Elements of the Redesign

New Leadership: Department heads will be replaced by grade level team leaders. This will change the administrative structure of RHS from leadership based on vertically aligned curricula to holistic leadership based on the integration of horizontally and vertically aligned curricula. This realignment will reinforce the knowledge base by integrating knowledge from various courses and increase higher-order thinking skills. Team leaders will be required to participate in additional professional development and summer activities. Each RHS administrator, in conjunction with an assigned counterpart from PVAMU, shall be responsible for at least one grade level team to provide technical and leadership support.

Professional Development of RHS Teachers: RHS teachers will participate professional growth and development activities facilitated by PVAMU throughout the duration of the project.

Curricular Alignment: RHS teachers will be involved in designing parallel curricular materials in English/Language Arts and Social Studies and mathematics and science. Teachers teaching elective courses will participate in one of the parallel curricular programs.

Professional Development of University and High School Faculty: High school and university faculty will collaborate on several projects including curriculum alignment between high schools and PVAMU, interning at research centers at PVAMU, and working on joint proposals. High school faculty will also have opportunities to enroll in graduate courses at PVAMU to pursue ongoing professional development activities.

Layered Mentoring: This activity is intended to teach high school students critical thinking methods to solve real world problems. Specific projects focusing on the interdisciplinary nature of diverse subjects will be conducted by students in vertically aligned teams at RHS in interactive working environments with PVAMU and RHS faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students at PVAMU. Such a “layered mentoring” approach has the potential to build bridges between students at high school and the university community, which should result in making the transition from school to college more smooth and seamless. Students, after completing their eleventh grade, will have the opportunity to earn dual credits for their participation. Web-based research will also give the students an opportunity to interact with their peers from across the U.S. and the world, especially with students at other Gates/Marshall awardees.

These projects will be conducted at RHS and PVAMU at the: Science Education Center, Mathematics Computer Laboratory, College of Education Computer Laboratory, and the Educator Preparation, Counseling, and Diagnostic (Testing) Laboratory.

Awareness for College Experience and Careers: This activity is intended to motivate students to enter college and pursue baccalaureate degrees. Existing efforts by PVAMU on Career Days at RHS will be enhanced to provide exposure to students at RHS on the merits of pursuing a college degree. In addition to presentations on topics such as potential career choices and salaries, case studies will be presented so the students can begin identifying role models and careers of interest. These case studies will include: videotaped presentations of leaders and experts from the academia, government and industry; talks from PVAMU faculty on research opportunities; entrepreneurship; among others.

Technology Incorporation Into Learning: The Project Director and his team will work with RHS teachers to create a technology-based learning environment that should provide teachers and students with access to technology, encouraging them to integrate technology into the curriculum, and unites teachers, students, parents, and members of the community as they work to create graduates who will be successful in an increasingly technical world. An example of such technology integration is the “digital experiment,” a Virtual Environmental Science Laboratory, in which the student plays environmental scientist and explores some of the problems facing the environment in a specific eco-system.

Access to Additional Technology Resources: PVAMU faculty and RHS teachers will also be provided access to other resources. Two such resources are: (i) the Center for Applied Research in Education Technology (CARET) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( http://caret.iste.org ) and (ii) the Gateway to Educational Materials sponsored by the US Department of Education. ( http://www.thegateway.org ).

Participation of All Stakeholders: An integral part of this project is the involvement of parents, community leaders and industry professionals in the education of the students. In particular, special presentations will be held to make parents aware of the importance of college education. These presentations will include, among other things, choices and financial aid available to their children, various stages of preparation needed during the earlier school years.

Dissemination of Project Processes and Results: The processes involved in developing, designing, and implementing the various activities of this project will be made available to TMSF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, participating institutions, other collaborating partners, and the community at large. Methods of dissemination will include: hard copies of reports and other instructional materials, electronic media (CD-ROMs), Physics Department’s website (www.i2i.pvamu.edu/physics), College of Education website ( http://www.pvamu.edu/education), Royal High School website (http://www.royal.isd.esc4.net), and conference and journal publications.