Title

Making a Real Difference: A Whole School Approach to At-Risk Student Intervention

Focused Area

Improving School Climate for Youth-At-Risk

Relevance to Focused Area

As a former Drop Out Prevention Coordinator for 15 years and, currently, a Principal of a middle school with a predominantly at-risk student body within an at-risk community, I compare the effectiveness of an at-risk program that exists "as an island" of support in a school with a challenging negative culture to the high impact of a school-wide approach that embraces positive student-adult relationships, preventative behavior management approaches, instructional delivery strategies that emphasize verbal processing, and the importance of re-teaching and re-evaluating students to mastery.

A step by step "whole school approach" implementation guide is presented along with an annotated bibliography, GPA, Out of School Suspensions, expulsions, and tardies as supportive data.

Primary Strand

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance to Primary Strand

Ultimately, academic success is the goal for the at-risk child. It is the effectiveness of the school leader to facilitate the necessary change in school culture that will make the at-risk child's academic success a reality.

Brief Program Description

We need to get these kids at-risk kids to be successful in school. Let's have an after school tutoring program. Get a room with computers so the kids can use them. We'll get the local police to talk to the kids...take a field trip to the jails and have some inmates talk to them. How about some mentors from the community? Let's get them to come in. They need counseling too. How about some support groups? Parenting classes?

All good ideas...all with a place in an effective program. But what happens when this child must go back to the classroom? How is the child taught? How is behavior managed? Does the child feel "connected" and "valued" to the school and the adult staff members?

Learn the step by step process to create a "whole school approach" to at-risk student intervention from a principal who facilitated the "flipping" of an at-risk school in an at-risk community in ten days. Unbelievable? See what can happen when caring teachers unite with caring principal for the sake of kids.

Summary

Participants will be provided a step-by-step guide to the implementation approaches and strategies that resulted in an at-risk school, with a decades-long negative reputation, in an at-risk community, create a positive culture that allowed the opportunity for all students of all ability and language fluency levels to experience academic success.

Evidence

Data will be provided that reveals a pattern, over the last three years, of school-wide GPA averages below 2.0 at five percent or less and 3.0 and above at 50 percent and above.

An annotated bibliography will be provided citing the implementation of strategies or approaches from the works of Schmoker, Reeves, Marzano, Sprick, Fisher, and Frey.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

George Alessi, Principal of Isbell Middle School in Santa Paula, California, has been in education since 1976. As a high school social studies, English teacher, middle school Special Education teacher and dropout prevention coordinator, he has spent his entire career serving the needs of at-risk children and their families in severe at risk communities ranging from East and Northeast Los Angeles to South Central LA to Santa Paula, California. His students and their families have taught him everything he knows about meeting the needs of at-risk kids.

In 2012, as the new Principal, he pooled the knowledge from all of his experiences, and joined with the teachers and staff of Isbell Middle School in Santa Paula, California to create "the perfect school" and reach out to all kids of all ability and language levels to give them an opportunity to be successful. Dubbing the school "The Magic Kingdom...Where hard work makes dreams come true," each year staff of "The New Isbell" strives to continually improve and refine their approach to learning and connecting with kids.

George wants to share both the process and experience with you. It is not impossible. It can be done.

Start Date

11-5-2015 5:45 PM

End Date

11-5-2015 6:45 PM

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Nov 5th, 5:45 PM Nov 5th, 6:45 PM

Making a Real Difference: A Whole School Approach to At-Risk Student Intervention

We need to get these kids at-risk kids to be successful in school. Let's have an after school tutoring program. Get a room with computers so the kids can use them. We'll get the local police to talk to the kids...take a field trip to the jails and have some inmates talk to them. How about some mentors from the community? Let's get them to come in. They need counseling too. How about some support groups? Parenting classes?

All good ideas...all with a place in an effective program. But what happens when this child must go back to the classroom? How is the child taught? How is behavior managed? Does the child feel "connected" and "valued" to the school and the adult staff members?

Learn the step by step process to create a "whole school approach" to at-risk student intervention from a principal who facilitated the "flipping" of an at-risk school in an at-risk community in ten days. Unbelievable? See what can happen when caring teachers unite with caring principal for the sake of kids.