Learning to Succeed

October 27, 2011 TO: Kathleen Snyder, Chair Portland Board of Public Education Peter Eglinton, Chair Portland Public Schools Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Steering Committee Endorsement of the Comprehensive Plan Framework

FROM:

SUBJECT:

On November 3, 2010, the Portland School Board (“Board”) unanimously adopted a resolution to establish a comprehensive plan for the Portland Public Schools (“PPS” or “District”). The resolution called for a steering committee consisting of community leaders and others with the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide the work of District administrators and staff in developing the plan. The resolution also required periodic updates to the Board on the District’s progress in this effort. Accordingly, as Chair of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee (“Steering Committee”), I presented a work plan to the Board in a workshop on February 15, 2011; and a status of draft District-wide goals and indicators on April 26, 2011. The next milestone identified in the resolution is the comprehensive plan, to be submitted by the Superintendent. Thus far, the District has developed a strategic framework for detailed planning, including the goals, objectives, and key performance indicators to drive actions at the District, grade span, and individual school levels. The framework is deliberately incomplete in order to generate real and engaging work plans at the building level consistent with five high-leverage District work plans in literacy, numeracy, technology, early childhood, and student support. This effort is different than the approach used in many larger school districts that have created plans in isolation and then communicated final decisions to teachers; Portland is looking to create cohesion by working together with teachers and community members to develop the plan. Although the full plan is not complete, the Steering Committee voted 7 to 01 on October 24, 2011, to endorse the attached framework for comprehensive planning and recommends that the Board vote to adopt the framework to allow the District and individual schools to develop detailed work plans to guide their work over the next five years. Role of the Steering Committee The role of the Steering Committee has been one of a “critical friend”, which asks provocative questions, offers alternative approaches and perspectives, reviews and critiques draft documents, and ensures that the comprehensive planning effort is consistent with Board direction. The Steering Committee is not a decision-making body and, thus, does not determine the goals,
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Voting members included Glenn Cummings, Lelia DeAndrade, Peter Eglinton, Ken Farber, Carter Friend, Amy Johnson, and Barbara Stoddard. Lane Clarke, Dee Kelsey, and Steven Scharf were absent from our October 24, 2011 meeting at which we voted to endorse the plan.

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objectives, and strategies of the District – that work is the responsibility of District administrators, staff, and other appropriate stakeholders. Nevertheless, the Steering Committee has thoroughly discussed the work of the District and provided feedback to Central Office administrators to consider. Highlights of the Process At our first meeting in January 2011, most of the Steering Committee encouraged the District to focus all goals around student achievement and attainment – the essential purpose of school systems. Financial and operational goals would be developed in relation to the academic goals. In addition, during subsequent meetings staff recommended and the Steering Committee endorsed the concept of building-specific plans, recognizing that many planning challenges and strategies would be building-specific. These two innovative changes have shifted the direction of the planning process, resulting in the current proposed planning framework. Since January, the steering committee has met 14 times with Central Office staff. Topics have included:  Student-centered, academic goals for the District and objectives that address academic, financial, and operations components;  Key performance indicators at the District level;  Importance of staff and community engagement in the process;  Format and level of detail presented in comprehensive plans prepared by other school districts across the country;  Historical documents developed by the District that serve as reference material for the Comprehensive Plan;  Input and baseline data from Central Office curriculum coordinators and directors of transportation, food service, facilities, and multicultural/multilingual programs; and  Importance of evaluation/assessment to provide for appropriate oversight. Our District has not let the absence of a comprehensive plan prevent important initiatives and changes to strengthen what works and to address challenges. The findings from the 2009 Future Search visioning event, which involved more than 100 participants across our community, had a direct impact on the 2011 and 2012 budgets as well as on the comprehensive planning effort. The new District-level vision, mission, core principles, and goals are already the basis for planning at the school and District levels and are being used in grant applications. It is important to note that the initial six- to eight-month timeline was far too ambitious to fully develop the District’s first comprehensive plan, particularly using only existing staff resources. In June 2011, District administrators, members of the Steering Committee, and the Board met with Dr. Betty Morgan, 2010 National Superintendent of the Year, about her incredibly successful planning process – and results – in Washington County Maryland Public Schools. It took two years to develop their plan.

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Next Steps and Recommendations The attached framework is an important milestone in the comprehensive planning process, but not the end result. Thus far, comments have been generally positive and supportive from public forums on the framework on October 6 and 12, 2011 as well as from the Superintendent’s meetings with teachers and administrators.2 Many people hunger for more details, a greater understanding of the impact of demographic shifts in the District, and more engagement of staff and community. Moreover, several requirements of the Board resolution still need to be addressed, such as:  A communication plan for the initial launch;  Detailed District- and school-level3 work plans (covering academic, finance, and operations activities) with action steps, measures, timelines, responsible individuals, resource needs (staffing and budget), and supporting data and documentation; and  A formal District policy requiring an annual report on the implementation of the comprehensive plan and periodic reviews and revisions of the plan to reflect significant changes in the District’s vision, goals, and/or objectives. It is critical that the comprehensive planning effort not stop with Board action on the Districtlevel framework. A clear process (and accountability measures) for developing detailed work plans at the District and school levels is an important next step. It will be exciting to engage principals, teachers, staff, and community members and develop real action plans to advance student learning. Therefore, in order to ensure timely completion of thorough District and school level plans, the Board should consider appropriate (temporary) supplemental capacity, whether that involves dedicating existing District staff or accessing outside consultants or a both. We also encourage the Board to establish a policy that requires ongoing maintenance and reassessment of the Comprehensive Plan, as well as policies to support the goals within the plan. Given the investment of time the Steering Committee members have dedicated to this effort thus far – and our interest in the detailed planning that is yet to come – we also recommend that District staff and the Board periodically involve committee members as “critical friends” during the development of the District- and school-level work plans and associated accountability measures. Conclusion Comprehensive planning is a continuous (albeit cyclical) process. The work is not complete upon approval of the framework or the first iteration of the comprehensive plan itself. To be successful, the District will need to adopt a policy that frames a culture of continuous evaluation
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Dr. Morse is visiting every school in the fall of 2011 with an open invitation to all staff to discuss the comprehensive planning framework and next steps. He has also met with representatives of the Teachers Union Representative Assembly and Portland Administrators Association.
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School-level work plans will include the Adult Education program in addition to the elementary, middle, and high schools.

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and assessment followed by thoughtful planning and execution. Such a culture takes time to develop; clear direction through the adoption of policy by the Board will be critical to ensure ongoing District progress and improved student achievement and attainment.

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Portland Public Schools

Comprehensive Plan Framework 2011-2016
DRAFT November 8, 2011

DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
DRAFT NOVEMBER 8, 2011

Letter from Superintendent and Chair of the Board
Welcome to Portland Public Schools’ Comprehensive Plan Framework, designed to structure our district’s work according to our mission and vision. It is a roadmap that will allow us to align operations, identify resource needs and establish schedules and accountability. The Comprehensive Plan is student-centered and forward-looking. It articulates the commitment of district administrators, staff, school board, city staff and elected officials, and the public to improve all Portland Public Schools for all students. In 2007 Portland Public Schools experienced financial crisis. In response, a new superintendent was hired, the district’s central office was reorganized, and significant time, energy and resources were spent repairing and renovating the business and accounting systems of the district. Although this work was essential and will have long-term positive impacts, we are thrilled to be moving onto the work of the district as contemplated within the Comprehensive Plan Framework—work that puts students, and student learning, at the heart of every decision. The Comprehensive Plan Framework moves us forward while providing for the continuation of the critical work with which we are currently engaged, including: • • • • • improving academic growth and achievement for all students so that they can confidently move onto post-secondary studies, careers and citizenship; improvement of programs and operations through the use of objective assessments; continued use of and development of our multiyear budget to communicate, advocate and plan for district investments; continued work with our city colleagues to support and enhance Portland Public Schools; and movement away from site-based management with limited accountability to effective management structures that prioritize equity and access.

How is this different from other plans? Although the plan is “comprehensive” it is critical to recognize that it is limited to this point in time and will require consistent review, assessment and alteration so that we constantly seek improvements in the interest of student outcomes. We are excited to present this document to the Portland community, and committed to building on our community assets to achieve excellence for each and every student.

Sincerely,

James Morse, Jr. Superintendent of Schools

Kate Snyder Chair, Portland Board of Public Education

DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
DRAFT NOVEMBER 8, 2011

Table of Contents
Executive  Summary............................................................................................................................. 4   Vision,  Mission  Statement,  and  Core  Principles ........................................................................ 5   Academic  Goals  and  Performance  Indicators ............................................................................ 6   Objectives  and  Strategies .................................................................................................................. 7   Our  Context ............................................................................................................................................ 9   Comprehensive  Plan  Framework  Components .......................................................................12   Academic  Goals  and  Performance  Indicators ..........................................................................14   Objectives  and  Strategies ................................................................................................................22   Crosswalk  Between  Goals,  Objectives  and  Strategies............................................................31   Communication  Plan.........................................................................................................................32   Next  Steps .............................................................................................................................................34   Outline  of  Work  Plans.......................................................................................................................34   Appendix  A:  Key  Data  Source  Materials .....................................................................................36   Appendix  B:  Terms  and  Acronyms...............................................................................................37   Appendix  C:  The  Comprehensive  Planning  Process...............................................................40   Appendix  D:  Portland  Public  Schools  –  District  Leadership................................................42   Appendix  E:  Comprehensive  Planning  Team............................................................................43   Appendix  F:  Resolution  Establishing  a  Comprehensive  Plan  for  the  Portland  Public   Schools...................................................................................................................................................44   Appendix  G:  Dropout  Report..........................................................................................................48   Appendix  H:  Preschool  Work  Plan ...............................................................................................58   Appendix  I:  Work  Plan  for  Literacy .............................................................................................70   Appendix  J:  Work  Plan  for  Mathematics ....................................................................................81   Appendix  K:  Winxnet  Work  Plan ..................................................................................................91  

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
DRAFT NOVEMBER 8, 2011

Executive Summary A Bold Commitment for the Future
In December 2009, Portland Public Schools launched a community-wide effort to establish a vision of learning that would support each of our students and create commitment for the realization of this vision. A broad selection of community members including students, parents, educators, elected officials, business leaders, directors of nonprofit organizations, and representatives from many of Portland’s ethnic and racial communities participated in two days of thoughtful discussion, analysis, and planning through a “Future Search” process, resulting in the formation of the Portland Public Schools’ Mission, Vision, and Core Principles. In addition, the efforts of the Future Search process yielded strong support for several key priorities in the coming years, findings that lead to support for the development of a multiyear budgeting process and hiring of external independent contractors to conduct independent reviews of school operations and programming. In the fall of 2010, the Portland School Committee (now known as the Portland Board of Public Education) unanimously adopted our Vision, Mission, and a set of Core Principles for the district, largely based on the community visioning process. The Committee also approved a resolution (Appendix F) to build further on this foundation through the establishment of a comprehensive plan for the Portland Public Schools. The resolution outlined two main purposes for the district-wide comprehensive plan as follows: • Communicate a common mission, vision, and direction of the district to current and future administrators, staff, school board members, city staff and elected officials, and the public; and Establish a roadmap for the important work of the district including the provision of a mechanism for aligning operations, identifying resource needs, and establishing schedules and accountability.

The resolution specifically requires that the comprehensive plan be student-focused, clearly showing the connection between the district’s goals, organization, and activities with student growth, achievement, and educational attainment. This comprehensive plan represents an exciting opportunity for us—both the school district and the community at large. It provides an important framework for building on our strengths, making strategic investments of personnel and dollars, and addressing the real challenges facing our schools – all within the scope of a thoughtful, five-year plan, rather than the typical annual list of activities. Community members and our talented educators can clearly see the direction the district is headed, and use this knowledge to engage meaningfully in discussions of results, programming, and budgeting. The five year goals and broad strategies will provide us collectively with a consistent direction; annual school plans will build off of the district’s

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comprehensive plan to provide details for actions tied directly to realization of the five year goals. While the comprehensive plan will provide consistency of direction for the next five years, we see this as a dynamic document. As local, state, or federal conditions change, the school board, district educators, and the community will revisit this plan as necessary to ensure that it remains accurate, accountable, and focused on the actions that will enable us to realize the district’s goals for each student.

Vision, Mission Statement, and Core Principles
Our Vision, Mission Statement, and Core Principles define 1) the results of learning for each student in our district (our Vision); 2) what we will do to achieve these results (our Mission Statement); and 3) how we will conduct ourselves—from the classroom to the school board (our Core Principles). After thoughtful consideration the Portland Board of Public Education adopted these on November 17 and December 8, 2010.

Vision
All learners will be fully prepared to participate and succeed in a diverse and ever-changing world

Mission
The Portland Public Schools are responsible for ensuring a challenging, relevant, and joyful education that empowers every learner to make a difference in the world. We build relationships among families, educators, and the community to promote the healthy development and academic achievement of every learner.

Core Principles
• • • • • We support an organization that strives for continuous improvement and transparency, with agreed upon goals and evidence of progress. We support an organization where leadership at all levels supports student learning, financial, and operational priorities. We support an organization that demonstrates fiscal responsibility and effective long-term financial planning. We support an organization that provides our learners with equitable and appropriate facilities. We support an organization that celebrates and partners with the diverse culture of our community. 5

DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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• • • •

We support an organization that has an investment in staff recognizing that this connects to student learning. We support an organization that is vested in our Adult Learners. We support an organization that recognizes the importance of the arts, athletics, cocurricular, and extra-curricular opportunities in our learners’ growth. We support an organization that utilizes technology to provide instructional opportunities for all of our learners.

Academic Goals and Performance Indicators
In response to the above vision, mission statement and core principles, the following academic goals and performance indicators have been developed as part of the Comprehensive Plan Framework Goal 1: All Portland Public School students will graduate from high school A high school diploma is both a demonstration of achievement and a key to future success. While the district should and does take great pride in academically preparing many diverse students, close to one in four entering ninth grade students does not graduate with his or her class four years later. Increasing our graduation rate will positively impact both these individual students and our broader community. Goal 2: All Portland Public School graduates will demonstrate college readiness in the areas of academics, communication, and critical thinking While every student may not choose to directly further their education upon graduation from high school, every student—and their families—deserves the option of being fully prepared to do so. Furthermore, as job requirements have become more complex, the collective skills and knowledge required for success in employment or college upon graduation from high school have become largely aligned. Preparing all students to be able to choose college as an option essentially simultaneously prepares all students for future employment and active engagement in our community. Goal 3: All Portland Public School students will participate in activities that demonstrate service to our community, individual creativity, and physical wellness Powerful learning must move beyond the academic expectations of the classroom to include learning experience that expand beyond the classroom walls. Such actions deepen student engagement, heighten learning, and create well-rounded citizens creating skills that both complement and extend beyond the educational outcomes of traditional coursework.

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
DRAFT NOVEMBER 8, 2011

Objectives and Strategies
The following objectives and strategies were developed based on analysis of district efforts and identified to collectively address the academic goals and performance indicators. Specific action steps, timelines, leadership, and participation are outlined in either strategy-specific district work plans, school work plans, or school board work plans depending upon the strategy. Objective One: Create a coordinated K-12 curriculum in the areas of literacy, math, and global competencies based on the Common Core State Standards Strategy 1A: Implement a K-12 literacy curriculum Strategy 1B: Implement a K-12 math curriculum Strategy 1C: Implement a K-12 global literacy curriculum Objective Two: Support quality instruction for every student, every class, every day Strategy 2A: Integrate student and teacher technology use across the classroom and curriculum Strategy 2B: Increase use of common performance assessments Strategy 2C: Implement content-based instructional strategies Strategy 3F: Develop and disseminate school report cards Objective Three: Create a coordinated system for student support Strategy 3A: Implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) System for academic support Strategy 3B: Implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) System for behavioral support Strategy 3C: Integrate Adult Education and high school course opportunities to support students Objective Four: Create a culture of accountability and support for staff Strategy 4A: Engage teachers and administrators in the collection and analysis of data Strategy 4B: Implement a teacher evaluation system that provides accurate feedback Strategy 4C: Implement an administrator evaluation system that provides accurate feedback Strategy 4D: Implement standards-based teaching, learning, and reporting Strategy 4E: Develop collaborative leadership Objective Five: Maintain efficient and effective business practices Strategy 5A: Develop multi-year budget cycle

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Strategy 5B: Implement communications strategies to engage students, parents, businesses, non-profits, and community members Strategy 5C: Refine effective human resources strategies Strategy 5D: Maintain appropriate facilities

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Our Context
Located in Cumberland County on Maine’s southern coast, Portland is Maine's business, financial and retail capital. With a population of 66,1941, it is the state’s largest city. Recently selected by Forbes magazine as America’s most livable city, Portland was selected for its income growth, culture, low levels of crime, cost of living and unemployment rate. Portland is a city of great contrasts. Portland has a high percentage of high school and college graduates while at the same time having a lower than average (compared to both the state and nation) median household income. The number of families living below the poverty line is higher in Portland than the rest of Maine and the country. Key education and economic characteristics are summarized in Table 1:
TABLE 1: PORTLAND EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS
High school graduate or higher Bachelor’s degree or higher Median household income (2009 inflation-adjusted dollars) Families below federal poverty level
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Portland 90.8% 41.2% $43,601 12.0%

Maine 89.4% 26.1% $46,541 8.6%

U.S. 84.6% 27.5% $51,425 9.9%

Portland is also a hub for economic activity in Maine with lower than average unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted) when compared to Maine and the U.S. Through the most recent recession, the unemployment rate in the area (Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME) increased from a 3.5% average in 2007 to a recent high of 6.8% in 2009 and is now easing back to 6.2% in April 2011. Maine experienced 4.5% unemployment in 2007, 8.4% in 2009 and is now easing to 7.6% in April 20113. Portland is remarkably diverse. In the last 40 years Portland has undergone exponential change, as it became a resettlement site for refugees from many parts of the world. From the late 1970s to the present, refugees from Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa resettled in Portland. A higher percentage of Portland residents are foreign born and speak a language other than English at home than in the rest of Maine. Key demographic characteristics are summarized in Table 2:

1 2

U.S. Census 2010, http://www.census.gov/popfinder, October 18, 2011 U.S. Census 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, www.census.gov/acs/www/, October 21, 2011 3 U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 21, 2011.

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T ABLE 2: P ORTLAND D EMOGRAPHIC D ATA
Foreign born

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Portland 10.5% 13.9% 86.3% 6.2% 0.4% 3.3% 0.0% 1.3% 2.4% 3.2%

Maine 3.3% 7.4% 95.3% 1.2% 0.5% 0.9% 0.0% 0.3% 1.7% 1.3%

U.S. 12.4% 19.6% 74.5% 12.4% 0.8% 4.4% 0.1% 5.6% 2.2% 15.1%

Speak a language other than English at home (5 years and over) White Black or African American American Indian and Alaska Native Asian Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander Some other race Two or more races Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

Portland Public Schools (PPS), Maine’s largest school system, operates 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, and four high schools serving 7,0285 students. This enrollment figure has decreased from 7,743 students in 20016 as the demographics have continued to change. Portland Public Schools (PPS) has a long tradition of educating students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and has taken a leading national role in supporting teachers as professionals and encouraging their growth as individuals. As the largest and most diverse district in the state of Maine7, we have significant cultural, economic, and intellectual resources embedded in our community—overall strengths that can be used to create powerful learning outcomes for students. Portland students reflect the rich diversity of the community. Currently, the district has over 1,800 students who come from homes where over 60 different languages other than English are spoken. The number of students identified as English Language Learners has risen from just over 600 in 1999 to 1,600 in 2010. Key demographic characteristics are summarized in Table 3 below:
T ABLE 3: PPS S TUDENT D EMOGRAPHICS
White
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PPS Percentage 64.01%

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U.S. Census 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, www.census.gov/acs/www/, October 21, 2011. 5 Maine Department of Education Data Center, www.maine.gov/education/datalist.htm, October 21, 2011 6 Planning Decisions, Inc., June 2010. 7 Maine Department of Education Data Center, http://www.maine.gov/education/enroll/attending/statefallpub.htm, downloaded August 26, 2011.
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Portland Public Schools, 2011.

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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T ABLE 3: PPS S TUDENT D EMOGRAPHICS
Black or African American American Indian and Alaska Native Asian Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander Some other race Two or more races Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

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PPS Percentage 21.79% 0.40% 8.03% 0.0% 0.01% 1.24% 4.50%

Other key social characteristics of the student body include:
T ABLE 4: PPS S PECIAL E DUCATION AND E NGLISH L ANGUAGE L EARNERS
Percentage of students receiving Special Education services Percentage of English Language Learners PPS 9 Percentage , 2007/08 15.58% 24.80% Maine, 2007/08 17.72% U.S. , 2007
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13.4% not available

Free and reduced lunch rates are a key economic influence in public education and impact the choice of instructional strategies and interventions in our schools. The significant differences in the percentages of students eligible for free and reduced lunch across our schools—especially our elementary schools—impacts policy and actions implemented at both the district and school level. Table 5 details the total student population in each of our schools and the percentages of free and reduced lunch eligible students.

T ABLE 5: S TUDENT E NROLLMENT AND F REE AND R EDUCED L UNCH R ATES
School

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Enrollment

F&R Lunch

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PPS and Maine data taken from Maine Department of Education Data Center, www.maine.gov/education/datalist.htm, October 21, 2011 10 National Center for Education Statistics, nces.ed.gov/datatools/, October 21, 2011 11 Portland Public Schools, October 30, 2010.

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Peaks Island Elementary School Longfellow Elementary School Lyseth Elementary School Casco Bay High School Hall Elementary School State of Maine Average Deering High School Lincoln Middle School Portland High School Moore Middle School Nathan Clifford Elementary School (now Ocean Avenue) King Middle School Presumpscot Elementary School Reiche Elementary School Riverton Elementary School East End Elementary School Cliff Island Elementary School Totals
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56 382 500 276 455 -1,018 432 992 526 318 555 296 334 448 435 5 7,028

17.86% 21.47% 27.80% 41.30% 41.32% 44.14% 46.76% 48.84% 51.71% 51.90% 55.03% 56.76% 72.64% 72.75% 76.12% 79.77% Not reported 51.82%

As these and other data demonstrate, Portland is a unique community in Maine. No other Maine community echoes our ethnic diversity, the strength of our economic energy, or the size of our population. The envy of many large national districts, we have the opportunities offered through diversity without the overwhelming and debilitating size of these districts. This diversity enables our students to expand their understanding of the world and operate in a multicultural context. At the same time, our district operates on a human scale, one where parents know the teachers of their students, students know each other and their teachers well, teachers understand and appreciate their community, and the community values our schools. This framework lays the foundation for us to use our unique position to provide a quality education for all of our students.

Comprehensive Plan Framework Components
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Maine Department of Education Data Center, www.maine.gov/education/datalist.htm, October 19, 2011

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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The Portland School District Comprehensive Plan Framework addresses all areas of operations and all levels in which effort takes place. The foundation for this work is laid out in the approved district vision, mission statement, and core principles. These belief statements are not measureable or time sensitive but serve as steady guideposts for our collective efforts. Starting with community feedback through the Future Search process, the district team and school board engaged in a year of data collection and analysis. During this time, the district undertook evaluations of the special education program and the co-curricular program, worked with external expertise to conduct a literacy audit, and engage educators internally to review student achievement and attainment data including graduation rates, student scores from the New England Comprehensive Assessment Program, SAT scores, National Student Clearinghouse data, North West Education Assessment scores, and internal student grades. Over the past nine months, this work has been extended with the integration of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee comprised of community leaders with a commitment to the district and the expertise to help guide the work of developing the Comprehensive Planning Framework. The process of data analysis revealed both success stories (for example, graduates being accepted into and attending some of the finest colleges and universities in the country) as well as some disturbing trends (for example, consistently poorer scores in almost all measures for students living in poverty). In addition, the district administrative team and members of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee reviewed various district plans from across the country and met with a superintendent who had successfully created and implemented a district plan at a similar sized district. Working from this analysis, the district leadership created three Academic Goals for all students to achieve, vetting these goals through several months of conversation with the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. Measurable Performance Indicators have been created to align with each of these goals to track progress in achieving these goals. These Performance Indicators are measurable, annual through 2016, and progress at a consistent rate. The performance indicators progress at a rate that decreases the percentage points of students who do not demonstrate success by 15% annually. This process will be used at both the district level with the performance indicators from the Comprehensive Plan Framework and with the school work plans that will include disaggregated performance indicators. This process encourages growth for students and schools who are successful and those who are currently less successful. An hypothetical example of this growth pattern is shown below:

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100.0   90.0   80.0   70.0   60.0   50.0   40.0   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   School  1   School  2   School  3   School  4   School  5   Average  

The District team then reviewed data on processes including instruction, curriculum, leadership, and organizational design. This analysis demonstrated areas of successful practice and areas of concern. Working from these concerns, the district team researched actions employed by other successful schools and districts, ultimately leading to a set of five Objectives with aligned Strategies. Due to the overlapping nature of the Objectives, there is not a simple one-to-one relationship between each goal and these five objectives—most of which address more than one goal. For example, a coordinated system of student support increases both graduation rates and student demonstrations of college readiness. Our five objectives are research based, build on strengths and address concerns, and are tied to successful progress on meeting our goals. Successful implementation of these strategies will lead to attainment of these objectives, and ultimately, to improvement as measured by the Performance Indicators. The Objectives and Strategies lead to the annual development of work plans for 1) district-level initiatives; 2) each school; 3) budget and policy development by the Portland Board of Education and superintendent; and 4) operations and infrastructure by the district central office team. Much of the success of the district’s comprehensive plan effort depends on the engagement of staff in developing school work plans (which are unique by school but which overlap and are aligned with other schools in the district operating at the same grade level) and the district work plans for efforts that cross all schools. The annual creation of school work plans occur in the late spring and summer of each year, build upon past efforts, and outline work from September through the following August. These plans articulate key academic programming activities as well as how student support services such as Special Education, Title IA, Multilingual, and Gifted and Talented are delivered.

Academic Goals and Performance Indicators
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Goal 1: All Portland Public School students will graduate from high school Goal 1: District Performance Indicators*
Increase the combined student four-year graduation rate Increase in third grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state reading assessment Increase in fifth grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state reading assessment Increase in fifth grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state writing assessments Increase in fifth grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state mathematics assessments Increase in eighth grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state reading assessment Increase in eighth grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state writing assessments Increase in eighth grade students who demonstrate proficiency on state mathematics assessments Baseline** 77% 64% 70% 45% 54% 71% 57% 55% 2011/ 12 80.5% 69.4% 74.5% 53.3% 60.9% 75.4% 63.5% 61.8% 2012/ 13 83.4% 74.0% 78.3% 60.3% 66.8% 79.0% 68.9% 67.5% 2013/ 14 85.9% 77.9% 81.6% 66.2% 71.8% 82.2% 73.6% 72.4% 2014/ 15 88.0% 81.2% 84.3% 71.3% 76.0% 84.9% 77.6% 76.5% 2015/ 16 89.8% 84.% 86.7% 75.6% 79.6% 87.1% 80.9% 80.0%

• Increases in percentages are based on a 15% annual decline in the percentage points of students who do not demonstrate proficiency. ** Baseline data are an average of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 school year state testing results except for the item noted TBD which will be determined via a student survey during the 2011/12 school year.

Graduation from high school opens the door to future academic, financial, and social achievement; every one of our students deserves our support throughout their public school careers to achieve this goal. Beyond individual gains, high school dropouts on average give back less to the community, are far more likely to serve time in prison, be uninsured, or engage in unhealthy lifestyles (smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse or obesity). Culturally, high school graduates are 50% more likely to vote than citizens who have only completed 8th grade. Providing the means and support for every Portland student to graduate from high school benefits everyone, not just the graduate. While graduation rates may appear to be a high school measurement, graduation success is in reality the culmination of 13 years of learning, not only the four usually associated with high school. Students not reading at grade level at the end of third grade struggle to engage in learning as reading becomes a means to access future knowledge and skills. Students who enter 9th grade academically deficient struggle to graduate, finally dropping out in high school due to learning deficiencies that materialized years before. Graduation is a k-12 metric of success.

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Portland secondary students have multiple options for learning. Portland and Deering High Schools offer a comprehensive secondary education with unique but coordinated class schedules that support integration and different learning styles. Portland Arts and Technology High School, a regional career and technical center, provides hands-on courses in growth fields such as health care, robotics and “green” construction. And our newest high school, Casco Bay High School uses the hands-on Expeditionary Learning model in a smaller setting to again meet different learning styles and needs for our students. With multiple middle and elementary schools, our K-8 program retains a tight commitment to personalization for each student. Our schools are large enough to offer a variety of programs but small enough for every student to be known well. In addition, through the nationally recognized program at King Middle School, Presumpscot Elementary School, and the East End Elementary School, we are able to offer Expeditionary Learning at all grade levels. Currently, approximately three out of four entering 9th grade students graduates from one of our three diploma granting high schools within four years as shown in the table below:
TABLE 6: PPS FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATES
13

Graduation Rate 2010 Casco Bay High School Deering High School Portland High School State of Maine Average 72.88% 83.44% 69.40% 82.82%

Graduation Rate 2009 81.82% 83.28% 75.93% 80.40%

Three-quarters of our students graduate from high school and many move on to attend some of the finest institutions of higher education in the country; others never get the opportunity to graduate. The seeds of this reality—both positive and negative—can be seen much earlier through a review of state testing. As shown in the table below, in most cases between 25% and 50% of our students do not meet the standards in reading, mathematics, or writing on either the NECAP test (grades 3, 5 and 8) or the Maine High School Assessment (grade 11). Our graduation results follow from learning concerns demonstrated concerns at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Table 7: 2010 NECAP and MHSA Scores: Percent of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

13

Maine Department of Education Data Center, www.maine.gov/education/datalist.htm, October 19, 2011

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3rd Grade NECAP R Portland Maine 61% 69% M 53% 61% W -

5th Grade NECAP R 65% 70% M 50% 60% W 45% 43%

8th Grade NECAP R 71% 73% M 52% 59% W 57% 53%

11th Grade MHSA R 48% 50% M 40% 49% R 46% 45%

When these results are disaggregated by schools, ethnicity, special education status, English language learners, and gender, differences appear, although only one pattern holds across the district. The largest disparity in learning across the district occurs between students living in poverty and students not living in poverty14. While other disparities do exist, they are not common across all schools. This lack of common patterns across the district underlies the vital necessity of the annual school work plans. In these work plans, schools set unique performance indicators that align with the district performance indicators with additional disaggregation for free and/or reduced lunch students, ethnicities, special education students, gender, and English language learners. Improvement expectations will follow the same computations, i.e., a 15% decrease in the number of students who do not achieve the standard. To realize our goal, we must operate from a moral imperative that every student is entitled to a personalized pathway to graduation, with tailored and rigorous support to ensure attainment of that goal.

14

Poverty is determined by a student being eligible for free and/or reduced lunch through the district lunch program.

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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Goal 2: All Portland Public School graduates will demonstrate college readiness in the areas of academics, communication, and critical thinking Goal 2: District Performance Indicators
Increase the combined percentage of students who enroll in two or four year higher education programs within one year of high school graduation15 increase the percentage of students who score above a 180 on the Accuplacer** reading assessment Increase the percentage of students who score above a 60 on the Accuplacer** arithmetic assessment Increase the percentage of students who score above a 67 on the Accuplacer** algebra assessment Increase the percentage of students who demonstrate proficiency in inquiry, critical thinking, and communication16 Increase the percentage of students who demonstrate proficiency in global competence17 Base line 62%* 2011/ 12 66.6% 2012/ 13 70.6% 2013/ 14 74.1% 2014/ 15 77.2% 2015/ 16 79.9%

TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

* This data has been drawn from the National Student Clearinghouse and is an average of all Portland graduates over the past five years. ** Accuplacer is a college placement test used by colleges to determine student placement in entry level college courses. These scores are generally used to indicate readiness for college in these subject areas.

While every student may not choose to directly further their education upon graduation from high school, every student—and their families—deserves the option of being fully prepared to do so. Positively, many Portland students find success in higher education, based on a strong academic background provided by Portland Public Schools. The Comprehensive Plan Framework is intended to challenge and set high expectations for all students. While not every student will choose to attend college upon graduation from high school, students are increasingly entering college years later as changes in employment demand more education. It only makes sense that we would prepare each of our students to successfully navigate college either immediately or in the future. Accordingly, programming in prekindergarten through high schools must be designed to support student acquisition of college readiness skills specifically in the areas of academics, communication, and
15

National Student Clearinghouse, StudentTracker for High Schools Aggregate Report, Portland Public Schools, 2010 16 There are currently no district-wide structures or measurements for this collectively at any grade level; there are models at individual schools 17 There are currently no district-wide structures or measurements for this collectively at any grade level; there are models at individual schools

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critical thinking. These skills must be intertwined throughout a student’s public school learning career. Furthermore, students must have the opportunity to demonstrate these skills, receive support to enhance them, and be expected to attain them prior to graduation. Over the past eight years, approximately 62%18 of PPS graduates have actually enrolled in either two or four year colleges within a year of graduation. For the classes of 2009 and 2010, these numbers are a little bit below our historical average at 60% in both years. According to a recent report from Georgetown University, “Postsecondary education has become the threshold requirement for a middle-class family income… Dropouts, high school graduates, and people with some college but no degree are on the down escalator of social mobility, falling out of the middle-income class and into the lower three deciles of family income. In 1970, almost half (46 percent) of high school dropouts were in the middle class. By 2007, the share of dropouts in the middle class had fallen to 33 percent.”19 Later in this same report, the authors note that “By 2018, the economy will create 46.8 million openings—13.8 million brand-new jobs and 33 million “replacement jobs,” positions vacated by workers who have retired or permanently left their occupations. Nearly two-thirds of these 46.8 million jobs—some 63 percent—will require workers with at least some college education”20 At first glance, it appears that the PPS numbers align well with these new job demands. Unfortunately, with a four-year graduation rate hovering around 80%, the 62% of graduates who attend college within a year represent approximately 50% of the initial 9th grade cohort—falling far below the anticipated need of these new jobs. A longitudinal review of these same data demonstrates that approximately 80% of our graduates enroll in higher education within five years of graduation (see table below). Obviously, our graduates see a value in continued learning. However, between one-quarter and one-fifth of our graduates drop out of college, a reality that leaves them with increased financial burdens and limited rewards. And fewer than half our graduates receive either a two or four year degree within 8 years of high school graduation—representing approximately 40% of the initial 9th grade cohort. We need to get more students prepared to choose and be successful in higher education. We are fortunate that our high school students have access to over 16 Advanced Placement courses. In addition, qualified students may take up to two college courses at either the University of Southern Maine or Southern Maine Community College, with tuition paid by the state. These opportunities not only expand our curricular offerings, but enable students to get a college credit bump prior to college enrollment after graduation.

18

National Student Clearinghouse, StudentTracker for High Schools Aggregate Report, Portland Public Schools, 2010 19 Carnevale, A, Smith, N & Strohl, J, Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, 2010, 3.
20

Ibid, 26

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The expectations for today’s high school graduates are certainly more demanding than those required even ten years ago and will require increased effort by our students. However, we believe challenging students to improve their past performances, engaging them in complex problem solving, and supporting them to reach higher in their aspirations will lead to higher test scores and graduation rates, increased readiness for college, more positive school climates, and more rewarding teaching experiences for educators. To be a graduate from Portland Public Schools must entail demonstration of the knowledge and skills that will prepare a student for success in post-secondary education and beyond.

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Goal 3: All Portland Public School students will participate in activities that demonstrate service to our community, individual creativity, and physical wellness Goal 3: District Performance Indicators
Increase the percentage of students who participate in activities that demonstrate service to our community, individual creativity, and physical wellness in elementary school21 Increase the percentage of students who participate in activities that demonstrate service to our community, individual creativity, and physical wellness in middle school Increase the percentage of students who participate in activities that demonstrate service to our community, individual creativity, and physical wellness in high school Base line 2011/ 12 2012/ 13 2013/ 14 2014/ 15 2015/ 16

Student involvement in co-curricular activities is an essential component of a complete PreK-12 educational experience. Critical skills are developed that both complement and extend beyond the educational outcomes of traditional coursework. Students have opportunities to develop and refine talents and gifts, engage with the community beyond the classroom, and develop strong relationships with peers and mentors. Students who participate in co-curricular activities demonstrate improved academic performance and engagement in their learning. Currently, too many students miss the opportunity to participate in the co-curricular opportunities offered through Portland Public Schools or through the greater Portland community. In addition to co-curricular activities, we know that students readily learn outside of the walls of our schools. We have significant examples of students engaging in project-based learning that takes place outside of the classroom. As we move forward, the locales of learning but expanded to take advantage of the powerful learning opportunities offered through integration with the broader community.

21

There are currently no district-wide structures or measurements for this at any grade level; there are models at individual schools. Targets established after baseline in 2011-12

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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Objectives and Strategies
The following objectives and strategies are based on reviews of programmatic data across the district. These reviews included a literacy audit, a special education audit, a co-curricular audit, two external reviews of our high schools, and assorted internal conversations with administrators and leaders. In addition, parents, community members, and students provided ideas most notably through the Future Search process. These ideas were aligned with the needs expressed through our goals, vetted against reliable research, and prioritized to fit within our capacity. Annual Milestones define the implementation intentions for each strategy22. Specific action steps, timelines, leadership, and participation necessary to achieve each milestone are outlined in either district work plans aligned with the strategy, school work plans, or school board work plans depending upon the strategy . These annual milestones serve the same purpose for the strategies and objectives as the performance indicators do for our goals—annual accountability measures defining successful implementation. Objective One: Create a coordinated K-12 curriculum in the areas of literacy, math, and global competencies based on the Common Core State Standards Strategy 1A: Develop and implement a K-12 literacy curriculum Background: The ability to read and understand various texts accurately and quickly is the cornerstone for learning within the K-12 system, in higher education, and continuing throughout life and careers. Students who do not know how to read well are significantly less likely to learn well. To meet the learning needs of students, literacy strategies need to be embedded across the curriculum, not just in reading or English classrooms. Currently, the district does not have a unified K-12 literacy curriculum across the multiple schools in the district. While good practice does exist, when students move between schools due to physical moves within the district or when moving between levels, there is little consistency and opportunity to build upon past experiences. The single most important factor in supporting student learning is a guaranteed viable curriculum with aligned instructional practices. Students living in poverty, students from our minority cultures, and students who are English Language Learners must have this in place in order to make sustained learning gains. This lack of consistency harms all students when transitioning from one level to another, and disproportionately impairs those mentioned above.

22

These have not been completed as on October 21, 2011. These will be completed by February 1, 2012 as outline in Appendix ___.

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Implementation of the literacy curriculum will require professional development for teachers in using literacy strategies. Such training will support implementation of this curriculum, while also enhancing ongoing integration of literacy strategies across the entire curriculum.. Most teachers have not received training in the diagnosis of student literacy deficiencies. Unfortunately, if students are unable to read, the content knowledge that teachers have has little chance of transferring to students who are unable to comprehend various texts. Strategy 1B: Implement a K-12 math curriculum Background: While reading remains the cornerstone for learning, students who are unable to compute and think mathematically are severely hampered in almost every career— especially as technology increases and understanding of numbers increases in importance. Again, numerical literacy needs to be embedded across the school from the science lesson to historical research to the math classroom. Similar to the literacy curriculum, the district does not have a unified math curriculum across all schools, again creating issues similar to those noted above regarding the lack of a literacy curriculum. Strategy 1C: Implement a K-12 global literacy curriculum Background: The world for which we are preparing students today is visibly different from the one today’s educators experienced growing up. Contemporary societies are marked by new global economic, cultural, technological, and environmental changes—Global Literacy—that are part of a rapid and uneven wave of globalization. The social transformations of today are comparable to those experienced in the early industrial revolution when agricultural work, lifestyles, and worldviews had to adapt to new forms of production and, concomitantly, a new understanding of society and identity. Like then, today’s societies must reconsider what matters most for students to learn if we are to prepare them to conduct rewarding and productive lives. The ethnic diversity of Portland provides a significant advantage for our students, an advantage not available to other Maine students. Emphasizing global literacy serves the best interests of all students, increases self-images for first and second generation immigrant students, and will better prepare students for graduation and life after graduation.

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Objective Two: Support quality instruction for every student, every class, every day Strategy 2A: Integrate student and teacher technology use across the classroom and curriculum Background: The world of today’s student is far different than that of their parents, actively including a multitude of technology tools. As powerful as these tools are, they also bring new and unexpected dangers to students. Students must learn how to appropriate use current technology, gain a deeper understanding of technology that will enable them to change and adapt as technology changes, and use such tools for learning that is simply not doable outside of the use of technology. The district has made a significant commitment to increasing access to and use of technology for students. All students grades six through twelve have laptops to coordinate and deepen their learning. Anecdotal data demonstrate that instructional practice at the middle level—where students and teachers have had one-to-one laptops for eight years— has significantly changed, increasing both engagement and achievement of students. In only the second year of one-to-one deployment at the high school level, pockets of evidence demonstrate a growing integration of technology into both instruction and learning. Moving this opportunity to impact deeper learning will require increased coordination between teachers and students and more professional development focused on enhancing learning through technology. In addition, we need to realize that technology is not a one time expense. Many of our laptops are over four years old and are experiencing frequent breakdowns. Technology integration certainly impacts student learning; ensuring ongoing adequacy of technology requires multiyear budgeting as discussed below. Strategy 2B: Increase use of common performance assessments Background: Performance assessment requires students to demonstrate complex thinking and organization skills, in addition to the content knowledge that is incorporated into the assessment. In addition, such activities mirror actual life experiences much more so than standardized testing, a strategy with limited use outside of the education context and initial certifications in some professions. Today’s careers require students to tackle complex issues, organize information in multiple ways, work on teams, and present materials in ways that deepens the understanding of others; performance assessment operates in the same manner. Portland teachers at all grade levels routinely use performance assessment, but outside of a few exceptions, most of our performance assessments do not pass any technical standards for consistency, validity, or reliability. While these experiences do increase student engagement and learning, they do not provide reliable data that can be used for holistic demonstrations of learning. Recent developments regarding the scoring of performance assessment have made such technical requirements attainable and demonstrated the impact of performance assessments on student learning. 24

DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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Strategy 2C: Implement content-based instructional strategies Background: While there are core good instructional skills that cross content areas, there are also instructional strategies that are either unique or work significantly well in one content area rather than another. For example, engaging students in a debate regarding public policy can be and effective strategy in a social studies classroom. Such a technique would have less impact in a mathematics lesson. In areas of continued concern, for example, student mathematics scores at the elementary level, the exchange of ideas between elementary teachers specifically tied to the teaching of elementary mathematics can enhance instructional practice on this specific need. To best enhance learning for all students, these instructional strategies need to be identified and incorporated into teachers’ repertoires within various content areas.

Objective Three: Create a coordinated system for student support Strategy 3A: Implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) System for academic support Background: Knowing that all students do not learn at the same rates or in the same manner, teachers in their classrooms and schools across the district need to create mechanisms to provide the extra learning support that all students need at some point during their educational career. These supports must 1) start within the classroom through such strategies as reteaching using different methodologies; 2) move to enhance support outside of the classroom (time sensitive and as needed); and 3) be ready for immediate engagement by students in order to quickly put students back on the appropriate learning pathway. Ensuring that students quickly “catch-up” to their peers is both cost efficient and ethically imperative. While our teaching staff remains committed to the success of every student, we lack these broader systems to support student learning when students struggle. When students struggle, many of these problems are addressed through reteaching strategies routinely employed by our teaching staff. When serious and diagnosed learning issues arise for students, our special education staff can address these issues. But we lack systemic supports for students who need a little more help than can be provided through the classroom teacher but not so much as the supports delivered through special education. The recent literacy audit commissioned by the district identified the need for an aligned curriculum with a system of support all students, and in particular, English Language Learners. Development of this learning support (Response to Intervention or RTI) would better meet student learning needs and do so with increased fiscal responsibility. Strategy 3B: Implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) System for behavioral support

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DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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Background: While often viewed as separate, student behavior has a tremendous impact on student academic success. Fortunately, the vast majority of behavioral issues are temporary and readily handled by teachers within the classroom. However, some behavioral issues continue to cause classroom interruptions and need to be addressed with more support outside of the classroom. These supports must be ready for immediate engagement by students in order to quickly put students back on the appropriate learning pathway. Finally, these systems of behavioral support must exist across all school settings including classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and cafeterias. Strategy 3C: : Integrate adult education and pre K-12 schools to support students Background: While often viewed as separate, the pre-K through 12 and the Adult Education components of our system can and should work together to provide seamless pathways for students as they progress towards graduation. Students who come to us as English Language Learners in high school often require more than four years to meet graduation requirements. Students who learn best in settings other than those offered by our high schools often thrive in the more flexible schedule and environment that adult education can provide. More effective integration of the adult education programming into our high schools will provide students more flexible opportunities as they work towards their diploma. Incorporating family literacy programs into our schools will also provide opportunities where parents can model learning. This modeling is a powerful tool for literacy development in children.

Objective Four: Create a culture of accountability and support for staff Strategy 4A: Engage teachers and administrators in the collection and analysis of data Background: Schools do have data on student achievement, attainment, and engagement, but most of this is not easily accessible by teachers. Even as they desire to be more data influenced in their decision making, the data that could assist with this effort is unavailable. Furthermore, schools have little data on the practices that actually support this learning. In most cases, only the administration has any sense of the overall instructional patterns across the school, the integration of expectations across classrooms, or the variety of approaches that are used. If we expect our teachers and administrators to be more data driven in their decision making and daily practice, these professionals need to be actively involved in 1) the collection of actionable data; 2) the analysis of these data; and 3) the identification and planning of action steps to take as a result of this analysis. Implementation of this strategy will require capacity at the district level to help coordinate data collection, as well as time and capacity at the building level for full engagement. 26

DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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Strategy 4B: Implement a teacher evaluation system that provides accurate feedback Background: While the headlines on teacher evaluation have been captured by the hire/fire debate, the deeper value of an effective teacher evaluation system comes through its ability to provide actionable data for improvement to the vast majority of educators. Through close ties and efforts with the Portland Education Association, the district has implemented a teacher support system that provides significant professional development—a reality that has increased the skills and knowledge of our teachers and enhanced the professionalism of our staff. More than half of the district’s teachers have continued their education by earning the credit equivalent of at least five graduate-level college courses in the past two years. Currently, our teacher evaluation system is largely based on inputs and lacks data based on outcomes—either strategies actually employed by these valuable educators or measures of student achievement or attainment. Such a system provides limited actionable feedback to our teachers, fails to identify areas of strength and concern, and has a limited impact on student learning. Changing this system is further exacerbated by a lack of student achievement data through standardized testing (only approximately 30% of teachers teach classes that are covered by annual state testing); figuring out a means to undertake this will provide deeper learning for students. It is now time to enhance our teacher evaluation system with additional sources of data (including data on practice, student impact, and professional contributions), placing more emphasis on improvement rather than hire or fire decisions. Such accurate feedback on their practice enables educators to hone and refine their practice—a desire equally shared by teachers, parents, and students. This system will quickly differentiate the support that educators need, enabling those who demonstrate excellence to take greater control of their practice while providing tighter and more focused expectations, including clear targets for growth, focused professional development on identified timelines, and employment decisions based on demonstrated improvement. Strategy 4C: Implement an administrator evaluation system that provides accurate feedback Background: Administrator evaluation has long focused on a limited set of data largely using organizational information and seldom incorporating elements of educational leadership. Like teacher evaluation, administrator evaluation must provide actionable feedback to administrators that will enable them to improve their practice. This feedback will be informed by student growth and achievement data, the driving force behind all leadership decisions. Strategy 4D: Implement standards-based teaching, learning, and reporting Background: Currently, Portland schools use several different grade reporting systems. At the elementary level, most schools report achievement based on learning standards. This is a system based on individual student performance aligned with grade-level skills and knowledge. Students are not compared to each other, but to the learning standards for that 27

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grade. Our middle and high schools largely use course grades with the exception of Casco Bay High School. In this system, the course grades are usually based on an average taken from student performance aligned to skills and knowledge, and such things as homework completion, in-class participation, attendance, or even extra credit. Consistency from teacher to teacher and school to school varies widely. All of this is done with great individual integrity, but the limited consistency and different systems creates miscommunication with students and parents. When a student is successful in class, grades provide the student or parents with little indication of why. More problematic, when a student receives a failing grade in a class, the grade does not reveal why. For example, a student could fail a class because he or she failed to hand in homework in a timely manner—even when the knowledge, skills and dispositions of the class are demonstrated by the student. Improving the class grade will require handing in homework, not performing better on various tests. As the system fails to identify specific areas of need, students and parents are unable to pinpoint where to concentrate for improved performance. Standards-based reporting provides accurate information that can be used by students, parents, and teachers to promote increased learning. Strategy 4E: Develop collaborative leadership Background: Our building and district level leadership are not cohesive across the district. We are not committed to joint goals and frequently operate under different philosophical beliefs. None of our different goals or beliefs are inherently wrong, but this lack of cohesion fails to provide any synergy for our efforts. A coordinated system of district wide leadership needs to provide both coordination and flexibility for school level implementation. As noted earlier, with the exception of students eligible for free and/or reduced lunch, each school has different areas of student learning concerns and different and often unique strengths. PPS leadership structures need to provide strong guidance while enabling building level leadership of administrators and teachers to understand issues, devise plans, and implement actions that are appropriate to the needs of students in their school. Good schools engage broad leadership, taking advantage of knowledge and insight gained from all members of the community. Successfully doing this requires collaborative leadership at both the district and building levels. Building administrators, teachers, parents, and students need to collaborate to develop and implement work plans that are aligned across the district but unique to the context of their school. We intend to create leadership structures that encourage different implementation strategies within the different contexts of our schools, but to do so within a coordinated, overall district structure.

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Strategy 4F: Develop and disseminate school report cards Background: Portland schools provide ready access to parents and students regarding school grades, having recently implemented a web-based grading system that enables parents to review student grades in close to real time. The district has also routinely provided data on district level student performance. Enhancing our public reporting through school report cards will enable the district to provide more actionable data that can enhance community involvement, and ensure increased accountability for student performance and implementation of district objectives and strategies. The school report cards will provide disaggregated data on student achievement and attainment scores in alignment with the performance indicators of the district comprehensive plan framework, attainment of annual milestones, and information regarding implementation success of the school work plans.

Objective Five: Maintain efficient and effective business practices Strategy 5A: Develop multi-year budget cycle Background: Our annual budgeting procedures provide limited options for longer term financial planning and often result in stilted forward movement. Without multiyear budgeting, we are unable to adequately plan for building improvements, for ongoing coordination of professional development, for multiyear program implementation, or stability for human resources practices. In addition, while not entirely predictable, we can make strong educated guesses for future funding and plan accordingly. For example, while state support is figured and presented to districts on an annual basis, we do have the ability to predict trends in state support. In cases where these trends are moving downward, the superintendent and board of education need to take future budget expenditures into consideration prior to the actual budget years. Doing this enables the district to thoughtfully plan for expansion, contraction, and change in program emphasis. Strategy 5B: Implement communications strategies to engage students, parents, businesses, non-profits, elected officials, and community members as assets and advocates for the district Background: As noted in our strengths, the Portland community holds multiple strengths that can assist student learning; capturing this opportunity requires effective and open communications with our broader community. As the economic driver for the state of Maine, our business community is vibrant and supportive of our schools, even as we work to find ongoing ways to integrate these resources. Volunteers, parent/teacher organizations and businesses donate generously of their time and money to the district – an estimated 100,000 hours per year. Students have access to the resources offered in the community from a thriving arts scene to local businesses to the city’s colleges and universities. These 29

DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FRAMEWORK Learning to Succeed
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resources provide incredible learning opportunities that would not otherwise be available for our students. Engaging with parents, community organizations, and business requires more than a newsletter. Community members need to understand the work of the district, have the opportunity to contribute to student learning, and have the chance to provide feedback on the work of the district. They need to be informed citizens in order to advocate on behalf of the district. We must explicitly involve the community to re-envision both how learning best works for students and to ensure equitable opportunity for each student to learn. Strategy 5C: Refine effective human resources strategies to maintain and attract qualified and appropriate professionals Background: The most effective resource of the Portland school district is the personnel who work to provide quality learning for all students. It is also pivotal that our staff have the skills and knowledge required to effectively teach students and implement the district comprehensive plan and school work plans. Equally, the demographics of our classroom teaching staff need to mirror the racial and ethnic demographics of our student body. Realizing this will require us to implement strategies that will both attract teachers to Portland and provide the supports and enticements necessary to stay. The need for high quality includes our teaching staff who work directly with students as well as district staff and support staff within and outside of the classroom. Our personnel systems must attract and retain high quality staff through timely and efficient hiring processes, and appropriate salaries and benefits. Strategy 5D: Maintain appropriate facilities Background: While quality buildings do not ensure quality learning, providing quality learning is very difficult in poor physical structures. Well maintained, appropriately built, and appropriately enhanced physical structures have the capacity to enhance learning. This is also a major component of the aforementioned multi-year budgets as major capital improvements must be taken into consideration.

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Crosswalk Between Goals, Objectives and Strategies
As noted earlier, there is not a direct link between each goal, an objective, and a strategy as in most cases, the objectives and strategies address needs in more than one goal. The following grid demonstrates this alignment. Table 8: Crosswalk Between Goals, Objectives and Strategies
Objective One: Create a coordinated K-12 curriculum in the areas of literacy, math, and global competencies based on the Common Core State Standards Objective Two: Support quality instruction for every student, every class, every day Objective Three: Create a coordinated system for student support Strategy 1A: Implement a K-12 literacy curriculum Strategy 1B: Implement a K-12 math curriculum Strategy 1C: Implement a K-12 global literacy curriculum

Goal 1 √ √ √

Goal 2 √ √ √

Goal 3

Strategy 2A: Integrate student and teacher technology use across the classroom and curriculum Strategy 2B: Increase use of common performance assessments Strategy 2C: Implement content-based instructional strategies Strategy 3A: Implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) System for academic support Strategy 3B: Implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) System for behavioral support Strategy 3C: Integrate adult education and pre K-12 schools to support students

√ √ √ √ √

√ √ √ √ √

√ √

Objective Four: Create a culture of accountability and support for staff

Strategy 4A: Engage teachers and administrators in the collection and analysis of data Strategy 4B: Implement a teacher evaluation system that provides accurate feedback Strategy 4C: Implement an administrator evaluation system that provides accurate feedback Strategy 4D: Implement standards-based teaching, learning, and reporting Strategy 4E: Develop collaborative leadership Strategy 4F: Develop and disseminate school report cards

√ √ √ √ √ √

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Objective Five: Maintain efficient and effective business practices

Strategy 5A: Develop multi-year budget cycle Strategy 5B: Implement communications strategies to engage students, parents, businesses, non-profits, and community members Strategy 5C: Refine effective human resources strategies Strategy 5D: Maintain appropriate facilities

√ √ √

√ √

√ √

Communication Plan
One key purpose of developing and communicating the District Comprehensive Plan Framework is to share the results of our collective efforts both internally and externally. During the course of the year, there will be five separate community events that does this. School Report Cards: The district will develop and disseminate School Report Cards (Strategy 3F) on each school annually in November. The School Report Cards will identify specific performance indicators for each school aligned with the district goals and performance indicators. Data will be disaggregated by free and/or reduced lunch, ethnicity, special education, English Language Learners, and gender. Data from the previous year demonstrating progress or lack of progress should be available from the state by this date. The chief academic officer is responsible for coordinating the development of these report cards, coordinating data collection, vetting the report card with each school, and public dissemination. The chief academic officer will hold a community forum to initially distribute the School Report Cards which will also be available on the district web site. Multiyear Budget Report: Each November, the district superintendent and chief financial officer will present an update on the multiyear budget, setting the stage for development of the future year’s budget. State of the Schools Report: In December of each year, the chair of the board of education will present a State of the Schools Report to the city council the board of education, and the community. This will be done via a board meeting with open public comment. This report will present written documentation of current performance indicators verses the annual targets and objectives and strategies verses the annual milestones. In cases where changes need to be made in the Comprehensive Plan Framework, these will be presented and open for public comment. Annual Budget Report: The superintendent and finance chair of the board of education will present the final annual budget report in March of each year. This report will demonstrate how the annual budget fits into the Multiyear Budget Report and aligns with the Comprehensive Plan 32

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Framework. If budgetary restrictions will impact objectives and/or strategies of the Comprehensive Plan Framework, these will be identified. Superintendent’s Report: Near the end of the school year annually in May, the superintendent will provide a report outlining the successes of the past year, concerns, and an indication of next steps for the district in alignment with the Comprehensive Plan Framework. This report will contain information deemed essential by the superintendent including 1) an update to the board of education regarding necessary district level policy changes to implement strategies of the Comprehensive Plan Framework; 2) instructions for the development of any district work plans for upcoming work starting in September and running through the following August; and 3) instructions for the development of annual school work plans for upcoming work starting in September and running though the following August; and 4) suggest changes and updates in the Comprehensive Plan Framework.. Table 9: PPS Communications Events Event School Report Cards Multiyear Budget Report State of the Schools Report Annual Budget Report Superintendent’s Report Information School by school report on district performance indicators and disaggregated school performance indicators Update on multiyear status update on district performance indicators and milestones verses targets district budget for ensuing year aligned with Comprehensive Plan Framework update on progress with recommendations for policy changes and guidance for annual work plan development for district and/or school work plans Leader chief academic officer Date annually in November annually in November annually in December annually in March annually in May

chief financial officer chair of the board of education superintendent and finance chair of the board of education superintendent

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Next Steps
As stated earlier, the Portland Public Schools Comprehensive Plan Framework is a living document that requires further actions immediately and will require annual actions ongoing. District Milestones: Between November 1 and February 1, 2012, the district will convene key staff from across the district to define annual milestones for each of the 19 district strategies. District Work Plans: While the overall Comprehensive Plan Framework has been under development, the district administrative team has already begun development of several specific district work plans. Work Plans for Strategy 1A (development and implementation of a K-12 literacy curriculum), Strategy 1B (development and implementation of a K-12 mathematics curriculum), and preschool strategies (hitting both Strategy 3A and 5B), will be finalized by February 1, 2012. All other district work plans will be completed by May 30, 2012. All actions in both district and school work plans will be vetted against research-based best practices. School Work Plans: The first of annual school work plans will be completed by August 30, 2012. These work plans will define efforts at each school for September through the following August. One common action in each school work plan will be the development of specific actions for the following year. Necessity of Support: Current organizational capacity in Portland Public Schools necessitates the continued use of partner organizations to guide and support implementation of the Comprehensive Plan Framework and the work plans that are being developed. . District Policy Refinement and Development: The Portland Public Schools Board of Education will need to assess current district policies in light of the Comprehensive Plan Framework. As strategies are implemented, the Board will need to annually review and update district policies. This effort will be based on the first Superintendent’s Report to be given in May 2012.

Outline of Work Plans
Information within each work plan will differ from plan to plan, but in order to ease communication and both internal and external understanding, all work plans will follow a similar format. These formats will identify: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) the objective and strategy being implemented; the target milestone; actions steps that will be taken within the year; evidence that will be collected to demonstrate achievement of the action steps; either dates when actions will take place or when they will be achieved; the lead or coordinator for the action step; a list of expected participants; and external or internal resource that will be required. 34

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Appendix A: Key Data Source Materials
American Educational Consultants. 2010. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Student Support Services Special Education Programs, Portland Public School Department, Portland, ME. January 2010. Hewey, Melissa A. and Miller, Elek A. 2011. Title IX Athletic Compliance Review. DrummondWoodsum. Pietricola, Tony. 2011. Audit of the Portland Public Schools’ Music Program – Final Report. March 2011. Portland Public Schools (PPS). 2009. Learning Technology Plan: July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2013. June 30, 2009 (Creation Date). Portland Public Schools (PPS). 2011. Capital Improvement Program Priorities: 2011-2015. May 17, 2011 (Update). Portland School Committee (PSC). 2009. Resolution Establishing a Multiyear Budgeting Framework for the Portland Public Schools. Public Consulting Group. 2010. K-12 Literacy Program Review: Report of Findings. Submitted to Portland Public Schools, Portland, Maine. November 2010. New England Secondary School Consortium, Global Best Practices, Great Schools Partnership. 2010 Red & Blue Foundation. 2010. Assessment of Portland Public Schools’ Co-Currilcular and Athletic Programming. September 22, 2010. WBRC. 2010. Portland Public Schools Elementary School Capital Needs Task Force: Final Report. April 20, 2010.

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Appendix B: Terms and Acronyms
ADA NECAP NWEA AIMSweb Average Daily Allowance New England Common Assessment Program Northwest Evaluation Association AIMSweb is a benchmark and progress monitoring system based on direct, frequent and continuous student assessment. The results are reported to students, parents, teachers and administrators via a web-based data management and reporting system to determine response to intervention. Special Education English Language Learners Complementing but not part of the regular curriculum More than one ethnic identity The "economically disadvantaged" is a term used by government institutions in, for example, allocating free school meals to a student who is a member of a household that meets the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price meals (less than or equal to 185% of Federal Poverty Guidelines) or business grants. Essential Programs and Services. Beginning with Maine's Common Core of Learning completed in 1990, the state embarked upon a plan for helping all children achieve high academic standards. In 1995, the Legislature adopted the Maine Learning Results, identifying what all students should know and be able to do. This report identifies the resources needed for each child to meet those standards. If the people of Maine are to address their responsibility to offer all children an appropriate and adequate education, some funding practice such as that being recommended here must be adopted. ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United State Congress in February 2009. The stimulus was intended to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the Late 2000’s recession. Title (funds) Title I ("Title One") of the Act is a set of programs set up by the United States Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts

SPED ELL Co-Curricular Multiple (race/ethnicity) Economically Disadvantaged

EPS

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with a high percentage of students from low-income families. To qualify as a Title I school, a school typically has around 40% or more of its students that come from families that qualify under the United States Census' definitions as low-income, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Schools receiving Title I funding are regulated by federal legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act. Title I funds may be used for children from preschool through high school, but most of the students served (65 percent) are in grades 1 through 6; another 12 percent are in preschool and kindergarten programs. BASE NonRepresented Ed Techs PAA Steps (salary) MSRS Entitlement Jobs Bill Benefit Association of School Employees Those positions not part of a union. Educational Technicians Portland Administrators Association Payscale levels of employees Maine State Retirement System An entitlement is a guarantee of access to welfare based on established right or by Legislation. Are funds (at the local level) that can be used for others besides teachers (e.g., principals, assistant principals, librarians, counselors, food service personnel, bus drivers, social workers, academic and athletic coaches, educational technicians, social workers, occupational, speech and physical therapists, and other “employees who provide school-level educational and related services”). These must be employed positions. Contracted positions may not be funded by Education Jobs Bill funds. Funds can be used to eliminate furlough days and pay decreases as well as for recruitment efforts and incentive pay for hard-to-staff schools and subjects. In addition, according to the Tydings Amendment school administrative units (SAUs) will have until September 30, 2012 to expend the funds. NCLB No Child Left Behind is a United States act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools. NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after taking office. The bill, shepherded through the Senate by Ted Kennedy, one of the bill's co-authors, received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The United States House of Representatives passed the

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bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45), and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8). President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002. NCLB supports standards-based education reform, which is based on the belief that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state. Since enactment, Congress increased federal funding of education, from $42.2 billion in 2001 to $54.4 billion in 2007. Funding tied to NCLB received a 40.4% increase from $17.4 billion in 2001 to $24.4 billion. The funding for reading quadrupled from $286 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion. RTI Response to Intervention. RTI provides a framework in which schools can deliver early intervening services. It is a systematic prevention approach, the foundation of which is quality core instruction within the general education classroom. Alternative Education Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a United States law enacted on June 23, 1972. In 2002 it was renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, in honor of its principal author Patsy T. Mink, but is most commonly known simply as Title IX. The law states that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..." —United States Code Section 20. Although Title IX is best known for its impact on high school and college athletics, the original statute made no explicit mention of sports.

Alt Ed Title IX

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Appendix C: The Comprehensive Planning Process
The preparation of a Comprehensive Plan for the Portland Public Schools is a significant task involving virtually all aspects of district academics, finance, and operations. As specified by the Portland School Committee, the Portland Public Schools Superintendent has been responsible for developing the comprehensive plan, including consulting with appropriate individuals throughout the district and identifying a set of district-wide goals, indicators, and strategies for the plan. To support the planning effort, the board called for the creation of a steering committee consisting of community leaders and others with the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide the work of district administrators and staff. The role of the steering committee has been one of a “critical friend”, by asking provocative questions, offering alternative approaches and perspectives, reviewing and critiquing draft documents, and ensuring that the comprehensive planning effort is consistent with board direction. The steering committee is not a decision-making body and, thus, has not determined the goals, objectives, and strategies of the district – that work has been done by district administrators, staff, and other appropriate stakeholders. The comprehensive plan integrates and builds upon existing initiatives and plans including, but not limited to: • Future Search visioning process in December 2009, which included a wide range of participants across the city and yielded unanimous support for key elements to address in the short- and long-term planning for the school district; New mission and vision statements for the district as approved on November 17, 2010, which considered the valuable input of the Future Search process; New core principles for the district as approved on December 8, 2010, which considered the valuable input of the Future Search process; Recent assessments of the state of PPS programs and operations including, but not limited to, studies of district facilities, staffing, co-curricular programming, literacy, music, and special education; Multi-year budget initiated in the spring of 2010; and Plan for Sustainable Educational Quality in Portland as adopted in 2008, which reflects the will of the Portland Public Schools and the City of Portland to work together to identify and address efficiencies in the delivery of educational services.

• • •

• •

PPS staff, the steering committee, and the school board reviewed the format and information presented within comprehensive plans prepared by other school districts, academic institutions and other related entities across the country, to identify potential approaches and levels of detail to include in a comprehensive plan for Portland Public Schools. As such, elements of our plan are consistent with the priorities identified by other similar and highperforming districts. In other cases, the plan reflects the unique needs of our district. Where possible, the plan is based on best practices as defined by recognized academic and professional associations. 40

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The comprehensive planning process includes opportunities for feedback from the school board, staff, and public. Many teachers, administrators, coaches, and other staff as well as community members have contributed to efforts, such as the ones listed above, to assess current district needs and future directions. PPS Central Office staff gathered this information, consulted with appropriate individuals throughout the district, and identified a set of district-wide goals, indicators, and strategies for the comprehensive plan. Meanwhile, the school board has met with staff and the steering committee on several occasions, to review the work plan for the effort, to provide feedback on draft district-level goals and indicators, and to discuss this draft plan. Once a district-level comprehensive plan is complete, the Superintendent will work closely with a broader set of administrators, teachers, and other staff to develop action plans at the grade span and individual school levels.

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Appendix D: Portland Public Schools – District Leadership
Board of Public Education
Kathleen Snyder, Chair Ed Bryan Jaimey Caron Justin Costa Laurie Davis Elizabeth Holton Marnie Morrione Sarah Thompson Jenna Vendil

Central Administration
Dr. James C. Morse, Superintendent David Galin, Chief Academic Officer Michael Wilson, Chief Financial Officer

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Appendix E: Comprehensive Planning Team
Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee
Peter Eglinton, Chair Lane Clarke Glenn Cummings Lelia DeAndrade Kenneth Farber Carter Friend Amy Johnson Dee Kelsey Steven Scharf Barbara Stoddard

Comprehensive Plan Development
Dr. James C. Morse, Sr., Superintendent David Galin, Chief Academic Officer Michael Wilson, Chief Financial Officer Ron Adams, Food Services Director Joe Makley, Technology Director Kevin Mallory, Transportation Director Doug Sherwood, Facilities Director Grace Valenzuela, Multilingual and Multicultural Center Director Mary Capobianco, Curriculum Coordinator for the Humanities Daniel Chuhta, Curriculum Coordinator for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Aaron Gritter, Response to Intervention Coordinator/Data Analyst, Special Education Teacher

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Appendix F: Resolution Establishing a Comprehensive Plan for the Portland Public Schools
(Unanimously approved by the Portland School Committee on November 3, 2010)

WHEREAS, a district-wide comprehensive plan can communicate a common mission, vision, and direction of the district to current and future administrators, staff, School Committee members, city staff and elected officials, and the public; and WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Portland Public Schools conducted a Future Search visioning process in December 2009 that included a wide range of participants across the city and yielded unanimous support for key elements to address in the short- and long-term planning for the school district; and WHEREAS, the Portland School Committee will approve a new mission, vision, and set of guiding principles for Portland Public Schools, considering the valuable input of the Future Search process; and WHEREAS, the Portland Public Schools recently completed assessments on the state of its programs and operations, including, but not limited to, extensive studies on district facilities, staffing, co-curricular programming, literacy, and special education; and WHEREAS, the Portland Public Schools is committed to a multi-year budgeting framework to proactively address opportunities for multi-year planning; and WHEREAS, the Plan for Sustainable Educational Quality in Portland, adopted in 2008 reflects the will of the Portland Public Schools and the City of Portland to work together to identify and address efficiencies in the delivery of educational services; and WHEREAS, a priority of Portland Public Schools is to shift from a site-based-management approach to a more district-wide, system-oriented perspective; and WHEREAS, the Portland School Committee is committed to a district-wide view of curriculum planning, student services, and teaching resources, with an emphasis on greater equity across schools; and

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WHEREAS, Portland Public Schools is focused on improving academic growth and achievement for all students, preparing them for post-secondary school studies, careers, and citizenship; and WHEREAS, a district-wide comprehensive plan can establish a roadmap for the important work of the district and provide a mechanism for aligning operations, identifying resource needs, and establishing schedules and accountability; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in order to maintain equity and consistency in the delivery of education programming and district services within the Portland Public Schools, the Superintendent shall develop a comprehensive plan that incorporates the priorities identified by the Citizens of Portland, the School Committee, administrators and staff; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that for the purposes of this plan, the Superintendent of Portland Public Schools shall convene a steering committee of no more than 11 people consisting of community leaders and others with the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide the work of district administrators and staff to develop a comprehensive plan. The Superintendent shall propose a list of steering committee members, including a recommended chair and descriptions of the qualifications of all proposed members, for approval by the School Committee by the end of December 2010. All meetings of the steering committee shall be conducted in public in accordance with the Policies of the Portland Public Schools; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Superintendent of Portland Public Schools shall identify a lead staff member to support the work of the steering committee, including but not limited to the following: ● The coordination of input from other administrators and staff ● Take attendance and notes at steering committee meetings, ● Prepare summaries of decisions and action items discussed at these meetings, ● Maintain a master calendar of the steering committee’s activities and key milestones; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the comprehensive plan development process shall include:

● Review the format and information presented within Comprehensive Plans prepared by
other school districts, academic institutions and other related entities across the country, to identify potential approaches and levels of detail to include in a comprehensive plan for Portland Public Schools; ● Gather and list historical documents developed by the district to serve as reference material for the comprehensive plan; ● Obtain the input of appropriate administrators and staff on district goals, measurable objectives and outcomes, task schedules, and responsible individuals; 45

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● Identify Best Practices as defined by recognized academic and professional associations
in all aspects of education and operations including how they should be applied to the Portland Public Schools ● Communicate progress and key milestones to the School Committee and the public; ● Recommend options for implementing the various components of the comprehensive plans; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, at a minimum, the comprehensive plan shall contain the following elements: ● List of steering committee members ● List of the staff team and other individuals who contributed to the comprehensive plan and the nature of their input ● Introduction that provides the context for the comprehensive plan ● Discussion of the vision, mission, and principles upon which the comprehensive plan was based ● Baseline and projected characteristics of the district ● Formal reporting expectations, including communication plan for the initial launch, annual updates, and periodic reviews and updates ● Specific goals and objectives to support the vision, mission, and principles of the district, with related strategies, measures, timeline, responsible individual(s), resource needs (staffing and budget), and reference documentation ● Specific Key Performance Indicators (KPI) or metrics to assess the impact of various goals and objectives upon the district. ● Appendices (including, but not limited to, a complete inventory of supporting documentation and reference materials) BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the comprehensive plan shall be student-focused, clearly showing the connection of the district’s goals, organization, and activities to student growth and achievement; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no later than January 31, 2011, the chair of the comprehensive plan steering committee shall present a work plan to the Portland School Committee at a workshop meeting. The work plan shall identify resources and staffing (e.g., core staff, possible consultants, and facilitation support); anticipated participants in the process; a schedule of key activities and milestones, including additional consultations with the Portland School Committee; and the cost and funding sources to complete the work outlined herein; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no later than March 2011 the chair of the comprehensive plan steering committee shall present draft goals and objectives to support the mission and vision of the district to the Portland School Committee at a workshop meeting for its input;

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BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no later than May 2011, the Superintendent of Schools shall present a draft comprehensive plan to the Portland School Committee; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no later than June 2011, the Superintendent of Schools shall present a final comprehensive plan to the Portland School Committee for its adoption; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Portland School Committee will adopt a formal policy requiring an annual report on the implementation of the comprehensive plan and periodic reviews and revisions of the plan to reflect significant changes in the district’s vision, goals, and/or objectives; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this effort shall be legally established and authorized to act when this resolution is approved.

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Appendix G: Dropout Report
Portland Public Schools 2010 Dropout Report June 2011 Executive Summary Portland Public Schools has the responsibility of supporting students in their learning throughout their high school years. Unfortunately some students drop out before meeting all requirements for a diploma. A review of current dropout information was conducted to inform this report which provides both qualitative and quantitative data on students who drop out of the Portland Public Schools. In addition, Portland’s existing programs for students who are at risk of dropping out were identified. During the 2009/10 school year 76 students dropped out from the Portland Public schools. Forty-seven students dropped out of Portland High School, 28 dropped out of Deering High School and 1 student dropped out of Casco Bay High School. Most of these students dropped out during their 10th or 11th grade year and more than a third of these students were identified special education students. More than two thirds of these students who dropped out qualified for free or reduced lunch (a measure of social economic status) and the ethnicities of these students roughly matched the ethnicities of the student body here in Portland. Informal interviews with building administrators show a high level of awareness and concern for students at risk for dropping out and a variety of interventions and programs in place at each high school to support students at risk for dropping out. A review of minutes from the district’s School Completion Task Force provides evidence of non-traditional thinking and discussion of evidence-based practice to inform the district’s policies and procedures to the end of higher high school completion rates. In spring of 2011, Superintendent Dr. James Morse Sr. requested that a review of current dropout information be conducted that provides both qualitative and quantitative data on students who drop out of the Portland Public Schools and an inventory of the programs in place that support students who are at risk for dropping out. To this end, information was extracted from the district’s student information database(s) on students who were considered dropouts by The State of Maine during the 2009/10 school year. In addition, minutes from the district’s School Completion Task Force (SCTF) were reviewed and informal interviews were conducted with members of the administration in each of Portland’s three high schools. Research on best practice in dropout prevention has also been provided to inform next steps. The State of Maine defines a dropout as “any person who has withdrawn for any reason except death, or been expelled from school before graduation or completion of a program of studies and who has not enrolled in another educational institution or program… Exceptions to this rule include those students who transfer into another school or to a home schooling program, but only if a signed Request for Records can be supplied by the new school or a Letter of Intent to Home School is received from the parent/guardian. Temporary absences that are the result of expulsion or illness are also treated as exceptions so long as the student returns to a school or state-approved program of education following the expulsion or illness. Those students who enroll in adult education programs after leaving high school are counted as 48

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dropouts. (Who is a dropout n.d.) By contrast the phrases “students who graduate in four years” and “on time graduates” mean students who earn a regular high school diploma at the conclusion of their fourth year, before the conclusion of their fourth year, or during a summer session immediately following their fourth year of high school (MAINE DOE). Importantly, students who graduate in greater than 4 years are not considered dropouts but their failure to complete within four years negatively impacts the school’s completion rate. Additionally, it should be noted that the formulas for completion rate and dropout rates are independent as the number of students in a 4 year cohort is different from the number of students enrolled at a school during the year that a drop out occurs. Quantitative Data The following tables show the graduation and dropout rates for each Portland high school for the past two years. Comparisons to earlier years cannot be made due to a change in the formula used to calculate the rates. The formulas used to calculate the graduation and dropout rates can be found at http://www.maine.gov/education/gradrates/. Table 1. Graduation Rates 2009/10, 2008/09 On Time School Grad Rate Grads Name 2010 2010 Casco Bay 43 72.88% Deering 260 83.44% Portland 155 69.40% On Time Grads 2009 54 266 200

Grad Rate 2009 81.82% 83.28% 75.93%

% Diff 2010 vs. 2009 -8.94% 0.15% -6.53%

Table 2. Dropout Rates 2009/10, 2008/09 Attending Dropout School Dropout Count Count Name Rate 2010 2010 2010 Casco Bay 249 1 0.40% Deering 1,059 28 2.64% Portland 879 47 5.35%

Attending Count 2009 232 1160 910

Dropout Count 2009 3 38 22

Dropout Rate 2009 1.29% 3.28% 2.42%

Descriptive statistics for the 2009/10 Portland Public Schools dropouts are provided in the tables below: Table 3. Number of 2010 Dropouts by School and Grade Grade School 9 10 11 12 Casco Bay 1 Deering 2 4 12 2 Portland 4 26 16 Grand Total 6 31 28 2 Table 4. Number of 2010 Dropouts by Place of Attendance Place of Attendance 49

(Unknown) 8 1 9

Grand Total 1 28 47 76

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School Casco Bay Deering Portland Grand Total

Casco Bay High School 1 100%

Deering High School 27 96% 36%

Portland High School

Spurwink 1 2 3

West 4% 4% 4%

1

1%

27

43 43

91% 57%

2 2

4% 3%

Grand Total 1 28 47 76

Table 5. Number of 2010 Dropouts Disaggregated by Special Education Status Special Education School Yes No Grand Total 100% Casco Bay 1 0 0% 1 32% Deering 9 19 68% 28 36% Portland 17 30 64% 47 36% Grand Total 27 49 64% 76 Table 6. Number of 2010 Dropouts Disaggregated by English Learner Status English Learner School Yes No Grand Total Casco Bay 0 0% 1 100% 1 Deering 6 21% 22 79% 28 Portland 7 15% 40 85% 47 Grand Total 13 17% 63 83% 76 Table 7. Number of 2010 Dropouts Disaggregated by Age at Time of Drop Age School 15 16 17 18 19 (Unknown) Casco Bay 1 Deering 1 4 5 11 6 1 Portland 2 6 13 14 12 Grand Total 3 11 18 25 18 1

Grand Total 1 28 47 76

Table 8. Number of Dropouts Disaggregated By Homeless Status (at some time) Homeless Status School Yes No Grand Total Casco Bay 1 100% 0 0% 1 Deering 0 0% 28 100% 28 Portland 1 2% 46 98% 47 Grand Total 2 3% 74 97% 76

Table 9. Number of Dropouts Disaggregated by Grade Retention (at some time) Retained School Yes No Grand Total 50

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Casco Bay Deering Portland Grand Total

0 4 33 37

0% 14% 70% 49%

1 24 14 39

100% 86% 30% 51%

1 28 47 76

Table 10. Number of Dropouts Disaggregated by Meal Status Meal Status School Free Reduced None Casco Bay 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% Deering 14 50% 0 0% 14 50% Portland 36 77% 1 2% 10 21% Grand Total 51 67% 1 1% 24 32% Table 11. Number of Dropouts Disaggregated by Race/Ethnicity Race/Ethnicity Black or African School Asian Caucasian Hispanic American Casco Bay 1 100% Deering 6 21% 18 64% 3 11% Portland 5 11% 8 17% 33 70% 1 2% Grand Total 5 7% 4 18% 51 67% 4 5%

Grand Total 1 28 47 76

Other or Unknown 1 1 4% 1%

Grand Total 1 28 47 76

Table 12. Number of Dropouts Disaggregated by Multiple Sub-Group memberships Meal Status Special Ed EL Total N N 23 Free & Reduced Y N Y Total N Total Y 11 34 18 18 F Total 51 N N 13 Y 2 None Y N Total N 15 9 Y Total 9 N Total 24 Grand Total 76

Qualitative Data Interviews with building administrators provided important information around the current programming and support structures in Portland for students at risk of dropping out. In each school, specific individuals were identified (and by association the programs they run or support) as critical in supporting at-risk students. A variety of programs and support structures were identified in each of the three high schools and these include but are not limited to: Alternative Credit Recovery/Option, Unity Project, Deering Coaching, JUMP, Student Assistance Team, Community Counseling, Breakfast Club, LearningWorks, Mud Season School, Summer School programs, Intensives and Advisory. A positive school culture was identified as important for building relationships and making school a safe and welcoming place for all students. In each of the high schools, dedication on the part of staff members was identified as being critical in efforts to connect with students and engage them in school. In addition, flexibility in responding to discipline issues was seen as a way to prevent students from dropping out. Administrators were asked to identify impediments to school completion and the responses from all three schools united around common themes. The current attendance policy of loss of course credit due to student absences of ten days or more in full-year courses was identified as being an impediment to school completion as students give up when they realize 51

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there is no chance for them to get credit for the course. Inconsistency in the placement of newcomer English Learner students was also identified as problematic because of unintended consequences such as when students take the SAT, the graduation rate cohort that students are a part of, and aging out of school before meeting graduation requirements. There was also a common desire for more integrated mathematics and literacy interventions. The possibility to earn a GED through Portland Adult Education (PAE) also influences the number of students who drop out. It was reported by Portland Adult Education that more than 100 students aged 17-20 received their GED through PAE this year. In some cases students are counseled to take this option even though this will negatively impact the dropout and graduation rates at their high school. High schools working with Portland Adult Education toward a dual enrollment model was identified as an alternative way to provide a more flexible course schedule (i.e. night classes) for students. In reviewing the documentation regarding the work of Portland’s School Completion Task Force (SCTF), it should be noted that many of the activities of this group are aligned with evidence-based best practices. There is clear work being done in support of post-dropout services (e.g., Fresh Start, Amnesty Day), mentoring, alternative education models, and individualized programming. There also seems to be some evidence in the group minutes of nontraditional thinking in terms of how to alter the school climate and change ‘standard’ practice in such a way that will encourage school completion in the at-risk population, such as discussing alternatives to the typical process of suspension, failing grades, and access to PATHS, amongst other ideas. There is a project funded by a L.L. Bean grant that is very much in line with the evidence suggesting that transition years are of vital importance to keeping students engaged in the educational process. Research suggests that support of such programs as the East End Glee Club and co-curricular activities at Lincoln Middle School may also encourage school completion. The stated goals for the SCTF, which include increasing community outreach and professional development for teachers, are also supported by current research. Questions and Initial Analysis Administrators questioned the impact of the district’s alternative education program, which is housed at Portland High School, on the dropout rate of Portland High School. A review of the comments associated with each dropout on the state verification form indicates that four of Portland High School 2009/10 dropouts transferred to Portland High School from either Deering High School or Casco Bay High School. No similar comments regarding within-district transfer were identified for Casco Bay High School or Deering High School on that form. Student enrollments were compared from 2006/7 through 2009/10 and eleven students who dropped out in 2010 had evidence of an in-district transfer during the previous 4 years. Four of those students dropped out of Portland High School and 7 dropped out of Deering High School. Another series of questions converged around whether or not the students who drop out resemble the student body as a whole or if the dropouts disproportionally represent any subgroups. More than a third of the dropouts had identified disabilities, more than double the 16% of the district’s student body who are currently identified with disabilities. English Learners represented 17% of the dropouts in the district a slightly lower percentage than their 25% representation in the district as a whole. The percentage of students who dropped out disaggregated by ethnicity led to percentages that closely mirrored the breakouts in the district as whole. Sixty-eight percent of the dropouts were low Social Economic Status (SES) students as defined by receiving free or reduced school lunch. This is higher than 53% of students in the

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district who are identified as low SES. Special education students and low SES students are the two subgroups that are disproportionally represented in the group of 2009/10 dropouts. Evidence-Based Best Practices The following recommendations are those designed at reducing the rates of students who drop out. Jimerson, Reschly and Hess (2008) recommend a three-tiered RTI approach to dropout prevention that addresses both academic and behavioral components of high school retention. As they explained, the first tier of intervention takes a preventative approach and includes quality early education experiences marked by high quality instruction and opportunities for academic success for all students as well as individual assistance when needed. They recommend that schools provide a climate of caring and support, including opportunities for extracurricular participation for all students (e.g., intramural sports or other groups that do not require trying out in addition to more elite groups). They also suggest that administration support school policies that promote the use of best practices by all school faculty and staff. The second tier of intervention, for those students needing some additional support, should include timely academic and behavioral support (RTI Tier 2) when needed. They also recommend mentoring programs, which could consist of a teacher, other faculty/staff member, or an older student supporting a single student or small group of students; this support may or may not be academic, depending upon the needs of the student(s) involved. They encourage promotion of regular school attendance and engagement through close monitoring of attendance and grades and communicating with student regarding this information in a positive, encouraging way. Finally, they indicate that facilitation of successful transitions (e.g., into middle school or high school) is a beneficial tier 2 intervention for those students who may be overwhelmed at the prospect of such a change. Tier 3 interventions that should be available would include the availability of help for personal problems, the availability of alternative education programming (either as a small school-within-a-school community or in a separate building), as well as post-dropout services, which would serve to encourage students to return to school and keep them feeling connected to the school even after leaving. Shannon & Bylsma (2005), researchers employed by the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington, provided some evidence-based dropout prevention strategies targeted toward school climate change and school restructuring. They reported that schools and districts should ensure that discipline policies are fair and respectful of individuals from diverse backgrounds. All students should understand the policies and school personnel should take note of any policies that seem to target specific groups of students. They suggest that schools and districts need to examine their learning targets, the supports in place to assist students in meeting them, and the practices for grading students to ensure that schools are on track with state requirements; students and their families need to understand those requirements and have the support that they need to reach them. They indicate that flexibility is needed to accommodate individuals whose life circumstances are disrupting their educational careers. They suggest that allowing for more fluid enrollment and attendance policies, while it may be a major departure from current practice, bears consideration. They suggest reviewing special education programs to check for disproportionate representation of minority groups. They recommend focusing on certain qualities of effective schools, such as increasing family and community involvement district-wide and closing the achievement gap between minority students and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and those of their more affluent, Caucasian peers. They also indicate that more accurate data collection of attendance and dropout rates are needed to more fully understand which students are not completing school; 53

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they went so far as to recommend state-wide systems that would better allow for schools to track students who have moved out of district. Finally, they report the need for professional development specifically addressing the issue of dropouts as well as the achievement gap, improving academic outcomes, and creating welcoming school and classroom environments for all students. In the What Works Clearinghouse topic report on dropout prevention published by the United States Department of Education (2007), the DOE recommends several specific interventions, some supported by more evidence than others, to support high school retention in at-risk populations; the following are those with the most empirical support. The accelerated middle school concept, in which an additional year of curriculum is covered during the student’s time in the intervention (usually one to two years), is proactive in that it supports learning and school connection prior to high school supporting the academic growth that these students will need to be successful in high school. Components of this program include small class sizes, tutoring, attendance monitoring, counseling, and family outreach in order to holistically support the student’s academic development and foster a sense of school belonging. Another program that they cite as evidence based was the Talent Search program, a DOE competitive grant program that seeks to identify at-risk youth with college potential. The supports involved include the use of regular school curriculum supplemented with tutoring and study skills assistance to support academic growth as well as use of career exploration and support throughout the process of exploring post-secondary education (e.g., college campus visits, financial aid application assistance, SAT preparation, etc.). Financial assistance for teen parents, in the form of bonuses and sanctions applied to their welfare grant that encourage school attendance and positive academic progress, was also recommended. This program also has a case management component. Finally, the DOE supports the use of high school redirection, an alternative high school model focusing on basic skills acquisition, remedial reading instruction, and accelerated credit accumulation that includes onsite childcare. Recent research funded by the Annie E. Casey foundation points out the importance of developing reading mastery by the end of third grade as a protective factor for high school completion (Henandez, 2011). In a longitudinal study of nearly 4000 students, data suggests that students without reading proficiency at the end of the third grade were nearly four times as likely to leave high school without a diploma than their peers. This rate increases as the level of proficiency decreases, with third-grade non-readers appearing to be six times more likely not to receive a diploma. Poverty was also found to be a factor in graduation rates. Hernandez found that 22% of children living in poverty for part of their childhood did not complete high school on time; this number rose to 32% for children who spent more than half their childhood in poverty. The factors of poverty and third-grade reading ability did seem to have some interplay. For instance, children in poverty who were proficient readers in third grade dropped out of high school at a rate of 11%, which is far less than average for children growing up in poverty (yet still much higher than the 2% rate for children who had never been poor). For children who lived in poverty for even a single year and were also struggling readers in third grade, the dropout rate was found to be 26%. Race and ethnicity also seemed to be factors, with Hernandez's data indicating that black and Hispanic students who were not reading proficiently in third grade were twice as likely as similar white children not to graduate. His research did point to some suggestions for how schools can improve school completion rates. He recommends an integrated Pre-K through third-grade approach that includes aligned curriculum, standards, and assessment, consistent instructional approaches, availability of Pre-K for all children ages 3 and 4, full-day kindergarten, highly qualified teachers, small class sizes, and school-parent 54

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partnership. He also encourages addressing the issues of frequent absences and lost ground that occurs over the summer months, though he does not offer specific interventions other than to advocate for high-quality instruction to assist in making up for missed class time and that communities consider ways to increase opportunities for summer learning. Appendix A presents a summary of the recommendations across the literature reviewed. Conclusions Research suggests that implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI), both academic and behavioral, as is currently being done across the district, will positively impact the quality of instruction and timeliness of intervention as well as the disproportionate representation of minority groups in special education while closing the achievement gap. Based on the research, the Portland Public Schools may want to look into implementing the interventions that Hernandez suggests to increase the literacy skills of elementary school students, as well as such DOE-supported programs as Accelerated Middle School, Talent Search, and high school redirection if the current initiatives are not resulting in the desired rate of school completion. The following specific recommendations would likely lead to increased high school completion rates and lowered numbers of high school dropouts: • Prek-3rd grade program that focus on literacy with on grade level reading as a goal by the end of 3rd grade (literacy skills as a protective factors for school completion) • Changing/Eliminating enrollment, attendance, grading and discipline policies and procedures that are impediments to high school completion • Providing flexible scheduling and extended learning opportunities (classes taught outside of typical school day/year) • Alignment of core curriculum, instructional practice and associated supplemental interventions with a focus on reading and writing • Central coordination of the various student support structures across schools and departments with a focus on the middle to high school transition

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Addendum A. Summary of Interventions for Dropout Prevention Recommendations Jimerson, Reschly, & Tier 1 Hess Tier 2

Tier 3 Shannon & Bylsma Review discipline policies Review learning targets Accommodation for educational disruptions Review special education Qualities of effective schools Department of Education Accelerated Middle School

Talent Search

Financial Assistance for Teen Parents High School Redirection

Components • Quality Instruction • Positive School Climate • Inclusive Extra-curriculars • Best Practices • Timely RTI Interventions • Mentoring • Promotion of School Attendance • Facilitation of Major Transitions • Support for personal issues • Alternative Education • Post-dropout Services • Ensure fairness across minority groups • Involve families • Ensure alignment with state standards • Involve families • Supports in place for struggling students • Flexibility • More fluidity in attendance/enrollment for special circumstances • Eliminate disproportionate minority representation • Family and community involvement • Closing the achievement gap • Better tracking of attendance/dropout data • Professional development opportunities • Accelerated programming • Small class sizes • Tutoring • Attendance monitoring • Counseling • Family outreach • Tutoring • Study skills assistance • Career exploration • Post secondary preparation • FMI: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triotalent/index.html • Bonuses and/or sanctions applied to Welfare grant based on attendance and academic progress • Alternative Education model • Basic skills acquisition • Remedial reading instruction • Accelerated credit accumulation • On-site child care 56

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Hernandez

Integrated PreK-3rd Grade Approach

• Aligned curriculum, standards, and assessment • Consistent instructional approach • Availability of Pre K for all 3- and 4-year-olds • Full-day kindergarten • Highly qualified teachers • Small class sizes • School-parent partnership

Workbooks The Maine DOE has created an Excel workbook which you may use to calculate your own graduation rate and also perform “what if” scenarios to assist you in planning. This workbook can be downloaded from here: http://www.maine.gov/education/enroll/grads/gradrate_workbook.xl References Hernandez, D.J. (2011). Double jeopardy: How third-grade reading skills and poverty influence high school graduation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Jimerson, S.R., Reschly, A.L. & Hess, R.S. (2008). Best practices in increasing the likelihood of high school completion. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best Practices in School Psychology V (pp. 1085-1097). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. Shannon, G.S. and Bylsma, P. (2005). Promising Programs and Practices for Dropout Prevention: Report to the Legislature. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED498352.pdf State of Maine Department of Education. (n.d.). Who is a dropout? Retrieved from http://www.maine.gov/education/enroll/dropouts/dropgraddef.htm United States Department of Education. (2007). Dropout prevention: What Works Clearinghouse topic report. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED497618.pdf

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Appendix H: Preschool Work Plan I. Background/Context
Over the past two years, Portland Schools has engaged in a dialogue with area early childhood community partners to establish news lines of communications and programming to meet the pressing needs of young children and families in our diverse community. This dialogue follows a history of Portland Schools establishing preschool programs only to see them disappear when grant funding expired or school priorities changed. It also follows a history of Portland Schools developing programming for preschool children in relative isolation from community partners who have decades long experience in providing a wealth of educational and social services to young children and their families. In 2009 Superintendent Jill Blackwood convened a Preschool Task Force with broad community representation with the purpose of reinvigorating the discussion around partnering with the early childhood community and the establishment of new public pre K programs that are authorized under the state school funding formula. This 25 member board met twice during the school year to define issues, explore program models and set priorities for working together. In 2010 Chief Academic Officer David Galin appointed a smaller work group to continue to define the mission of the task force and report back to the Superintendent and the larger task force. This work group, comprised of several Portland elementary school principals, representatives from the legal and social services community, United Way and USM representatives, and chaired by an early childhood teacher, met monthly throughout the school year and produced a vision statement and guiding principals document, much of which is included in this work plan. The work group reported back to the larger Preschool Task Force in February, 2011 art which time the community was invited to submit ideas for proposals on public pre K partnerships. Ongoing conversations have been held between Portland Schools and four interested child care centers through the spring and summer months of 2011. The 2010-2011 school year also saw the implementation of a new community partnership between Portland Schools and Catherine Morrill Day Nursery in the establishment of a preschool partnership classroom for public pre K at PATHS in the Early Learning Center. This classroom joined two others operated by PROP/Head Start at Riverton and East End schools. Finally, this school year was marked by the approval of a four year old pre K program at the Cliff Island School. This meant that over 50 children, or 10% of the estimated 500 4 year olds living in the city of Portland were being served by Portland Public Schools in quality preschool programs for at least 20 hours weekly. The current Portland Schools administration has articulated a clear goal of implementing universal access to public pre K for district 4 year olds by 2016. It has committed to a process 58

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which involves partnering with quality community based child care programs wherever and whenever possible to insure that community and parent needs are recognized and planned for. It also insures that all available financial and personnel resources are utilized to the highest extent possible, eliminating duplication of services and potential loss of revenue at local, state and federal levels. Portland Schools administration also recognizes that public Pre-Kindergarten programs are an integral part of the school reform. That later in life student success is firmly grounded in early education is well documented in study after study. Finally, Portland Schools is somewhat late to the statewide process of implementing four year old programs and needs to position itself as a continued leader in comprehensive school reform efforts and national trends in education.

II. Generalized Findings Audit or other documents that denote current state:
The first five years set the developmental trajectory for a child’s lifetime. During these earliest years, the interactive influences of genes and experience literally shape the architecture of the developing brain. Early learning begets later learning, and early success begets later success. We cannot wait until kindergarten to prepare our children for success in school. Children enter preschool programs with a wide variety of early experiences. Awareness and understanding of social, economic, linguistic and cultural contexts are essential in fashioning appropriate developmental responses to meet children’s needs, strengths and interests. Relationships, learning, teacher quality and family partnerships play a critical role in providing safe, effective and nurturing learning environments. High-quality, universal pre-kindergarten education programs ensure that children have an equal chance to succeed in school and in life. Portland Public School Preschool programs will become the point of school entry for many families in our community. It is essential that we create a welcoming pre-kindergarten culture that is responsive to the needs of children and families. Preschool Work Group, Portland Public Schools, 2011

III. Funding Implications
The current estimate of Portland's four year old population, based on average kindergarten enrollment for the past several years, is approximately 450-500 pupils. The provision of universal public pre K by the district would not necessarily result in every four year old being enrolled in a school or community based program. Many children are currently being adequately served in whole or part day programs in center or family based child care, nursery schools or Head Start programs. Some parents might not choose to send their child to pre K, preferring that they stay at home until traditional school entry at kindergarten. It seems reasonable, therefore to assume that when public pre K reaches full capacity in Portland Schools that somewhere between 60% to 70% of eligible children would be enrolled. In areas 59

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where universal public pre K is currently being offered, about 70% of eligible children attend, on average. The current cost for year round programming in greater Portland child care centers is $10,400 per calendar year. Current per pupil costs for elementary pupils in Portland Schools is $8,500 per school year. Depending on the type of public pre K program, we estimate that school year cost would fall within this range. Variations in the range would be attributable for variations in staffing, location costs, and start up costs for equipment and supplies. Shared staffing and sites with community partners would mean significantly lowered costs, programs that are operated entirely in school facilities and staffed by full time Portland teachers and ed techs would result in higher costs. Private partnerships may also allow for parent tuition to be used for wrap around or extended care. Statewide models for staffing and programming exist for public-private partnerships and are encouraged for many reasons, both practical and philosophical. A distinct financial advantage exists for partnership programs, as existing Federal, State and local dollars may be utilized towards the per pupil costs. This is currently done in the Head Start/ PPS partnership model, and may also extend to other programs. Of course, each four year old pupil counted by the district generates the state and federal subsidy allowed for elementary aged pupils, generating additional income for the school district.

IV. Five Year Timeline of Major Goals Goals Action Who
1. Continue the two established Community Partnerships with PROP and Catherine Morrill Day Nursery Finalize MOU's with two agencies to support 4 classrooms at Riverton, East End (off site) and PATHS (citywide). Continue classroom on Cliff Island. Survey community partners or develop plans for school based classrooms. Identify classroom sites. Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer

Dates
August 2011September 2011

Measurement
Five operational classrooms with October 1, 2011 pupil count of 74 students.

2.

Survey Portland Elementary Schools and community for availability of 2 additional pre K classroom sites for Fall, 2012 start up. Survey interest and available community providers for additional off site classrooms if needed Establish two additional classrooms

Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer

October 2011- May 2012

Two additional classrooms for 36 students to open September 2012, serving children from East End ( 2 classrooms) and Riverton (3 classrooms) October 1, 2012 pupil count of 110 students

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to support students from East End and Riverton Community School 3. Convene working group of partnership providers and PPS pre K staff to set guidelines in transportation and enrollment services for ongoing and future public pre K programs. Adopt a standardized template for public pre K program MOU's and develop timeline with annual deadlines for submission. Survey Portland Public Schools Parent Community on needs, wishes and concerns for public pre K within Portland Schools. Generate working agreement document between partnering programs and PPS . Superintendent, Director of Transportation, Chief Academic Officer, PPS pre K staff, MDOE consultant October 2011April 2012 Signed Agreements MOU Template Public Pre K Operations Handbook

4.

Listening sessions within elementary schools in the district, or in similar community venues

Superintendent, Elementary Principals, Community Providers Chief Academic Officer, PPS pre K staff, Elementary Principals, Parent-Teacher Organization representatives

February-April 2012

Report to Superintendent and School Board on status of Public Pre K in Portland Schools and progress in meeting parent and taxpayer expectations, May 2012.

5.

Convene Pre K to Grade 3 Curriculum Work Group

Align pre K to grade 3 curriculum to insure that practices are in place that provides classroom instruction that is based on a strong foundation of evidence and data. Create a vertical set of academic expectations that insure that preK-3 practices are in

Chief Academic Officer Curriculum Coordinators PPS pre K staff MDOE Consultant

January 2011December 2012

Curriculum Handbook with design guidelines for integrated curriculum Data Collection system for Child Progress and Program Efficacy

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conformity with Early Childhood Learning guidelines (MDOE) and NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practice 6. Devise training schedule for pre K to grade 3 staff for 20112013 Community of Learners. Open Community of Learners events to pre K providers outside of PPS. Coordinate EC training opportunities for PPS staff with outside professionals (USM, SMCC, NAEYC, Child Care Connections) Insure that district is providing staff development for early childhood staff that reflects needs of classrooms and district for highly qualified teachers, building district capacity and makes more visible professional development opportunities for all district staff. Chief Academic Officer Curriculum Coordinators PPS pre K staff October 2011June 2013 A Community of Learners schedule that reflects increased opportunity and course work for early childhood practitioners. Increase in number of 081 certified teachers employed by the district. Increase in shared training opportunity with community partners.

7.

Submit letter of intent for Sam L. Cohen Foundation funding for capacity building within PPS for planning and administering preKindergarten programs and coordinating a community wide approach to an integrated service delivery system for all children prenatal to grade 3.

Identify system needs for public pre K expansion. Identify community resources for assistance capability. Draft work plan for grant application (due March 1 2012). Identify other community grant sources for school department utilization.

Academic Team pre K Staff USM Muskie School RDC staff, Child Care Connections

October 2011February 2012

Completed grant application March 1,2012

8.

If grant application is successful utilizing one year grant, start Office

Appoint .5FTE coordinator, one year grant funded

Superintendent Chief Academic Officer

July 2012

Increased activity in every area of early education: programs,

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of Early Years Education within PPS

position

Community Partners United Way Child Care Connections USM Muskie Institute Superintendent, Elementary Principals, Community Providers February 2013April 2013

community visibility, partnership activity, parent participation in preschool classrooms.

9.

Survey Portland Elementary Schools for availability of up to 2 additional pre K classroom sites, September 2013 start up. Survey interest within community providers for up to 2 additional start up classrooms.

Identify potential PPS classroom sites. Convey EC stakeholders conference in February, 2013 Invite proposals for classrooms with April 1 application deadline. Identify potential community sites. Develop Program Review Instrument, devise schedule for reviews, coordinate review process with individual partnership program NAEYC accreditation status; consider NAEYC accreditation for public school classrooms.

Two additional classroom sites designated June 2013. MOU's with community providers signed, procedures for staffing and other start up activity designated and assigned. October 1, 2013 enrollment of 146 students.

10. Appoint Teacher Leader for Early Childhood, District Wide half time release position to continue work generated from grant funded position and to specifically review 9 established public pre K classrooms and make recommendations for program expansion and or maintenance of existing classrooms. Verify curriculum use, standardize data collection across classroom spectrum for child progress. 11. Survey Portland Elementary Schools for availability of up to 2 additional pre K classroom sites,

Chief Academic Officer, Humanities Curriculum Coordinator, Teacher Leader for EC, pre K staff

September 2013June 2014

Full report on pre K status, programming and funding recommendations to Superintendent and School Committee, June 2014.

Identify potential PPS classroom sites. Convey EC

Superintendent, Elementary Principals, Community Providers

February- April 2014

Two additional classroom sites designated June 2013.. MOU's with

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September 2014 start up. Survey interest within community providers for up to 2 additional start up classrooms.

stakeholders conference in February, 2013 Invite proposals for classrooms with April 1 application deadline. Identify potential community sites. Community survey and program evaluations to assess impact of Universal Pre K on Portland Community. Review, revise and plan accordingly.

Pre K Teacher Leader

community providers signed, procedures for staffing and other start up activity designated and assigned. October 1, 2014 enrollment of 182 students.

12. In final year of planning cycle add 2 additional PPS or Community Partnership classrooms. Complete needs assessment with current population to ascertain utilization rates of “universal” pre K offered to every age eligible child in the community.

Superintendent, Elementary Principals, Community Providers Pre K Teacher Leader

September 2015June 2016

October 1, 2015 pupil count of 234 students and 13 classrooms. June, 2016 report to School Board and Community on Universal Pre K impact and efficacy.

V. Desired Outcomes
The Preschool Task force for Portland Schools has a vision of universal access to public pre K classrooms for every four year old living in Portland by the 2016-2017 school year. This does not necessarily mean that every four year old will be enrolled in a public school program, as many children are now being served adequately in private nursery schools, child care and Head Start centers, or in family child care. However, it is felt that there is a large unmet need (stat needed) within the community, particularly in neighborhood schools that have a high proportion of needy children and families or children whose first language is not English. A solid plan that allows for collaboration rather than competition, a plan that allows for the maximization of community resources, a plan that creates programs that serve the whole family in the context of high quality preschools is a plan that will succeed in Portland. Portland Public Schools is committed to providing a high-quality public preschool (prekindergarten) experience that supports our children in entering kindergarten as confident and curious learners who can initiate and maintain positive social relationships; have the foundational language, literacy and numeracy skills; and possess an appropriate level of independence that enables them to express their needs, regulate their emotions and problem solve with caring adults. The following principles are the core for all programs: 64

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Relationships All learning occurs in the context of relationships. Healthy relationships are built and maintained between families and their children, between children and teachers and between families and teachers. These relationships are critical to children’s healthy emotional, social and cognitive development. Families are involved in setting programmatic goals for their children. Programming for children involves families and is built on strengths, rather than needs or deficits. Families and teachers work together to ensure that children’s home and school environments are predictable, supportive and responsive to their needs. Learning Social Skill development is fundamental to a child’s ability to access his/her world. Children enter school excited, hopeful and curious. Our staff cultivates these feelings by supporting and encouraging social interactions that are positive and successful. Our staff also helps ensure that all children develop the social/emotional skills needed to interact and engage in their preschool setting successfully. Young children are capable and competent. All children are capable of positive developmental outcomes in a safe, healthy and stimulating environment. Each brings cognitive, linguistic and emotional understandings connected to the language and culture of his/her home. While unique in the rate of development of skills and competencies, we have high expectations for all children, regardless of background and experience. Curriculum is robust and based on accepted evidence-based best practices in early language, literacy and numeracy. The curriculum responds to children who need to broaden foundational experiences and build background knowledge, as well as those learning English and those who need challenges to expand prior learning. The curriculum is a precursor to future kindergarten, first and second grade reading, writing and math curriculum and outcomes. Early learning and development are multi-dimensional. Development in one domain interacts with and influences development in others. Connections across developmental domains (e.g., physical, cognitive, social, emotional) help children synthesize, reorganize and transform knowledge, as well as develop creative and independent thinking. Children benefit from hands-on, interactive learning environments that support different learning styles. Children acquire symbolic thought as they represent ideas and knowledge through play, art, block constructions, dramatic play, listening, speaking and writing. Children benefit from exploration in both child-initiated and teacher-selected activities. Children have opportunities to explore materials, engage in activities and interact with peers and adults in ways that cultivate their individual styles, recognize their cultures, stimulate their creativity and help them understand the world around them. Ongoing and authentic assessment informs daily teacher/child interaction and curriculum planning and implementation. Teachers use assessment information (including formal assessment, progress monitoring, observation and communication with families) to 65

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individualize learning experiences for children and provide interventions for those not making progress. Teachers Teachers and staff are highly qualified. Teachers possess the requisite professional education (ME Certification Endorsement 081-Early Childhood Teacher), background experience and training to prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond. Teachers are compensated in accordance with Portland Public Schools policy. There is no differentiation between teacher compensation in Portland Public Schools Public Preschool sites, whether school based or community based. Portland Public Schools values professional teaching and supports early education initiatives with equitable compensation for all teachers who have equal qualifications and job responsibilities. Teachers are committed to continuous improvement based on latest research. Portland Public Schools teachers have opportunities for professional development, reflective supervision and time away from the classroom to plan intentionally for children’s experiences. They also have access to a coach/mentor. Preschool Work Group, Portland Schools, 2011

VI. Next Steps
Portland Schools has spent the last two years engaged in a deliberate and thoughtful process on how best to implement four year old classrooms district wide. This process has increased awareness within the school community about four year olds and their role in public education. It has increased public awareness of the district's intentions in this area, and has attempted to deal with anxiety and fear within the traditional preschool community about district expansion efforts. In a down economy, area child care centers have had to weather many changes in funding and enrollment, and the district effort has added to their concern. It is critical for the school district to keep in mind the multiple factors that are in play as new classrooms are added and new staff hired. A strong commitment to multi agency service models inclusive of community coordination and collaboration needs to be articulated early, often and clearly throughout the implementation phase of the district effort to reach out to four year olds and their parents.

In addition to the steps outlined in the goals and objectives section ( Part IV) of this work plan it is recommended that the district needs to accomplish the following : A. Have a presence on the school district web site of information pertaining to public pre K including an interactive feature for parents to gain more information. B. Have a centralized enrollment process that is streamlined for parents and insures equal opportunity for enrollment of four year olds district wide.

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C.

Prioritizing space for pre-Kindergarten classrooms in district elementary buildings, as space becomes available. Survey for appropriate expansion opportunities at PATHS, DHS and PHS where more space may be available, if it meets criteria for state licensing and regulation and can be closely aligned with a sending elementary school. D. Work in close conjunction with Child Development Services (CDS) to maximize federal, state and insurance funding and staffing for identified special needs four year olds. Create uniform system policies on transition services for identified children starting 6 months prior to entry into kindergarten.

E. Create more public awareness of Portland Public School efforts in this arena. Institute the notion that four year olds are Portland Public School pupils, their parents are valued and an integral part of their child's education as equal partners and potential volunteers for our classrooms.

VII.

Addendum Policies

Portland Schools policy regarding educational programming and policy for K-12 pupils extend to the four year old population, as do applicable federal and state laws in regular and special education. Child Development Services ( CDS) is responsible for the coordination and delivery of services to identified special education pupils, but this should not be interpreted to exclude involvement of PPS special education staff, especially as children are transitioned to school aged services. It is recommended that the School Board identify and adopt policies specific to four year old programs that establish: a) requirement that children who turn five years of age by October 15 be transitioned to kindergarten from PPS public pre K programs b) requirements for a lottery process to select children for classrooms that identify equity by gender and socioeconomic status and reflect demographics of neighborhood school assignment until such time that pubic pre K is universal for Portland pupils. c) establish criteria for recruitment of community based programs inclusive of state regulation, and criteria for the evaluation of such community based programs in fiscal and programming performance

Law
Authority to establish a 4 year old Early Childhood program in local school districts is defined in MRSA 20-A: Chapter 206, Subchapter II: 4502:9 and 20-A MRSA 7204 (4) 67

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Research
High-quality pre-kindergarten is the first step in comprehensive education reform. Students who have this experience are better prepared to achieve at higher levels. Rigorous, independent research proves that quality pre-k can: • Reduce grade repetition among first graders by 30 percent after one year of enrollment and 50 percent after two years • Save school districts about $3,700 per child over the course of the K-12 years and return more than $7 for every dollar invested. Pew Center on the States, 2011 Decades of research have proven the value of high quality early education for children and families. Currently, only 3.5% of children in Cumberland County attend public pre K, compared to over 25% statewide. Kids Count 2011 Data Book, Annie E Casey Foundation A study by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) finds that the benefits of full-day preschool over half-day programs are significant and concludes that "policy makers should strongly consider implementation of full-day preschool." The NIEER report discusses a randomized trial that compared children from low-income families in half-day and full-day public preschool programs. Results show that children attending full-day programs did better on mathematics and literacy tests than children in a 2.5 to 3-hour public preschool program and the achievement gains continued at least until the end of first grade. Moreover, the results indicated that quality early childhood education can help make up for "disadvantaged circumstances." The researchers said quality preschool, therefore, may be "an effective tool for enhancing equality of opportunity as well as increasing achievement generally." Is More Better? The Effects of Full-Day vs. Half-Day Preschool on Early School Achievement conducted by Kenneth B. Robin, Ellen C. Frede, and W. Steven Barnett, NIEER The need for states and communities to build an aligned system that supports children and youths from birth to career is clear. To that end, the task force urges policymakers and stakeholders to unite in an effort to break down the silos and co-construct the comprehensive, cohesive pre-K-3 system that our children need and deserve. “Building and Supporting an Aligned System” describes a standards-based and well-resourced pre-K-3 system in which all children and families have access to high-quality learning and care. Policy, funding, and practice are aligned to provide communities with the necessary infrastructure to ensure positive early learning experiences. Programs are based on a strong foundation of evidence and data. Teachers and leaders are trained, compensated, and supported in the classroom. And expectations for children and for educators include all aspects of early childhood development and learning, rather than only subjects addressed in standardized achievement tests. National Association of Elementary School Principals, 2010 Potential and realized advantages of the community approach to 4 year old programs were spelled out in a report by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families: 1)Reducing the negative impact on child care providers that may result if new or expanded 4K programs take away a significant part of the market for other preschool programs; 2)Creating relationships between private preschool programs and the schools, which can help improve coordination across the education system; 3)Bringing additional funding into the early education system, as 4K programs yield additional state and local funding for early education;

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4)Improving quality, if all the quality factors are put into place, by increasing teacher qualifications and parent involvement, and by reducing pupil-to-staff ratios; and Addressing the needs of working families in a more coordinated way. Many districts that went to a community approach to 4K saw it as a win-win proposition--for the schools, for the early care and education community, and for children and families. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2011

Data
Portland Public Schools is thought to be currently serving less than 10% of eligible children in public pre K PPS 2010-11 enrollment data In the 2011-12 school year, Portland will operate 4 mainland and 1 island classroom for four year olds in public pre K settings. PPS projected October 1, 2011 child count Portland Public Schools currently employs 3 FTE equivalent public Pre-Kindergarten teachers who are teaching in two partnership programs. Further, PPS contracts with one other partnership program for 1 FTE teacher, and in the island based (Cliff) program 1 FTE teacher is contracted to teach pre K -grade 5 students. September, 2011 employment survey A December, 2009 Conference on the Future of Pre K in Portland Schools had over 35 community participants, indicating a strong interest on the part of preschool providers in partnering with the school district on public pre K programs. Pre K Now, Washington, DC. 12/09 teleconference enrollment data for PATHS/Portland Public Schools Individual data for elementary schools on family income and other indicators of social well being uniformly exceed Cumberland County indices in the Maine Kids Count Data Book, demonstrating sufficient need of enriched preschool experiences not met elsewhere on a universal basis Annie E Casey Foundation, 2011, PPS 2010-11 enrollment data

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Appendix I: Work Plan for Literacy
Goal 1 – All Portland Public School students will graduate from high school. Goal 2 - All Portland Public School graduates will demonstrate college readiness in the areas of academics, communication, and critical thinking. (Comprehensive Plan for Portland Public Schools, 2011) I. Background/Context Portland Public Schools has worked to craft a Comprehensive Plan, which establishes goals and related targets for our students’ success. This work plan has been designed to articulate strategies to support our students in meeting the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. A system of centralized accountability, common curricula, and aligned goals will help the district function in a coordinated and fiscally responsible way while ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all students. In doing this work, we face the challenge of designing effective instruction that embraces the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of our students, while unifying varied levels of exposure to formal education. This challenge is compounded by the implications that generational poverty have on learning. Through our deliberate actions to support our students, we will use what research indicates is most successful in meeting the needs of all learners. This work plan is a dynamic document that will reflect the shared voice of our teachers, administrators, students, and community stakeholders. In July 2010, Portland Schools hired a Curriculum Coordinator for Humanities. This position was created to coordinate the efforts of the Academic team with curriculum and instructional literacy work across the district. In the spring of 2010, Superintendent, Dr. Morse hired Dr. Julie Meltzer from Public Consulting Group to conduct a K – 12 District Literacy Audit. The purpose of the district’s k – 12 Literacy Program Review was to complete:  Analysis of current student performance in reading using current summative and interim assessment data sources  Examination of current literacy instructional and intervention practices and identification of program strengths and challenges, including language and literacy instruction for English learners  Recommendations for improvements in literacy instruction through out the district that build upon current capacity, thereby contributing to increases in the numbers and percentages of students who achieve proficiency on state literacy assessment The findings were based upon data from the following sources:  Multiple assessments of student performance  Online Teacher Surveys completed by all teachers throughout the district  School Capacity Profile completed by team at each school, totaling 162 team members  School information checklist completed by each school’s administration  Focus groups and interviews with teachers, school and district administrators, teachers of English learners, literacy data specialists, and other stakeholders.

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This report and recommendations were shared with the School Board in 2010. The primary recommendation from this audit was for the district “to establish and support school-based collaborative leadership teams that are charged with improving literacy achievement at their school and have the following responsibilities: o Prioritize development of literacy-rich culture of academic optimism in every building o Strength the core literacy program through attention to content area instruction and alignment with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards (www.corestandards.org) o Establish data use expectations and practices aligned with the district’s expectations o Supple implementation of a district approved robust menu of interventions along with protocols for using these supports to improve the effectiveness of a tiered system of instruction and interventions. - Caution was given that it was imperative that all of these efforts be specifically integrated and take into account the needs of the ELLs and other struggling readers and writers. II. General findings The audit clearly indicates that the current K -12-literacy programming is not supporting enough students in the Portland Public Schools to attain and sustain grade level expectations in reading and writing. The schools are not accelerating the progress of enough students who are weak as readers and writers. ELLs are not getting the supports they need throughout the curriculum to accelerate the development of their language and literacy skills. Offerings and practices-of instruction, assessment, curriculum interventions and programs-are inconsistent and continue based on tradition or preference and not evidence of success. The audit also notes that Portland Schools are faced with changing demographics. Schools across the levels do not seem to have similar school-wide expectations for creating and sustaining a culture of learning. “Although consistent implementation of a Positive Behavioral Interventions does not seem directly connected to literacy, it appears to be a missing link in many Portland schools.” Given the population being served in Portland, it is imperative that there be common resources across schools to provide a systematic focus on literacy. It also recommends that professional development opportunities support instructional strategies across the content areas and teachers would benefit from additional instruction in providing intervention support to struggling readers and writers. Clarification and consistency in protocols for student placement into intervention services, progress monitoring, and exiting criteria need to be put into place. To ensure that the recommendations from the Literacy Audit are successfully implemented, it will be necessary to strengthen teachers’ perceptions and expectations that all students can improve their literacy skills and academic progress. Research supports the findings that show the relationship between teacher expectations and students performance. Portland must create a culture of academic optimism where students have multiple opportunities to learn that literacy skills are achievable at any age, critical thinking can be developed with

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learning and practice, and students’ aspirations for their own success are critical to school success and their future plans. Lower Elementary (K-2) Assessment Measure LSF: % of students above the target of 50th percentile nationally in the spring RCBM: % of students above the target of 50th percentile nationally in the spring Elementary – grade K 34% 43% 46% Elementary – grade 1 Elementary – grade 2

AIMSweb

The data confirms that a significant number of students are acquiring reading skills at a lower rate than their national counterparts. Student performance on the grade 3 Fall 2009/2010 NECAP indicates that the K-2 literacy program may not be supporting all students in the development of a strong grade level skills in the area of reading. The National Reading Panel Report (NRP, 2000) identified components of an effective reading program that merited immediate implementation (a) phonemic awareness instruction (b) explicit, systematic phonics instruction, (c) repeated oral reading practice, (d) vocabulary instruction, (e) comprehension strategies (http://www.nationalreadingpanel.org/). The Teacher Survey (Appendix) provides some indication for a need to implement consistent systematic phonics, word study, and work on fluency throughout the district. The teachers reported different amounts of emphasis on these reading basics, as well as on the amount of time and instruction dedicated to writing and vocabulary. Research supports the findings that include: • One in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers. • The rates are highest for the low, below-basic readers: 23 percent of these children drop out or fail to finish high school on time, compared to 9 percent of children with basic reading skills and 4 percent of proficient readers. • Overall, 22 percent of children who have lived in poverty do not graduate from high school, compared to 6 percent of those who have never been poor. This rises to 32 percent for students spending more than half of their childhood in poverty. • For children who were poor for at least a year and were not reading proficiently in third grade, the proportion that doesn't finish school rose to 26 percent. That’s more than six times the rate for all proficient readers. (Double Jeopardy - How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation, Donald Hernandez, The Annie E. Casey Foundation – see appendix B and Portland Public Schools 2010 Dropout Report, Dr. Aaron Gritter appendix D)

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Focus group interviews and completed School Capacity Profiles (appendix) support the finding that  K – 2 programs are uneven across schools.  The majority of K – 2 instruction is focused on comprehension for non-ELLs and decoding for ELLs  Teacher interest, tradition, philosophy and comfort level may be trumping understanding and practice based on the latest research. Upper elementary (3-5) Assessment Measure AIMSweb’s RCBM % of students above the target of 50 percentile nationally in the spring
th

Elementary – grade 3 56% Elementary – grade 5 70% 40% 38% 51% Elementary – grade 5

Average of 2 years of NECAP / MHSA data

% of students proficient % of students with IEP proficient % of EL students proficient % of economically disadvantaged students proficient % of students meeting or exceeding their growth targets

NWEA’s MAP Sp 10 – Sp 11

53%

The findings of the audit support the contention that the core literacy program needs to be improved to meet the needs of more students. The Teacher Survey indicates that a majority of the teachers believe that the core program is not supporting 25-50% of the students. These students would benefit from additional support through differentiated instruction in the classroom and targeted interventions. The survey results coupled with the student performance results raise the key question about the success of the current core literacy program in helping students attain and sustain adequate yearly progress. The audit finds that it is apparent that there is a lack of consistent approach to teaching reading in grades 3 -5. That there is also a lack of the clear expectation that will teachers use specific approaches throughout their content area teaching to provide students with the support required to be successful readers and learners. The Teacher Survey responses indicated wide variance in teacher practice and emphasis on the components of a successful reading program, particularly in the area of the explicit teaching of comprehension strategies and the use of collaborative routines. Middle School (6-8) Assessment Average of 2 years of NECAP / MHSA data Measure % of students proficient % of students with IEP proficient % of EL students proficient Middle – grade 8 71% 38% 38% 73

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% of economically disadvantaged students proficient NWEA’s MAP Sp 10 – Sp 11 % of students meeting or exceeding their growth targets

52% Middle – grade 8 53%

The data from the NECAPS indicate a need for focused reading instruction in middle grade classrooms. The Teacher Survey responses indicate the need for focused reading and writing instruction. Currently, teachers reported widely varying practices in many areas related to content instruction including types and frequency of reading and writing, modeling, and use of a wide-range of instructional practices. Writing was seen as an area of weakness and teachers reported wide variance in the amounts, types, and frequency of writing they assign as well as the amount of emphasis teachers placed on writing. Perceptions by the teams completing the Teacher Survey and the School Capacity Profile indicated weaknesses related to shared teacher beliefs, instruction, structures, and policies, staffing and resources to support literacy within and across the three middle schools. High School (9-12) Assessment Measure % of students proficient % of students with IEP proficient % of EL students proficient % of economically disadvantaged students proficient % of students meeting or exceeding their growth targets High – grade 11 48% 25% 2% 22% High – grade 9 48%

Average of 2 years of NECAP / MHSA data

NWEA’s MAP Sp 10 – Sp 11

The Maine High School Assessment (MHSA) in the areas of critical reading and writing show that across the three high schools that there is a lot of room for improvement in program outcomes. The district-wide results indicate that one of every two Portland students do not meet the standards in reading and writing as measured by these tests. Of more concern is the percentage of students scoring at the lowest performance category at each school. It was also clear from the Teach Survey responses the need for a focused reading and writing instruction. Currently, high school teachers report widely varying practices in many areas related to content literacy including types, frequency of reading and writing, modeling, and use of a wide range of instructional practices. Writing was seen as an area of weakness for many students, and teachers reported wide variance in the amounts, types, and frequency of writing they assigned as well as the amount of emphasis teachers place on writing. High school teachers also reported wide disparity or low emphasis on speaking and presenting, which are crucial skills to the new Common Core Standards. In addition, the Common Core standards make text complexity the central factor in assessing students’ grade-by- grade progress in the reading standards. 74

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The School Capacity Profile underscored several concerns. Not all teachers are committed to the expectations that all students will use reading as a primary method of learning in the core content areas, are committed to the expectation that all students will communicate what they have learned in writing and develop their writing skills in the core content areas or are committed to identifying and using research-based practices to support student literacy and high academic achievement. All three high school teams felt there were several areas of weakness in the structures and policies in place to support a focus on literacy development, especially in development including coaching and peer mentoring. This conflict between belief and practice needs to be addressed if Portland high schools are to improve their students’ preparedness to meet the literacy demands of the 2lst century. III. Desired Outcomes: The following recommendations are intended to provide Portland Public Schools outcomes for “rapid district improvement”.  Dramatic changes in district structures, culture, policies, and process within one to three years of the start of the improvement effort  Evidence of significant improvement in instructional practices and student academic performance within three to four years of the start of the improvement effort  Evidence that changes and improvements are system-wide and sustainable while increasing student achievement in reading and writing that will help all students graduate with the skills and knowledge that they need for success in college and the 2lst century work force. IV. Benchmark Targets The following targets and action items align to the Comprehensive Plan’s goals of ensuring that all Portland Public School students will graduate from high school, and they will demonstrate college readiness in the areas of academics, communications and critical thinking: Benchmark Target Structures and Polices Action Develop a three year plan for Literacy Improvement Includes: • Measureable literacy Goals • Implementation Steps • Communication Plans Action Who Chief Academic Officer Humanities Coordinator Academic team Administration District Literacy Teams Building Level teams Dates 2010 - 2011 2011 -2012 2011-2012 Completed Building Level Literacy Plans Measurements Completed Literacy Work plan for District

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Redefine Data Literacy Specialists positions

Redefine position as Literacy Coach • Provide PD for coaching • Provide PD in Instructional implementation of phonics program • Coordinate work between Curriculum Coordinator and Coaches

Chief Academic Officer Humanities Coordinator Humanities Coordinator & Heinemann Consultant Humanities Coordinator

2011 -2012 2011-2013

Survey of teachers, administrators conducted in 7/12 on effectiveness of position

2011 2013(ongoing) Survey

Align Teacher Professional Development a) DI b) Content Literacy c) Interventions d) EL support

a) PD: book discussions, after school workshops, in-classroom modeling, video and webinars b) PD on tools for DI and Content Area Literacy (writing) c) PD on Read 180, System 44, LLI

Literacy Coaches Supported by Humanities Coordinator Humanities Coordinator RTI Coordinator/Data Analyst Scholastic Julie Meltzer Consultants from PCG RTI Coordinator/Data Analyst – Scholastic, Heinemann Multi-lingual Director

2011 - 2013 (ongoing)

Documentation of instructional changes and student improvement (Assessment Data) Assessment Data Program assessment on student improvement Assessment on student improvement

2011 -2013, (ongoing) 2014 (ongoing) 2012/13

d) PD for EL instructional support

2011 - 2013

 Evidence of significant improvement in instructional practices and student academic performance within three to four years of the start of the improvement effort 76

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Benchmark Target Clarify and systematizing use of NWEA and assessment data

Action School curriculum meetings to share assessment data with coaches, literacy teams, and leadership teams Support use of classroom data to drive instruction Institute AIMSweb in grades K – 5 Use of data protocol to use data to drive instruction Development of Assessment Protocol K12

Who RTI Coordinator/Data Analyst Humanities Coordinator

Dates Ongoing 2012/13

Measurements Change in instruction and improved student achievement

Institute district-wide screening/benchmarking

Humanities Coordinator RTI Coordinator/Data Analyst & STEM Coordinator, STEM Coordinator

2012/13 ongoing

Use of data to drive instruction

2012/13 ongoing

Completion of assessment protocols and cut points established for 2011 - 2012 Completion of Individual Assessment Profile Improve student learning (assessment data) Use of District writing rubrics for assessment

Maximize use of formative reading assessments

2012/12 Development of progress monitoring assessments • NWEA Goals • AIMSweb • Running records • Rigby • Benchmarking • SPI/SRI • Writing prompts • Access • Spelling/sight word inventories Professional development for teachers RTI Coordinator/Data Analyst Humanities Coordinator Assessment Committee RTI Coordinator/Data Analyst Literacy Coaches Humanities Coordinator Humanities Coordinator District Literacy Team Multi-lingual 77 2012/12

Support EL students language development

2012/13 (Ongoing) Evaluations Improved student learning 2012

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Director

 Evidence that changes and improvements are system-wide and sustainable while increasing student achievement in reading and writing that will help all students graduate with the skills and knowledge that they need for success in college and the 2lst century work force.

Benchmark Target Vertical alignment of instruction and content

Action Identification of a consistent K – 3 phonics program –

Who Chief Academic Officer, Humanities Coordinator Selection Committee (survey monkey) Humanities Coordinator Building Literacy Teams Literacy Coaches

Dates 20112013

Measurements Adoption of Fountas and Pinnell Phonics Lesson Program 2012 Comprehension approach to Guided Reading and Writing (Fountas and Pinnell) 2012/12 Comprehensive approach to word study (Fountas and Pinnell) 2012 Improvement in student learning (data) 2012/13

Selection Committee made up of 22 members representatives from each elementary school across the district Identification of consistent comprehension support K – 5

2011 2012 2011 2013

Standardsbased alignment

Identification of a consistent Word study /vocabulary K -5 Content instruction based upon Common Core standards in literacy Creation of reading/writing rubrics grades 6 -12

Humanities Coordinator Building Literacy Teams Teaching Strategists District Literacy Team

20112012 2011 2014

Improvement in student learning (data) 2012/13 Rubrics used in 6-12 classroom district-wide

20112012 78

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V. Funding Implications These funds will provide program materials, support and training. Fiscal Year FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 Local $400,000 $400,000 $400,000 $400,000 $400,000

These funds will provide for instructional coaching and support staff (across literacy and mathematics). Fiscal Year FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 VI. Follow-up/Next Steps Improving our students’ achievement in literacy will be a priority for Portland Public Schools. A crucial element of any design aimed at improving teaching and learning in schools must include building school capacity. This must involve the use of strategies “that increases the collective effectiveness of all levels of the system in developing and mobilizing knowledge, resources, and motivation, all of which are needed to raise the bar and close the gap of student learning across the system” Barber, M., & Fullan, M, 2005, March 2, Tri-level development: It’s the system. Education Week, pp. 15-16). Capacity building is crucial for spreading knowledge and increasing commitment, and consists of strategies that enable schools to learn together. “It doesn’t matter where the change starts, as long as it’s systematic thereafter. And systematic means a focus on establishing expert instructional systems that serves the needs of all levels.”(Barber, M., & Fullan, p 14). Therefore through coordinated efforts, we will be able to support each other in identifying common learning targets, utilizing effective teaching strategies and common programs, and learning from evaluations of success to guide planning. Utilizing the experience of our 79 Local $320,000 $320,000 $320,000 $320,000

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educators, and combining it with a number of new structures, standards, and supports, we will catalyze improvement in our students’ achievement in the next three to five years. VII. Addenda: A. B. C. D. PCG Audit Report Double Jeopardy, Annie. E. Casey Foundation, April 2011 Assessment Schedule Portland Public School 2011 Portland Schools Dropout 2011

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Appendix J: Work Plan for Mathematics
Goal 1 – All Portland Public School students will graduate from high school. Goal 2 - All Portland Public School graduates will demonstrate college readiness in the areas of academics, communication, and critical thinking. (Comprehensive Plan for Portland Public Schools, 2011) I. Background/Context Portland Public Schools has worked to craft a Comprehensive Plan, which establishes goals and related targets for our students’ success. This work plan has been designed to articulate strategies to support our students in meeting the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. A system of centralized accountability, common curricula, and aligned goals will help the district function in a coordinated and fiscally responsible way while ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all students. In doing this work, we face the challenge of designing effective instruction that embraces the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of our students, while unifying varied levels of exposure to formal education. This challenge is compounded by the implications that generational poverty have on learning. Through our deliberate actions to support our students, we will use what research indicates is most successful in meeting the needs of all learners. This work plan is a dynamic document that will reflect the shared voice of our teachers, administrators, students, and community stakeholders. As one of the core curricular disciplines identified by academia, mathematics holds great importance for our learners and citizens. According to The College Board, an organization that has done a great deal of research into college and career readiness, “Knowledge of the mathematical sciences is essential in an increasingly quantitative world awash with data and analyses of data. Knowledge is needed for activities of citizens, consumers, and workers, as well as for developments in other academic disciplines including business, social sciences, sciences, and engineering.”23 Recognizing the significance of mathematics, Portland Public Schools reorganized its leadership model to include a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Curriculum Coordinator. In doing so, the district set a target of executing a coordinated effort to identify: • what mathematical content to teach • how to teach it • how best to measure student achievement and growth Portland Public Schools has utilized a number of different documents to guide its instruction in mathematics. Based on the evolving set of Maine Learning Results, the district created its own

23

From http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/association/academic/math3.pdf

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Learning Results, and also devised “frameworks” in mathematics. These frameworks were aligned with the Maine Learning Results, but were not realigned to match the New England Comprehensive Assessment Program (NECAP) standards when they were adopted by the State of Maine. A renewed look at identifying which content is important for instruction was energized when, in the spring of 2011, the State of Maine adopted a new set of learning targets known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics. These standards were created through a nation-wide effort to “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.”24 These standards have replaced Maine’s 2007 Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Understanding. Math programming has varied across the district, as well. Currently there are at least four different math programs at the elementary level (see figure 1). Figure 1. Mathematics Programs by Elementary School Mathematics program Everyday Mathematics Investigations in Number, Data, and Space ® School(s) Peaks Island School Presumpscot Elementary School Hall Elementary School Lyseth Elementary School Ocean Avenue Elementary School Reiche Elementary School Riverton Elementary School East End Community School (not fully implemented) Longfellow Elementary School

Math Expressions Math Trailblazers

In the recent past there has not been school-wide or district-wide adoption of programming at either the middle or high school levels. While small-scale piloting or sampling of programs has occurred, there has not been consistency at the secondary level. More specifically, there has not been coordination of programs of study, course selection or course pathways amongst the high schools. In addition, it is possible for a student in the district to graduate from high school by meeting credit requirements, but not have had the experience of working with the variety or rigor of mathematics expected for post-secondary success. The district uses a variety of assessments to measure student achievement in mathematics. This portfolio of assessments includes those at the state level (NECAP, the Maine High School Assessment (MHSA, which includes the SAT)), district level (AIMSweb probes, Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress, etc.), as well as school (program based, locally designed) and class levels. (See Appendix A – K-12 Assessments)

24

From http://www.corestandards.org/

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Based on these assessments and other sources, Portland Public Schools uses data to inform its planning by identifying strengths and weaknesses in specific content areas. Figure 2, below, shows Portland’s performance on select state and local assessments in mathematics: Figure 2. – Mathematics Achievement Summary Assessment Measure % of students proficient % of students with IEP proficient % of EL students proficient % of economically disadvantaged students proficient % of students meeting or exceeding their growth targets Elementary – grade 5 54% 34% 27% 40% Elementary – grade 5 52% Middle – grade 8 55% 26% 17% 34% Middle – grade 8 59% High – grade 11 35% 13% 4% 15% High – grade 9 46%

Average of 2 years of NECAP / MHSA data

NWEA’s MAP Sp 10 – Sp 11

Because the district has not met the state’s targets for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)25, as evidenced by state assessments, it has been identified as a “Continuous Improvement Priority District” (CIPD) in mathematics the past two years. With this designation, the district is required to utilize ten percent of its Title IA funding to provide professional development aimed at increasing students’ achievement in mathematics. Over the past two years, the district has spent nearly $654,000 on professional development and related activities using these funds. The first year’s model employed an “opt-in” approach to training, while the 2010-2011 model required participation of grade-level or content-specific educators. In addition, these funds supported leadership positions such as the district math coordinator as well as a stipended instructional math coach at each elementary school. See Appendix B – CIPD Activities for a complete list of CIPD activities for the 2010-2011 school year. The district also has two School Improvement Grant (SIG) recipient schools. These schools are both implementing plan to address math proficiency within their own settings. In addition to these funding sources, Portland Public Schools has taken advantage of a number of opportunities to be involved in regional mathematics initiatives. In recent years the middle schools have worked with Educational Testing Services (ETS) on their Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL) research and development initiative. With the project teachers in the district worked with ETS to develop and test formative and summative assessment tasks. For a number of reasons, including other district initiatives and changes in ETS practices, the number of teachers participating in the project during the 2010-2011 school year for mathematics was just two. The 2010-2011 school year was also the start of a research and development project with Tuft’s University known as the Poincaré Institute. This work is a

25

See targets at: http://www.maine.gov/education/nclb/accountability.html

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collaborative effort between nine districts in New England, including Portland, and the education, mathematics and science departments at the University. Over the course of the project, three cohorts of twelve teachers each (per district) will work together across the institute, via challenging online graduate-level courses, to explore mathematical content and related pedagogy. II. Generalized Findings Consistency and coordination was identified as a need at all levels. To begin the work of aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment, educators at all levels will begin, as a district, to become familiar with our new targets, the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. These standards increase the level of rigor in mathematics at all levels, and aim to prepare students for college and career readiness – beginning in Kindergarten. Elementary programming: To address the program consistency and student preparedness concerns at the elementary level, conversations will begin in the 2011-2012 school year to explore common programming for the elementary level. This process will follow a format similar to that which was used for the middle level selection (see below) and include public input. Options for implementation will be discussed, as program adoption for six grade levels at ten elementary schools will likely be different than for three grade levels at three schools and the West program. Middle level programming: Based on the achievement data at the middle level, and the lack of common programming in existence, Chief Academic Officer David Galin set as a priority the selection of a common mathematics program for the middle schools. This initiative was to make progress toward supporting our goals of advancing math learning for all students and enabling the majority of our eighth grade students to meet Algebra I standards. Ultimately this will ensure that our high school students have greater opportunities for mathematics learning, preparing them to be successful on the MHSA in their third year of high school. To accomplish the selection of a new program, a committee was formed with cross-district representation. The committee first reviewed longitudinal mathematics achievement data, and, considering our student population, defined selection criteria for a new program. Using these criteria (see Appendix C), the committee reviewed four potential programs (Connected Math 2, I CAN Learn, the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) series, and IMPACT Mathematics). After careful consideration of both qualitative and quantitative evaluations, the UCSMP series was tentatively selected. Following this, representatives from McGraw-Hill, publishers of the UCSMP series, came to present at an informational session for any interested teachers, administrators, and staff. Following the session, the committee decided to make the recommendation for adoption to the School Board’s Curriculum and Educational Planning Sub-committee, Dr. Morse, and David Galin. The district then utilized CIPD funds to support implementation of the program and once the necessary purchases had been made, the selection committee transitioned to an implementation committee to plan for successful implementation, intervention support programming and staff training. (See Appendix D.) High School Graduation Expectations and Course of Study: With changes currently happening 84

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in programming at the middle level, and soon at the elementary level, changes at the high school level will be a natural consequence. To this end, the high schools will begin work at aligning graduation expectations (using the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics) as well as the necessary courses and course pathways that will enable students to meet these expectations. In addition, a recent analysis of our graduation and drop out rates (see Appendix E) included recommendations for improving the graduation rate of our students through mathematics and literacy. These recommendations included aligned curriculum, standards, and assessment; a consistent instructional approach; and a variety of strategic interventions based on need, all of which can be achieved through the benchmark targets identified below. (Section IV) CIPD planning: While there has been a variety of CIPD funded activities over the last two years, the intentionality of participation in the 2010-2011 year was very effective. When teachers with job-alike responsibilities come together to learn and share ideas, the district benefits as a whole. This consistency acts to support teachers in their own work, and provides a platform for future developments. One example is the work of the eighth grade and high school teachers who engaged in a multi-week professional development series which helped them to identify student misconceptions in algebra, and then address them using technology (Netbooks). We anticipate that the district will not make AYP again based on 2010-2011 achievement data, and consequently, we will most likely hold the CIPD designation again. The team charged with implementing this Work Plan for Mathematics will establish a plan that identifies professional development needs, outlines activities to address them, and allots funding to ensure commitment to the CIPD budget. III. Desired Outcomes • Dramatic changes in district structures, culture, policies, and process within one to three years of the start of the improvement effort o Coordinated and consistent use of mathematics standards, programming and assessments is a significant change in Portland Public Schools structures. o Increased exposure to mathematical concepts, enabling students to take advantage of more advance-level mathematics in the high school level. o Intentional programming at transition grades (5 to 6, and 8 to 9) in continued support of mathematical achievement Evidence of significant improvement in instructional practices and student academic performance within three to four years of the start of the improvement effort o With ongoing monitoring of student achievement data in mathematics, Portland Public Schools will adjust instructional and assessment practices accordingly, based on research-based best practices. o Articulate intervention methods for students with language or other exceptional needs, as well as those students who are ready to accelerate their learning beyond that of their peers. Evidence that changes and improvements are system-wide and sustainable while 85

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increasing student achievement in mathematics that will help all students graduate with the skills and knowledge that they need for success in college and the 2lst century work force o With the support of a math coach, administrators, and fellow-teachers, educators in Portland Public Schools will be able to check for fidelity in new curriculum, programming, instructional practices and assessment procedures. IV. Benchmark Targets The following targets and action items align to the Comprehensive Plan’s goals of ensuring that all Portland Public School students will graduate from high school, and they will demonstrate college readiness in the areas of academics, communication, and critical thinking. Benchmark Target Individual schools articulate goals for improving achievement in mathematics as established in the Comprehensive Plan Action • Identify strengths and areas of concern in mathematics • Articulate measureable instructional goals • Monitor success in meeting the goals Who Building administrators, building math leadership, teachers of mathematics Dates Ongoing 20112012 Ongoing 20122013 Ongoing 20132014 Ongoing 20142015 Ongoing 20152016 Measurements Documentation of goals, data which aligns with the goals

Engage representative district-wide involvement in mathematics initiatives Create a district-wide mathematics curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Identify and convene a mathematics task force, which is charged with working on the following goals. • Increase awareness of the CCSS for Mathematics content and practices in all teachers of

STEM Coordinator

Summer-Fall 2011

Task force roster and meeting minutes

Mathematics Task Force (STEM Coordinator, building administrators, elementary teachers,

• Ongoing 2011-2012 school year

Task force meeting minutes and documentation to share Common syllabi aligned to the Common Core 86

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Benchmark Target

Action mathematics • Articulate common assessments to be used as benchmark evaluations

Who representative s from Multilingual and Student Support Services)

Dates • Ongoing 2012-2013 school year

Measurements Pacing guides aligned to the Common Core Common assessments aligned to the Common Core

Identify research-based best practices in elementary math instruction Implement a common math program for the elementary level

Study and learn about quality math instruction for the elementary level • Use achievement and demographics data to define selection criteria, review possible programs, and make a selection. • Work with the publisher to develop an implementation (including training) plan. • Implement a common math program for the elementary level • Develop scope and sequence document, aligned with the Common Core State Standards

Mathematics Task Force (Elementary subcommittee) Mathematics Task Force (Elementary subcommittee)

Fall 2011

Summary documentation

• Fall 2011

Meeting minutes, and evaluation documentation

• Winter 2011 • 2011-2012 Semester 2, • Ongoing 2012-2013, • Ongoing 2013-20114 Mathematics Task Force (Middle school sub-committee / UCSMP Implementatio n Team) • Fall 2011

• Implementation plan document

• Meeting minutes and documentation • Scope and sequence documents

Improve mathematics achievement of middle school students by implementing the UCSMP

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Benchmark Target with fidelity

Action • Identify common assessments • Identify intervention strategies for students, especially EL students, and students with disabilities • Provide support for learners who need acceleration • Develop a plan for students who transfer in and have not had prior experience with UCSMP • Provide ongoing professional development for teachers and administrators • Monitor UCSMP progress Provide professional development for teachers and administrators (including the high schools) Utilize the CCSS for Mathematics standards as well

Who

Dates • WinterSpring 2011 • Fall 2011

Measurements • Assessment documentation • Intervention documentation

• Fall 2011

• Intervention documentation

• Fall 2011

• Intervention documentation

• Ongoing 2011-2012 school year • Ongoing 2012-2013 Ongoing 2013-2014 Mathematics Task Force Ongoing 20112012 school year

• Training agendas and participant lists

Support student achievement in mathematics by maximizing the use of literacy strategies To establish common graduation

Training agendas and participant lists

Mathematics Task Force (High school

Ongoing 20112012 school year

Graduation expectations documentation 88

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Benchmark Target expectations for mathematics across the district, aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Action as other college and career ready standards to define graduation expectations for mathematics

Who subcommittee)

Dates Implementation and monitor 2012-2013 Implementation and monitor 2013-2014

Measurements

Provide high school students with multiple pathways to meet the graduation expectations in mathematics

Utilize the CCSS for Mathematics standards, “Appendix A: Designing High School Mathematics Courses Based on the Common Core State Standards” as well as other college and career ready standards

Mathematics Task Force (High school subcommittee)

Ongoing 20112012 school year Implementatio n and monitor 2012-2013 Implementatio n and monitor 2013-2014

Common course study/pathways documentation

V. Funding Implications These funds will provide program materials, support, and training for the objectives outlined in the benchmark targets above. Fiscal Year FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 Local (focus) $300,000 (Elem phase I) $300,000 (Elem phase II, HS) CIPD $322,023 (projected) Based on Adequate Yearly Progress status Based on Adequate Yearly Progress status 89

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FY 2015 FY 2016

$200,000 (ongoing prof dev) $200,000 (ongoing prof dev)

Based on Adequate Yearly Progress status Based on Adequate Yearly Progress status

These funds will provide for instructional coaching and support staff (across literacy and mathematics). Fiscal Year FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 Local $320,000 $320,000 $320,000 $320,000 CIPD Anticipated as part of the $322,023 proj.

VI. Follow-up / Next steps Improving our students’ achievement in literacy will be a priority for Portland Public Schools. A crucial element of any design aimed at improving teaching and learning in schools must include building school capacity. This must involve the use of strategies “that increases the collective effectiveness of all levels of the system in developing and mobilizing knowledge, resources, and motivation, all of which are needed to raise the bar and close the gap of student learning across the system.” (Barber, M., & Fullan, M, 2005, March 2, Tri-level development: It’s the system. Education Week, pp. 14.) Capacity building is crucial for spreading knowledge and increasing commitment, and consists of strategies that enable schools to learn together. “It doesn’t matter where the change starts, as long as it’s systematic thereafter. And systematic means a focus on establishing expert instructional systems that serves the needs of all levels.” (Barber, M., & Fullan, M, pp 15-16.) Therefore through coordinated efforts, we will be able to support each other in identifying common learning targets, utilizing effective teaching strategies and common programs, and learning from evaluations of success to guide planning. Utilizing the experience of our educators, and combining it with a number of new structures, standards, and supports, we will catalyze improvement in our students’ achievement in the next three to five years. VII. Addenda A – K-12 Assessments B – CIPD Activities C – Middle School Program Evaluation Tool D – UCSMP Implementation Plan

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Appendix K: Winxnet Work Plan

Prepared  by:  Winxnet,  Inc.  
Portland Public Schools engaged Winxnet to perform a network assessment to evaluate the current IT environment as well as the business practices employed within the IT department. Contents Executive Summary .................................................................................................................... 4 Next Steps .................................................................................................................................. 4 Organization and Business Process Foundations ...................................................................... 6 Recommendations ...................................................................................................................... 8 Organization Assessment ............................................................................................................ 9 IT Leadership ............................................................................................................................... 9 Support Team ............................................................................................................................. 9 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 10 End-User Awareness ................................................................................................................. 10 Consolidated Education/Municipality IT Model and Approach ................................................. 11 Separate Support Model ............................................................................................................ 11 Consolidated Support Model ..................................................................................................... 11 Process Assessment ................................................................................................................. 12 IT Ticketing Process .................................................................................................................. 12 Help Desk Process .................................................................................................................... 13 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 14 Process and Organization Recommendation Priority ............................................................... 14 Technology Infrastructure and ................................................................................................... 15 Base Services ............................................................................................................................ 16 Network ..................................................................................................................................... 16 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 17 Virtualization .............................................................................................................................. 17 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 19 Directory Services ..................................................................................................................... 19 A Note on Identity Management ................................................................................................ 20 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 20 Security ...................................................................................................................................... 21 Content Filtering ........................................................................................................................ 21 Intrusion Detection ..................................................................................................................... 22 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 23 Backups ..................................................................................................................................... 23 Mail Data Backups .................................................................................................................... 24 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 25 Monitoring .................................................................................................................................. 26 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 26 Essential Services – Communication (Email, Phone, Fax) ....................................................... 27 91

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GroupWise – Messaging ........................................................................................................... 27 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 28 Phones ...................................................................................................................................... 28 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 31 Printing – iPrint .......................................................................................................................... 32 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 32 Systems Management and Practices ........................................................................................ 33 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 34 Exhibits ...................................................................................................................................... 35 Addendum A – CTS Organization Chart ................................................................................... 35 Addendum B – IT Ticketing Process ......................................................................................... 36 Addendum C – Service Level Agreement (SLA) Draft .............................................................. 36 Addendum D – Virtual Servers (Host & Guest).......................................................................... 37 Executive Summary Portland Public Schools (PPS) engaged Winxnet to assess their IT network and infrastructure as well as IT-related processes. PPS asked Winxnet to view their IT environment in light of three primary goals: · Do the systems and processes in place achieve cost efficiencies and cost benefits? · Does the environment support best practices in education IT (including consistent and optimum uptime for PPS students and teachers)? · Are the staff and their processes able to respond to unforeseen issues and needs in an agile manner? After reviewing the technical environment, the processes in place, and the organizational structure, it is clear to us that the primary issues at PPS relate to missing foundational processes and weak organizational structure. While there are technical issues, some of which are connected to decisions made based on the lack of clarity between the municipality and PPS IT teams, they are in the minority compared to the lack of: guiding IT strategy, standard IT processes, and clear reporting and performance management expectations. Next Steps The recommendations that follow are discussed within each section of this assessment document in detail. They are summarized here for ease of review. The significant focus areas are: Portland Public Schools needs IT leadership at the top of the Computer Technology Services (CTS) organization. · The required skill set is varied, encompassing IT strategy and knowledge, people management, and community/client relationship building. Because of this range, it may be hard to find one person that fills the needs sufficiently. · The gap immediately lacking is in people and relationship management. It is critical that the IT Leader possess highly sophisticated communication skills and is able to bridge the community, end user, and department needs. A conceptual understanding of the importance IT plays in meeting educational goals is a must, but a background in successfully managing business teams with consistent process and message is more important at this time. · Immediately following the establishment of this role, PPS should create an IT strategy that sets 92

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technical direction and streamlines the technologies currently employed. Based upon a guiding strategy, we recommend that PPS limit the platforms in use. · Currently, PPS is attempting to support too wide a range of applications, Operating Systems, platforms, and devices. This complicates the support landscape considerably and forces too large a learning curve on the end user community. Limiting the platforms and systems that IT staff and end users need to be familiar with leads to lowered support costs and a manageable infrastructure. · One approach to this issue is discussed under the South Portland consolidated model. The clarity of vision and specific ownership of support responsibilities is one to model. Building upon that focus, PPS can then begin to align product choices with the strategic plan and efficiency goals. · Products should be vetted based on the following criteria: o Long term viability o Availability of skilled resources o Integration with other products o Likelihood of continued integration · Along these lines, we believe that a move should be made from Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange for the messaging platform. GroupWise is a product that is implemented infrequently, and skilled resources in the product are hard to find. There are, moreover, many applications that integrate with Exchange, some of which PPS already owns (such as Cisco Call Manager/Unity) and others that will simplify support for the IT staff (such as ActiveSync for mobile devices). Exchange also offers a much more robust capability for high-availability that could benefit the PPS environment and is completely supported in a virtual environment. · Given that Exchange relies on Active Directory, in fact it does not function without it, the move to AD as the main directory service platform also makes sense. Currently, PPS’s IT staff support Active Directory as well as eDirectory. Supporting both long term will be more expensive. Organization and Business Process Foundations The highest level of process/organization review is one that determines whether or not there are sound foundations that support standardized and repeatable day-to-day operations that are clearly understood both within IT and by the clients that IT serves. Winxnet does not compare against industry trends regarding types of organizational structure, of which there are many approaches for IT departments as well as educational IT departments, nor do we make recommendations for IT models to apply. We are assessing whether or not the IT team has a clear strategy, procedures to support meeting strategic goals, and operational guides that are put into effect to enact those procedures. In addition, we are looking for control and audit points that allow visibility into the work and ability to report to both IT and end user management about the functioning level of the IT team. After interviewing the CTS support teams, and with confirmation from project sponsors, PPS is missing foundational processes. A well-functioning foundation can be outlined as below:

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This diagram covers basic interaction with leadership, IT support teams and the client. It outlines how those expectations are set and then reviewed against all of the support processes (purchasing and installing equipment, providing support as per a mutually defined agreement, identifying and controlling changes to the infrastructure and users, attrition and depreciation tracking, disposal policies for personally identifiable information, etc.). Leveraging those agreements at every point in the support process, the foundation provides transparency into the 94

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department goals, measurements, and ability to support the end user community. Without that foundation, what we see at PPS is a team that is acting in three independent manners, without cohesive expectations, without ability to control impact to the environment and the end users, and without appropriate communication paths either to/from leadership or to/from the community. The end result is not only a fragmented team that feels overwhelmed and unable to meet the need, but a user community that does not understand what CTS support provides and how it works. There is, additionally, significant internal disagreement that has become visible to the end user community. As we have outlined above, many standard processes take guidance from, as well as feed into, the management role. The appearance, name, and design of those structures can be tailored for the needs of an organization. For example, the Change Control Board function might look, in this case, like an IT Committee that combines city, school, and teacher representatives. This committee would play the role of change control by discussing priorities, by reviewing how requests meet or diverge from strategy, by approving or denying requests. Those same leaders might play a role in facilitating the creation of Service Level Agreements (SLA). Each of these basic processes and organizational levels is required to create a strong, functioning IT department. Recommendations Create foundational processes to provide both strategic guidance and day-to-day operational guidelines. Primary processes to consider include: · Centralized budgeting · Change Control Board · SLAs o Between educators and CTS o Between City of Portland and CTS · Standard Operating Procedures for CTS staff o Help Desk o Onsite troubleshooting Organization Assessment IT Leadership Perhaps the single biggest issue at PPS is the lack of IT Leadership (management, expectations, budget, and strategic planning). The sentiment expressed by nearly every person that we have spoken to is that there is no strategic plan. This is expressed outwardly in the disjointed budgetary process, in the seemingly random initiative implementations (whether or not they are truly random), and the lack of communication and insight from the administrative to the engineering sides and vice-versa. Ultimately, there is a real need for a strategic plan to be made and to be agreed upon. This agreed upon plan should then guide the IT budgetary and administrative decisions. There is an existing Learning Technology Plan published online that is presented to the state outlining the overall goals, strategy, and direction of the PPS IT department. It was found during the assessment that this plan holds little water with anyone working within the system. The general view of this plan is that it a loose framework of what a plan should look like, but has no 95

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real bearing on the actual situation inside the PPS network. If this is the case, another plan should be devised to which the IT infrastructure can be aligned and which can be used for the important purposes of: A. Presenting a strategic plan to the City councilors and interested parties that outlines the steps needed to advance the infrastructure and allows them to understand the reasons and justifications for these steps from a practical standpoint. B. Allowing interested parties to understand the connections between initiatives and outlining how these initiatives align with the larger goals of educating students and supplying Portland schools with a rich toolset for learning. This will also allow for more educated decision-making surrounding major purchases and funds allocation. C. Allowing IT, as a whole, to unify their budgets and to reach common ground with respect to strategic direction and prioritization of the steps that will need to be undertaken. We understand that this role is currently open and is being temporarily filled. We cannot stress how important the IT Leadership role is and that the role is filled by someone able to translate between technology and the end user community. Support Team At the support level in the organization, there are a number of issues that create a divided team that is, in effect, pitting the Network Administrator role against the Technician role. The animosity is overt and creates a completely dysfunctional working environment. Without clear guidance and reporting lines, each team sets its own priorities and operating procedures. Crossing lines between the two teams within the support process becomes complicated and even the simple, standard act of escalating a ticket is personalized and political. Within most IT organizations, there are clear reporting lines. The junior engineers (Tier 1 and Tier 2) commonly report to one of the senior engineers (Tier 3). Tier 1 and 2 are traditionally dedicated to more customer-facing issue resolution (you can equate Tier 1 to phone help desk and Tier 2 to onsite troubleshooting), while Tier 3 is dedicated to the infrastructure support and maintenance. In addition to reporting lines, mentoring programs or job shadowing opportunities allow crosstraining both inside a tier of engineers as well as across tiers of engineers. Performance is related to issue resolution time, number of closed tickets (project or break/fix), and measurement against clearly defined skill set expectations. None of these structures are currently in place at PPS. As a result, the Technicians will not take direction from the Network Admins. The Network Admins do not assume basic troubleshooting skills from the Technicians. Neither group understands the inherent value and contribution of the other group to the overall success of the department – at best, they minimize the equal importance of each team. As a result, they waste valuable support time with political discussion about organizational needs/issues rather than acting based on standard guidelines. In addition, there are ancillary support roles that may not belong within the CTS department ultimately, or that need to be reviewed in light of strategic direction – the Data Specialist and the Instructional Technology Leader positions. The Data Specialist is the equivalent of a Business System Administrator role within a corporation. This is a critical role to the success of the business groups that use a particular application. However, it is often contained within the organization and budget of the business unit rather than the IT department. The Instructional Technology Leader position is an Integrator position that is critical to the success of the use of technology in an appropriate manner for educators. However, this role is strongly diluted at PPS 96

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in comparison to other school systems. To assume that one person can play the integrator role across a school system as large as Portland, particularly when 40% of that time will be dedicated to one school next year, is a setup for failure. With the added responsibilities of teaching teachers how to use the basic technology that exists today, this role is diluted to the point of being ineffective. This comment is not a reflection of the individuals that make up those roles – both of whom seem skilled and committed to success (both in our analysis and anecdotally in discussion with the support teams). Recommendations Strengthen the organizational structure. To do this: · Create clear and strong management strategies (aligned with end-user goals) · Create clear reporting lines · Define and share the review process · Define and publish job description and requirements · Develop operational guidelines o Department goals o Day-to-day expectations End-User Awareness When reviewing the need for IT strategy and support, end-user (or client) awareness must play a primary role. PPS is an educational institution with a mission to educate students and support teachers in that end goal. When reviewing any technology as a part of the overall IT strategy, the overarching mission of education must be the guiding principle. This is not to negate the need for business process; foundational processes are strategy-agnostic and simply provide best practice approaches to execution of strategic goals. Nor is it meant to negate the need for infrastructure changes that move PPS in the direction of IT best practices for a supportable and high availability environment. The educational mission must, however, be a filter for decisions around impact to the student and teacher community. For example: · Identify the most common issues and address them in a proactive manner. This approach will alleviate end-user frustration, even if those issues are small. · Review the number of different applications and technologies that teachers have to interact with and look for solutions that provide better integration. This will speed the learning curve and increase productive use of technology in the classroom. These are just a few examples of ways in which the focus on end-user awareness can impact the support approach or implementation decision. PPS has a diverse group of teachers with mixed technology savvy and skills. Any new technology must be reviewed in light of their ability to successfully use and synthesize that application. Consolidated Education/Municipality IT Model and Approach As part of our review, we spoke to other municipalities and schools to determine the background for some of the issues we see at PPS. Separate Support Model Our discussion with a municipality that decided not to consolidate IT resources with its school 97

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system highlighted concerns that the city had as follows: · The school system uses outdated equipment and has no budget for repair. · The school system uses unsupported software (such as GroupWise) with no ready pool for support resources. · Critical support organizations, such as fire and police, must always be top priority. The primary takeaway from the consolidation discussion was the inability to meet all needs and bring the school system up to current support levels within existing budget. Consolidated Support Model Our discussion with a municipality that decided to consolidate IT resources with its school system was based on clear goals as follows: · Consolidated services eliminate duplicate efforts across both organizations. · Combining allows better interconnectivity and redundancy for both networks. The consolidation is in its early phases, but has a clearly defined SLA (municipality IT = phones, VM and infrastructure; school IT = all Macs, AV and all educational applications), as well as a clearly defined project plan in three phases, as follows: · Consolidate network management and implement SmartNet. · Phone conversion, GroupWise to Exchange migration, Novell to Windows migration, and server consolidation. · Transfer staff from school Help Desk organization to city; city supports all PC/desktop/printer infrastructure. The primary takeaway from the consolidation discussion was the well-defined goals and approach. Some of these should be considered by PPS in the future – the clearly designed division of labor between city and school IT staff is covered under the foundational process of SLA. Process Assessment In addition to reviewing the foundational business process gaps, we specifically assessed a number of IT processes that are pivotal to the Support Team and End User community. IT Ticketing Process The existing Web-based application, GroupLink’s Everything HelpDesk, is an easy-to-use and intuitive interface with several configuration options to enhance the metadata associated with a support ticket. There is a process, diagrammed below, that provides complete transparency into issue tracking and resolution both across the CTS group and the user community. Metadata fields exist to track information such as priority and notes. Assignment fields are pre-populated for ease of use and can be redirected or reassigned in the event of staff vacations. Tickets are not deleted, unless due to unforeseen incidents such as the intern issue recently, and a user is automatically communicated with as the status of their ticket changes. The portal landing page also lists high priority alerts that explain to the user community the status of server downs, etc., as they occur. Help Desk Process 98

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Most of the issues within this process do not relate to the technology. Both the CTS group itself and the end users do not use this system frequently enough. Anecdotally, we are told that only one-third of the support tickets, project work, and support requests are actually tracked within the ticketing system. As a result, the intuitive and transparent benefits of this system are underutilized. Because the primary method for getting help is a call or a “hallway grab,” the users have no understanding of other work, which might take higher priority, nor do they understand what becomes of their request after it is made, as they have no systematic tracking or visibility into the other methods utilized for tracking work (personal lists, Excel spreadsheets, email threads). Benchmarking and dashboard reporting, that is easily configured based on existing metadata, is unavailable due to lack of interest and would be inaccurate if it were available. In addition, not enough users know to use the alerts page and information presented there, so that major outages are still surprising and misunderstood. In addition, there is no consistent Dispatch role within the organization. As a result, the phone is answered based on a revolving schedule. Because this can mean that the engineer answering the phone is in transit or occupied resolving another issue, there is no way to enter information into the system at that time. There is no one responsible for the re-prioritization of existing tickets based on a new and more urgent issue or for scheduling efficient bundling of work tickets (within one school, district, etc.). Some of the organizational pushback and conflict might be relieved by consolidating these responsibilities into the traditional Dispatch role. 99

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Recommendations Track all CTS work within the existing Ticketing System. This will enable you to: · Identify top issues, repeat issues, and most common time commitments · Create visibility to work load · Publish CTS dashboards o Number issues resolved daily o Turnaround time averages o Critical issues of the day/week/month · Review CTS department strategies and goals in light of “real” work · Find out who is getting work done and who isn’t Process and Organization Recommendation Priority It is Winxnet’s opinion that the recommendations given above fall into the following priorities: 1. The management structure of the IT infrastructure needs to be corrected. The need is paramount for a centralized board for oversight and communication of business needs as it relates to the IT infrastructure, and is essential to allowing PPS to establish a cohesive IT budget. 2. The Support Team organization needs immediate restructuring. The openly hostile working environment between the two teams needs to be mended and clear expectations should be set so that daily operational support becomes depersonalized. 3. PPS needs to establish and communicate a real, strategic IT plan encompassing the next several years. This plan should replace the current 55-page plan that is published online and should be the starting point for conversations about prioritizing departmental IT needs within the framework of the overall goals of the PPS IT organization. 4. All work should be tracked within the existing Ticketing System. The additional effort to enter this data will be invaluable in assessing the actual work taking place and the ability of the team (both in terms of skill sets and staffing) to support that work. 5. Daily operational guides or standard operating procedures should be created. Individuals on the support team should not be making independent decisions about how to approach repeatable work. SOPs support expectations and provide streamlined support capability. Technology Infrastructure and Network When looking at any network to determine its usefulness in fulfilling its purpose, there are certain foundational pillars that must be achieved and maintained. These include those parts of the infrastructure that supply the base services such as connectivity, security, resiliency, and effective management of the systems within the network. Along with these, one must look at the infrastructure pieces that supply the essential services for the users of the network. These services include communication (email, phone, and fax), printing, and collaboration. On top of that, there exist the essential applications. These are determined primarily by the nature of the work and the goals of the network users. In the case of PPS, these are the Educational/Teaching, Financial, management, and presentation tools used in the education of students. Finally, there are the processes necessary to manage the environment (i.e., managing change, expectations, budget, and strategic direction). None of these are more important than 100

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the other, though all are essential. In looking at the PPS infrastructure, it was necessary to discover and analyze the environment based on these major building blocks, visualized below: Level 0 (Base Services) Level 1 (Essential Services) Level 2 (Essential Applications) Level 3 (Process) Backbone (network), Security, Backups, Monitoring Communication (email, phone, fax), Printing, Collaboration Financial, Educational, Teaching, and presentation tools Management (change, expectations, budget, strategy)

These levels are broken down in this manner to clarify the distinction between the hardware/connectivity/transport (i.e., purely technical) aspects of the “network” and the application/business (i.e., end user interaction and respective tools) aspect of the network. To a network engineer, the only piece of this that is “network” is the routing, switching, firewalls, security appliances, etc. that make up the connectivity of the environment (Level 0). The goal of the users of the network, however, is much more focused on the essential services and applications (Levels 1 & 2), and the base services are invisible, ignored, or assumed by the majority. All of the above require the process level (Level 3) to be successful, though all of them are completely able to function (outside of any expectation of usefulness) without the process. The relative importance of any section of this is highly dependent on what vantage point you are approaching it from. Base Services Network The first piece of the foundational assessment revolves around the Base services. To this end an investigation was made of the Network infrastructure in terms of routing and switching, throughput, capacity, usability, and security. This portion of the assessment concerns what the IT staff is talking about when they mention “the network.” A thorough analysis of PPS Network Infrastructure has confirmed the school district network infrastructure has been well designed and well-implemented. This architecture should adequately meet the current and future needs of the school district for the next two to five years. Solid network design fundamentals are obviously implemented across the enterprise. These fundamentals include: · Separate VLANs (virtual local area networks) are used for Data, Voice, Video, Wireless, Management, and Guest traffic at each location. This setup segments network traffic and allows for: o More efficient management of bandwidth, o Quality of Service, o Separation of traffic by type to eliminate and/or reduce certain types of conflicts, limit the effects of global (i.e., broadcast) traffic, and many other security capabilities. · Secure management protocols are also used which include Secure Shell (SSH) and Simple Network Management Protocol version 3 (SNMPv3). These protocols are more secure than Telnet and earlier versions of SNMP due to built-in encryption. · The core backbone bandwidth with redundant links is 10Gbps with 1Gbps speeds being 101

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extended to all schools that connect to the core. This is a robust network core that is in front of the curve in terms of throughput, speed and equipment. · A 100Mbps Internet connection provided by Time Warner Cable is adequate enough for all Web Surfing activities. · Solid network security capabilities are in place, including a Web Content Filtering System (Barracuda) plus inbound and outbound traffic filtering (ASA 5540) at the network perimeter.

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Overall, the network at the PPS can be envisioned as follows:

Figure 1 - Portland Public Schools Core Network

  Recommendations From a network infrastructure standpoint, PPS has a solid foundation. Industry standard network design fundamentals were used, along with sound security practices. Recommendations around this infrastructure will be more about potential uses of this infrastructure rather than the infrastructure itself. Virtualization A major initiative PPS has carried out is the virtualization of the environment. This has been undertaken as a strategic way for PPS to realize the best return on investment for the hardware dollars that they spend. It is also a way to extend the life of otherwise failing servers without the need for hardware purchases and a way to minimize the footprint of the hardware needed (power consumption, heat, cooling needs, etc.). Furthermore, through the use of virtualization and the use of storage area networks (SANs), PPS has brought a level of flexibility to the network that was not possible before this technology emerged. This strategic work, however, can easily be invisible to major business stakeholders. This is fine 103

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in most instances, (i.e., the business stakeholder only cares insofar as the infrastructure is up and running and performing to agreed-upon levels). In this case, however, it is important to note this as a significant strategic initiative that aligns itself with several needs present in the PPS environment, including the need to: · Continue to offer the existing functionality and new functionality with continuously aging equipment and no hardware refresh plan; · Offer a highly-available, highly resilient infrastructure that can limit the amount of downtime experienced; · More easily recover from hardware failures. To comprehend how it offers aid to these needs, it is important to understand, from a high-level, what virtualization means. In broad strokes, the virtual machine is an entire server represented in a few files. Rather than relying on physical hardware to perform functions such as memory processing, data manipulation and management, network communication, and even the rendering of video, the virtual machine manifests this functionality via an abstracted layer that emulates the physical functionality. This abstracted layer is known as the Hypervisor. As such, the virtual server is more portable than its physical counterpart. Couple this with the replication capabilities of the Storage Area Network (SAN) and it is not hard to see why the duplication of data (files) representing a server across the network to a second storage unit makes the IT infrastructure more resilient, flexible, and manageable. The virtualization technology offers this sort of flexibility out-of-the-box and has more possibilities still when thinking of shared cluster volumes, vMotion (or automatic failover to another machine), and other features that can be leveraged in VMWare. Currently, the virtual environment at PPS consists of seven host machines with over 50 virtual machines running on these hosts. The connection between the host servers and the SAN is assembled such that each server utilizes MPIO (Multi-path IO) to assure that there is no single point of failure in the path from storage to server. Furthermore, the SAN and the server has redundancy built in for power, for drives (RAID configurations), and the data on one SAN is replicated to another SAN. The data that constitutes the host and guest machines is also backed up regularly and allows the IT department to recover not only from hardware failures and server crashes, but also from data loss and/or corruption. As a future consideration, it is also possible for the virtualization environment to extend to the desktop of the end user. This allows for a centralized model where the data that constitutes any one user’s computer experience on the network is itself instantiated and served from the centralized server/storage infrastructure and allows for a less powerful end machine. This has implications in the reuse of existing equipment in that it can allow older machines to remain useful longer. There are, however, significant challenges associated with this type of infrastructure ranging from the back-end processing power and storage space necessary to support this type of infrastructure all the way to the challenges presented by a mobile end user community (students) that need to have a consistent and up-to-date desktop experience whether or not they are physically connected to the internet and/or the PPS network.

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Recommendations Winxnet views the virtualization initiative at PPS as essential for the IT infrastructure to continue to meet the demands of the user community and the needs for advancing the educational opportunities for the students of the school system. The virtualization initiative should be continued, and the platform (VMWare) is an industry leader and technologically advanced solution. The reduction of machine (hardware footprint) at the PPS from ~ 100 machines to a current number of about 20 machines and a future state of circa ten machines to run the entire infrastructure is a huge cost savings for the district in terms of electric consumption, heating/cooling costs, and physical upkeep. The clear improvement that could be made in this environment is the establishment of an off-site (DR) location for the virtual servers for increased resiliency. A Note on Hardware Refresh While the preceding initiative goes a long way towards minimizing the effect of simple hardware fatigue and failure, it does not eliminate the need for a periodic (preferably scheduled, based on a two to five year plan) refresh of the hardware portions of the architecture. This extends to servers (host servers, stand-alone servers, special purpose servers), workstations (desktops and laptops for students and staff alike), and network gear (switches, routers, firewalls, etc.). All of this equipment follows a predictable path in terms of total ownership cost. This path is one in which the equipment simply costs more to maintain the older it gets. The failure of components of the equipment is a reality that will not go away and the machine will wear out over time as it depreciates. A hardware refresh plan promotes spreading the hardware investment over several years rather than falling into the big-spend-then-wait-then-big-spend model that requires a periodic overhaul that is not only expensive from a one-time cost perspective, but also tends to be much more labor-intensive and costly in terms of resources, frustration, and associated service interruption as the machines collectively hit the outer reaches of their viability. Directory Services The directory service in use at PPS currently utilizes the eDirectory from Novell. This is a full LDAP v3 product that handles user accounts, logons, Access and Authentication to resources, and DNS/DHCP on the network. The directory structure is also responsible for managing the identity of the users of the PPS. This includes all students, staff, computer, resource, and service account resources. In a school system, this necessarily involves a large degree of churn as opposed to an average corporate network. This is one of the major challenges of an infrastructure such as the PPS. Along with the maintenance of the directory services, there is also the management of the configuration, applications, patching, and security of the end machines. Not to mention the simple asset management that is necessary in a dynamic environment. All of these things are accomplished via the directory, and can be helped along via the use of software designated to these purposes. For eDirectory, this software is ZenWorks. PPS owns ZenWorks, but the general consensus is that it is currently under-utilized. Portions of this directory, namely DNS/DHCP, are a shared directory with the City of Portland. 105

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There is a cooperative relationship between the school IT staff and the City IT staff. This has apparently gone well from the standpoint of shared DNS/DHCP. This DNS/DHCP infrastructure is divided between the city and the schools (two servers at the city, two at the schools). This has led to some discussion of the possibility of a rack shared in each of the datacenters for the DR of the other partner. This, if feasible, could allow the school to achieve the offsite DR for replicated data and vCenter servers without the ongoing expense of the hosted datacenter rental situation. As stated above, the recommendation is to move to Exchange for the messaging platform. This will make, in turn, the Active Directory environment more central to the organization. This is not undesirable. Active Directory is the most widely-used directory platform in the world, has a deep pool of available support resources, and has thousands of applications that are specifically designed to integrate with it. This being said, there is undoubtedly a domino effect to the change starting with Exchange. From the Active Directory change, comes the need to implement a management platform for this directory. ZenWorks is based in the Novell environment. Active directory will necessitate a different management platform. Active Directory also relies on DNS to function. Typically, Active Directory will provide its own DNS infrastructure, though it can be made to leverage other DNS infrastructures as long as they support the SRV (Service Location Records) and resolution requirements of the Active Directory infrastructure. Ideally, Active directory will be in control of the internal DNS necessary for its functioning and can be set up to forward as necessary for other namespaces within the PPS environment. A Note on Identity Management A primary complication to serving the needs of the end user community at PPS is the turnover inherent in the mission of the school (i.e., every year a number of students leave the system and a number of new students enter the system). The management of the entire lifecycle of that account is a critical piece of providing a seamless experience for that user. The on-boarding process, the management of the changes to that account as it moves through the system to higher and higher grades, the deprovisioning process all play a part in assuring the effectiveness and security of the network. Add to this the diversity of the platforms that are currently supported (i.e., Windows, UNIX, Mac, desktop, laptop, tablet, iPad) and the complexity of the application, security, and directory layers rises accordingly. As long as there is a need to support all of these things together, the PPS environment becomes one in which the coexistence of disparate systems is a reality and needs to be properly planned for and managed lest it become an ever-increasing management burden. Recommendations Overall, the directory services at PPS is lacking some of the major management tools that can help automate processes within the environment and keep different identity stores in sync without an inordinate amount of manual labor on the part of the IT staff. As mentioned above, it is our recommendation that this disparity be limited as much as possible. The relative obscurity of the Novell platform along with the integration and functionality benefits of the Exchange messaging platform argue for Active Directory as the primary directory service platform. Either way, a robust management platform (ZenWorks in the case of Novell and System Center Configuration Manager for Active Directory) will go a long way towards managing the burden of repeatable processes such as patch rollout and machine policy changes.

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A well-defined provisioning and deprovisioning process is a must for an environment with the amount of churn found in the PPS infrastructure. This will remain true no matter what directory platform is under consideration. Should this be Active Directory, the user account and mailbox can be created simultaneously and much, if not all, of the process can be scripted in an errorproof, repeatable fashion. During the period of co-existence or should it prove impractical to consolidate to a single identity platform, another possibility for PPS is the implementation of an identity management tool (such as Forefront Identity Manager or the Identity Manager from Novell) to accomplish the synchronization and management of information changes for users across identity stores. This will allow the user account management process to make a change in one store and see the effects of this in all the other identity management stores. Security The security of this network is of primary concern, and is only as good as its weakest link. For the purposes of this assessment, the following things will be taken into consideration: · Physical security · Anti-virus/anti-spam · Network security Included in these categories will be some overlap with essential services and with essential applications; as much as possible, these applications and services will be considered in this section rather than the others. Physical Security encompasses measures taken to assure that a limited audience has access to the physical machines themselves. The network at PPS has several security measures that have been implemented, such as, a Barracuda Web content filtering solution, appropriate firewalling with inbound and outbound traffic filtering, and anti-spam/anti-virus solutions in place. Content Filtering The Barracuda solution is used to disallow certain websites, certain types of content, and users, based on groupings, from viewing certain types of information. This is implemented to protect students, to limit exposure of the network to viruses and malware, and also to allow a more focused learning experience. One ongoing concern, however, that was discussed involved students’ use of unsecured wireless near the school building to facilitate a bypass of the Web content filtering. This is also true of students’ home networks. Unless there are measures taken in the home, the students are able to surf a broader range of content on the Web while at home than they are at school. This is because the current solution is agentless and is, therefore, not installed locally on the student machines. There is a plan in place for replacing the current agentless system with a solution from Sophos that will allow the administrators to control Web content that is delivered on PPS-owned equipment outside of their own network. This should greatly increase the security of the environment overall. The Sophos agent communicates with the Sophos Management server via the Remote management service to assure that the client machines get consistent anti-virus, content filtering, and security settings. It receives its policies from the internal implementation at the PPS datacenter and therefore allows the IT staff to set policy locally, but protect the machine globally. This allows the client machine to be consistently protected across networks and the requirement that PPS-supplied machines be protected is more thoroughly realized. 107

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Intrusion Detection PPS staff also indicated during the discovery process that they are pursuing an Intrusion Prevention/Detection System (IPS/IDS). An Enterprise level IPS/IDS appliance is needed to proactively monitor, alert and resolve network intrusion and attacks. These attacks are not limited to worms, malware, Botnets and directed attacks. A robust IPS/IDS appliance will also help an Enterprise class network comply with consumer privacy laws, governmental regulations as well as PCI compliance (if applicable). When choosing an IPS/IDS appliance the following considerations should be evaluated: · 10 Gigabit Interfaces · Purpose-built hardware · Auto updates for signatures and viruses · Web-based management · Maximum throughput of device in GB/sec PPS is currently evaluating IPS appliances and with a core infrastructure based on the Enterasys switching product, the Dragon IPS appliance is under consideration. Since the Enterasys platform is ubiquitous in the PPS network, this is a logical choice. Dragon IPS was one of the first enterprise IDS products on the market. Enterasys IPS currently offers a variety of solutions integrated into the appliance, including: · 10 Gbe Interfaces · Access Control Lists and Firewall feature sets · Auto updates for signatures · Central management console · Reporting based on Compliance · Web-based management · Max gigabit throughput of over six GB/sec · Integration with RADIUS · Integration with LDAP It is important to consider, however, that an enterprise IDS system is a high price point and the return on investment of the solution should be weighed against the measurable benefits of the IDS/IPS. The benefits of the IDS/IPS system should be validated for internal threats as well as external. A large percentage of attacks traditionally come from inside the network (this is true for businesses in all sectors) and the protection system needs to be proactive to these threats as well. Recommendations The Sophos agent solution should be rolled out to allow protection of mobile devices while not on the PPS network. The IDS/IPS system does not seem essential at this point. It should be evaluated in terms of the total cost of the product, and the project to implement it, weighed against the current need/threat types in the environment. It is Winxnet’s opinion that other, less costly methods can be found to accomplish the same result and that a robust enterprise-class 108

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monitoring system would be a much higher priority purchase than the IDS/IPS. A well-defined, and ideally systematic and automated, on boarding and off boarding process will also go a long way to helping secure the environment. Backups In order to assure continuity of any enterprise, it is essential that processes be in place and regularly verified to backup essential data and be able to restore this data in the event that the current working set becomes lost or corrupted. The backups of the majority of the systems at PPS are those that take place in the virtualized infrastructure. These backups are threefold and are made up of the following processes: · The data that comprises the virtual infrastructure is replicated to a DR SAN every three hours. · Snapshots of the virtual servers (offline snapshots) are taken of the entire environment. · The data volumes associated with the various servers are backed up as they would be on a physical machine to assure data continuity in the environment. In essence, the replication of the virtual machines and the snapshots take the place of the traditional System State backup and allow PPS to rapidly re-deploy or replace a failed machine to a moment in time backup state. The data backups are then available to backfill the difference between that moment-in-time and the state of the system at the time immediately before the failure. This is a facet of the flexibility and mobility of the virtual environment as opposed to the physical machine infrastructure. The current backup solution has redundancy levels that require failure of two pieces of the solution at the same time in order to experience data loss. SQL servers in the environment are backed up daily via maintenance plans to local tape drives. The physical servers have backup agents installed and are backed up as these types of machines have been backed up for years. The backups, for the most part, however, remain at the datacenter (excepting the financial data that is transported offsite) and this is the weakest link in the backup solution. There are currently three virtual machines that are serving the role of an off-site backup system, but these systems have yet to be moved to a remote location. Once this is accomplished, the backup solution will have an offsite component and will be more robust overall as a result. Another potential solution is to leverage the fact that the city and the schools are currently on the same revision of the backup software. Given the appropriate coordination, the media servers at the respective locations can be used to supply the other datacenter with their offsite capability. The backup solution utilizes Backup Exec 2010 R3 and currently has six TB of space available. The IT staff is moving to a 12 TB MSA solution in order to allow for future growth and maintain the retention levels that are currently in place. The LTO3 and/or four tapes have a capacity of 32 TB in one library and 72 TB in another. The disk-to-disk backups are done in four-week increments and kept 32 weeks back. There is currently no capacity to keep the yearly state of anything. Mail Data Backups The mail system in use at PPS is the GroupWise mail system. The products used include Reload for mail backup and Retain for email archiving. The details of the products and associated servers are outlined below:

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RELOAD version 3.1 build 311170 (most recent) GWAW Reload server OS Server Components Storage Support on Hardware Support on Software Email Retention – RETAIN GWAW Retain server 172.16.30.109 OS SLES 10sp3 Server Components HP DL360 G5 Storage Physical RAID 5 (qty=4 300 GB SAS) DATA volume = 1.2TB Support on Hardware Yes – Carepack w/ HP Support on Software Yes – direct with GWAVA, annual Post Office dredge Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Login http://172.16.30.109/RetainServer/Manager/login.jsp Backups of the mail data are performed daily. The backups are kept for three weeks with each day recoverable in that time span. The backups are mountable in minutes without interruption to the existing mail stores and the mounted backup versions are available from the server after repointing to the Reload server. A fully portable backup is available from Reload, but is not currently in use as it would reduce the number of weeks held on disk. When speaking of the archive server, the solution in place is the Retain server from GWAVA. It is important to note that there is no current retention policy. Under the guidance of the former COO and consultation with PPS lawyers, however, it has been determined that mail should be captured for up to seven years, or until a formal definition in a SLA or legal document exists. This requirement began the September 1, 2010. Since that time, all mail has been captured except for the trash folder. The Retain server currently has approx. two to three years of disk space based on the current post office size and the growth rates to this point. Furthermore, the Retain product has the capability to offload an entire user mailbox to DVD/CD that runs independently of the post office. This feature can be used for litigation, and is an important piece of compliance software. Users also have the ability to access archived email via direct login to the Retain server, or via a bot from the client. Web access also contains a snap-in that will allow users to pan through former email. As there is not yet a SLA or formal definition for retaining mail data, the Retain server is currently storing everything up to seven years from now. This will, if unchanged, necessitate more disk space be procured for the server. Should the messaging infrastructure be moved to Exchange, the current version of Backup Exec 2010 R3 can be used to back up the latest versions of Exchange and has the ability, with proper modules/licensing, to also provide the archiving for the mail environment. Couple this with Exchange 2010’s state-of-the-art availability features and this becomes an attractive combination. This will also have the benefit of consolidating the messaging backup and archive functionality into the same platform that is being used for virtual machine and file system 110 172.16.30.107 SLES 10sp3 HP DL320S Physical RAID 5 (qty=4 750GB SAS) DATA volume = 2TB Yes – Carepack w/ HP Yes – direct with GWAVA

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backups. This will reduce the number of systems that need to be mastered and maintained to another industry leading product that has a strong base of skilled resources and a vast online knowledge base to aid in the maintenance and support of the platform. Recommendations The mail environment, regardless of platform, needs to have quotas established for mailbox size. In modern email systems this can be a fairly large number, but will at least serve to set some upper limits to the growth of mailboxes. There should also be an investigation into the requirements for archiving to determine how long the school is required to keep this data and the SLA should be established accordingly. The requirements for legal hold, etc. should also be taken into consideration when reviewing the timeframes and the required storage. For the most part, the current backup system is leveraging reputable products and has been put together in a thoughtful manner. The lack of any means of keeping a yearly archive of data and storage space without quotas is of concern. The tape drives, over time, should be replaced with disk-based backups and more reliable and flexible backup solutions. The SQL databases are currently backed up via maintenance plan and are therefore only a flat-file cold backup of the environment. These backups are kept locally to the server that they are backing up and this can be problematic in certain types of failures (i.e., you lose the machine and the backup at the same time). These types of backups also tend to be less efficient in terms of drive space requirements than the continuous protection volume shadow based backups of the modern backup solutions. This would also lend more flexibility to the retention times and recovery points. The Backup Exec solution is fully capable of backing up all aspects of the proposed environment, including Exchange, VMWare, SQL, and Active Directory. Monitoring Currently, PPS lacks an Enterprise-Level Network Monitoring Solution. This may be the single biggest deficiency in the IT department, especially considering the number of devices per IT staff ratio and the significant number of business-critical systems and relationships with “partner” networks. The ability to monitor, create alerts, and respond to potentially disruptive conditions in a network without an Enterprise monitoring tool is an impossible task. The automated monitoring and management (patching, updates, etc.) of machines free the IT staff to place their energy into the larger, underlying issues and to be proactive about potential problem areas rather than reacting only when disaster has already struck. That said, the setup and maintenance of a monitoring system is, in itself, a time-consuming operation This is normally more-so at the beginning of an implementation than it is later in the implementation, but it should be noted that a comprehensive monitoring solution will not be a plug-and-play operation where the system automatically knows what needs to be monitored, what is considered critical, and what actions are taken when alerts are encountered. Examples of this type of system include such products as Solarwinds Orion Network Performance Monitor, HP Openview, WhatsUpGold, Nagios, and Level Platforms. The best of these tools come with a wealth of out-of-the-box monitors and are completely customizable to the environment in which they are run. Some are heavy on the customized scripting that is necessary to get them to monitor an environment; others are much lighter on scripting but can be less flexible. 111

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Recommendations The options for monitoring and alerting in the PPS network should be researched and a monitoring solution should be chosen and implemented. Until this is done, the reactive nature of responding to issues only after the problem has surfaced in a noticeable manner will continue. Currently, the engineers are using Solarwinds Engineer’s Toolset for monitoring, but this toolset is designed to assist Engineers with troubleshooting tasks rather than serve as a complete monitoring solution. A complete monitoring system will allow the IT staff to recognize and alert on pre-cursors or leading indicators of impending issues in such areas as hardware utilization, event log culling, up/down monitoring, and scripting of repeatable and time-consuming maintenance tasks. The best of the tools allow the IT staff to develop responses to events based on existing and new knowledge of what the causes and solutions are for any given situation. The clustering of the virtual machines has made a lot of progress in avoiding single points of failure that existed in the physical server only scenario, but without an enterprise-level monitoring system, IT will always be reactive. Essential Services – Communication (Email, Phone, Fax) GroupWise – Messaging The GroupWise structure is built in a robust and redundant way due to hard lessons in the past. The Mail servers are part of an Active/Passive cluster with three layers of backup. First at the server level, second at the virtual server level and finally at the storage level with both a local replicated SAN and an offsite backup. Furthermore, mail is archived twice weekly and retained permanently. Mail routing rules and practices are all up to secure standards. Currently there are no mailbox size limits or attachment limits, so, when coupled with a retention policy of 365 days, storage becomes a key issue. The current archiving solution is not all inclusive as it exempts the Trash folder and, by running twice a week, allows users to clear email prior to archiving. PPS needs guidance both in developing a sound retention policy for the mailboxes and clarity on the regulatory requirements for archiving. The GroupWise messaging system has been a cause of frustration for the IT staff and endusers alike. It has suffered from a significant amount of downtime in the recent past. As a result of this downtime, the GroupWise servers were virtualized and clustered, which should help avoid future outages like those recently experienced. The alternative to GroupWise is Exchange Server from Microsoft and there are many enhancements to the messaging infrastructure that are available here. Based upon estimates given by the IT staff, a switchover to Exchange will cost $87/head. The current GroupWise licensing gives PPS 14,000 mailboxes and as many post offices as they need. Even with the licensing costs, however, the functionality improvements and integration capabilities of Exchange make it a desirable alternative to GroupWise. Some limitations, for example, that are noted with the current GroupWise platform are being overcome with third-party products. This includes the use of Sophos to enable the ability to 112

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remote wipe devices and the Novell data synchronizer that allows the GroupWise server to act like an Exchange server in terms of updating mobile devices. Also important are the hidden costs of supporting GroupWise. GroupWise is found in fewer and fewer enterprises; the number of people, therefore, trained in GroupWise is a diminishing number. The cost of support personnel for this product is sure to rise and keep rising. Exchange, on the other hand, is ubiquitous. Qualified administrators for Exchange are abundant and low cost. The Exchange platform has made great strides over the past several years and is in no danger of being a “specialty” application that only a select few have real knowledge of. This, in the long run, is a key consideration for the school system in that there is the need to assure that the systems in use at the school are supportable, that resources will be available and at a reasonable rate to replace a current resource should they leave for another job or should circumstances change. Given the need at PPS for Active Directory for applications and other reasons, it will be part of the infrastructure. Given that it will be supported by the IT staff, there may be many gains in functionality, in lowering overall support cost, and in increasing future supportability by making the switch from GroupWise to Exchange. Recommendations The current messaging platform should be evaluated in terms of total cost of ownership and functionality and compared to the leading competitors (namely, Exchange). It is Winxnet’s opinion that the feature set inherent in the newest versions of Exchange, which include a large number of enhancements in high-availability, collaboration, and mobility, make it a much easier system to manage and will lessen the support burden over the current mail system. Phones An onsite analysis of the current production telephony environment was conducted. This analysis included a review of: · Processes associated with POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line consolidation and migration to PRI (Primary Rate Interface) services; · Remote site expansion criteria and remediation of issues associated with power outages and thermal indicators in the telephony switching environment; · Hardware and software support contracts currently in place; · Critical telephony systems involved including three Cisco Unified CallManager call control appliances as well as a Cisco Unity Connection voicemail application server; · Dial plan analysis for current and future sites in the centralized call control distribution model; · Telephony server back-up practices; · Current Intercom and Bell integration practices; · Voice gateway configurations on current production Cisco 2800 series Integrated Service Routers (ISR) for optimization and best practices methods employed. A technology plan currently exists to bring additional schools running on legacy PBX systems onto the CallManager cluster. This includes cost per station breakdown, return on investment timeline, consolidation of POTS lines and main Billing Telephone Numbers (BTN) to the 2 x PRI lines at PATHS. Additional cost breakdowns and planning exist for bringing on a school as an entire entity, which include costs for Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) ISR Routers, 113

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Power Over Ethernet (PoE) switching and phones. Prioritization of target schools to join the centralized call distribution model are based on several factors including age of current legacy PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, current problems and issues relating to telephony service at the school as well as availability of parts for the antiquated PBX systems. PPS has current Cisco SMARTNET contracts on all hardware and software, except IP Phones (6900/7900 series IP Phones). The duration of the contract is three years and includes a valid UCSS (Unified Communications Software Subscription) contract. The UCSS contract entitles PPS to product enhancements, major software releases, security updates as well as software support. IP Phones are replaced on an as needed basis from CMS Communications via refurb program. CMS Communications guarantees include a one-year warranty on all products as well as labeled components to track products and remediate issues. Intercom and Bell Integration practices are based on a per school model with no standardization plan in place to unify all schools. Upon request from the local school, and after due diligence, Intercom systems are integrated into the existing Cisco VoIP system via 2800 series ISR routers and analog ports. Cost analysis and due diligence was performed by PPS on the possibility and viability of a unified paging infrastructure. IP based paging systems from Cisco Certified Integrators Berbee and IPCelerate were examined, but not implemented based on costs analysis and return on investment. Additionally, exploration of the use of IP Phones to page was considered. Due to end device limitations such as small speaker phones on 7900 Series IP Phones as well as the cost to implement IP Phones with two lines or more (the second line being configured to go off hook and broadcast via speaker phone) this avenue to replace existing paging and broadcast services was abandoned. Costs analysis for upgrade and replacement of existing antiquated paging systems was also conducted and quotes were received from vendors on possible solutions, but no plan or track exists to install or upgrade to a new paging infrastructure. Current intercom and paging systems are maintained by the City of Portland Maintenance Department. Planning and notifications for power outages and thermal alarms are in place. Remote access closets at the outlying schools on the CallManager VoIP system are on existing UPS battery backup and are sized to have an uptime of over an hour. UPS backup equipment is integrated into the existing IP network and generates alerts when outages occur. Thermal conditions are also monitored and alerts generated when thresholds are reached. Core switching UPS systems are sized to maintain over two hours of uptime when power outages occur and alerts are generated. Thermal monitors are also in place at Core locations to monitor environmental temperatures and will generate alarms when thermal thresholds are exceeded. Remote telephony environments are not on backup generators. The PATHS building, where the centralized call control cluster is located, is on backup power with an uptime exceeding two hours as well as backup generator power for the building. The backup generator is set to engage almost immediately in the event of a cataclysmic power outage. PPS has recently upgraded their Cisco VoIP call control appliances to a currently Cisco supported version. The school district upgraded their three redundant CallManager servers from version 4.1, a Windows based solution, to a more robust and stable Linux based version 7.1.3. The single Unity server was also upgraded to a compatible Linux based 8.0.3 software suite. The CallManager cluster (1 Publisher and 1 Subscriber along with the Unity server) is housed in 114

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the 3rd floor data center in the PATHS building. A single CallManager subscriber designated server exists at City Hall. Remote sites are connecting via fiber gigabit connections over the privatized WAN. Each outlying site is on its own voice VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) with centralized via 2 x PRI circuits terminated into a 2800 ISR Router. SRST routers at remote location have one analog line designated for inbound and outbound dialing in case of a WAN (Wide Area Network) or CallManager cluster failure. All routers are configured to use H323 (aka as Packet-Based Multimedia Communications System) call signaling to the CallManager cluster EXCEPT the Portland voice gateway. The Portland PRI gateway is configured to utilize MGCP (Media Gateway Control Protocol), which is a Cisco Proprietary centralized model in which the CallManager controls the gateway directly. An analysis was completed focusing on the internal workings of the CallManager servers including dial plan, QoS (Quality of Service), Calling Search Spaces, Codec settings, Media Resources as well as phone settings. Internal settings and services were reviewed and reflect an architecture which adheres to most Cisco best practice outlined in the Unified Communications SRND (Solution Reference Network Design). SRND outline is available here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/srnd/7x/uc7_0.html The CallManager Group setting only has the two servers at PATHS (designated Publisher and Subscriber) accessible for the IP phones. The third CallManager server designated CCM_CityHall subscriber is not being utilized by any resources or IP phones in production. This design limits the disaster recovery mechanism inherent to the CallManager Grouping for phones and provides no tertiary redundancy in case of WAN or cluster failure at the PATHS location. Furthermore it was observed that IP phones located at City Hall designated sites (Men’s Shelter for example) are using the PPS CallManager cluster and not the City Hall CallManager. The dial plan was designed in a way that allows for best match dialing and is partitioned with logical groups and settings. The partitioning and route plans were set to allow dialing access to International, Long Distance, Local, Internal and E911 resources. This logical best practices approach allows for granular control of IP Phones and the dial destinations they have access to. Calling Search Spaces (CSS) are also set up in a logical manner with three levels of dialing (13). CSS 1 allows access to all dial plans. CSS 2 has been set up for access to Long Distance, Local, Internal and E911 dial plans. CSS 3 is being used to internal and E911 resources only. Codec and region settings are all set to utilize G711 codec only between resources, IP phones and remote sites. Cisco best practices voice deployments recommend and utilize G729 codec for calls to remote sites across WAN links and VPN tunnels. This practice conserves bandwidth and works in conjunction with QoS settings to enable voice streams and call signaling are delivered with no phase, jitter and packet loss. QoS (Quality of Service) policies and mechanisms have been deployed at all remote sites, including voice interfaces that uplink to the WAN, local access switching, and uplinks to the CallManager clusters. Media resources currently in production for the IP telephony environment consist of Music on Hold (MOH) software services only. Conference bridging resources, transcoders, annunciators and Media Termination Points are installed but not configured for use by the IP Phones in the 115

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production environment. Network Time Protocol was not configured with a reachable NTP resource on the CallManager and Unity servers. One good approach is to point the CallManager servers to a Router terminating the circuits used for inbound and outbound calling as a time source. This enables all time functionality within a cluster to be pointed to the same timing mechanism. IP phones, voicemail timestamps as well as Auto Attendant scripts and schedules will all be in synch. The Unity Connection server running software version 8.0.3 is a stand-alone server. There is no redundant server and in the event of a hardware failure, voicemail and Auto Attendant functionality will be unavailable. Overall the configuration on the Unity server was set up to adhere to standardized deployment methods in line with Cisco best practices. Again, NTP was not configured with a reachable NTP resource. Possible issues relating to this configuration are voicemail timestamps being out of synch with the time the call arrived as well as Auto Attendant scripts and scheduling being out of synch. Recommendations Standardize the CallManager local and remote ISR routers on MGCP (Media Gateway Control Protocol). This will help staff with ongoing management and facilitate quick addition of future remote sites. All configurations and management of the gateways are centralized and controlled from the CallManager cluster, with very little configuration needed on the gateway (MGCP fallback for SRST services as well as dial peers for local dialing in SRST mode). This alleviates the need for heavy CLI (Command Line Interface) laden code associated with the H323 protocol and thus cut down on deployment times. Additionally primary troubleshooting of services associated with the remote ISR routers would be done locally from the CallManager. In addition MGCP provisioned networks benefit from audio preservation in the event of a CallManager cluster failure, whereas H323 does not have this feature. Dial plan considerations and recommendations revolve around the CSS_1 all access dial plan. Currently all phones have the Call Forward All option enabled and set for the all access dial pattern. This enables IP Phones to be forwarded to any existing dial pattern including International numbers. It is recommended that this feature be implemented on an as needed basis with determination being done by PPS IT Staff. Additionally all IP Phones should have this feature correspond with its current directory number associated Calling Search Space (CSS). For example a phone with access to CSS_2 would also have its Call Forward All CSS set to CSS_2. Configure the CCM_CityHall server to be the tertiary server in the CallManager Group. This will enable a third CCM server to be used in the event of an outage of the Primary and Secondary CallManager server. Configure device pools and phones designated for City Hall entities to use the City Hall CallManager first in the CCM Group. This will be a more efficient model when troubleshooting and sequester like devices in one server. All calls made from local IP phones to remote sites are done with the G711 (64K) codec. Cisco best practices recommend using the G729 (8K) codec to conserve bandwidth, when making a call to a remote site. Local LAN calls should still utilize the G711 codec. It is recommended that this practice be implemented and new Region settings be configured in the device pools. 116

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Media Resources should be configured to be utilized by all IP Phones. Currently only Music on Hold servers are available based on the Media Resource Group List assigned to the IP Phones. Conference bridging resources, transcoders, annunciators and Media Termination Points are installed but not configured for use by the IP Phones in the production environment. Network Time Protocol (NTP) resources were not reachable from the CallManager or Unity servers. It is recommended that this critical issue be resolved. Prolonged misconfiguration of this service parameter will result in time stamps on voicemail not in synch with the time on the local phones. Auto Attendant scheduling will not be in synch resulting in calls being accepted prior to and after open and close scheduling. Call Detail Records (CDR) will reflect the wrong timestamp and cause accountability issues (E911 calls). In the current environment there is only one Unity Voicemail server. There is no hardware redundancy in the cluster in the event of a failure. Voicemail, Auto Attendant and other essential call control applications will be unavailable. It is recommended that a second Unity Voicemail server be implemented to provide a robust and redundant environment, thus minimizing downtime. Overall, a telephony migration plan exists to bring additional schools onto the PPS Telephony Infrastructure. Due diligence has been done with regards to analysis of the overall telephony infrastructure including POTS lines, consolidation to PRI technologies and cost savings associated with consolidation of telephony services. Documentation exists to support the planning, budgeting and implementation. A unified approach to assessing, implementing and supporting existing and future Paging and Bell systems at PPS has not been included in the overall Telephony plan. A solid Cisco telephony installation and implementation exists with a focus on a centralized call control platform. Printing – iPrint Currently all printing in the environment is handled through the eDirectory native print management utility (iPrint). This has been working well for PPS, but help is needed on the other side of this equation, namely the management/maintenance/repair of the physical printers/copiers themselves. At the time of the interview, the PPS staff indicated that they are working on getting a managed print contract in place. They are looking to leverage an outside company, such as BEU to manage this piece of the environment and take this off the plate of the CTS. Management would remain the function of CTS, break/fix on the printers would become the responsibility of a company specialized in this field. Recommendations The support contract via a third-party vendor should be evaluated for PPS. This will free up the IT staff from dealing with physical breakdowns of printing equipment and should speed up the response to all such issues. Systems Management and Practices PPS owns ZenWorks, which is the system management tool from Novell. The tool has four major uses including: Configuration Management, Asset management, Security management, and patch management. Currently, the ZenWorks installation is under-utilized, according to PPS 117

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staff, for the management of workstations. The challenges inherent in systems management at the schools start with the fact that the students are rough on equipment. The percentages of machines that are returned from students broken are enormous compared with similarly-sized companies. The PPS IT staff makes extensive use of imaging technology and can rebuild machines at an impressive rate, but actual machine repair is a slower process. Other factors in systems management at the schools include the requirement to have certain protections on all machines and regardless of the network that the machines are being used on, especially when coupled with the mobility of the machines as a general rule. The machines need, in essence, to be standardized, reconfigurable on the fly, and survivable across and without network connectivity. Given the increasing demands of the average application and the increasing age of the majority of the equipment a solution is necessary that can leverage older machines while still providing the functionality necessary. Most often, this type of situation is handled in a couple of manners. Namely, the burden of processing information can be placed on a server whereas the client is made into a thin client (terminal services) or, increasingly, the desktop is created and maintained on the server and presented to the client when necessary (virtual desktops). Both of these approaches encounter difficulties in situations where the machine in question needs to be used in a disconnected manner (i.e., at a student’s house without internet access). In the case of the terminal services approach, the local machine needs to be self-sufficient enough to allow for offline work on the machine and a resynchronization process when reconnected to the network and in the virtual desktop situation the desktop has to be persisted onto the machine while disconnected. While both of these are possible, the infrastructure in the backend necessary to serve this purpose (particularly with the virtual desktop version) can be extensive and costly. A third option, and one which seems to be in place currently, is to make each machine entirely self-sufficient and try and construct some manner in which the data utilized can be automatically stored somewhere on the network for backups and management. This solution necessitates the more powerful client machine and also introduces a greater potential for data loss particularly when the physical machines themselves are undergoing a great deal of wear and tear. Ultimately, the decision concerning how these should be managed must be decided by weighing the costs of building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to remove the burden of processing from the client machine against the costs associated with building and maintaining the physical machines. The repair of the machines, unfortunately, should be expected to be a constant in either environment. Recommendations Many of the difficulties being experienced here are the result of the increasing age of equipment combined with the lack of a completely implemented systems management infrastructure. For the Novell environment, the ZenWorks software, which is already owned, should be leveraged to provide asset, security, patch, and configuration management for the machines in the environment. For the Active directory infrastructure a migration of the management toolset will also be needed. 118

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The use of a virtual desktop environment should be kept in consideration, though currently the infrastructure demands of this sort of solution tend to be great. The management of the physical printers should be investigated for outsourcing this to a printer management company. Most importantly, however, in this environment is the need for a well-defined response protocol and a well-defined SLA to be established in order to appropriately set expectations in the user community and between support groups within IT.

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Exhibits Addendum A – CTS Organization Chart

Addendum B – IT Ticketing Process

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Addendum C – Service Level Agreement (SLA) Draft This is an internal department support model drafted (currently in version C) to identify emergency support only. After-hours Support - B.pdf Addendum D – Virtual Servers (Host & Guest)

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