57K PDF, via a kind reader’s email:
The School Improvement Committee has spent this year investigating academic support models in other schools to begin to develop an effective model for West High School. The committee visited Memorial High School, Evanston High School, Wheeling High School, and New Trier High School, in IL. Some of the common themes that were discovered, especially in the Illinois schools, were as follows:
- Many schools have an identiﬁed academic team who intervene with struggling students. These teams of support people have clearly deﬁned roles and responsibilities. The students are regularly monitored, they develop both short and long term goals and the students develop meaningful relationships with an adult in the building. The academic support team has regular communication with teaching staff and makes recommendations for student support.
- There are mandatory study tables in each academic content areas where students are directed to go if they are receiving a D or F in any given course.
- Students who are skill deﬁcient are identiﬁed in 8th grade and are provided with a summer program designed to prepare them for high school, enhanced English and Math instruction in 9th grade, and creative scheduling that allows for students to catch up to grade level.
- Some schools have a family liaison person who is able to make meaningful connections in the community and with parents. After school homework centers are thriving.
- Social privileges are used as incentives for students to keep their grades up.
Recommendations from the SIP Committee
- Design more creative use of academic support allocation to better meet the needs of struggling students.
- Create an intervention team with speciﬁc role deﬁnition for each team member.
- Design and implement an after school homework center that will be available for all students, not just those struggling academically.
- Design and implement student centers and tables that meet speciﬁc academic and time needs (after school, lunch, etc.)
- Identify a key staff person to serve in a specialized family liaison role.
- Develop a clear intervention scaffold that is easy for staff to interpret and use.
- Design and implement enhanced Math and English interventions for skill deﬁcient students.