Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dallas ISD dropout indicators as of 10-01-16 enrollment

This is a chart of the 22 Comprehensive High School in Dallas ISD and their enrollment by grade as of 10-1-16.  The balance between 9th grade enrollment and 12th grade enrollment is a general indicator of the dropout numbers that each school will be enduring.  Sunset is the best in DISD by over 10 percentage points!
Dallas ISD Comprehensive High Schools enrollment by grade as of 10-1-16 and dropout indicators.
The position of Sunset at the top of this chart is a reflection of 12 years active work in the Time Capsule Project and a reflection of the fact that Sunset receives most of their students from Quintanilla who started the Time Capsule Project in 2005, and Greiner Middle School who started their Time Capsule Project with Sunset in 2010.

The above statements still need to be researched.  There are multiple other variables that can also, and probably did, account for this monumental progress at Sunset.  Sunset used to be one of the highest dropout rate high schools in all of DISD.

To provide a little history on Sunset, here is a chart covering the decade of enrollments and graduations before 2012 at Sunset.  Notice the imbalance in enrollment that was slowly disappearing with the onset of more future planning students:

Sunset High School enrollment by grade history from 1997 to 2011
Notice how the balance between 12th grade enrollment and 9th grade enrollment began to balance once the Time Capsule Project students began entering Sunset in 2005. The changes started the next year as a higher percentage of 9th graders when on to the 10th grade, a percentage that increased almost every year from that time forward.  That is the power of students having once written serious plans for their own future.  Now we recommend such student writing happen every year in Language Arts classes in every grade.  Just once a year is enough.

Sunset installed their own vault the summer of 2009 along with Greiner. Here is a history of Sunset's graduation rates back in these early days of the Time Capsule Project:
Sunset High School & DISD Graduation Rates Compared from 2000 to 2010.
Principal Tony Tovar came to Sunset in 2005, same year Time Capsule Project started at Quintanilla.

The progress at Sunset continues to this day!  More improvement is needed even when you are on top.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

School Effectiveness Indices over 3 years & DISD Time Capsule Schools

The 11 Time Capsule Project Schools serving over 15,000 Dallas ISD students are the most rapidly improving schools in the district.

It is clearly documented that the 8 Time Capsule Project middle schools have the most consistently improving School Effectiveness Indices (SEI) scores of all 31 Dallas ISD middle schools!

Dallas ISD has a 14 year collection of priceless school achievement data in the School Effectiveness Indices (SEI) database, online at .  The SEI is a measure of how much students are improving during their years at a school.  It is one of the most valuable education measurement available in school district management.  Magnet schools do not necessarily have the highest SEI scores as the students who enter them are already achieving at a high level. Record setting progress beyond that is a challenge.

Below is a chart of the most recent three years of SEI scores for all 31 non-magnet DISD Middle Schools. The 7 schools with Time Capsule Projects are highlighted in yellow.  All 31 schools are listed in order starting with the highest most recent SEI score. The three year average is also given with the ranking by that average given.

The two schools with the oldest Time Capsule Projects have the highest average 3 year SEI scores of any middle schools in DISD. Since they were already achieving high SEI scores three years ago, their rise has slowed down. The 5 newest Time Capsule Project schools which started three years ago with an average SEI of only 42.8, are improving rapidly to catch up with the two more tenured Time Capsule Project schools.  They have improved an average of 6.7 points over the past 3 years!  The rest of the 24 non-Time-Capsule-Project schools reflect no such progress as a group.  They have lost an average of 0.7 points during the last 3 years.  
Dallas ISD Time Capsule Project Middle Schools compared with normal Middle Schools on SEI
(Since Rosemont was the newest middle school, and has a relatively small student body compared to the other schools, it was not included in this listing.)

The above chart is about improved SEI due to only having 8th graders write letters planning their futures. Many improvements have happened within the past 6 months! 
This year each of these schools began to have all three grades of students writing letters each year to practice and improve their letters year to year, building toward the 8th grade letters that stay in the schools time capsule for a decade.

In addition, now students have one additional writing project that starts off the project each year. They personally write a persuasive letter to their parents asking for a letter back about their parent's dreams for them.  This change both prepares the students to receive their parents thoughts back on this central issue and replaces a letter from the teacher or principal.  It has more than doubled the percentage of parents who write a letter to their child about their dreams for them.  Now as many as 85% of parents are writing letters to their child!

Next year all 7th and 8th grade students, and their parents, will receive back the letters they wrote this year to read before new letters are written.  The quality of the letters being written will hopefully continue to improve.

With this increased focus on the future, and planning by both parents and students every year, the schools SEI scores will continue to rise.  None of these improvements are reflected in the above SEI scores.  The SEI scores should continue to improve as these changes become normal annual events in Time Capsule Project schools.

At this time one elementary school is planning to apply such a future planning system to their language arts writing projects, storing the letters in a vault they have in the school.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Increasing Student Resilience with a Time Capsule Project

As students know they can, and will, and must, know how to change, they become more resilient. That was underlined in an article in today's Dallas Morning News, page 1 of the Arts and Life Section.  The article was by Jan Hoffman, titled "Cultivating resilience," and was originally published in the New York Times.  See it at

The message is simple.

As students in the active Time Capsule Project schools read letters from their parents about their parental dreams for them, and then have written their own plans for the future, and then re-reading those plans the next year before writing new ones, annually modifying the old plans, they develop the ability to change.  They see the ability to change. They understand it is good.  They understand it is normal. The most critical component to resilience is reinforced.