Happy New Year, 2023!
My name is Terry R. Anderson and I am the Director of Administrative Services for Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District. In this position, I am responsible for writing grants for the district, oversee school safety and security, School Attendance Review Board (SARB), and other duties necessary for the improved operations of the district. I also act as principal for El Puente High School, Firebaugh Community Day School, and Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School. When I accepted this new assignment in the district, I created a 5-year plan to fundamentally transform our alternative and adult education programs that would serve our students and the community with services far beyond what had ever been offered before. This 5-year plan (6 really, because of the pandemic) included accreditation of its two diploma-granting schools, two-time recognition from the California Department of Education as a Model SARB program, a California School Boards Association (CSBA) award in their Assessment and Accountability category, record enrollments in adult education, record numbers of high school graduates and US Citizenship earners, and record amounts of funding that I was able to acquire so that our program needs could be expanded and would not encroach on the district's general fund. El Puente High School successfully navigated a lengthy application process to be recognized as a Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education and the CCEA. A visiting team validated the information contained in our application and the CDE officially notified the district office and EPHS staff on February 10, 2022 that we were indeed bestowed with that significant designation. This state-level recognition of El Puente High School as a quality institution is truly a milestone its history. This "Model Continuation High School" distinction will last 3 years (2025), after which time we will again demonstrate to the CDE that EPHS is truly a high-quality institution that meets the needs of its community. I will continue to sustain and further improve all offerings at FACE and district programs during the time I have remaining in this current assignment
Just a little background on my time here in Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District….. I came to Firebaugh in 2008 to be the principal of A.E. Mills Intermediate School (elementary). I then became the principal of Firebaugh High School for 7 years (from which my son graduated) before accepting the newly-created district assignment at FACE in 2016. Of the seven (7) schools within our district, I have been principal for five (5) of them, and it has been an exciting journey. My wife and I both live in the community and enjoy being a part of what makes Firebaugh so special and unique in the valley.
It has been rewarding to assume the duties and responsibilities of my current position and continue the improvements to the three academic institutions at the Firebaugh Alternative Community Education (FACE) campus. I am proud of the positive transformation and growth that has taken place on our campus and I am confident that our improvement will continue at a robust pace. Academic achievement has improved steadily and the climate and culture of our campus is positive and safe.
At El Puente, all students who came to us at the beginning of the school year were provided with an academic plan to either reintegrate back into FHS after completing their credit recovery goals, or remain and graduate from El Puente High School. Instruction and curriculum is now offered through our online platform called Accelus. Students are still required attend school each day and are monitored and assisted by a fully-credentialed teacher. All core courses are A-G approved. We are fulfilling our mission of remediating the credit deficiencies of students and creating the opportunity for them to become FHS or EPHS graduates. Many FHS students come to El Puente and see it as a "School of Choice" as it is WASC accredited and meets their post-secondary transition plans. El Puente is also a member of College Board, and student can take AP courses online through our Acellus platform.
At Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School, our enrollment numbers have rebounded since the pandemic and we have returned to the robust program we once had. We have resumed the number of classes in our morning and evening sessions. Courses offered are ESL Civic Participation, ESL Citizenship Preparation, ESL Digital Literacy, and our High School Diploma program. The number of adults earning their high school diplomas continues to increase. The courses are offered online for the convenience of working students and is indicative of our mission and vision for our adult education program to assist community members in attaining academic and workplace skills. Firebaugh Adult Education students taking ESL Citizenship Preparation continue to successfully pass the USCIS exams and become US citizens in historic numbers. Through our Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult Education program, students acquired English fluency and are now able to expand their career opportunities.
Both El Puente High School and Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School are WASC accredited and both received their 6-year term of full accreditation. Being accredited offers a wide array of career advantages to our diploma earners.
Lastly, I would invite all visitors to our website to explore the various links and pages that would further inform the reader of our programs, events, dates, and opportunities that are available to students, parents and community adults. This will be updated periodically. Please note that there are pages that are unique to all programs – El Puente High School and Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School, especially. At FACE, we encourage all students and parents to become involved within the school community --- especially as it pertains to our students’ academic progress, workforce development, and the holistic social and emotional growth of our EPHS and CDS students that will prepare them for college and career opportunities.
Terry R. Anderson
Director of Administrative Services
Firebaugh Las-Deltas Unified School District
EPHS Assessment Information
Student assessment results for the 2020-2021 school year did not yield the scope of data used for student achievement and program effectiveness as it did in the years prior to the pandemic. The district did, however create as many opportunities as practicable to evaluate student progress. The Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LCP) that was created in the fall of 2020 specifically directed LEAs to determine pupil learning loss in ELA, ELD, and math and create strategies to assess this pupil learning loss. Districts were then charged with accelerating learning, especially for unduplicated pupils (ELs, low-income, and foster youth). Given the suspension of state testing in the spring of 2020, summative assessment data was unavailable and the district had to rely on curriculum-embedded summative assessments in order to determine a student’s level of proficiency (e.g., grade level performance). Other district summative assessments such as the STAR, used to measure a student’s mastery of standards prior to CAASPP, were also used.
Since EPHS teachers are also teachers from the comprehensive high school, departments needed to acquire student data quickly in order to assess learning loss and plan their distance learning-only lessons accordingly. This benefitted EPHS in that the teachers were better prepared to give curriculum-embedded assessments, address skills deficits, and maintain continuity of instruction in order to cover all CaCCSS thought to be essential for an eventual return to state testing in the spring. For EL students, the ELPAC was administered in the spring of 2020, beginning with the elementary grades. Grades 6-12 were scheduled to be tested in March and April of that year but were not tested due to the shutdown after March 13, 2020. For designated ELD instruction, and for embedding/integrating ELD strategies in lessons, teachers had to rely on ELPAC data from the 2018-2019 school year in order to estimate their level of English language acquisition and plan lessons accordingly.
By the time the 2019-2020 LCAP Annual Update and the 2021-2022 LCAP templates became available in the late winter of 2021, LEAs were instructed to “use whatever data is available” to measure progress in the Actions of each LCAP goal, using baseline data from pre-pandemic years. This data, and the newly-acquired data from the available assessments described above were used to set new learning goals for students, including EPHS.
EPHS students once again participated in CAASPP and ELPAC testing in the spring of 2021. A modified SBAC (shortened version) was available to 11th grade EPHS students, as well as ELPAC testing for English Learners. Data from these two important assessments were available in the fall of 2021 and yielded scores that were better than expected. For SBAC ELA, two EPHS students scored “Standard Met”, three students scored “Standard Nearly Met”, and the remaining four students scored “Standard Not Met” (n=9). In the past, EPHS students typically scored in the lowest scale score range. For SBAC Math, one student scored “Standard Nearly Met” and the other eight scored “Standard Not Met” (n=9). ELPAC testing for EPHS yielded the following results: Level 1 (n=2), Level 2 (n=4), Level 3 (n=2), and Level 4 (n=1).
State testing from spring 2021 illuminated that more emphasis needed to be placed in mathematics instruction. As for EL students at EPHS, the emphasis needs to be placed on developing more effective integrated ELD instruction. EPHS is too small of a school to have a designated ELD program, but teachers delivering academic instruction in English can utilize instructional strategies, techniques, and activities that leverage higher levels of academic learning and language acquisition. The two strategies that are emphasized include vocabulary development (Tier 2 words considered low-utility and Tier 3 words that are subject-specific), and the expanded use of oral language during the instructional period.