At Capitol we are committed to making sure our scholars are workforce ready. They need to be ready to tackle whatever challenges they may face after leaving our doors. We want to make sure that our scholars are well rounded and contributing to their communities regardless of the roles they play in their future organizations. This is why we are committed to providing skills and tools that will be necessary for them to be successfully functional.
A part of this commitment, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, is providing the option for scholars to receive certifications in tools that are industry specific and that they will actually use in the workplace. A few of the certifications offered include Microsoft Word, Microsoft Enterprise and CompTia. The Microsoft Word certification equips scholars with the tools to be proficient in a program that is used in many workplaces today, regardless of field. Microsoft Enterprise lays a good foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset, specifically in the small business world. CompTIA provides a great stepping stone to the Information Technology (IT) world, familiarizing scholars with industry jargon and preparing them to think about things in the IT mindset.
Each of these certifications will allow scholars to stand out from other job seeking high school graduates and college applicants. We are confident that one our scholars graduate with these certifications under their belts they will be able to acquire industry experience in their fields before matriculating to higher forms of training on the job.
Capitol offers our scholars many ways to go above and beyond the average, to set themselves a part from their peers and to progress along the pathway to success. One way we offer our scholars this is by making Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses. Another way we do this is by offering Jump Start Pathways certifications. Some of these certifications are at the statewide basic level, which means scholars will be able to take these certifications anywhere in the state and be eligible to work roles that require the certification.
These certifications provide students with an array of knowledge needed to be workforce ready. The certifications that we currently offer are; MicroEnterprise, Microsoft Word, Adobe Associate, CompTIA and OSHA 10 general.
We offer our students the regional MicroEnterprise certification. This certification helps students master workplace behavior and communication skills. This certification is small business focused, students learn both the employee and entrepreneur sides of small business.
In today’s workplace students, regardless of field or industry, will need a strong grasp of basic technological functions. The Microsoft Word certification allows them a peak into systems they might need in the near future. Additionally, for our scholars interested in trade work post-secondary, we offer the OSHA 10 General. This certification will equip them with a wide knowledge of health and safety measures before reaching the floor after training. Both of these certifications are complementary.
We offer our scholars the Statewide-Basic certification in Adobe Associate. This allows our students with interest in graphic design to gain knowledge of an industry common tool. Another of our Statewide-Basic certifications includes the COMPTia, allowing our students with an interest in Information Technology a jump start on their career.
For more information, speak with one of our dedicated academic advisors.
Capitol offers our scholars many ways to go above and beyond the average, to set themselves a part from their peers and to progress along the pathway to success. One way we offer our scholars this is by making Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses.
AP courses are college-level courses taught by our staff. College Board manages the curricula and examination of these courses. College Board is a not-for-profit organization that was created to broaden access to higher education through college readiness. The courses offered are in the general education subject areas and recognized by most higher education institutions. At the completion of the course scholars are administered an exam to show off the knowledge they’ve gained. Scores range 1-5, 5 being the highest, which can then potentially be used for college credit. Each institution has their own rules about the scores they accept for credits, but we generally see institutions allowing students with a score of 4 or better to bypass certain prerequisite courses.
Dual Enrollment programs exist across the nation to allow students another snapshot into higher education. Dual Enrollment courses allow students to be enrolled in high school while taking college courses with an approved partnership school, to earn guaranteed credits that will be acknowledged at that institution. Capitol is proud to partner with Southern University and Wiley College. Upon successful completion of courses with these institutions, our scholars gain recognition that they have completed the course and are allowed to earn a credit toward graduation from that institution. Other schools may accept the credit, should they choose to attend elsewhere after leaving Capitol’s doors, but the acceptance of the credit is based on the specific institution’s requirements.
If you or your scholar has any questions about either program, feel free to speak with one of our academic advisors, we’d be more than happy to help you choose the program that is right for you.
CAPITOL HIGH SCHOOL OUTPACES NEIGHBORING HIGH SCHOOLS IN STUDENT PROGRESS, STRENGTH OF DIPLOMA, COHORT GRADUATION RATE
The Louisiana Department of Education released Annual School Performance Scores today. Capitol High School’s academic performance continues to outpace other neighboring schools in several academic measures.
BATON ROUGE (November 8, 2018) – Capitol High School’s academic record has outshined neighboring open-admissions high schools for the third consecutive year. The public charter school outpaces several traditional, neighboring East Baton Rouge Parish high schools in overall School Performance Scores (SPS). In addition to overall school performance, Capitol also has outperformed these schools in the specific SPS subcategories of student progress (growth index), strength of diploma, and cohort graduation rate.
For the past three years, Friendship Capitol High School’s annual School Performance Score (SPS) has been higher than two of the three nearby district high schools that share Capitol High’s previous attendance zone prior to its placement into the Recovery School District (RSD) in 2009. Students who do not attend Capitol would likely otherwise attend Tara High School, Belaire High School, or Broadmoor High School. Since 2016, Capitol’s annual SPS has outperformed Belaire and Tara high schools. In 2017, Capitol outperformed these two, in addition to Glen Oaks. This year, in 2018, Capitol’s SPS score outpaces Tara, Belaire, and Broadmoor.
“While we are happy to continue outperforming our local peers, we are not at all satisfied with our most recent SPS performance and the corresponding Letter Grade of F,” said Bruce Miles, a Capitol alumnus and Friendship Louisiana Board president. “With the state’s changing accountability system, we know we must continually find new ways to raise the bar and demonstrate growth. We have worked diligently and aggressively to identify and implement key strategies toward continual improvement.”
Under the accountability system from last year, Capitol High’s Letter Grade would have increased to a Letter Grade of ‘D.’ However, the updated system, rolled out this year, still rates the school as an ‘F.’
To bolster student achievement, in 2017, the school developed a comprehensive, evidence-based School Redesign plan to help guide the school in 2018-19 and beyond. The plan primarily focused on the areas of Tier 1 curriculum to increase classroom rigor, educator workforce and advancement supports, and post-secondary pathways. Capitol also leveraged School Redesign grant award and other funds to double down on professional development directly aligned with the new curriculum. The school has partnered with curriculum developers such as Great Minds and Learn Zillion to provide intensive supports. The school has also established partnerships with several educator workforce partners such as Leading Educators, Relay Graduate School of Education, and the Black Teacher Collaborative to ensure our staff has he high-quality, diversified training and support to do well in the classroom.
“We are proud of the improvement we have made over the past few years; however, we recognize we have much farther to go to make certain all of our students are prepared for their future academic and career pursuits,” said Brian Beck, who serves as the Friendship Louisiana Executive Director. “The school’s shift in expanding graduation pathways, offering workforce-ready credentials, providing early college opportunities, and embracing technology have paved the way for sustainable, long-term academic success at Capitol.”
In 2015, Capitol shifted to only offering the TOPS University diploma, subsequently limiting graduation pathways for students. In 2017, after analyzing student data and outcomes, as well as having dialogue with parents and other school stakeholders, Capitol launched its first JumpStart Pathway courses and certification options for students. As a result, the Class of 2019 will have graduates from both the TOPS University and TOPS Tech pathways.
Since 2015, Capitol has partnered with several post-secondary institutions including Southern University, Baton Rouge Community College, Southeastern Louisiana University, Wiley College, and Delgado Community College to ensure all students have access to dual enrollment courses. Students have the opportunity to take college courses on college campuses and at Capitol. All students can matriculate through at least one dual Advanced Placement or dual enrollment course during their tenure.
Technology is also a critical component of the teaching and learning process. Over the summer, the school installed a STEM Lab through the Creative Learning Systems and SMART Lab ®. The $260,000 investment offers students real-world experience in engineering, robotics, 3D printing, and more. Additionally, the school has a new broadcast station as well as an Apple Computer Lab. In the last two years, Capitol has purchased more than 500 new devices for student and teachers including Mac, laptops, and PCs.
“We have made a number of shifts in the past few years to get to this point,” Miles said. “While we know we have more work to do, we are excited to see how our investment in our educators, our scholars, and our school have paid off thus far. We are elated to see that in several academic measures our school is outperforming its peers. We have a lot to celebrate, and we look forward to more growth and progress in the coming years.”
Capitol counts among its academic successes:
For the past three years, Capitol’s graduation rate has been higher than Broadmoor and Tara High Schools. In 2015, the cohort graduation rate was also higher than Lee, Glen Oaks, and Belaire. In 2016, the grad rate was also higher than McKinley, Glen Oaks, and Belaire. In 2017, the cohort graduation rate was also higher than McKinley, Glen Oaks, and Belaire.
In 2017-2018, Capitol’s Top Growth percentage in English was higher than Belaire, Broadmoor, McKinley, and Scotlandville.
In 2017-2018, Capitol’s Top Growth percentage in Math was higher than Belaire, Broadmoor, McKinley, Scotlandville, and Tara.
Capitol’s 2014-2015 cohort had a higher strength of diploma index score than Tara, Belaire, Broadmoor and Glen Oaks.
In 2016-2017 Capitol had a higher percentage of graduates earning statewide basic credentials than Broadmoor, Tara, and Belaire.
The number of graduates who earned credentials from Capitol has grown from 8.6 percent in 2015 to 22.7 percent in 2017.
In 2018, 41 seniors and 26 senior cohort members earned JumpStart certifications. This was the highest number of certifications achieved since 2015, increasing by more than 100 percent. In 2019, at least 80 percent of seniors will have had an opportunity to earn one of three JumpStart certifications.
In a concerted effort to improve the quality of our school, Capitol has prioritized the professional development of our educators. When applying for the Every Student Succeeds Act High School Redesign act we looked at programs and other supplementary action items that would help us achieve the goals we were setting. The Johns Hopkins High School Redesign cohort is one such program.
Two key structures of the program are to improve instructional quality and to organize adults to maximize impact. The way that we meet these two structures is by presenting our students with tier one curricula and providing adequate professional development. There is no way that we could present our scholars with tier one curricula without first providing the necessary training to our educators.
Professional development is provided by state approved vendors Learn Zillion and Great Minds. These vendors also provide the curricula our scholars learn from. This is important because it ensures consistency in message and accuracy in application.
What sets Capitol a part from other area schools is our values. We value integrity, responsibility, confidence, caring, commitment, patience, persistence and respect. We know these values combined top notch instruction will allow us to give our scholars a well rounded education.
We are integrous. Even when not presented with the clearest option, we choose to do the right thing.
We are responsible. No matter where we are we practice responsibility by making choices to prioritize our future.
We are confident! Lions are confident that we can successfully complete every task, exceed expectations and overcome obstacles.
We are caring. In preparing to be well rounded scholars, we realize that we have to care about not only ourselves and the things around us, but situations and people outside of our direct reach.
We are committed. Everyday, we practice actions that will set us up for success. We are committed to creating and maintaining habits that will make us win.
We are patient. Although we are ready to win and show everyone what Lions are made of, we realize that true growth takes time. So we operate in grace and are patient with ourselves on this journey.
We are persistent! We never give up. The job is not complete unless we’ve given it our all.
We are respectful. Even though we may not agree with each other on some topics, we remain respectful in and out of the classroom so that everyone is included.
What are some of your values? How are you practicing to succeed? If you haven’t thought about your values before, try jotting down a few and asking yourself why they’re important to you and how they will help you succeed.
Capitol is proud to be a part of the Louisiana High School Redesign Cohort. High School Redesign, as it is referred to for short, is an effort to improve the post-secondary education readiness and increase the overall value of our time with our scholars. The cohort is comprised of 31 high schools across the state and facilitated by the Louisiana Board of Education, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. The cohort will be guided by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
Our membership in the High School Redesign cohort is supportive of our goals to meet the requirements of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA mandates that local school systems develop plans to improve the growth of students in schools that are struggling.
After going through the rigorous, multi-phase application process of ESSA last school year we were notified of our acceptance this year. We were pleased to find out that our plan was approved and major components of that plan, tier 1 curricula and professional development, received funding. Our plan was rooted in four key structures; improve the instructional quality, create post-secondary pathways, provide academic support and organize adults to maximize the impact.
To improve the instructional quality, the grant has allowed us to purchase Tier 1 curricula. Our educators are trained and guided through bringing the new curricula to our scholars. Having our educators properly trained on how to teach with these new curricula will ensure that they understand what they are teaching and leads to a better educational experience for our scholars. In an effort to create post-secondary pathways we have begun to offer Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses, as well as Jump Start Pathways certifications. AP and Dual Enrollment help prepare our scholars for a collegiate environment by providing them with a higher level of knowledge and the opportunity to test out of courses that most higher education institutions require for general education credits. Jump Start Pathways certifications allow students to gain skills needed to enter the workforce through trades.
Capitol offers academic support by counseling and coaching our scholars through making the decision of, “what do I do after high school?” Such counseling provides students with the support they need to make informed decisions and helps them plot the steps necessary during high school to set them up for post-secondary success. A part of the new plan that we have developed we must find a way to organize our educators and administrators in a way that maximizes our impact on our scholars. This includes efficient meetings across teams and useful professional development that our educators can take back to the classroom.
Summer is here! Do you have plans to make it productive? Check out our top five ways to make the most of your summer break.
1. Research Colleges – Whether if it’s visiting a college or two or exploring your options online, there’s so much out there to learn about college! While sometimes we only think about the sports, campus life and popularity of a school, there are other factors you should look at. It’s important to know things like how much your dream school costs, if they even offer your desired major and where their students work after they graduate.
2. Get a part-time job – Babysitting, mowing lawns, pet sitting, or even picking up a side job at your local pool, there are plenty of ways to get your side hustle on this summer.
3. Try something new. – When was the last time you saw something cool and thought to yourself, I could do that if I tried? Take the time to learn something new this summer. Explore DIYs on YouTube, pick up a how to book, teach yourself how to sew, perfect those makeup skills. With so much time on your hands for the next few months the possibilities could be endless!
4. Read – Sounds so cliché, but reading really is fundamental. Being an avid reader means you’re more likely to learn something new every day. Reading also enhances your memory, helps to boost your analytical thinking, expands your vocabulary and more. Never stop learning. ????
5. Volunteer – Take the time to do something for others this summer. Volunteering offers a rewarding feeling because you’ve contributed to a cause greater than yourself. You can also utilize volunteer hours on your resume, college and scholarship applications.
When you think of volunteering what words come to mind?
Fun? Boring? Requirement?
Some people genuinely enjoy giving their time to a cause they are passionate about, while others may think of volunteering and say “NO WAY!”
Volunteering is a different experience for everyone. However, you can make your volunteering experience into one that you love! You’re probably thinking, “How can I do that?” All you have to do is think outside of the box.
Use your interests to enhance your skills while supporting a good cause!
If you are into photography, videography or social media look for volunteer opportunities that involve multimedia with local non-profits. If you like to cook, search for volunteer opportunities with community food programs. If you like to work with children, look for opportunities at your local library or community center.
Volunteering not only shows how you serve others, but it is also a great way to learn and gain real world work experience.
Working and going to school can be difficult. When you volunteer you can choose a time that works best for you. Usually with college and scholarship applications showing that you are involved in the community is a big plus!
Feeling inspired yet?
Make a list of five things that interest you. Now, search for volunteer opportunities using keywords such as “local”, “nonprofit”, “volunteer”, plus your interests.
If there aren’t any opportunities in your area, create one! There are always contact lists on companies’ websites. Reach out to the volunteer coordinator or email the company’s general inbox to see if there are any additional opportunities that were not posted online.
Also, see who your teachers, mentors or family members know. They might have a connection with someone who can point you in the right direction.
- Parent Guide to the LEAP 2025 Tests: guidance for parents on what tests their child will take, when and how they can support their preparation at home
- Parent Guide to the LEAP 2025 Practice Tests: guidance for parents on how to access both online and paper practice tests