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School Development Plan

Goal One


Democracy and Equity


LACS will be a more diverse, inclusive and equitable learning community.


Sub Goal 1

Our school’s student enrollment and staff will be more diverse.


Action Steps



Target recruitment strategies to increase applications to the school from under-represented students.



LACS student enrollment aligns at a minimum with district demographic profile of targeted under-represented families (Students of Color Classified, and lower Socio-Economic Status).     

Sept. 2010



As staff vacancies become open collaborate with the district to actively recruit a diverse applicant pool, as well as culturally competent.



LACS staff is more diverse and reflects the diversity of the student body.

Sept. 2012



Put forth and implement proposals and programs that increase student participation in LACS decision-making processes, as well as increase participation in leadership roles by under-represented stakeholders.



Student leadership roles are filled by a diverse population of students; increased number of proposals for All-School Meetings submitted by under-represented students.                                    Jun. 2011





Sub Goal 2

The school will teach and learn about difference and bias.


Action Steps



Offer curricular opportunities and multicultural events in order for our students and staff to learn about differences, bias and perspectives.



Teacher knowledge, skill, sensitivity and effective teaching are shown in teacher/course evaluations, (collect examples to document).



June 2010, ongoing



Work with LACS Staff Equity Mentor(s) in partnership with the district’s staff development and bias response office to build staff’s skill and understanding working with under-represented students and families. (This will include developing new and expanded ways to teach multicultural and anti-bias themes.)



Multicultural/Anti-Bias staff development takes place throughout each year, in part led by Equity Mentors, and others as appropriate and available.

June 2011



Create forums for families of students to also have educational opportunities related to teaching and learning about difference and bias.



Analysis of surveys from events like Infusion Days will be reported to All-School Meeting (ASM) and Site-Based Council (SBC). Proposals for changes or improvements in practice will be put forth.


June 2010, and immediately following specific events




Sub Goal 3

LACS will improve communications inside and outside of the school community.


Action Steps



Survey stakeholders about views on school communication and implement recommendations. (Vox newsletter, Bottom Line e-digest, flags, evaluations, website).


Periodic surveys of stakeholders show greater satisfaction with communications.


June 2010, ongoing



Create an LACS community relations committee that does outreach and ensures news and highlights about the school are known in the greater community.


Tracking of LACS in the media (regional and national) that provides evidence of an enhanced public perception and accurately reflects the school as an effective model for alternative education.




Develop a consistent school newspaper and/or news and commentary blog—for students, by students.




LACS students have established and maintained their own independent news and communication source.

June 2011




Goal Two


Progressive Alternative Education(Curriculum & Pedagogy)


LACS will be more innovative in its approaches to being true to our alternative education roots.


Sub Goal 1

LACS will affirm and educate what it means to be (part of) an “alternative school*”


Action Steps



Appoint a representative cross-section of the school community to lead a comprehensive, collaborative review and update of the LACS FootBook. New FootBook will be read, discussed and honored by students, staff, and parent-caregivers.


A revised and updated FootBook is created.

Students and parent-caregivers will attest to having read the FootBook and agree to honor its stated “rights and responsibilities.” (See Goal 3, Sub-Goal 1)

Sept. 2010


Create “Insider Guides” for new students, new parent-caregivers, and new staff, which explains what it means and doesn’t mean to be part of an alternative school.



“Insider Guides” created and available.

Sept. 2011



Establish an orientation forum for all new staff, students and families to learn about in more detail the school’s history and philosophy.


Orientation forums consistently held for all new stakeholders.

June 2010



Sub Goal 2

Further develop and expand the Graduation by Exhibition (GBE) assessment portfolio and corresponding course and curriculum options.


Action Steps



Review and revise the current GBE expectations (desired outcomes, means of assessment, etc.) in each Essential Area and develop appropriate standards-based performance assessments in order to honor and maintain the State-testing waiver for our high school. 


External audit of GBE performance assessments by New York State Performance Standards Consortium Review Board.                      April 2010



Expand the GBE method more formally by creating a “Gateway” portfolio for students in grades 6-8 or other agreed to developmental timeframe.



“Gateway” portfolio for younger grades established.                        Sept. 2011



Further develop “Exhibition” weeks to replace “Regents” weeks where students will showcase and defend selected performance assessments from their portfolio.



Each teacher will have at least one class per semester participate in the “Exhibition Week”, and every student will also present at least one portfolio piece in their family conference.                              Jan. 2011


Sub Goal 3

LACS will explore adopting a new schedule that supports personal sustainability and success for students and staff.


Action Steps



Research and develop a revised proposal for a new schedule format for consideration by the school community that changes the pace of the day by expanding instructional blocks, reducing the number of transitions, and allowing for focused attention on fewer commitments at any given time. (The desired outcome is more student and teacher satisfaction and higher success rate in meeting course expectations by all students, specifically targeted sub-groups.)





New schedule proposal presented to school community and voted upon.

Mar. 2010




If adopted, allow time for staff to collaborate and create an appropriate program of studies that honors the format of the new schedule—interdisciplinary heterogeneous courses, differentiated project-oriented lessons, standards-based performance assessments, etc.




If adopted, new or revamped courses developed and implemented.

Sept. 2010



If adopted, establish means to orient stakeholders to the new schedule and its impact on the school culture, as well as periodic strategic review and assessment of the new format.


If adopted, initial stakeholder review and assessment of new schedule—Is it working towards targeted goals? Feedback used to make adjustments as necessary.

Jan. & Jun. 2011



Goal Three


A Safe and Connected School Community


LACS will ensure the health, safety and sense of belonging of all members of our school community.


Sub Goal 1

LACS will effectively transition into our newly expanded and renovated facility, as well as with our increased student body.


Action Steps



Redefine spaces and re-establish/create norms and expectations for respect, care and supervision of the building and grounds, as well as the physical and emotional safety of students and staff. (See FootBook reference in Goal 2, Sub-Goal 1)



Students and staff have attested to reading and agreeing to LACS’ FootBook “rights and responsibilities”, as well as honoring any other approved and implemented norms and expectations. Decreases in frequency of behaviors harmful to self and others, as evidenced by a reduction in court cases and A-Team referrals, suspensions, etc. Data to be reported to SBC yearly by Principal.                        Sept. 2010



Make sure all parts of the building and campus offer safe accessibility and mobility for all students and staff.

Reorganize and remove obstacles in all areas of the school to make sure it is accessible for wheelchairs.


Provide teachers a home-base and assign to teach in up to 2 classrooms maximum.



Reports from students and staff indicate that access and mobility provisions are in place.

Sept. 2010



Acquire and maintain the necessary equipment and furnishings needed for optimal teaching and learning (e.g. furniture, computers and other technology, lockers, etc.)


Reports from student and staff indicate equipment needs are met.

Dec. 2010



Sub Goal 2

We will mentor, model and learn from each other.


Action Steps



Improve Family Group experience and expectations.



Establish consistent training and role description for FG Leaders.


Develop a portfolio requirement for Family Group


Consider linking Family Group to a course (similar to School Without Walls in Rochester)



Family group evaluations will reflect the positive impact of consistent expectations for students and staff.  Also, a measured survey of impact and effectiveness of FG will be conducted and analysis presented to Site-Based Council.

Jan. 2011, Jun. 2011, ongoing



Develop and pilot a new cross-age mentoring program between older and younger students (e.g. paired middle/high school family group, seniors with sixth graders).


Staff and students will determine what kind of program would work best for our school, and vote on this proposal. Implement program, evaluate, and report to Site-Based Council.

Sept. 2011, Jan. 2012



Create a supplemental internal mentor system for all new staff to help with orientation and retention.


Feedback from new staff gathered, analyzed and reported to Site-Based Council

Jun. 2011



Sub Goal 3

We will further ourselves as a sustainability-minded and environmentally conscious “green” school. 


Action Steps



Increase percentage of our own food that is served in the school’s café by cultivating on-campus gardens and greenhouse and through community partnerships with area farms.




Percentage of produce prepared in the school’s café increases to 30%.


Sept. 2012



Reduce the amount of non-compostable or recyclable waste generated by the school, as well as generate alternative sources of energy through solar and wind power.



Solid disposable waste generated by LACS is cut 25% from 2009 amount..


Jun. 2011



Be a model and provide outreach to other schools in the district and region about effective ways to become a “greener” school.


Report that indicates the number of outreach initiatives the school has been involved, as well as the outcome of these efforts shows significance of LACS influence.

Jan. 2012





*What do we mean by the term “Alternative Education”?

Alternative education is an approach to education with a philosophy and style that differs from that of mainstream education. There are a number of types of alternative education, geared at a wide variety of students, and many nations have some form of alternative educational option available for people who want it. In communities without alternative education options, students generally only have one school that they can attend, in contrast with communities in which students can explore multiple schools and educational paths. While some alternative schools focus on at-risk youth, many exist with targeted missions and curriculum that focus on science and technology, the arts, environmental ethics, social justice, civic responsibility, service learning, or other areas of concentration. At LACS, one of the central characteristics that make us alternative is that is a school of choice(s). The first choice for students is whether to accept a spot in the school, and from there choices abound in selecting courses, committees, projects, trips, etc., as well as the degree to actively engage in the school’s democracy. The emphasis on personalization, cooperative collaboration over competition, and the fostering of trusting relationships between students and staff all add to the recipe of what makes LACS an alternative school.





Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 )
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