Good practice requires that we review our programs and practices regularly to ensure that they reflect the best and most current research on education and are responsive to the needs of our students as well as to the expectations of their parents and our larger community. The Greenwich Public Schools have not undertaken a substantive review of our secondary schools since the transition to middle schools many years ago. Given the increasingly complex and challenging world facing our graduates, the Board of Education and the Administration have determined that such a review should take place, beginning in September 2008.

PURPOSE: To review and make recommendations for change to the programs and services offered to Greenwich students in their middle and high school years, in order to ensure that all students graduate from Greenwich High School well prepared for higher education and the world of work.

COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP: (representation from the following groups)
• Higher Education (public and private admissions officers of 2- and 4-year colleges and universities)
• Business, Industry, and Professions
• Teachers (elementary, middle and high; academic and support personnel, including guidance)
• Administrators (principals/headmaster, housemasters, program coordinators, program administrators)
• Students (from each middle school and GHS)
• Recent GHS graduates (who did and did not pursue higher education)
• Parents (from each middle school and GHS)
• Community members (BET, RTM, at-large)
• Non-certified staff (security, clerical, cafeteria, paraprofessionals)
• Board of Education, ex officio

While we anticipate that a core group will remain with the Committee throughout its work, some members may choose to participate in just Phase I (e.g., representatives from higher ed., business, industry, the professions, and the community).

Phase I.
January 30, 2009: The Committee will not have failed to develop and present to the Board of Education at its February 2009 Work Session a draft list of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that the Committee determines all Greenwich students should have acquired by the time they graduate from GHS.

In making its recommendation, the committee will not fail to consider the following:
1. Relevant research and writing about secondary school reform
2. Exemplary middle and high schools with a record of sustained, high student achievement
3. Knowledge, skills, and dispositions required by higher education, business and industry, and the professions
4. Analysis of student performance related to the identified knowledge, skills, and dispositions
5. Federal and Connecticut State mandates regarding secondary school education and NEASC recommendations
6. Feedback from the larger Greenwich community about its expectations for its graduates.

Phase II:
September 30, 2009: The Committee will not fail to develop recommendations for changes to GPS secondary school organization, programs, and practices, to be presented to the Board of Education as soon as is practicable, beginning on September 30, 2009. The Board recognizes that the Committee may need a longer time to develop all its recommendations. However the Board encourages the committee to be mindful of the timing of the budget process for those recommendations that have budgetary implications.
In developing its recommendations the Committee will not fail to conduct an analysis of current programs and practices (academic, extracurricular, and support).

The Committee’s recommendations shall not fail to address the following:

Organization of Secondary Schools
1. Organizational and structural changes to the high schools and middle school that support the committee’s findings about effective secondary education
2. Roles and responsibilities of personnel to support these organizational changes
3. Start times and distribution of instructional time over the course of the day
4. Professional learning needed to develop staff capacity to implement reform efforts
5. Alignment of grading and report cards to reform efforts
6. Retention and promotion policies and procedures
7. Transition between elementary and middle school, and between middle and high school

Student Success
8. Access to a rigorous curriculum for all students
9. Changes in graduation requirements, including the possible use of performance measures to award credit
10. Modes of student grouping that provide all students access to higher level course offerings
11. Transition programs to accelerate learning for students who enter middle and/or high school with poor academic skills
12. Provision of adult mentoring for students
13. Alternatives available to students who are experiencing academic and/or social difficulties
Positive Learning Environment
14. Strategies for promoting student engagement in school through non-academic activities (e.g., sports, clubs, student leadership opportunities, service organizations)
15. Appropriate variety, quality, and accessibility of extra-curricular activities
16. Implementation of GHS motto “Freedom with Responsibility” (e.g., open campus, student center, open blocks)
17. Safety and security of students, staff, and school property

The Committee will not fail to quantify the cost and likely benefit of each of its recommendations.
The Committee will not fail to provide a suggested time-line for implementation of its recommendations.

Board of Education approved on April 24, 2008.