. Staff and students desire clear and consistent consequences for students who are not following school policies. 

    2. Our school needs to stay committed to supporting the student groups who continue to struggle linguistically, academically, socially, and/or emotionally.

    3. There needs to be more connection within the entire school community. Building relational capacity needs to be a priority as students and staff deal with the challenges of a post-pandemic education.

    Chapter 4: Summary of Identified Major Student Learner Needs

     

    Strengths by Focus Area

    Chapter 3: A

    Organization

    • Staff work with students to further their individual potential in a way that is academically rigorous. 

    • CARES values have currency and are reinforced in a variety of ways. 

    • Current Vision represents holistic outcomes for our students (i.e. not just academic success).

    • Regularly scheduled Department Head meetings and subsequent department meetings allow for dissemination of information and discussion of best practices across disciplines and of school-wide policies.

    • Some decision-making processes have resulted in positive changes on our campus that filled needs like expanded mental health resources and increased campus security.

    • The culture of collaboration and shared decision making happens frequently on a smaller scale throughout our school. All departments including academic departments, counseling, campus security, and Wellness meet on a regular basis and examine different forms of data to inform decisions.

    Chapter 3: B

    Curriculum

    • Rigorous, academic programs that prepare students well for entrance into 2-year and 4-year postsecondary programs.

    • There are multiple pathways in different content areas for students to access the curriculum and reach their post-secondary goals.

    • Curricula changes are embraced well when evidence supports that the change is beneficial. 

    Chapter 3: C

    Teaching & Learning

    • Robust technology integration through the use of Canvas, one-to-one computers, Smart TVs, in CTE classrooms, etc.

    • Rigorous course opportunities at Aragon: robust AP, bigger presence of CTE (Career Technical Education), drama/music program and classes with curriculum reflects real world experiences like UDL.

    • Pedagogical strategies to make learning targets/expectations clearer (e.g. modeling, rubrics, PLC shared assessments, etc.).

    Chapter 3: D

    Assessment

    • Strong PLC’s (curriculum is aligned, rubrics/expectations are aligned in most subject areas)

    • PD is designed to respond to teacher & student needs

    • Teachers prioritize student learning & performance, and most students perform well on both internal and external assessments.

    • Many teachers offer multiple ways to show mastery (lots of variation in how…retakes, spiral content, etc.)

    Chapter 3: E

    Culture

    • Our school climate is positive and committed to supporting and collaborating with one another across all staff positions and departments. 

    • Students who are identified as struggling  academically, socially, and/or emotionally are treated with grace and respect and get the support of staff.

    • Our staff is purposeful and dedicated to connecting all students to the school through activities including, but not limited to leadership events, clubs, drama, music, and athletics.

    • The student body continues to have a culture of tolerance, acceptance, and support with a willingness to reflect and identify areas of improvement. 

    Growth Needs by Focus Area

    Chapter 3: A

    Organization

    • More transparency in decision-making between admin and staff for section allocation and for how departments are funded

    • More resources from the district for tech support 

    • Regular process for establishing the vision/purpose/mission and evaluating progress. Community members not really aware of what vision/purpose/mission. It should reflect the importance of connection and relational capacity.

    • Administration and staff need to engage in analysis of different forms of data to determine effectiveness of programs and to what extent we are meeting students’ needs.

    • Stop dehumanizing language that makes the student body and staff feel unsafe.

    Chapter 3: B

    Curriculum

    • Providing a comprehensive career-exploration and readiness program where students engage in career development activities every year.

    • Continue to integrate curriculum vertically, and connect curriculum to the world outside of school.

    • Reestablish and maintain strong curricular partnerships laterally with district schools and vertically with elementary and community college districts. 

    • Increase support classes and structures for literacy, communication,  and math skills.  

    • Engage in ongoing examination of curricula across all departments to craft curricula with better representation of all identities.   

    Chapter 3: C

    Teaching & Learning

    • We need to have a school wide discussion on school grading policies; there is room for a more consistent grading policy. We’ll need to examine research for and against new grading policies to determine their effectiveness and need to be implemented. 

    • Professional development that emphasizes the sharing of best practices and strategies that help support student learning and executive functioning for students but specifically MLL + LTEL students. Strategies include Constructing Meaning (like SST: structured student talk, annotations, note-taking, project-based learning, strategies for 90 min block periods, etc.).

    • We want to foster our students to have a healthy sense of identity, whether that’s pursuing trades/career out of high school as well as college ready students. This could mean more student choice in electives and content within classes.

    Chapter 3: D

    Assessment

    • Student feedback use (how? How often?  Should we get training on eliciting feedback?).

    • Helping students who don’t know how to ask for help/use feedback (executive function skills/communication skills).

    • Having flexibility in our programming to serve student needs.

    • Interpersonal communication between teachers and admin regarding students who are struggling and how we can pool/are using. our resources to make the classroom experience better for these students.

    • School leadership team (MTSS, admin, PD) should engage in data analysis (standardized testing, placement testing, SRI, CAASPP, CST, etc.) and pick some plan skill development areas to work on strategically during schoolwide PD.

    • Continue to give space for our conversations on grading and assessment. Encourage PLC’s to align on grading/assessment practices.

    Chapter 3: E

    Culture

    • Staff and students desire clear and consistent consequences for students who are not following school policies. 

    • Our school needs to stay committed to supporting the student groups who continue to struggle linguistically, academically, socially, and/or emotionally.

    • There needs to be more connection within the entire school community. Building relational capacity needs to be a priority as students and staff deal with the challenges of a post-pandemic education.

    • The culture of collaboration needs to be restored through more sustained and consistent meeting time, so staff can better serve students.

     

    Identified Student Learner Needs

    Our analysis of our programs confirms our identified student learner needs identified below:

    1. Aragon staff identified a need to eliminate the use of hate speech and dehumanizing language and insults used by students to help foster a more empathetic, compassionate and emotionally safe community. This must include common agreements, clear and consistent consequences, and expectations from ALL staff.

    2. Aragon staff identified a need for refocused, school-wide use of strategies to develop academic identity, executive functioning skills, and literacy in all classes for all students, particularly for historically underrepresented students and our rising MLL (Multilingual Learner) population.

    Evidence to support our findings includes analysis of the Panorama survey, Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), student focus group data, and anecdotal reports from students and staff. In the CHKS, there is a percentage of students in all four grade levels that indicated they Strongly Disagree, Disagree, or Neither disagree nor agree that they feel safe at school. The same for the question about Perceived Safety. During the student focus groups, the majority of students noted they hear dehumanizing language on campus between peers. Members of the Student Equity Council acknowledge and are affected by the use of dehumanizing language and hope to eliminate its use on campus.

    We have an increase in MLL enrollment patterns from the last WASC cycle and the District projects the numbers to continue to rise. According to CAASPP, we have seen an increase in over 35 MLL students. The CAASPP results show a 7.8% increase in MLL not meeting the ELA standards. The Performance data from the 2022 California Dashboard shows MLLs scoring low in both ELA and Mathematics in comparison to other students. This is also true for Economically Disadvantaged and Latino students. There has been an overall increase in all students tested not meeting ELA or Math standards from 2017-2018. Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, English Learners, Students with Disabilities all showed a decrease in meeting the A-G Completion Rates.

    Priorities for Schoolwide Growth & Continuous Improvement

    As a result of our self-study findings the following schoolwide growth areas for continuous improvement are our priorities. 

    1. Develop skills within and outside of the classroom that prepare students to be successful in the various paths they may take post-high school.

    2. Support and build relationships with all students, staff, and families with the intention of creating a safe community for all, particularly BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those who struggle socially and/or emotionally. 

    3. Renewed commitment to implement Tier I practices to help all students develop academic identity, skills, and literacy, particularly MLLs (Multilingual Learners) and historically underrepresented students.

    4. Strengthen relationships among staff and the community to facilitate strategic planning and more effective decision-making processes in support of student learning.