Model Program / Practice
Stockton Early College Academy (SECA) is an Early College/Pre-AP/Advanced Placement high school located in the heart of Stockton California. SECA serves up to 500 students from diverse, and traditionally underserved backgrounds while seeking to provide access to high levels of rigor in every class. Students at SECA have the opportunity to receive an entirely Pre-AP/Advanced Placement course of study, in addition to the opportunity to complete courses required to earn an A.A. Degree from San Joaquin Delta College. SECA strives to ensure that at least 75% of our students meet one or more of the following at-risk mission-based criteria:
- First in the immediate family (parents and siblings) to attend, and graduate from, a four-year university or college
- From an ethnicity that has been historically underserved in 4-year colleges and universities
- From a low-income family (qualifies for free/reduced lunch) with other special circumstances that may be obstacles to future academic achievement in a traditional high school environment, and for whom a smooth transition into post-secondary education may be problematic
It is the mission of Stockton Early College Academy to provide equal educational opportunity for each student to succeed to his/her highest potential; to foster intellectual and social development for all students in order to take advantage of students' individual abilities; to encourage the respect of self and others; and to help students become responsible, productive, and contributing members of society.
We seek to have our students experience a rigorous college preparatory high school education (Pre-AP and Advanced Placement classes), augmented with concurrent direct access to fully transferable (IGETC Protocol) college-level courses in all academic disciplines. From this foundation, we expect each student to successfully matriculate to, and graduate from, a four-year university or college.
In order to close the achievement gap for SECA’s traditionally underserved student populations, strategic intervention planning is implemented through our Professional Learning Community (PLC) Model structure. With each new entering 9th grade class, students in need of intervention are identified and offered targeted intervention including a recommendation for specific peer-to-peer tutoring in our free after-school tutoring center. Recently, SECA expanded intervention offerings by conducting individual Student Study Team (SST) meetings for each incoming 9th-grade student with identified needs in mathematics, and a math intervention course was offered for these students in addition to their regular grade-level coursework in math. In the 2018-2019 school, year SECA staff adopted a yearly calendar which provides minimum days nearly every Friday for after-school interventions. Faculty regularly meet as a group and independently with their students to provide specific targeted ongoing interventions based on students’ needs. If, for example, a social studies teacher has a group of students fail an exam on Monday due to a lack of understanding on a critical topic, they will structure a Friday intervention for their students and offer the opportunity to demonstrate mastery.
Technology plays a critical role in both our intervention efforts and instructional practices. Currently, SECA maintains a one-to-one Chromebook to student ratio. Teachers, counselors, and the school principal are able to monitor performance and communicate with students and parents through internet-based platforms such as Naviance, Jupiter Grades, and Google Classrooms. Through our regular PLC process, teachers and administration work together alongside the guidance team to make evidence-based modifications to instruction, provide strategic and timely interventions, and communicate with students and parents about progress within specific courses, specific interdepartmental skills, and specific educational goals.
SECA conducts weekly Professional Learning Community meetings. These meetings have taken the place of traditional staff meetings in order to provide time for interdepartmental collaboration efforts and specific targeted instructional improvement based on student performance data. SECA’s humanities department has utilized these meetings, for example, to backward map from the skills needed to succeed in capstone senior year courses in English and Social Studies to include the necessary supporting skills at each level back to fall semester of the 9th-grade year. From this model, our entire program focuses on Advanced Placement Skills, and the necessary interventions and support needed to develop them.
In order to maintain our focus on achievement through strategic planning and support, our staff has made it a priority to secure consistent professional development and planning time focused on the most current and effective practices related to our PLC. Each year staff attends Professional Learning Community training and training relative to best practices for Advanced Placement instruction. Our PLC process and training, as well as our emphasis on access and equity-related to Advanced Placement, is highlighted in our charter LCAP, and the necessary resources have been allocated to ensure our staff has every opportunity to attend professional development opportunities relative to their curriculum or instructional goals.
Students at Stockton Early College Academy (SECA) work extremely hard and are faced with intense levels of rigor as they tackle an entirely Advanced Placement and Early College course of study. Because of this, All SECA staff place the social/emotional support of their students as a top priority. SECA often has more student clubs than teachers. The student leadership group on campus is driven by a kind, supportive and nurturing staff, with a mission to reduce stress and a passion for supporting their fellow student “wolf-pack”.
In order to truly support SECA students, the school understands the importance of maintaining a strong connection to their families. SECA recognizes that its parents and students are its biggest and most important stakeholder group. Beginning with our outreach events in the summer between 8th and 9th grade, SECA connects with parents through a software platform all parents are given access to. This becomes a portal for communication between teachers, counselors, students, parents, and administration for their entire four years. While SECA holds regular School Site Council meetings and parent coffee hours, regular communication and student-led events to have the greatest impact on the relationships between school and home. Each year student leadership holds events such as SECA’s multi-cultural fair, or the annual talent show, where students and their families come to the school to celebrate each other and enjoy the school’s family atmosphere. Throughout each year staff at SECA maintain an ongoing dialogue with families related to student goal setting and progress towards eventual university acceptance.
Stockton Early College Academy engages all stakeholders in its effort to provide access for all students. SECA’s LCAP goals align with the state priorities and we have seen consistent growth and exceed both the district and state averages in every measurable area. Our focus on students, our PLC-based data-driven decision model, and our constant efforts to meet the social and emotional needs of our students have been repeatedly recognized by stakeholders including our local school district and community. In California’s last year of using the Academic Performance index, SECA recorded the highest score in the history of Stockton. Each year since SECA has been recognized by U.S. News and World Reports as being ranked in the top 2% of high schools in the nation. Additionally, SECA has received other recognitions such as Gold Medal Status from the California Business Education Alliance, and “The Best of America’s Toughest Schools” by The Washington Post.