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Minutes: Kelly Choi Teaches – A Bit More Attention Leads to High School Retention (09/11/2013)

September 17, 2013
​Invocation:  Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein
​Flag Salute:  Joe Clark
​Raffle: Scott Burns brought wine and stuff
​Visiting Rotarians: Paul Jaconette
​Guests: Laura Polito, Ted Deck, Rachelle Wemmer
  • ​Today is 9/11 AKA Patriot Day AKA the observance to remember those involved in 9/11/2001.  Flags are flown at half mast in respect to the 3,000 who died.
  • ​As many of you know, District Governor Jack McClenahan will be at Sunrise on 9/18 and will be our guest speaker.  There will be a reception on Tues., 9/17, from 5-7 PM at Betsy Munroe‘s house for those of you who would like to meet Jack outside the regular meeting.
  • Andy Doerr passed around sign-up sheets for the Fiddlers’ Festival. Please volunteer. He also shared copies of the event poster, so you can see the lineup of performers.
  • Gary Jensen reminded people that they can purchase ads in the Fiddlers’ Festival program.
  • Claude Saks shared a Fiddlers’ Festival brochure, which you can use to solicit sponsorships.
  • Reminder: Seeps tour cancellation 9/14 due to “unforeseen operational issues”.  They will call us for the first tour in the spring.
  • Sept. is Youth Services Month (aka New Generations).  Lucille Ramirez gave an update on what’s happening in this committee. The Rotaract Club of Santa Barbara has been re-chartered! Look for some of the new members at future club meetings. They now meet at Casa Blanca, but they are looking for other meeting spaces, too. Lucille is in discussions with La Cuesta about re-establishing a Student of the Month program.
  • Scott Burns visited Bishop High to check on the status of the Interact Club there. They do not yet have a teacher adviser.
  • Dana Goba went to the President Elect retreat in Pismo. There was a lot of great training, team competitions and more. Presidents across the clubs are talking about working together.
  • Welcome back to those who went to Nicaragua. Janet Napier presented a banner from the RC of Ciudad Sandino. Tom Heath reported that they got a lot done for the clinics, including roofing, painting, toilets, screens and cleaning up landscaping. The partner club participated. The doctor saw about 25 patients each day, treating high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, parasites and more. Much of this was funded by a district grant from last year. They also participated in a fiesta. Luz Maria Ortiz Smith and Janet hosted a focus group about the community’s needs, including clean water, to collect information for a future Global Grant request. Bill Abel directed the club to read the article in The Rotarian about GoCare, one of the club’s partners in this project.
  • Diana Cecala will send the duties for next week via email.
  •  Getting To Know You with  Bruce Belfiore. Who inspired you and why? He learned the importance of being patient and demanding with himself and others.
  • Eric Ryan read the Rotary Minute.
  • Raffle:  Visitor won.
  • Bill Boyd brought a banner from Australia.​
  • Pay & Tell with Andrew Chung.
  • Diana Cecala married Cathy yesterday! Congrats!
​​Program:  Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein introduced Kelly Choi, Teacher of the year for Santa Barbara County, who is here to speak about a different way of teaching high school students.
  • Kelly has been teaching for 18 years, with 16 years at Dos Pueblos High School. She has taught many types of students and many types of math, and her approach works across all of those.
  • She established The Academy at DPHS.
  • The first semester of high school is a critical time for at-risk students. Kelly created a place at school where they would be supported, have a relationship with their teachers and be helped to succeed.
  • She shared a video of students describing how they felt about school before and after joining the academy.
  • Students are invited to the program. They can say yes or no. The focus over three years is first teaching them to be students, then connecting them to the community and then planning their future. They stay with the same group of teachers throughout the years.
  • They have core academic classes in the morning. In the afternoon, they are paired with mentors and participate in guided study and elective classes.
  • The second group of students is now going through the program.
  • Discipline issues dropped drastically. 30 students went from 417 discipline issues in a year to less than 30 discipline issues for that same group of students the next year.
  • “They are just waiting for an adult to ask them what’s going on in their lives,” Kelly said.
  • GPAs are also going up. Teachers are setting higher expectations.
  • The first year, they invited 60 students and 30 said yes. The second year, they invited 72, and 72 said yes.
  • Once a week, students participate in group counseling. One-on-one counseling is also available.
  • Beginning their junior year, students are interviewed for paid internships. Two of those internships have already turned into full-time jobs.
  • 100% of the Academy students graduated high school!
  • 92% of Academy students are enrolled in college.
  • It’s about $1,200 per student extra for all the academy services.
  • Parents love it and are supportive.
  • They have a separate graduation ceremony with individual attention to each student.
  • As a token of our appreciation, the club will donate 15 dictionaries to local 3rd graders in your honor.
Next Week’s Program:  District Gov. Jack McClenahan’s talk on “The Most Important Rotarian”.  Reminder to the Board, there will be a Board meeting directly after the regular meeting 9/18.
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