Schools and Programs
Central High is organized into two schools, a larger neighborhood school that serves the majority of students and a small magnet application school for gifted students. In addition to the regular neighborhood school, other program options include:
- Alternative School (30-50 students)
To meet the needs of the diverse student population, Central offers a selective alternative school that runs an abbreviated credit recovery schedule with three teachers.
- Bridgeport Aquaculture Science and Technology Center (~80 students)
An accelerated college-preparatory program that includes Advanced Placement-level courses in marine and environmental sciences. Participating students attend a half-day program off-site at Aquaculture but participate in their core classes (English, math, etc.) at Central.
Neighborhood School Organization
For grades 9 and 10 at the neighborhood school, Central created four interdisciplinary humanities and STEM teams that teach four days a week, with one four-teacher PLUS Team of teachers that takes over one day a week for each of the four teams. The arrangement allows students to take an elective course while teachers prep. All teachers on the interdisciplinary and PLUS teams have daily prep, teach four days, and have one full day of professional development per week. The schedule is a variation of a 5-of-7 schedule and is based on a cost-neutral, class size-neutral TimeWise Schools design.
Teachers team to teach students in long runs of time (three periods each). The team structure and flex schedule combination allows teachers to adjust time, grouping, and class size as needed. Students in the 9-10 model are grouped in cohorts of mixed ability. English learners (EL) and SPED students are mixed as well. In 2015-16, Central, along with other high schools in the district, launched a new pilot college-delivery design for students in grades 11-12, with teachers taking a lead role in giving seniors a college-like experience that includes coaching and supports to prepare them for post-secondary success. College-model students are mixed, with all magnet students in the program and a significant number of neighborhood students participating. By 2016-17, all students who have been in the school all four years will have experienced the restructured school, starting with the 9-10 interdisciplinary intervention.
Bridgeport Public Schools is an inclusive practices district. Students with IEPs are served primarily in mainstream classrooms with push-in support. Depending on IEP goals and placement hours, additional support is provided in learning centers. BPS serves EL students both in bilingual classes and with support in mainstream classrooms. A model improvement year over year is pairing EL staff with the content teams to ensure language support for students. This is an ongoing improvement process with a newly hired EL director assisting.
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Central High School uses a seven-period schedule as its base. Normally, teachers teach 5 of the 7 periods, with one daily prep period, and one daily non-student-contact duty period. Under the redesign, core teachers in grades 9 and 10 use an adapted flex schedule to teach a four-day week, with one full day of professional development time built into their weekly schedule.
2015-16 Schedule Cross-School Overview
In 2015-16, Central, along with other high schools in the district, launched a college-delivery design for students in grades 11-12, with teachers taking a lead role in giving seniors a college-like experience that includes coaching and supports to prepare them for post-secondary success. Magnet and neighborhood students are mixed in the college model. All 200 junior and senior magnet students participate in the program and approximately 150 of neighborhood students participate. Remaining 11th- and 12th-grade students take courses as before. By 2016-17, all students who have been in the school all four years will have experienced the restructured school, starting with the 9-10 interdisciplinary intervention.
The Grades 9-10 Model: Simplified Overview
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Key schedule strategies:
- Redesigned grades 9-10 in all schools at one time, scaled from beginning
- Designed for efficiency in use of staff and time, redeploying savings for iPD
- Designed for instructional flexibility and student support, with growth potential for personalized pathways and credit by proficiency
- Designed for sustainability, used existing allocation, nothing extra for iPD teacher time
- Designed for continuous improvement, with annual audit and scenario processes hardwired in
College Delivery Model: Sample Student Schedule
Key schedule strategies:
- Early College/College-Delivery Model Enrolls ~ 350 11- and 12th-grade students
- Staffed with six teachers in the Early College grade 12 team; five teachers on the Early College grade 11 team
- Courses include honors level, Advanced Placement, and ECE (UConn) — For AP, there is English, psychology, civics, calculus, biology, US history, chemistry; For ECE (UConn), History I, English 101 (Composition).
- Schedule design allows all teachers to see all students on Wednesday, but the teachers have built this as office hours and writing center time.
- Students who participate in the Aquaculture program or other elective and pathway courses at Central can do so in the model.
- Teachers have a double planning period by team.