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Student Supports


Counseling for Students: St. Mary’s Charter School

Many St. Mary’s students come from families that face multiple challenges. The principal and several teachers have dual certification as school guidance counselors. However, recognizing that some students require professional counseling in order to focus on academics, and given pressures on parents’ time and resources, the Board and administration arranged to locate a professional counselor from a local agency on site. The agency bills insurance and Medicaid when possible; St. Mary’s funds what parents cannot pay. Teachers and parents have seen remarkable results. Read the transcript of Counseling for Students. Return to the general introduction to St. Mary’s Academy Charter School

Contact Information

St. Mary’s Academy Charter School
507 North Filmore
Beeville, TX 78102-5000
(361) 358-5601 Fax: (361) 358-5704
http://www.smacs.net

Student Demographics 
2009-2010 Academic Year

Demographic Feature Data
Number of Students K-6 319
Students eligible for subsidized meals 78%
Limited English proficient students  1%
Students receiving special education services 10%
Hispanic students 77%
White students 17%
African American students  4%
Asian students  2%
Average teacher turnover rate, last 5 years  5%
Student:Teacher ratio 16:1

 


Extended Learning Time: St. Mary’s Charter School

“Wrap-around services”–before, after, and summer school programs–help allay concerns for parents with heavy work schedules and transportation constraints. Teachers staff the wrap-around services because they see the results in the classroom. Students receive homework help or targeted tutoring, followed by enrichment activities. “So many students stay after school and come during the summer, even the ones that do not have to,” a teacher noted. Funded initially through a 21st Century grant, the administration pieces together small grants and Title I monies to sustain these essential programs. Read the transcript of Extended Learning Time. Return to the general introduction to St. Mary’s Charter School.

Contact Information

St. Mary’s Academy Charter School
507 North Filmore
Beeville, TX 78102-5000
(361) 358-5601 Fax: (361) 358-5704
http://www.smacs.net

Student Demographics 
2009-2010 Academic Year

Demographic Feature Data
Number of Students K-6 319
Students eligible for subsidized meals 78%
Limited English proficient students  1%
Students receiving special education services 10%
Hispanic students 77%
White students 17%
African American students  4%
Asian students  2%
Average teacher turnover rate, last 5 years  5%
Student:Teacher ratio 16:1

 


Show Up, Work Hard, Read: J. Walter Graham Elementary School

Austin Independent School District

Austin, Texas

In only five years, J. Walter Graham Elementary School, a Title I school on the east side of Austin, Texas, went from slipping toward academic unacceptability to “one of the best elementary schools in the state of Texas,” in the words of education researcher Ed Fuller of Penn State University.

Much of the credit goes to principal Blaine Anthony Helwig, who relinquished a career as a civil engineer in favor of more personally rewarding work but brought his systematic mind-set to changing Graham’s culture and practices. Four principles underlie the school’s success:

  1. Highly effective classroom management
  2. A culture of hard work
  3. “Stop-gap” measures to close academic gaps
  4. Community-wide adherence to mission 

Or, as the Graham mantra has it: Show Up, Work Hard, Read! In this video, Principal Helwig and others describe how they build trust, fill knowledge gaps, and develop successful students.

Read the transcript of Show Up, Work Hard, Read! Download J. Walter Graham’s 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools application.

Contact Information

Principal: Mr.Blaine Helwig
11211 Tom Adams Drive
Austin, TX 78753
Telephone: 512-414-4071
Website: http://www.austinisd.org
Email: bhelwig@austinisd.org

Student Demographics

2012-2013 School Year

Number of Students preK-5 807
Students eligible for subsidized meals 96%
Limited English proficient students1 56%
Students receiving special education services 15%
Student mobility rate 24%
Hispanic or Latino students 79%
African American students 14%
White students 5%
Average daily student attendance 97%