Brighton High School (Rochester, NY). Over the past five years, Brighton High School’s graduation rates increased from 89% in 2013 to 96% in 2017. Graduation rates increased for African American students from 55% to 95%, for students in poverty from 78% to 97%, for students with special needs from 65% to 82%, and for Hispanic students from 73% to 100%. With a focused determination and commitment to improving instructional approaches, academic interventions, and social emotional support, Brighton created a comprehensive approach for monitoring ALL students. Academic monitoring begins with 9th graders who may be scheduled into a study hall, skills lab, student help rooms, and/or academic intervention class. Quarterly, the school reviews all 9th graders’ report cards and structured supports are added or lifted as needed. There are three Brighton Support Teams (BST) which identify students who are struggling academically, socially, and/or emotionally. Each team includes an administrator, counselor(s), a Skills Lab (tutor center) staff member, and 3-4 teachers. Teams meet weekly to review referred students. Identified struggling students, who require additional intervention services, may be scheduled for the Brighton Support Center (BSC). The BSC services include: teaching organizational strategies and helping with academic monitoring; test preparation; credit or course recovery; grade monitoring for transfer students; and other transition support. Through this comprehensive approach, overall course failure rates decreased dramatically and graduation rates increased.
Alief Early College High School (Houston, TX). Tutorials are provided by all teachers every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school. A very specific tutorial program called Tier has been created for freshmen to ease the often difficult transition from a regular middle school to an early college high school. Through Tier, all students are assigned to mandatory tutorials based on their grades at each three-week progress report, and their ongoing progress is tracked. When grades improve sufficiently, a freshman may be released from that tutorial. However, most students, even when released from mandatory tutorials, continue to attend the tutorials of their choice. Specific tutorials for topics such as Texas Success Initiative (TSI), EOC standards, and PSAT/SAT are also offered.
Center City PCS Congress Heights Campus (Washington, DC). Based on the success of the students who attended Saturday Academy, we evaluate data to re-calibrate and determine additional students who should be added to this group. The program caters to our high proficient and advanced students and runs from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. In reading, students are provided with high-level reading materials, projects, and opportunities to engage in high-order thinking. In math, students are given word problems which they solve collaboratively or independently with the support of additional practice opportunities from Mclass, ANET, Ten Marks, and No Red Ink websites.
Merrymount School (Quincy, MA). Several dedicated teachers have created an after-school program designed to allow students in grades 4 and 5 the opportunity to participate in annual productions of plays by William Shakespeare. Through the rehearsal period and performances of plays such as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Julius Caesar,” and “Romeo and Juliet,” students learn the value of hard work, dedication, public speaking skills, memorization, and self-confidence.
Kennedy Junior High School (Lisle, IL). Any student entering our school as a sixth grader who is not at grade level in math is invited to a summer ‘Math Camp’ in which they learn to use tools for problem solving and review important concepts to be ready for the middle school curriculum. These camps are taught by the same sixth grade staff the students will encounter, so rapport-building and assessment are enabled before the first day of school. Interventions for students behind their grade-level peers in literacy and math are available through our Strategic Reading and Strategic Math programs. Each of these courses is taught by a content area-specialist and provides additional instruction to close gaps, reteach concepts, and further monitor students’ growth. Besides providing exposure to ancillary resources, manipulatives, and other tools, each course employs technology to help address deficiencies. Students enrolled in either of these courses gain an additional 200 minutes per week in supported intervention.
Haldane High School (Cold Spring, NY). One of the most targeted approaches to student success at Haldane High School is the implementation of Math Labs. Designed to strengthen math instruction, Math Labs offer students the opportunity to build an extra half period of math into their schedules for more concentrated math learning. Additionally, a critical component of Haldane’s commitment to help each student achieve their personal best is HEART (Haldane Encourages Achievement, Research and Teamwork), an after-school extra help program open to students in all academic subjects. Because seeking extra help is routinely encouraged by the faculty, beginning in middle school, there is no stigma attached to HEART. Participants range from struggling students to the highest achievers in AP classes. Haldane credits HEART and Math Labs with boosting enrollment in upper level math and science courses by students who might not have felt confident enough to tackle more difficult courses without these supports.