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Westport High’s Approach to “At-Risk” Students Project Action.

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Presentation on theme: "Westport High’s Approach to “At-Risk” Students Project Action."— Presentation transcript:

1 Westport High’s Approach to “At-Risk” Students Project Action

2 School Adjustment Counselor Project Action Grant Coordinator Mary Jo Medeiros

3 Workshop Overview: 1. Introductions 2. Group Discussion: 1.Define At-risk 2.Barriers to Effective Intervention 3. Panel Presentation 1.School-wide Initiatives 2.Alternative Ed Grant Funded Programs 1.ACT Classroom Model (FY ‘05 – FY ‘07) 2.Project Action (FY ‘08 –FY ‘09) 4. Program Highlights 1.Collaborating with community-based organizations and agencies 2.Engaging parents and family 3.High-quality curriculum and instruction techniques for at-risk students 4.Incorporating wrap-around services and referral out services 5. Questions Opening

4 Panel & Participants Introductions

5 Open Responses How Do You Define “At-Risk” Students?

6 Open Responses Obstacles and Barriers to Meeting Students’ Needs

7  Academic Middle School identification Credit Deficiencies  Repeat freshmen Citizenship  School-wide rubric  Grading on report cards  Ineligibility for sports  Poor Attendance  Detentions and Suspensions In school and out of school  Social and Emotional Issues WHS Definition of “At-Risk Student

8 WHS students :  Have lost 7 peers within the past three years  6 students lost a parent in the past school calendar year  Report households where domestic violence is present, parental mental health issues and addiction render the caregiver unavailable  Westport is home to at least 4 adolescent foster homes and some kinship placements. What students report get in the way of school concentration…

9 Mrs. Bridget Buckless, Librarian Grant Coordinator Parent WHS Overview & Secondary Reading Grant

10  Small town Few minorities Little community resources Few adolescent social opportunities Small student body  Approximately 500 students  Border cities More diverse resources School choice students WHS Population

11 Westport High School’s mission is to challenge students to gain knowledge, acquire skills’ develop talents, and contribute to a climate of respect. Mission Statement

12  Reading Comprehension in Content Areas  Workshop Model  Co-Teaching  PASS class  RESPECT referral process  Student Success Plan WHS School-Wide Initiatives

13  “Modeling” is both necessary and difficult to do properly.  Modeling allows the students to see what good practices look like  Strategies need to be taught in a direct, explicit manner.  Students need to practice strategies until they own them. Reading Comprehension in the Content Areas

14 1. Set the purpose for reading this material 2. How would students need to read this material? 3. Demonstrate what a good reader would do before, during, and after reading this material 4. What other activities would deepen their understanding of the reading selection? 1. Students learn new vocabulary 2. Students making connections to other subjects or life experiences 5. Students write responses to open-ended questions based on reading selection 6. Use school-wide reading rubric to assess Develop a Plan to Model Reading in Your Content Area


16  Problem with students’ learned helplessness  Look at school-wide culture  Discussion of literacy issues led to a need for consistency in classroom routines.  What school-wide routines would best suit our school? Literacy Study Group RECOMMENDATIONS

17  Structures are necessary for students  Need for consistency among the faculty  Predictable routines in every classroom Posting an agenda Establishing an opening routine Establishing a closing routine School-Wide Approaches

18 Mr. Tom Clark English Teacher Workshop Model in an English Classroom

19  Daily routine is as follows: Independent reading (15-20 minutes) Read aloud - Think aloud/Talk aloud (15-20 minutes) Mini Lesson (5-10 minutes) Work Period (30-40 minutes) Closing (5-10 minutes)  Routine is essential! Workshop Model

20 Photograph of a teacher and students in a classroom - Removed for posting to ESE website.

21  Allows the students to see what good practices look like  Most of the modeling takes place during the read aloud  The focus of each read aloud will be one of the “7 Habits of Proficient Readers” Teacher Modeling


23  Small groups are conducive to this type of class Conferencing can occur easily Group work Peer editing Group discussions  Random seating techniques Classroom Set-Up

24 Matt Girard Mathematics Teacher Co-Teaching

25  Access the experiences, knowledge, and creativity of two teachers  Exposes the students to various teaching styles  Multiple intelligences can be addressed more easily  Allows small group work and individual attention Co-Teaching

26  Co-planning time  Chemistry  Shared Responsibility (equals)  Consistency Keys to Success:

27  Experience different teaching styles  More individual attention  Accommodations are fulfilled  Small group feel in a regular classroom Benefits of Co-teaching for Students:

28  Attendance/Tardies  Homework Check  Missing work / Make-up work  Discipline (consistency)  Shared ancillary tasks  Share “amusing” moments Benefits of Co-teaching for Teachers:

29 PASS Teacher Special Education Teacher Paul Bornstein

30  The PASS Program is intended to foster compliance with school regulations through the usage of a point and level system that places the onus of responsibility on the students.  See handouts PASS (Positive Attitude for Student Success)

31 Movie of a teacher Removed for posting to ESE website

32 Leslie Ruel Guidance Counselor ACT Teacher Addressing Students Needs

33 Regular Education Student Performance Evaluation Consultation for Teachers R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

34  Maintain an environment that supports and encourages quality teaching.  Provide staff with opportunities to participate in school improvement and the decision making process  Encourage creativity and innovation  Provide ongoing staff development programs and opportunities.  Create applied learning situations that require students to demonstrate proficiencies.  Measure progress in a variety of ways  Hold ourselves responsible and accountable for appropriate use of resources and delivery of quality education. Goals to Benefit Staff

35  Maintain a healthy and safe learning environment.  Provide an educational program that develops effective communication skills, a foundation for career skills, and a strong sense of citizenship.  Appreciate and accommodate differences in the way students learn.  Provide students with the appropriate time and assistance to achieve academic success.  Hold high expectations that demand intellectual rigor  Integrate learning opportunities that support the development of critical thinking skills. Goals to Benefit Students

36  Step One:Teacher Requests Consultation  Step Two:Convener Acts upon request (principal)  Step Three:Meeting is Conducted  Step Four:Teacher/Staff Implementation Strategies & Monitor Student Progress  Step Five:Follow-up Consultation is Conducted Five Steps of R.E.S.P.E.C.T

37  Tool for teachers and students to identify specific needs.  Recognizes student’s academic history (for instance IEP or 504 support, grades, standardized test scores).  Allows recommended actions to be established to ensure student success through accommodations or curriculum modifications (extended time, preferential seating)  Short term and long term goals are established for each student along with strategies to attain the goals.  A plan is developed to measure student success (meeting, review grades etc.) Student Success and Curriculum Accommodation Plan

38  Reduce drop out rate  Outreach to provide services to students  Academic Support Reduce retention rate  Provide support for student to pass classes and earn credits  Plan for transition to work or higher education Alternative Ed Grant

39 Goal 1: High-risk students at Westport High School will be educated to the same standards as all students, will meet the competency determination for a diploma, and will graduate. Goal 2: Students will develop coping and self-management skills to deal with social, emotional and behavioral issues, and will develop life skills that will enable them to transition successfully into post high school life. Alternative Ed Grant Goals

40 ACT Classroom & Project Action Therapist Cynthia Poyant, MSW, LCSW

41  Alternative classroom comprised of 20 at-risk students.  One full-time teacher and one social worker/therapist  One full-time aid for the first year of the program.  R.E.S.P.E.C.T. process initiated enrollment in the program. ACT (Alternative Classroom and Transitions Program)

42  Life Skills: All students were enrolled in one of two Life Skills classes.  Students learned: Career planning (job search, college application process, resume writing, interviewing skills) Communication skills both oral and written. Anger management skills Social skills Study Skills Stress management skills ACT Curriculum

43  Some students remained in the ACT classroom for an academic course.  US History or  English  The school wide curriculum and rubrics were followed.  Behavioral Point system monitored and maintained student’s success in the program.  Students were enrolled in other courses outside of the ACT program which allowed for their transition out of the program and a link to regular education teachers. ACT Curriculum

44  Modeling: Model the behavior you want to see from your students.  Corrective Prompts: “the look”, finger over the mouth, slight tap on the desk.  Corrective Strategies: Give the student time to reflect on their situation -Cool Down Time -Coupling Statements: Statements which you describe a student’s inappropriate behavior while offering a more appropriate behavior. -Reality statements and Reasons: Point out potential benefits or negative outcomes of certain behaviors. It provides students with the “why” of certain behaviors. -Empathy: Convince students not to give up on learning a certain skill. Let the student know that you understand their situation.  Specific Praise: Recognize any appropriate responses or actions the student takes which will reinforce self-control and maintain appropriate behaviors.  Guided Self Correction: A problem-solving strategy, that can be used with a student when he is agreeable and willing to have a conversation with you. Promote Student Control in the Classroom By:

45  Parent group was created and organized by the ACT teacher/counselor and social worker/therapist.  ACT Council was developed and was comprised of: administrators, special educaiton teachers, regular education teachers, parents, students and guidance, along with middle school assistant principal and local social service agency representative.  Community Connections: -Bristol Community College: Career development -University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth: Career development -SSTAR: local social service agency to assist with social/emotional issues -Field Trip to Boston for cultural and social skill development -Memorial Garden: Created and developed by the ACT students in response to the loss of several peers at Westport High School. The Garden allowed ACT students to communicate with their community for donations, assistance and with peers to share in their grief. -Memorial Garden Service: Annually ACT students and now PROJECT ACTION students organize a service on Memorial Day weekend to commemorate the garden and all lives lost. ACT’s Programs

46  Communicate positive news frequently.  Develop incentives with administration and peers to get families to come regularly to your school.  When families do visit, make them feel comfortable.  Encourage technology (Web pages, phone calls, brief e-mails)  Use school to home notes when daily communication is necessary.  Recruit parent volunteers.  Include parents in decisions that affect the student’s school life. (PTA/PTO, Parent representatives) Parent Communication Strategies

47  Five students graduated from Westport High School as part of the ACT program.  All students enrolled in the ACT program passed their MCAS tests  The Memorial Garden-A perpetual gift to the school and community  Project Action-ACT was the catalyst to the new program being offered to Westport High School Students. ACT’s Successes




51 Photograph of students Removed for posting to ESE website.

52  Moved from classroom model to a student center model.  All students in with general education population  Increased number of student participation (30)  Open enrollment throughout the year  Can enroll for a single service, or multiple services  Services are voluntary and flexible  Offers a variety of services providing “voice and choice”  Enrollment is team process with family and guidance Project Action

53  Maintain R.E.S.P.E.C.T. as gateway  Establish provider contracts  Establish MOU’s with partners  Create the environment Program Development

54  Creating the space for community activities and Group Treatment  Maintain technology in the room  Student resource library available  Multiple uses: book club, council meeting, sped social skills group, small group testing, open houses  Creating an Individual Therapy space  Separate entrance for confidentiality  Noise machine  Multiple uses: Family treatment, family meetings, teacher meetings, private testing, space for other community based providers Creating the Environment

55  Enrollment form Releases of information  Empowers student Pre-program assessment of needs and types of services for planning Highlights confidentiality Age of majority for 18 yr. olds  Menu of services Interest in program services Link to school clubs and activities Serving on the council Memory Garden  Service memo to teachers Establish Rules and Develop Tools

56 STARR- provide drug awareness groups to student in need of support around their own use or the use and abuse of a family member. Cynthia Poyant has been a Council Member and has provided individual and family counseling to the students in the former ACT classroom and during this past year in Project Action. Community Counseling of Bristol County will remain active members of the council and will continue to provide individual therapy and psycho-therapy groups within the school setting St. Anne’s Hospital has offered DRIVE seminars to all WHS students, participated in the Health Fair and provided their Trauma Crisis Team services to the school. Bristol Community College (BCC) has hosted Project Action students for career exploration/career day, a tour of their campus and meetings with the Admissions and the Financial Aid Departments. UMASS Dartmouth would like to expose the students at WHS to their Alternative Admissions program and have early identification of students who may benefit from their program. WHS Community Partners

57 Academic and clinical supports Project Action Services and Support

58 PASS Teacher Study Skills Teacher Paul Bornstein

59 Photograph of a teacher in a classroom. Removed for posting to ESE website.

60 Week One: Conduct pre-course survey Being prepared: required materials for classes Review lay-out of text book components (Table of contents, glossary, index) Week Two: Organizational skills Three-ring binders Tab dividers Specifying content divisions (notes, handouts, homework, quizzes/tests) Notebooks Separation of courses Separation information by dating entries Separation information by chapter sections Split entries Week Three: Outlining skills Review lay-out of chapters in text book (Headings, subheadings, significance of bold or italicized words) Complete pre-set outline Week Four: Pre-reading strategies Review week two and determine main topics Chapter review questions Refer to outline and determine where the answer is likely to be found without actually answering question Week Five: Strategies for taking notes Dating entries Highlighting/underlining key terms Abbreviating/shorthand Week Six: Vocabulary Break down words on basis of prefixes, suffixes and Latin roots Word association for memory Week Seven: Memorization skills Using flash cards-break down information into smaller parts Repetition, repetition, repetition Word association review Compile list of basic words for memory to be assessed next week Week Eight: Memory assessment Conduct post-course survey Study Skills Syllabus

61  Split block  Student selection Grouping by grade level  Tailored to student needs Student input of needs Student data  Various strategies Real life applications Community connections Structured workshop model Long term project incorporating skills  Stock market game Grading  Various assessments  Environment Classroom setting vs. clinical setting Respecting boundaries Expected behavior Academic Offerings Matt & Tom

62  Groups Life Skills Anger Management Drug awareness New teen empowerment  Individual and family  Home visit/outreach as needed  Crisis intervention with family  Available to staff and administration Introduced at staff meetings Visible and accessible to students and family  Parent support (groups, family nights)  Sit in council meetings Clinical Services Cynthia

63  1:1 consultation available  Faculty updates at staff meetings  Opportunity to serve on council  Opportunities to send staff and providers out for training  Vicarious trauma and self-care workshop brought to teachers  Staff to staff training at faculty meeting Faculty Support

64  Membership includes:  Coordinator  District Director of Curriculum  Principal  Special Education Teacher  Students (3)  Parent/Guardian (2)  Providers  Open invitation to Middle School Assistant Principal and all community partners  Council Topics:  Review enrollment  Review service offerings to students, parents, & faculty  Assess gaps  Plan for sustainability Project Action Council

65 Photograph of a teacher in a classroom. Removed for posting to ESE website.

66 Agenda for Project Action Meeting Tuesday May 20 th, 2008 1. Welcome 2. Enrollment in Fourth Quarter Services 3. The 84 Visibility Mini Grant- collaboration with SSTAR and WHS SADD Chapter. Kick Butts Day visibility event – April 2, 2008 Health Fair visibility event—April 11 th, 2008 Matt Reed Walk for MD 4. BCC Career Services- Career Dimensions-May 16 th, 2008 Interactive career exploration and education planning system for BCC students and Alumni. 5. Staff Training: “Motivating Hard to Reach, Uninterested and Disruptive Students” “Legal Issued in Discipline”-April 16 th, 2008 “Performance- Based Graduation”- April 15 th, 2008 “Strategies for Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools”-May 6 th, 2008 6. Memory Garden- Memorial Day Recognition-Friday May 23 rd 7. Reschedule Mike Aguiar-SSTAR Summer Support 8. Supplemental Grant Application-Public Relations Brochure and PowerPoint 9. Survey (students, parent/guardian, faculty, provider)

67  Year end review Credits Attendance Discipline  Detention  In-school suspension  Out of school suspension Drop out Data Gathering and Analysis

68  Surveys Parents Students Providers “I participate in monthly council meetings every month along with my grandson. This is great for students. They get to meet with staff and share ideas.” (Parent) “Life skills program helped him think about things in different ways.” (Parent) Survey Says… Quality Assurance

69 Photographs/movies of two students – one junior and one senior. Removed for posting to ESE website.

70  Earlier identification of post high school planning  Career “one stop” centers  Interest in the armed forces  Eligibility for college support  Eligibility for dual enrollment  Emphasize extracurricular activities and sports  Moved to family night model of support Moving Forward

71  Seek additional grant opportunities  3 rd party billing for clinicians  Provider services offered by different funding streams Sustainability


73 Questions??

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