Tagged “Dropout Prevention”

Mary E. Walsh

Impacting Academic Achievement Through Student Support

City ConnectsFifteen years ago, a small team of school, university, and community partners began working on creating the system of student support that is now City Connects. We were hopeful that we would be able to demonstrate that addressing students' out-of-school needs would lead to improvements in academic achievement and student well-being.

Developed at Boston College's Lynch School of Education in the late 90s, City Connects is a student support intervention that addresses the non-academic factors like homelessness or hunger that can limit academic achievement, especially for children living in poverty. The intervention identifies the strengths and needs of every child across academic, social/emotional, health, and family domains and connects each student to a tailored set of prevention, intervention, and enrichment services available in the community and/or school.

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Dan Habib

Is Your School Doing Everything It Can to Support and Include Students with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges?

My son Samuel is a Red Sox and NASCAR fan, an avid bird watcher, an honor roll student and a gregarious 13-year-old who also experiences cerebral palsy.

I began making my first film—a documentary called Including Samuel—for selfish reasons. I wanted to try and make the world a more welcoming place for kids with disabilities like Samuel.

As I screened my documentary nationwide, however, I noticed a trend: at almost every screening, someone would pose this question in some form: "What about kids with 'hidden' disabilities? Can they be fully included like Samuel?" These hidden disabilities can include depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and a host of other diagnoses.

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Mary E. Walsh

Support All Students to Close the Achievement Gap

City Connects

More than 16 million children in the United States live in poverty, which dramatically affects their ability to come to school ready to learn and thrive. The latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics' The Condition of Education 2013 (PDF) report shows that one in five schools was considered high poverty in 2011, an increase from one in eight schools in 2000.

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Dianna Minor

When the African American Male Student Doesn’t Succeed

Across the United States, teachers can quickly tell you who is the most at-risk student sitting in their classrooms. The answer is the same, whether it's from a teacher in Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, Detroit, Newark, or Birmingham. It's the student who struggled in 3rd grade. It's the student behind his peers in 8th grade reading levels. It's the student who spends the majority of his time in detention or in-school suspension. It's the student who has problems focusing in class, thus becoming disruptive. It's the student who stays on his teacher's mind each and every day of the school year. He is the one a teacher never forgets years later—always wondering where he is now, how he is doing, is he still alive. Who is this student? He's the African American male.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice: How a Community School Became an Oasis in South Central Los Angeles

Post written by Martin J. Blank and Ryan Fox, Coalition for Community Schools

Kevin Valiencia

Walking through the halls of John C. Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles with senior Kevin Valiencia, one finds an unexpected inner city public school in one of the most maligned neighborhoods in the country.

A climate of cooperation, enthusiasm, unity, and endless possibilities permeate throughout school. A strong juxtaposition with the surrounding community in which neighborhoods blocks apart from each other are often at war. Kevin himself has seen a friend stabbed, drive-by shootings, and police raids near his home.

It's not that the troubles found in other schools don't exist inside Fremont. Less than 40 percent of its students graduate in four years and test scores still lag behind state averages. But the angst and conflict found in many other struggling urban schools is minimal at Fremont. The suspension rate at Fremont is far below the rates at other high schools in the district. While the dropout rate is still very high, those numbers are gradually improving. Nearly 85 percent of those that did graduate in 2009 and 2010 continued on to a postsecondary education.

"There's unity (at Fremont)," Kevin said. "We're all in this together."

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John Farden

Giving Our Kids an Early Start to Success

John Farden - Save the Children

It is our favorite time of the day, right after the nightly bubble bath, just before bedtime—snuggled up in our rocking chair with a pile of story books.  As far as my 20-month-old son knows, this time is all about cuddling, telling stories, singing songs, and having fun. But I know better. The truth is, I am giving him an invaluable gift—a head start towards success in kindergarten, grade school, high school, then college and a career.

Despite our busy schedules, my wife and I have read to our son nearly every night of his young life. We do this because we have read the parenting books and research that say it is what we are supposed to do. But we also do it because we both have parents who instilled in us the value of education, starting by reading with us when we were very young.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Caring Is Essential: School Librarians’ Roles in the Whole Child

Post submitted on behalf of whole child partner American Association of School Librarians by Jami L. Jones, associate professor, Department of Library Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

The quintessential role of educators is to provide safe environments for children to flourish emotionally, academically, and physically. As we discuss safety, it is important to consider care—a magic bullet in this conversation.

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Sean Slade

Safer Schools for Living, Growing, and Learning

Often when people talk about the basics of education, they refer to the three Rs: reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic. However, an even more foundational aspect to educating students is ensuring that schools are safe.

If a school isn't a safe place, then it can't be a school as we know it—a place to learn and grow. If a school isn't a safe place, it becomes reactive to incidents, and teaching and learning become a secondary or forgotten imperative.

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Stephen Sroka

Tips from the Trenches: Teaching

During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insight, and actions. I contacted some of them and asked them to comment on working in education in these difficult times. I asked them to share some take-away messages, so that, if they were speaking, what would they want their audience to remember? Read the other installments in the series: school safety, student services, and administration.

The bottom line in education takes place when the teacher shuts the door with the classroom full of students. Some say that teaching is a science and some say it is an art. Many educators know that students do not care what you teach, if you do not teach that you care. Here are some "Tips from the Trenches" from those who are or have been in the classroom.

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Kristen Pekarek

Absenteeism Affects Student Success

According to the Get Schooled Foundation, between 5 million and 7 million students are chronically absent, which is the best predictor of whether a student will drop out of school. The foundation's most recently released report, Skipping to Nowhere: Students Share Their Views About Missing School, digs deeper into the issue, revealing that most kids skipped school because they were bored. In New York City, where 200,000 of its students miss close to a month or more of school each year, innovative solutions are being used to get kids to attend school and understand the effect absenteeism has on their overall success.

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