Chapter I: Student/Community Profile

Community

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) was founded in 1854 and is the second largest school district in the State of California, serving over 135,000 students. Within the district, there are 118 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 30 high schools, 35 charter schools, and 15 atypical and alternative schools. SDUSD has over 15,800 employees to serve the vast student population, representing 15 ethnicities and more than 60 languages and dialects. In 2009-2010 the district entered Program Improvement for the first time. Mass efforts and interventions have been supported by the district to achieve greater student proficiency and bring the LEA out of PI.

 Samuel F. B. Morse High School opened in 1962, with 1,200 freshmen, sophomores and juniors in a newly developing region of Southeast San Diego. It was years before empty lots were built up and landscaping matured. On staff the first year was Samuel F. B. Morse’s granddaughter, Leila Morse. Morse High still resides on a 65-acre plot and is known best for its technology and athletic programs. With advanced computer programs, math and science curriculum, culinary arts and auto body programs, Morse High School is one-of-a-kind. Currently 2000 students are enrolled at Morse High School. MHS graduates carry with them a sense of pride that has been prevalent through the years as evidenced by growing achievement, participation in the numerous extracurricular activities, and the beautiful murals canvassing the school site.

 Morse High serves a culturally diverse community and is composed mainly of single-family houses. MHS has 127 classrooms; 84 are in permanent facilities and 43 are in portable buildings. The science building has six labs and a lecture hall. 24% of MHS students are enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program “seminar” and “cluster” classes, 12% are enrolled in special education, and 14% are English Learners, representing 21 languages. Morse High is a community united in providing opportunities for all individuals to reach their full potential as lifelong learners. Together, Morse students, parents, staff and community members promote a positive learning environment, ensuring that all students demonstrate a high level of achievement based on California standards and the following Expected School-Wide Learning Results.  (ESLRs):

·       Practice responsible citizenship through positive social and interpersonal skills

·       Think critically and solve problems

·       Communicate effectively

Morse High is committed to communicating with and engaging parents as active partners in their children’s education. The district has adoptedParent Communications and Involvement Standards, which clearly describes expectations for parent communications and involvement at the district, school, classroom, and home levels. Morse is also committed to obtaining community resources for the school and invites all members of the community to assist in the education of students. Parents have many opportunities to be involved at their children’s school site (governance committees, special events, fundraising, parent organizations, School Site Council and in classrooms) and at the district level (district councils/committees, Parent University, and special events). Parents are encouraged to support their children at home by making their expectations about school clear and creating a positive homework and learning environment. In addition to participating in the PTSA, School Site Council (SSC), Governance Team (GT), or volunteering at events and in classrooms, parents are also invited to attend monthly Parents Involved in Education (PIE) meetings to learn about a variety of topics to support student achievement.
  Morse has established community and business partners which support the school as well as specific Regional Occupational Program (ROP) and CCTE (College, Career & Technical Education) courses and pathways.

Prior WASC

In March 2010, the visiting committee, for a limited-term revisit, recommended that Morse High School begin a Self-Study for a full accreditation visit in spring 2012. With a new principal in place, the staff at Morse had just reformed focus groups and began work on the action plan and recommended areas of improvement under the new administration.

 The visiting committee reported no new areas of improvement but recommended that Morse High School continue with programs and policies they had put in place in the 2009-2010 school year. These programs and policies would allow them to meet the goals set forth in the action plan.

Morse High School’s Vision Statement

Morse High School is a community united in providing opportunities for all individuals to reach their full potential as lifelong learners.

Much has changed at MHS since the initial WASC Self-Study in 2006. The staff at Morse High School has welcomed many new members; the administration is new and few staff members recall the rationale for the original Vision and Mission Statements. Preparation for our 2012 Self-Study provided an opportunity to examine the established statements and ESLRs and to reflect as to whether or not they represent the current Morse High School. The Leadership Team, with input from all staff, modified the Vision Statement in 2010.

Morse High School’s Mission Statement

Together, Morse students, parents, staff and community will promote a positive learning environment in which students can demonstrate a high level of achievement based on the California standards and Expected School-Wide Learning Results (ESLRs).

The staff at Morse High School strives for excellence in meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. The school programs are designed to stimulate a thirst for learning and to implement the state standards in order to provide all students with a firm foundation for school and work beyond high school. In addition to providing a strong academic program, Morse High School continues to provide opportunities for students to develop appropriate communication and social skills, problem-solving strategies, career-preparation skills and technology expertise to promote lifelong learning.

Expected School-Wide Learning Results

1.     COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

·       Read, write, speak, listen and respond thoughtfully

·       Demonstrate mastery of content-area standards

·       Exhibit skills necessary for continued independent learning

·       Utilize technology appropriately for communication

·       Demonstrate career knowledge and job acquisition skills 

2.     THINK CRITICALLY AND PROBLEM SOLVE

·       Demonstrate the ability to use reasoning skills to solve complex problems within content-area standards

·       Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and independent learning

·       Utilize technology appropriately to gain information and solve problems 

3.     PRACTICE RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP THROUGH POSITIVE SOCIAL AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

·       Be honest and principled

·       Show respect for self and others

·       Celebrate cultural diversity

·       Demonstrate an understanding of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle

·       Value and practice community service

·       Demonstrate ability to work productively as members of a local community and global society