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Vaughn Next Century Learning Center
California : Vaughn Next Century Learning Center -Local Level
Program Statistics
Name and Level Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, located in Pacoima, is a large urban, PreK - 14th, Independent Conversion Charter School within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

Status Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

In 1993 Vaughn became the first conversion charter school in the nation and was authorized by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The charter was renewed in 1998 and again in 2003. This program is ongoing.

Program Description Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, located in Pacoima, is a large urban public school within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Since the early 1970’s, low student achievement has been a pattern. In 1993 Vaughn became the first conversion charter school in the nation and was authorized by LAUSD. The charter was renewed in 1998 and again in 2003.

This elementary public school is now a full-service, community-based, PK-12th charter school serving 1,917 neighborhood students (96.9% eligible for free meals, 2.8% eligible for reduced meals, 982 English learners, 156 students with disabilities, 98% Hispanic, 1.6% African-American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% Other White). Vaughn was awarded the California Distinguished Schools Award in 1996 and the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award in 1997.

In addition to diversifying teacher pay based on alternative evaluation methods, Vaughn also defines teaching environment, teacher training and professional growth and teacher leadership program components.

Teaching Environment

Teacher teaming and goal-oriented collaboration
Teachers form teams of three teachers responsible for sixty students. Each team consists of an experienced teacher with ten or more years of teaching experience. He or she is partnered up with a teacher with three to five years of experience and one emergency-credentialed, beginning teacher. Each team establishes team goals. The focused, targeted collaboration include frequent communication, weekly planning, search for common solutions, mutual support and help so as to reach collective goals.

Multiple career opportunities for teachers within the same school
Paraprofessionals with teaching career goal are provided with varied work schedule (morning, afternoon, afterschool) and better compensation so they can complete their studies in a timely manner. Each year, two or three qualified paraprofessionals are selected to fill vacant teacher positions. Often times, the experienced teachers who train them become their team leaders.

Gift of time
The Vaughn school calendar provides four pupil-free days before school begins and 15-20 minimum days throughout the year using banked time. In addition to daily preparation time of thirty minutes before school begins, all teachers receive an hour of common planning time everyday.

Teacher Training and Professional Growth

Teaching standards that link to students' learning standards
Teachers need ongoing feedback about their work and student progress. During the past three years, Vaughn teachers have developed and adopted a set of teaching standards related to lesson planning, classroom management, and various subject areas that are linked to the students' learning standards. Levels of performance in each area are clearly described using a 4-point scale with descriptive rubrics. Teachers know and understanding the collective expectation they have established collectively.

Assistance and performance review
The Peer Assistance and Review System takes place three times per year. Teachers reflect on their own performance and rate themselves using the established teaching standards and scoring rubrics. Selected peer reviewers observe their colleagues and provide feedback as well as assistance. Instructional coordinators also conduct classroom visits and conference with teachers on an ongoing basis. Beginning teachers are assigned one-to-one mentors. Elected grade-level chairpersons are responsible for ensuring that teachers understand and focus on grade-level standards. The Director of Instruction and the Principal conduct weekly visits, monitor progress of beginning teachers, and focus on schoolwide goals. Frequent flow of information and consistent feedback about one's progress is an important step for improvement.

Precise staff development
Based on individual teacher's performance review, each teacher sets his/her specific professional growth goals with the instructional coordinator. Training opportunities include small group workshops, individualized conferencing, observing another teacher, participation in seminars, conducting research, use of technology, and the assignment of a teacher buddy.

State initiative and focus on results
Teachers must base teaching decisions on solid data rather than on assumptions.

Teacher Leadership

Distributed leadership
A supportive teaching environment, a focused teacher training system, and an adequate compensation plan cannot happen without good school leaders. Administrators at Vaughn have realized long ago that sustained reform efforts rely on distributed leadership. Three decision-making committees were established that form our governance body. Each committee consists of 50% staff and 50% parents/community members. The Curriculum and Instructional Committee is the driving force. It is responsible for curricular design, student learning standards and assessment, textbook selection, classroom organization and teaching team formation. The Business and Operation Committee is responsible for all personnel and fiscal matters, staff evaluation, technology, safety and facilities. The Partnership Committee is responsible for home-school-community programs, student discipline, parent education and involvement, and special events. Every three years, a teacher must serve in a committee for a two-year term. Teachers have decision-making authority as well as the responsibility to implement action plans. Teachers with demonstrated skills as effective teachers based on our review system also serve as mentors and peer reviewers. Teachers with leadership skills usually become elected grade level chairpersons, faculty representatives, and committee chairpersons. In addition to a stipend, these teachers are provided with release time, administrative training, and opportunities to attend or present in conferences locally, nationally and internationally.

Tools for teachers to succeed
Vaughn has the flexibility to deploy human and fiscal resources to meet priority needs. To enable teachers meet their professional goals and student achievement goals, Vaughn provides them with tools including class size of 20:1 in all grades, a fully-staffed counseling center, a site-based health clinic, a new library, a teacher resource center, adequate books, materials and supplies, afterschool tutoring and homework clubs, a 200-day instructional calendar, and a qualified team of special education teachers who co-teach with the classroom teachers in an inclusive setting. We have also resolved the multitrack, overcrowding problem by building two new school buildings and increased the number of classrooms from 26 to 78.

Other Programs No information found.
Hard-to-Staff, High Needs, At-Risk Component
Program Target Components
  • High poverty / high needs schools
  • Urban Schools
  • Description of Component Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    Vaughn Next Century Learning Center is a large urban public school. Since the early 1970’s, low student achievement has been a pattern. In 1993, Vaughn became the first conversion charter school in the nation and was authorized by LAUSD. Of the 1,917 students at Vaughn,

    • 96.9% are eligible for free meals,
    • 2.8% are eligible for reduced meals,
    • 982 are English learners,
    • There are 156 students with disabilities,
    • 98% are Hispanic,
    • 1.6% are African-American,
    • 0.1% Asian, and
    • 0.3% Other White.
    All of the components of the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center target an urban and once low-performing high-needs school.
    Incentive Structure
    Compensation Structure Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    In addition to a base pay and extra compensation for certification and advance degrees, Vaughn pays teachers the following:

    Skills and knowledge pay

    Level 1 skills include literacy, language arts, mathematics, working with special education students in an inclusive setting, classroom management, and lesson planning. A score of 2.5 or higher in the performance review earns $4,300. An overall score of 3.0 in other subject matters (social studies, science, arts, English language learning, physical education) earns another $5,700. Finally, any fully credentialed teacher whose average in all of the areas is 3.5 or higher earns an additional $4,500. The maximum in bonuses that a teacher can earn by getting top scores on every part of the knowledge and skills review is $14,700.

    Contingency-based awards

    Teacher can earn a total of $2,000 a year for achieving certain goals in the areas of student attendance, discipline, parental involvement, and for working in teams.

    Schoolwide student achievement bonus

    All teachers and administrators get an annual bonus of $2,000 if the school as a whole meets the Academic Performance Index goal (API) set by the state regardless how much the state provides. Noncertificated staff and part time staff members also earn a prorated amount.

    Expertise compensation

    Teachers in leadership role including grade level chairs, committee chairs, peer reviewers, mentors, faculty representatives receive additional stipends. A teacher who sponsors afterschool clubs, student government, field learning or teaches intersession, he/she is compensated with $3,500 - $4,000.

    Gainsharing

    Unused sick days will continue to accrue and $250 is provided for every ten unused days as an attendance award. A separate investment account with more than $1,000,000 is set up to guarantee these bonuses when earned. Teachers share the accrued interests as a form of stock option. The amount is estimated at $1,000 per year per teacher.

    Based on last year's payroll records (excluding expertise pay), a first year fully-credentialed teacher earns $47,500. A first year emergency-credentialed teacher earns $ 39,500. A teacher with ten years of teaching experience and scores an average of 3.0 earns $63,850.

    Added benefits

    Vaughn purchased a long-term disability insurance policy for every teacher which provides 60% of their full pay till age 65. In addition, an account with $500,000 in the Los Angeles Teachers' Credit Union was established to guarantee health benefits after retirement.

    All full time contracted, salaried staff, including administrators, counselors, clerical, custodial and cafeteria will be compensation based on performance in the same manner that teachers are being compensated.

    Source: Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Teaching Quality and Professional Growth and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Performance Based Pay Rubric

    Incentives Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    In addition to a base pay and extra compensation for certification and advance degrees, Vaughn pays teachers the following:

    Skills and knowledge pay

    • A score of 2.5 or higher in the performance review earns a bonus of $4,300
    • An overall score of 3.0 in other subject matters earns another $5,700
    • Any fully credentialed teacher whose average in all of the content areas is 3.5 or higher earns an additional $4,500.
    Note:The maximum in bonuses that a teacher can earn by getting top scores on every part of the knowledge and skills review is $14,700.

    Contingency-based awards

    • Teacher can earn a total of $2,000 a year for achieving certain goals in the areas of student attendance, discipline, parental involvement, and for working in teams.

    Schoolwide student achievement bonus

    • All teachers and administrators get an annual bonus of $2,000 if the school as a whole meets the Academic Performance Index goal (API) set by the state regardless how much the state provides.
    • Noncertificated staff and part time staff members also earn a prorated amount.

    Expertise compensation

    • Teachers in leadership roles receive additional stipends.
    • A teacher who sponsors afterschool clubs, student government, field learning or teaches intersession, he/she is compensated with $3,500 - $4,000.

    Source: Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Teaching Quality and Professional Growth and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Performance Based Pay Rubric

    Incentive Recipients Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    In addition to a base pay and extra compensation for certification and advance degrees, Vaughn pays teachers the following:

    Skills and knowledge pay

    • Teachers

    Contingency-based awards

    • Teachers

    Schoolwide student achievement bonus

    • Teachers and administrators
    • Noncertificated staff and part time staff members also earn a prorated amount.

    Expertise compensation

    • Teachers in leadership roles
    • A teacher who sponsors afterschool clubs, student government, field learning or teaches intersession

    All full time contracted, salaried staff, including administrators, counselors, clerical, custodial and cafeteria will be compensation based on performance in the same manner that teachers are being compensated.

    Source: Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Teaching Quality and Professional Growth and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Performance Based Pay Rubric

    Methods of Evaluation
    Method of Evaluation Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    Assistance and Review Process

    The stull evaluation system was replaced with the Peer Assistance and Review System that takes place three times per year. Teachers reflect on their own performance and rate themselves using the established teaching standards and scoring rubrics. Selected peer reviewers (peers from Vaughn and/or objective outside peer reviewers) observe their colleagues and provide feedback as well as assistance. Instructional coordinators also conduct classroom visits and conference with teachers on an ongoing basis. Scoring from self, peer and instructional coordinators are averaged.

    Source: Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Teaching Quality and Professional Growth and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center Performance Based Pay Rubric

    Stakeholder Involvement
    Teachers and Teacher's Unions Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    No information found.

    Other Stakeholders Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    No information found.

    Program Funding
    Cost Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    No information found.

    Funding Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    No information found.

    Results and Outcomes
    Results and Outcomes Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

    Each year, Vaughn has met the growth target established by the California Academic Performance Index (API). API has increased by 263 points from 1999 to 2006.




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