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All students participate in a rigorous, relevant, and coherent standards-based curriculum that supports the achievement of the academic standards and the Expected School-Wide Learning Results.   

Morse High School students participate in rigorous standards-based curriculum that supports achievement of the academic standards and Expected School-Wide Learning Results.   (ESLRs). The state standards are what we teach, and the Expected School-Wide Learning Results. (ESLRs) are why we teach the state standards.


Current Educational Research and Thinking

The school-wide strategy focus for the 2011-2012 school year is critical thinking.  Every department, not just core subjects, is tasked to incorporate critical thinking into their classroom to engage and stimulate student learning. All teachers were encouraged to attend a professional development workshop on critical thinking strategies facilitated by Dr. Enoch Hale, a Fellow from the Foundation and Center for Critical Thinking, as well as attend a teacher led professional development session on implementation strategies.  

Professional development has focused on sending teachers to training to learn current research methods to use in the classroom including; AP by the Sea, UCSD Critical Thinking and Problem Solving math workshop, GATE certification, AVID training, San Diego Area Writing Project, and CSU Expository Reading and Writing workshop training. Morse High School math, English, and history teachers are phasing in the i21 system to use technology to improve rigor and implementation of the standards-based curriculum. We also use the co-teaching model to support students with IEPs in the core classrooms. Some departments use DataDirector to help align curriculum with student needs. All departments review data to understand where students need to improve school wide and within their own classes.


Academic Standards for Each Content Area

Each core subject area uses state defined academic standards.  All English, history, math, and science courses have pacing guides that are based on California's academic content standards.  All Advanced Placement courses comply with the standards provided by the College Board as evidenced through their auditing program.  All Regional Occupational Program (ROP) courses use state content standards and follow district determined course outlines. Special education classes teach California state standards. 


Relevance of the curriculum at Morse High School is a continuous focus. All core content classes use standards based curriculum. Teachers at our school are encouraged to have their daily agendas and objectives posted which identify their standards-based lessons. The Senior Portfolio at Morse requires students to reflect and explain to what extent they have achieved the ESLRs during their high school career. Copies of the ESLRs can be seen in every classroom.


Student Work - Engagement in Learning

All core departments are encouraged to examine student work. Teachers collected work samples from their classes. Assessment results were collected, compared, and analyzed. Based on the data collected, discussion was centered on how to improve student achievement.


Morse High School’s staff has implemented student observations to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Core departments have discussed the guidelines for observing students and have brought their recommendations to the Leadership Team, who in turn, have made revisions to the observation sheets. The examination of students’ work and the student observation process are ongoing as each department meets and looks at how the different standards and school-wide student goals (ESLRs) are being met.


Accessibility of All Students to Curriculum 

At Morse High School, all students have access to a rigorous, relevant, and coherent curriculum. AP courses are accessible to all students. Special Education students are mainstreamed in all courses. Teachers are encouraged to use various strategies to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students. Strategies include, but are not limited to, SDAIE, QTEL, critical thinking and co-teaching. With an increased emphasis on closing the achievement gap for all students, departments are planning and implementing strategies and methods to improve the proficiency of students in all curricular areas. Students are supported and encouraged to take rigorous classes challenging themselves and preparing them for postsecondary education and careers. Any student who wishes the opportunity to take classes will be given equal opportunity and access.


Integration Among Disciplines

Morse High School strives for integration among disciplines on multiple levels. The Special Education department integrates with all disciplines at Morse. Students with special needs are fully mainstreamed in all of our programs. The demands of this population require one-on-one meetings with Educational Specialists, Co-teachers, and Para-Edcucators to discuss and plan curriculum for each student. 


The English and history departments collaborate on a common term paper for our 11Th grade Honors students.


The Culinary Arts and Physical Education departments work together to educate students on the benefits of physical activity, health, and nutrition. Also, the Culinary Arts department collaborates with the Child Development department in creating a common garden and educational space.


The Art and Drama departments work together in designing and constructing stage props. Also, the Art department uses the library to showcase students’ artwork.


Each department works to align curriculum for smooth transitions from one subject to another.


Curricular Development, Evaluation, and Revisions

Morse High School provides challenging, coherent, and relevant curriculum for all students.  Professional development centers on current research, highlights best practices, uses test scores to ensure proper class placements, and reviews common assessments to make sure curriculum goals have been met. Our curriculum development is focused on the integration of critical thinking strategies into all core content areas. Modified Wednesdays provide our staff time to collaborate within departments and Focus Groups.  The counseling department works to ensure that students are meeting all requirements for graduation. The A-G requirements are listed on the Student Handbook Quick Reference Card, which was given to students to place in their binders. Teachers are consulted regarding student placement.  Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, our staff is using a common citizenship grading scale, with regard to tardies.


Rigorous, Relevant, Coherent Curriculum

All classes at Morse High School offer rigorous, relevant and coherent curriculum.  Teachers develop their curriculum based upon the California Frameworks and State Standards in order to ensure that all students are learning the appropriate material and achieving the ESLRs. Teachers and counselors work to place individual students in the most rigorous courses for their success. Students have the opportunity to enroll in any of the twelve AP courses offered.


Teachers are encouraged to monitor assessments, identify the concerns and use this data to improve student achievement. Several core content area teachers requested curriculum writing time to develop department pacing guides to help ensure the rigor of teaching is consistent in all classes.


Teachers collect and analyze data from benchmark assessments through DataDirector, an assessment tool. Our teachers are currently working on ways to analyze and use this data to inform our instruction and identify when re-teaching a particular standard is necessary.


Articulation and Follow-Up Studies

Morse counselors make yearly visits to our feeder schools in order to inform the 8th or 9th grade students about the requirements, programs and courses offered at Morse.  During the articulation process, a PowerPoint presentation about the various opportunities specific to Morse is shown to prospective students. We look at 8th and 9th grade test scores to determine appropriate class placement. We invite the families of prospective 8th and 9th grade students to Morse High School’s Tiger Showcase during the spring to learn about programs and courses offered.




Counselors attend CSU, UC, and community college workshops to aid transition to college. We offer a Political Science course which is taught by a community college professor. Counselors track college acceptance rates and keep track of all scholarships offered to our students.


San Diego State University and the University of California San Diego work closely with students who have expressed interest in these schools. They provide assistance during the school day in academic preparation and also in the college application process. Other public and private colleges and universities visit Morse during the school year.  Tables are set up in the quad area at lunch for students to visit and speak with outreach representatives about the college programs offered.  


Morse High School staff works diligently to establish and maintain a culture of positive, open communication and respect for self and others, while challenging students to apply the information learned in class in a rigorous and critical manner.








·        ABC Listening Protocol

·        Excerpt from Critical Thinking Handbook: High School Book

·        Excerpt from The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concept and Tools

·        Excerpt from A Thinker’s Guide For Those Who Teach on How to Improve Student Learning 30 Practical Ideas


·        Math courses (district pacing guides)

·        SD Office of Education ROP Course Outline – Developmental Psychology of Children

·        English 9-12 & AP Pacing Guides

·        US History and World History Pacing Guides

·        Earth, Biology, Chemistry Pacing Guides


·        Agendas and objectives posted in classrooms

·        Senior Portfolio





·        Student Observation form

·        Student Work Analysis form









·        Master schedule

·        IEP summary sheets











·        English/History common term paper

·        Photos of garden in progress

·        Photos of stage props from Art/Drama collaboration

·        Collaborative lesson plan from Co-teaching model











·        Critical Thinking Professional Development Agenda

·        Student Reference Card









·        Enrollment count in AP classes (overall and by racial subgroups)

·        Core content area DataDirector reports for CST quizzes

·        Rubrics










·        Morse Articulation PowerPoint

·        Tiger Showcase invitation

·        Flyer for the articulation breakfast

·        Eighth grade articulation PowerPoint

















All students have access to the school’s entire program and assistance with a personal learning plan to prepare them for the pursuit of their academic, personal, and school-to-career goals.

Variety of Programs - Full Range of Choices

Morse High School counselors provide students with personal assistance as students pursue academic, personal, and school to career goals.  Our counselors provide academic, social, emotional, college and career services to students to enable them to realize their potential. Students are assigned to a counselor based on the students’ last names and grade levels. The Counseling Department has an open door policy and students are encouraged to seek individual help. Students meet individually with their counselors in the spring of each year to discuss their course selection for the following year and review their graduation status. Information is provided to parents through a variety of ways: Back to School Night, Financial Aid workshops, the Auto

Dialer and our school’s website.   





Morse High School’s Student Success Center is available to all students and is designed to assist students in every phase of the college application process, including financial aid and scholarships.  At their request, parents can meet with counselors in the Student Success Center.


Morse High School ensures that all students meet graduation requirements. Our counselors use standardized assessments, completion of credits, and current grades to identify at-risk students to ensure they receive the interventions they need to be successful. Some of these interventions include: working with staff to adjust instruction and learning, CAHSEE ELA/math classes, Student Success Team meetings, Individualized Education Plans, 504 meetings and individual meetings with students and/ or parents.


Morse High School offers ROP courses and programs that allow students to pursue career and vocational options. Many of these classes include internships. Morse currently offers the following ROP classes: Computerized Graphic Design, Engineering, Culinary Arts, Child Development, and Auto Body. They received funds to modernize our Child Development, Culinary Arts and Auto Body programs.  Many students who participate in these programs are interested in pursuing a career in these fields.


Morse High School offers the following Advanced Placement courses: AP Biology, AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, AP Art History, AP Government, AP Spanish, AP Computer Science, AP Language, AP Literature, AP US History, AP European History, AP Psychology.  These courses are offered to students as well as a variety of Advanced, Honors and Cluster classes.


Through the 21st Century Grant, Morse High School encourages student to explore a variety of interests. These programs include: Technology Mondays, Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA), project-based curriculum, fieldtrips to institutions of higher education (such as Envision, a female engineering conference at UCSD & the SHPE Engineering Conference at SDSU) Yoga, and Driver’s Education.


AVID CLASSES provide students with opportunities to acquire skills that will help them to be successful in college.  Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a college-bound initiative from the Department of Education, in partnership with San Diego Unified School District and the University of California San Diego.  Since the inception of the grant in 2006, a GEAR UP Counselor and Coordinator have supported students from the graduating classes of 2012 and 2013 in presenting information and opportunities pertaining to postsecondary options.


Student/Parent/Staff Collaboration

Morse High School staff is encouraged to post their syllabi on our school’s website. The syllabi provide evidence that all students and parents can access the needed information in order to be successful in their courses. Parents and students have access to their grades, assignments, attendance and teacher contact information through StudentConnect and ParentConnect. Parents are notified about important events through Morse High School’s auto dialer.


Many core content textbooks have publisher websites that are available to students and parents for at home support. Morse High School offers two open houses during the school year. The fall open house introduces courses and teachers. Tiger Showcase (spring open house) provides an opportunity for incoming 9th graders and their parents to tour the campus, meet the teachers and familiarize themselves with available programs, clubs and activities, as well as showcase student work.


Special Education teachers and staff collaborate daily with parents, students, and staff through co-taught instruction, IEP meetings, and student study teams. Special and general education staff work with students and parents to determine appropriate student schedules, develop and monitor progress of IEP goals, and identify necessary accommodations and modifications to the general education classroom, as well as assess student career and vocational interests and goals.


Monitoring/Changing Student Plans

All seniors at Morse High School are given a minimum of two credit checks during their senior year. To ensure they are on track with their academic progress towards graduation, students in grades 9 to 11 are given a minimum of one credit check per year. All entering freshmen are consulted in order to create a learning contract, which becomes a four-year learning plan that guides their course pathways during their time at Morse High School


To remediate credit deficient students, credit recovery programs such as CRASH and APEX (online courses) are offered throughout the year for various core subjects.  Progress reports are sent home to parents every six weeks to keep parents informed about their students’ academic performance.


An online credit evaluation program is being piloted and reviewed by counselors.  This program produces user-friendly charts and tables that help track an individual student’s progress toward graduation and A-G requirements.


Special education teachers and case managers meet with students, parents, and staff to modify IEP’s annually. 504 conferences are held annually to meet the changing needs of students. Students who are identified at grading periods or by teacher recommendation for more support or placement in interventions sometimes have changes in their schedule in order to guide them back on track for graduation.


Post High School Transitions

Counselors meet with every senior in September to discuss postsecondary plans, including college and career plans. College representatives visit Morse High School to inform students of programs and campus life. A Financial Aid night and a FAFSA Night are offered to assist students and parents with the vast options for funding college.


All seniors must complete a portfolio and present an exhibition to a panel of staff, community members, parents and students.


JROTC provides scholarship opportunities and training for the students not only for careers in the military, but for careers in any industry. Through discipline, routine, and hard work the students who participate in JROTC are well-rounded, responsible community members who are better prepared for the diverse postsecondary options they will pursue.


ROP courses offer career education and skills for internships and employment and students receive college credit in courses articulated with a community college.


Special education students participate in post high school programs such as TRACE and Job Corp. These students receive support from a vocational rehabilitation specialist who assists in job placement. Special Education students in the moderate/severe program have Community Based Instruction which not only guides them in learning how to navigate through the community, spend money, make change, or budget for purchases. It also gives students the opportunity to work and earn income so they have valuable experience for their own post-secondary lives.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

GEAR UP has conducted numerous activities throughout the school year to assist students in preparing for their post high school options.  Students were invited to attend workshops to prepare them for college entrance tests, including the PSAT Prep Session in October (99 Students), the ACTStudy Session in December (26 Students), the SAT Prep Workshop in January (11 Students), and two SAT Prep Sessions before May and June (May=22 Students; June=60 Students).  GEAR UP also carried out a large campaign to assist juniors (class of 2012) register for the final SAT test dates of the Junior Year. Students, who had a GPA of 2.5 and above and did not qualify for free or reduced lunch, received a GEAR UP scholarship, in which GEAR UP paid for their tests. Students on the free or reduced lunch program, used fee waivers provided by College Board. GEAR UP assisted a total of 200 students to register for the SAT administered in May and June. In an effort to ensure students were prepared for the test, SAT Checklist Meetings were held where GEAR UP met with students registered for the May 4thor June 4th SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject tests. Each student who submitted was two printed copies of their admission ticket, received a GEAR UP goodie bag filled with pencils, a reminder checklist to be used on the day of the test, and other necessary items (May=91 Students; June=154 Students). Financial Aid is another topic on which GEAR UP conducted a Financial Aid Night for students and their families to learn more about in January of 2011 (100 Students and Parents/Guardians). The Junior Workshop was also conducted in February of 2011 to assist students in: preparing for their senior year, creating a College Board account, registering for upcoming SAT and or ACT test dates, and researching and applying for scholarships (41 Students).


GEAR UP students have also participated in a variety of college fairs and campus tours throughout the years, teaching students about their post high school options. College Fairs have included the National College Fair in May 2010 (48 Students), Cal-SOAP College Fair in October 2010 (74 Students and Parents/Guardians), the RAP Conference/College and Career Fair (400 Students and Parents), and the Black College Expo in Los Angeles January 2010 (21 Students). GEAR UP students have toured college campuses such as: San Diego State University in October 2010 with the Educational Opportunity Program’s (EOP) Freshman for a Day (31 Students), California StateUniversity, Channel Islands and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in December of 2010 (25 Students), California State University, San Marcos in March of 2011 for the Brothers & Sisters Gonna Work it Out Boys/Girls Conference (32 Students), and UCSD with the KP Core Student Organization in May of 2011 (189 Students). In 2009, the Counseling Department at Morse conducted the school’s first week-long college tour, the West Coast College Tour,for students to visit campuses outside of San Diego. A group of 40 students from all grade levels, along with four counselors, toured 10 colleges within the University of California system, the California State University system, and private colleges. During the Spring Break of 2011, GEAR UP continued this tour to campuses with the Northern California College Tour, bringing 20 juniors from Morse and a total of 80 students from all four GEAR UP high schools.  GEAR UP is in the planning phase for the 2012 Northern California College Tour for students in the graduating class of 2013. 


Local universities also visit the Morse campus to present students with information concerning their postsecondary options. In October of 2010, Morse High School hosted the District-wide event,An Evening with UC San Diego” featuring Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, a workshop devoted to informing students and families about admissions requirements for all University of California campuses and other college related topics (99 Students). In May of 2011, Former Morse High School students and current UC Berkeley student working with the PASS (Pilipino AcademicStudent Services) Outreach Program up at UC Berkeley visited a variety of classes to present students with some of the tools and resources that are necessary to reach a higher level of education (152 Students). Students from the Black Student Recruitment and Retention program at UCBerkeley also conducted a similar presentation in October 2011 (80 Students).


The 21st Century Grant supports Morse students to attend M.E.Ch.A Annual High School Conferences at SDSU (November 2010 & November 2011) and UCSD (February 2011). College students motivated Morse students to continue their education by attending an institution of higher education. Students have the opportunity to attend workshops on financial aid, career explorations and skills that will help them become successful in college, and industry. Morse students also attended the IDEAS Conference at UCLA (May 2011).


Analysis of Additional Evidence

We learned that many of our programs and collaborative efforts overlap when it comes to addressing student access to our school offerings and assistance with developing student-based personal learning plans. All stakeholders at Morse High School collaborate in a variety of ways in order to provide students with learning opportunities that are rigorous and practical, and that also prepare them to meet their goals.




·        Class selection sheet

·        Course flow charts

·        GEAR UP & City College Career Boot Camp (2010, 2011)

·        Career Exploration Summer Program

·        Pharmacy Day

·        Scientist in the Classroom

·        Tiger Fest RAP Parent-Student Conference

·        Cal SOAP Career Fair

·        Envision 2011&2012 Flyer ( Female Engineering Conference at UCSD)

·        2011 SHPE Engineering Conference at SDSU Flyer

·        MESA Industry Shadow Day Power Point for Nov. 17, 2011

·        ROP fliers
























·        Morse High School website

·        Open House fliers

·        Tiger Show Case fliers

·        Learning upgrade, online textbooks

·        GEAR UP Parent University













·        504

·        SST

·        EdConnect,Blackboard, StudentConnect, ParentConnect

·        IEP Summary sheet

·        Progress Report for Special Ed. Students

·        Blank copy of the learning contract for a 4 year plan 

·        Senior deficiency letter

·        Graduation check lists.

·        Transcript Evaluation Service printout for students







·        FAFSA Night flier

·        Senior portfolio























·        PSAT Workshop

·        ACT Workshop

·        SAT Workshop

·        SAT Prep Workshop (May)

·        SAT Prep Workshop (June)

·        SAT mass registration

·        SAT Checklist (May)

·        SAT Checklist (June)

·        GEAR UP Financial Aid Night

·         Junior Workshop

·         National College Fair

·         Cal SOAP College Fair

·        TigerFest RAP      Conference

·        Black College Fair

·        SDSU Freshman for a Day

·        M.E.Ch.A High School Conference Flyers (SDSU 2010 & 2011)

·        IDEAS at UCLA Flyer



















Upon completion of the high school program, students are able to meet all the requirements of graduation.


Meeting Graduation Requirements

Morse High School’s graduation rate continues to improve by implementing early intervention programs. Our counselors monitor student progress and place them in the appropriate program based on their individual needs. CAHSEE support is offered for math and English. Students who are credit deficient may be placed in the APEX program and assigned a graduation coach. This allows students to work at their own pace or work at home to make-up failed courses. If students are severely deficient in credits, and are over 16, they may enroll in Twain Continuation School located on our campus.


Real World Applications

Students have access to real world applications at Morse High School through educational field trips, guest speakers, AP courses, ROP courses, transition skills classes and Senior Exhibition requirements for graduation. The counseling department maintains regular contact with local community colleges and universities.


Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) testing is a voluntary test available to students who are interested in pursuing a career in the armed forces.


In order to prepare our students with developmental disabilities who are in special education and are non-diploma bound, we offer real world experiences.  We encourage our students to be as independent as possible on campus and in the community. The level of support each student receives is based on individual needs. Following the special education protocol, each student receives an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and a transitional plan that provides step-by-step procedures to become as independent as possible. We reach this goal by preparing our students while in high school with jobs, community experience, job training, personal growth, self-advocacy, advocating for and planning the students’ future plans, recreation and functional educational goals like cash handling skills and reading community signs. Support is provided to facilitate healthy, safe and meaningful experiences within age-appropriate, natural community settings.


Effectiveness of Academic Support Programs

Students are continually monitored by the counseling department to determine whether or not they are on track for graduation. Student report cards, transcripts, CST data, CAHSEE results, and four-year plans are all reviewed to determine which students are meeting Morse High School’s graduation requirements.


Throughout the school year, students are academically supported through the 21stCentury grant, APEX, GEAR-UP tutoring, resource teachers, and the Special Education staff. As a grant for the last five years, 21st Century has been an integral part of providing academic support to all our students. CRASH (Credit Recovery After School Hours) is a program created for students to make up D/F grades and keep them on track to graduate without falling behind in credits. Tutoring through the 21st century has been very popular for assisting students in completing assignments and studying for tests/quizzes.  Students have an opportunity after school to be in the library or seek out their teachers to receive the tutoring.


Students who are credit deficient are assigned a graduation coach and are given the opportunity to recover the credits through APEX.  These online classes have been useful for students who failed during the school year and for keeping them on track to graduate. Resource teachers provide additional support in ELA/math classrooms. The Special Education staff, (case managers and one-on-one aides) help to maintain our student ratios for students with IEPs requiring supplementary aides.


Morse High School students are required to complete 44 credits in order to graduate. The lack of flexibility in the master schedule does not allow for course retakes. With the ending of grants and a possible reduction in next year’s budget, APEX, CRASH, and summer school may not be funded. Hence, the staff has been researching alternative schedules and methods in order to allow students to attempt more credits during their high school career.


Morse High School does have a small population of students who, despite numerous attempts and various interventions (CAHSEE math and English classes, targeted CAHSEE tutoring), do not pass the California High School Exit Exam. Those students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of their 4 years in high school.


Analysis of Additional Evidence

Data suggests that the majority of students at Morse are successful in meeting their graduation requirements. There is overwhelming evidence that suggests the academic support programs assist Morse students in reaching their CAHSEE and graduation goals. APEX and CRASH have had a great impact on students in need of academic assistance. In addition, student access to real-world applications provides opportunities for students to connect their interests and motivation to the rigorous, standards-based curriculum taught in their daily classes.




·        CAHSEE rosters

·        APEX rosters








·        Photos: Hungry Tiger

·        ROP brochures

·        COSMOS flyer

·        Food Handler’s Certificate

·        MESA Wind Turbine Student’s Project Lab Report














·        APEX credits recovered

·        CRASH  credits recovered





































Areas of Strength

·        Curriculum incorporates ESLRs

·        Access to AP and Honors classes

·        Standards-based curriculum in all core content areas

·        ROP program

·        CST quizzes keep teachers aligned in pacing


Areas for Improvement

·        AVID program needs to be revamped

·        Further professional development for critical thinking strategies

·        Vertical curricular development

·        Horizontal curricular development

·        Professional development needed for co-teacher model

Curriculum | Morse


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