Monday, August 17, 2009

1995 - 1996 A California Distinguished School & Class Size Reduction: the Triad Experience

In 1995 Alvarado became a California Distinguished School.

The Class Size Reduction program, was established in California in 1996 to improve education, especially in reading and mathematics, of children in kindergarten and grades one through three. At that time class sizes in grades k-3 were about 29 to 30 students. Students in those grades with class size reduction could have no more than 20 students. Smaller classes did not actually begin until the fall of 1997, but in the meantime Alvarado had to prepare to assimilate and train about 20 new teachers on our campus. Thus began the Triads.

In order to assimilate the new teachers coming in due to class size reduction, the district had to come up with a way to familiarize the new staff with the experienced teachers, the curriculum, and the students. We had about 20 new teachers coming in. They were fully qualified and had student teaching experience, but most were very inexperienced. A system was devised known as the triads. The triad was one new teacher with two experienced staff members. Half the time they worked in one room and half the time in another. There were a many unique personalities involved in this mix. Occasionally some of the mix exploded in anger or tears. Some of the new teachers did not fully understand their professional responsibilities, so it was up the mentor teacher to get them up to speed. The triads were complicated, but it got the job done.

Julia Strong-Yoho Principal
Michael Guevara Assistant Principal
Click on the photo to enlarge.

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