A. Executive Summary

Introduction:

Long Beach High School is a well-respected school that offers a wide selection of academic courses and a broad spectrum of extracurricular activities. Scores on the state subject area tests and national tests reflect the excellence of our academic programs. The diverse offering of extracurricular activities has provided students opportunities to compete and win honors at local, regional, and national levels. These award-winning groups include excellence in the areas of the arts, academics, and athletics and include the LBHS Dance Team, the band, the choir, the Mock trial team, and yearbook staff. Many individual students and teachers have also achieved national recognition for individual excellence.

Section A of our school improvement plan profile presents an overview of student academic performance. Student and community demographic data, school characteristics, and stakeholder perspectives on the quality of education is provided here. In section B a summary of the major sets of data is provided.

 

1. Student Performance Data

Student performance is measured on the national, state, and local levels. Tables 1 and 2 summarize the collected data.

National Measures:

Our students are evaluated on National Tests including ACT, SAT, Advanced Placement tests, and National Merit status. Most students who are college bound take the ACT, and it is a more accurate indicator of the performance of college bound students than is the SAT. The small number of students who take the SAT do not give a statically valid sample, and these scores are omitted from this data collection.

From 1997 to the present, the ACT composite scores have remained constant ( between 22.6 and 23.8) with only a ±0.5 variation. These scores are above both state and national levels. The number of students taking the ACT has increased by about 10% in five years. (See Graph 1)

The number of National Merit Finalists has declined from three in 1998 to one this year. The number of National Merit Finalists fluctuates every year; usually there are one or two finalists. These numbers are too small to show a significant trend. (See Table 1)

The number of Advanced Placement courses has increased from two to three over the past three years with the addition of AP Chemistry to the curriculum joining AP Calculus and AP Government. This year these three coursed have a total enrollment of seventy seven students. Many students are enrolled in two or all three of the Advanced Placement courses offered.(See Table 2)

State Measures:

The state-wide assessments include the Functional Literacy Exam (FLE) and the Subject Area Testing Program (SATP). Gradually the FLE is being phased out as the SATP tests become live. The time line for these tests is as follows:

Test Subject Required for Students Graduating in:
FLE English

2003

Math

2005

Written Expression

2003

SATP Algebra I

2006

Biology

2005

US History

2003

English II

2004

All students who receive high school diplomas must pass these tests according to the graduation year indicated. The state test results only provide data for two years, and there is not enough data for trend analysis. In general, the scores shown are at or above state averages.

Subject area test scores can be examined to show both general and specific data. The pass rate on these tests is as follows: Algebra I, 93.8 %; US History, 96.8 %; Biology, 86.8 %; English II Narrative, 82.1 %; and English II Multiple Choice, 72.5 %. These high pass rates show that student achievement is meeting or exceeding state measures. The analysis of the scores for specific areas of study reveals some weaknesses. On all of the subject area tests, students are scoring at fifty percent of the possible points on the constructed-response portion of all these tests ( Biology, 1.1 points/4 points; US History, 1.5 points/4 points; Algebra I, 2.5 points/4 points; and English II 2.0 points/4 points.) An analysis of individual scores shows that only a very few students score the full four points. Many students write off the topic or do not attempt to respond to the question and, therefore, receive no credit. These data show two areas of instruction that need improvement: developing student skill in analyzing open response questions and responding with to those questions with clarity . (See Table 1,Graph 1-B,1-C)

If the dis-aggregated scores of the FLE are examined, it is evident that two categories– Disabled Students (at 64 %) and Black students (at 77.8%) –are well below the school pass rate of 94.9%. Other categories had very close percent pass rates with female students higher than males by almost 2 % and Asians 5 % higher than the average with a 100 % pass rate. These same trends were repeated on the Subject Area Tests.

These data show that our students are meeting state academic requirements with a very high pass rate. Our students exceed expectations. We need to identify ways to improve the scores of the two identified groups ( black and disabled students) to bring their scores in line with those of the average of the school. (See Table 1, Graph 1-Da, Graph 1-Db,1-E, 1-F)

Additional Student Performance Indicators:

Other indicators of student performance are shown in Table 2. Students have a constant attendance rate of 96 % over four years. In the Fall of 2002, this attendance rate was 98 % due to the introduction of a new attendance policy. The dropout rate fell from a high of 72 students in 1995-1996 to 24 students in 1997-1998. The drop out rate has since risen to 57 students in 2001-2002, a 95 to 100% increase since 1997-1998, but only 79% of the 1996 rate. The dropout rate has been identified as an area of concern and has received much attention in the past seven years. A decreasing dropout trend is evident; however, it remains an area needing improvement.

The following student performance indicators show areas of past improvement: the graduation rate has shown a 117 % increase from 70.70% in 1996 to 82.40 % in 2001. The number of special Education Students receiving diplomas has also increased from 16.7 % in 1996 to 47.6 % in 2001. This shows a 280 % increase. Currently of the eighty seven special education students fifty four (62 %) are in a regular diploma program, twelve (14 %) are in an occupational diploma program, and twenty one (24 %) will receive a certificate of completion (for GED, self-contained, and home/hospital bound.) See Graph 2 for a comparison of attendance and graduation rates.

All of our students are enrolled in the core curriculum. This has been a constant for all of the years examined. Enrollment in the AP courses has increased 100 % from 1995-1996 to 2000-2001.

2. Student and Community Demographic Data:

The total enrollment of Long Beach High School is 1084, which is close to the average for the past five years. While the total population has remained fairly constant, the percentages of the various demographic groups has shifted. The white student population has decreased from 90 % to 82 %, and the black population has shown a 170 % increase, and the Asian population a 228 % increase. The very small Native American and Hispanic populations have remained constant. These demographics reflect the community population. District-wide there has been a 135 % increase in low income families, and the trend is reflected in the high school population. Reduced and free lunch remains at an constant 26 %. A summary of this data is outlined in Table 3.

The city of Long Beach is a progressive community located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The City has a land and water area of twenty seven square kilometers and a population of 17,320. Long Beach is a relatively small community with the majority of families falling in the middle class socioeconomic level. The mean yearly household income is $49,590 with a per capita income of $19,305. Twenty-four percent of the families fall in the low-income status, and 7.7% in the poverty level. The average family size is 3.1 and there are 4,218 households with children of school age living in Long Beach.

The racial composition of the community is varied, but predominately white. Eighty-seven percent of the community is white, 2.6% Asian, 7.4% African-American, 0.01% Hispanic, and 0.01% Other ethnicity. The African-America population has shown the most growth with an increased 2% in the past five years and an increase of 48% in the past ten years. (See Graph 3)

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park extension is located in Long Beach and several of the residents have taken advantage of the facility by obtaining college credits and degrees. Twenty-six percent of the adults in Long Beach have obtained High School diplomas, another 28% have some college, 8% have obtained an Associate degree, 16% a Bachelor degree, and 8% graduate or professional degree.

The Community has a mix of management, professional, service industry, retail, service, construction, and military occupations. The largest single employer is South Mississippi Regional Center, with approximately 626 employees, followed by Long Beach School District with 500 employees, and Triton Industries with 325 employees. The religious orientation of the community is varied and includes, but is not limited to, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Presbyterian.

The community is education oriented and supports the school by involvement in school, extra-curricular activities, and School-to-Career partnerships. Community Partnership includes NASA, Naval Oceanographic Research Center, quality Engineering, Triton Systems, Oreck Manufacturing , USM Gulf Park, City of Long Beach, South Mississippi Regional Center, Ground Scape, Gator Home Service, To-A-T Landscaping, Whitney National Bank, Edgewater Village Shopping Center, Knesal Engineering Services, Mississippi Power, Mississippi Air National Guard, Garner, Russell & Associates Engineering, Gulf Coast Medical Center, Junior Achievement, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and Vision 2020, Gulf Coast community Action Agency, Good Will Industries, Day Care Centers, Domino’s Pizza, Union Planters Bank, Greg Russell Computer Store, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, WLOX Television, Long Beach Fire and Police Department, American Medical Response, Bodine Pottery, and the Department of Marine Resources. The Community Partnership includes, but is not limited to, curriculum development, internships, projects-based internships, guest speakers, job shadowing activities, and special projects. A summary of key demographics is outlined on Table 3.

3. School characteristics

Long Beach High School is a public suburban high school. Originally constructed in 1957, there have been many additions over the years. The most recent addition is a new science and fine arts wing constructed in 1990. This new wing contains four science labs, one art lab and one classroom. The new addition brings the total number of classrooms to fifty seven. This school provides space for 1056 students, sixty four teachers, three administrators, three guidance counselors and thirteen other personnel, as well as a cafeteria and maintenance staff.

The major strength of our school is the dedication, knowledge, and ability of the instructional staff. The number of teachers with advanced degrees continues to increase. Seventeen percent of the teachers are National Board Certified. The number of National Board Certified teachers has tripled in three years, giving the high school one of the highest percentages in the state. Currently four more teachers are actively working on board certification.

Despite the turnovers in our administration over the past ten years (See Graph 4), our faculty has been able to maintain a high performance index and accreditation level for the school as shown in Table 4.

Student performance measures show student achievement at or above the state average in most areas, while per pupil expenditure remains at or below (as much as 12% below the state average).

Instructional Resources:

The library/media center is a major resource for students and teachers. Part of the original school construction, the library was remodeled in 1986. The media center provides study/ reading area for 100 students, audio visual area, book stacks, and eighteen computer terminals for student use. The book collection is composed of 18,700 volumes. On-line resources include Magnolia( on-line databases), EBSCOhost (access to almost 4000 journals), MasterFILE premier (100,000biographies, 76,000 primary source documents and image collection of 116,000 photos, maps, and flags), ERIC, Serials Directory, and Newspaper Source are also available through this program. Encyclopedias online include Grolier products: Encyclopedia AmericanaGrolier Multi-media Encyclopedia and New Book of Knowledge. Funk and Wagnall’s Encyclopedia and World Book Encyclopedia. SIRS Discover and Researcher are also available along with many other resources in the areas of literary, biographical, and business topics. This media center is staffed solely by a National Board Certified media specialist who currently works without an assistant. Budget cuts have eliminated the position of library aide. This lack of a library assistant has detrimentally affected the use of the media center on a daily basis.

Many School-to-Career Partnerships have been established at Long Beach High School. These partnerships include both local and regional businesses as mentioned earlier.

Parental Participation also provides a very supportive resource. Even though the PTO is not active, there are many parental groups supporting the various extra-curricular and academic programs. This parental participation includes The Choral Department Association (85 parents), Band Boosters ( 35 parents), Gridiron ( 30 parents), soccer ( 20 parents), basketball ( 20 parents), baseball ( 20 parents), and softball ( 10 parents). Parents that were solicited to serve on the student handbook committee proved to be a great asset as we revised the attendance guidelines, exemption policy and many other issues.

Table 4 provides a summary of our school characteristics.

4. Stakeholder Perspectives on the Quality of Education

 

The NSSE Opinion Inventories were used to gather the opinions of Long Beach High School students, teachers, parents and community members. A comparison of the results on seven common items in the Opinion Inventories is illustrated in Graph 5. The survey revealed the following findings:

Students ranked all but one common item lower than all other groups, teachers, parents, and community members.

Teachers ranked all but one common item higher than students, parents, and community members.

Parent and community responses were similar with minor variations.

Students, teachers, and parents ranked “Teachers hold high expectations for student learning” as the top item in their surveys.

Students, teachers, parents, and community members also gave high ratings to “In our school students have access to a variety of resources to help them succeed in learning, such as technology, media centers, and libraries.”

Students, teachers, parents, and community members ranked “The school’s facilities (workspace, furnishings, etc.) are adequate to support the instructional program”as low or lowest item..

The item with the least agreement between students, teachers, parents, and community members is “Students see a relationship between what they are studying and their everyday lives.” This item was ranked very high by the teachers and the lowest by the students.

Graph 1 - A

 

 

Graph 1 - B

Long Beach SATP Scores 2001 - 02

 

 

Graph 1 - B

Long Beach SATP Scores 2001 - 02

 

 

 

 

Graph 1 - B

Long Beach SATP Scores 2001 - 02

 

 

Note: LBH Spring 2001 (all students tested)

LBH Fall 2001 - 02 (failures pulled out for nine weeks of remediation)

State Fall 2001 - 02 (some schools only tested their 8th grade Algebra I)

LBH Spring 2001 - 02 (all students tested)

State Spring 2001 - 02 (some schools only tested their 8th grade Algebra I)

Graph 1 - C

 

Graph 1 - Da

 

 

 

Graph 1 - Db

 

 

Graph 1 - E

 

Graph 1 - F

 

Graph 2

 

Graph 3

 

Graph 4