180° Projects

Yerba Buena High School

1855 Lucretia Avenue, San Jose, CA 95122,
Principal, Juan Cruz / Facilitators, Charles Fowler and Thomasina Goltzer

Video of Charles Fowler's 180° class graduation.

A Day in the Life of Charles Fowler

A 180 Facilitator - Click to watch the video.

A Day in the Life of Charles Fowler from Lena Jackson on Vimeo.

At Yerba Buena High School, during the first semester of the 2009-10 school-year, 20 students enrolled in the 180 Degrees Program and 15 remained active in the program at the end of the first semester.

GPA’s available for 15 of the 16 students that remained in the program was 0.51 before the course. At the end of the first semester, their average GPA improved to 1.48, representing a 190% increase.

Full day absences records available for 15 students remaining in the program revealed a total of 168 absences the semester before the training compared to 112 during the first semester, representing a 33% decrease. Average daily attendance in the 180 classes was 88%.

Disciplinary incidents records were available for 15 of 22 students that remained in the program, revealing a total of 36 incidents the semester before the training compared to 11 during the first semester, representing a 69% decrease.

Personal Development Surveys rating the students’ progress (1-poor, 2 fair, 3 good, 4 excellent, 5 superior) were to be completed by the students, facilitator, teachers and parents, rating the students in the following areas from before to after the training: (1) Attitude, (2) Motivation, (3) Achieving Goals, (4) Organization Skills, (5) Self-Control, (6) Decision Making, (7) Communication Skills, (8) Teamwork, (9) Leadership Skills, (10) Citizenship.

Students rated themselves on an average of 3.13 before the training compared to 3.39 at the end of the first semester (+8%), the facilitator rated the students 2.8 before training compared to 3.03 at the end of the first semester (+8%), teachers rated the students 2.49 before the training to 2.53 at the end of the first semester (+2%) and parents rated the students 2.77 before the training to 3.22 at the end of the first semester (+16%).

Student Comments

The following excerpts were taken from written comments by Yerba Buena students regarding the 180 Degrees Program:

“I feel so good about myself this year. I am excited about my progress.” Ramon

“I feel like this year is better than last year because this year I’m doing better and last year I hardly did anything.” Elizabeth

“Last year I did really badly. I was always absent and I never did my work. This year is way better. I haven’t been absent at all and I’m actually doing my work in my classes. I feel that this class is actually helping me to improve my grades.” Marielena

“I improved by my referrals and my three F’s and my caring improved but sometimes it goes back down. We should be cool and stay in school.” Ramon

“This class is very helpful and different than other classes. Also because of Ms. G I have been improving in school in my grades, also attendance.” Elizabeth

“I like this class because it is unique and I have more support from my classmates and Ms. G. Another reason I like this class is because I have changed a lot and my behavior has gotten better and my grades are a little better.” Mario

“I feel like being in Ms. G’s class has helped, not only in school but with my attitude and at home. I now do better in keeping out of trouble and respecting others.” Chris

“This class is inspiring. This class helped me improve my grades and respect.” – Stephen

“I like this class. This class is working good for me because it helps me focus on class.” Phil

“I really like this class. I’ve been improving little by little but I’m getting there. This class is helping me reach all of my goals. I’ve learned a lot. I learned how to be responsible, respectful and well I’m really happy that I’m doing a lot better than last year.” Yartiza

“This class has really helped me with my grades and not only that, but my attitude. Your program is really good. It has helped a lot of my friends that were really behind like me. Your program gives us the support we teens want. I don’t swear as much as I used to.” Micxari

“This class has helped me find my path. Before I was wandering around not knowing where I was going, but now I do.” John

“I really enjoy being in this class. It helps a lot because before I had F’s and now I don’t have as much F’s. This class is really helping me a lot. Ms. G pushes us to work harder and we do our best.” Gloria

“This class has really helped me improve my grades. I’ve been more responsible and I’ve been turning in my homework and doing my class work. I’ve been doing everything I can so that I could be a better person and graduate.” Marielena

“I believe this program is going great because everyone is improving in at least one way and to me that’s all that matters, as long as we don’t take steps back, then this program is working. Sure there’s some small details that we could change, or I think at the end of the year we should come together to pick apart the details. One of my favorite artists said, ‘All I ever wanted to do was to pick apart the day, and put the pieces back together my way.’ (Aesop Rock) – Eduardo

“This class has helped me not to do bad things and improve from last year’s grades, tardies and referrals. It has helped me do better in some of my classes.” Jonathan

“I feel good about this class because I can express myself. I think it is a very good class. It does help me a lot. I think I really like this program /class. I think it is nice people still believe in us. I really think it is very cool. I just want to thank you. I’ll try my best in this class.” Angela

“I feel that this class caused a change in me. The students and teachers that are in the 180 program are an inspiration that anybody can change for the better.” Stephanie

Parent Coordinator Comments

As the Parent Coordinator at Yerba Buena High School, I would like to express my strong support for the 180 Program.

The support class is important to our YB students because it provides the students in the program a comfortable classroom environment that allows them to experience success. This is important because the students in the program start with a clean slate where they can rediscover their personal and academic goals without judgment. The majority of the students struggled with truancy and academic challenges in their 9th grade and the program gives them the needed support to get back on track socially and academically.

In addition to providing the students support, the 180 Program also opens the lines of communication between the students, parents, and the school. Parent Nights are successful events because students are recognized for their improvements in school. Parents feel supported by the school and particularly by their student’s teacher. The 180 Program is an integral part of our school. More students should be given the opportunity to become a part of this support class. Ms. Maria Trejo, Parent Coordinator

Teacher Comments

I have very much enjoyed working with the 180 Program students this year.  They have been extremely attentive and kind to my special education students.  There have been occasions during lunch/brunch where a 180 student has thought that one of my students may have a problem while out of my classroom, and they have assisted them back to my room and let me know what was going on.  I truly appreciate these students.
Erin Damrel, Special Education Teacher

As a result of the program I have seen that students are:
• more concerned about their academic progress and success
• more self-reflective
• willing to take more initiative in their own personal/academic success
• more responsible and accountable for their own behavior

Sarah Silva, Teacher of English