Title

Lake City High School: A Transformational Experience

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Provides a comprehensive “Small Group Model” for creating a “conversational community” expanding student/family conversations regarding goal-setting, student ownership of learning outcomes, course taking, leadership development, community service, college preparation, and maximizing enrichment and intervention opportunities within students’ school system and local community. Students/families engage in “authentic conversations” regarding student effort and outcomes within the context of students’ postsecondary aspirations. Closes the "college knowledge gap" for high-risk student populations, first generation college students, and families living in high poverty communities. The resulting increased student performance outcomes and expanded college access has an immediate and long-term impact on school climate and culture, staff attitudes, and student/community beliefs.

Brief Program Description

The Florence School District 3 High School Graduation Initiative engaged Lake City High School students and parents (Lake City, South Carolina) in “authentic conversations” by grade-level cohorts, i.e., 10th, 11th, and 12th grade). Beginning school-wide presentations, the impact on school climate and culture and has been immediate and systemic.

Summary

The Florence School District 3 High School Graduation Initiative engaged Lake City High School students and parents (Lake City, South Carolina) in “authentic conversations” by grade-level cohorts, i.e., 10th, 11th, and 12th grade). Beginning school-wide presentations, the impact on school climate and culture and has been immediate and systemic. Over 50 percent of the student population were inspired to sign up to participate in one of the cohorts. 22 rising high school seniors participated in a College Planning Boot Camp and will be actively engaged in monthly college and financial aid planning meetings over throughout the senior year of high school, will be engaged in completing weekly activities, and will be working with small group coaches throughout their final year of high school. The 2015 College Planning Boot Camp has identified students who are highly qualified for applying to the Gates Millennium Scholars program, inspired student ownership of their course taking, encouraged students to pursue summer internship and leadership opportunities, created comprehensive resumes, and began the process of developing high qualify college essays. The cultural impact on the school-wide climate and culture of both schools is measurable, remarkable, and far reaching. The professional capacity of teachers and counselors who are working with students in small groups is being developed, stronger relationships are being developed between home and school, teachers and students, teachers and parents, and students and families at both schools.

Evidence

This model, as implemented by the Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia resulted in the 2014 cohort of 50 students being accepted into over 125 colleges and universities and being offered over $4.5 million in scholarships and institutional aid. Tapp Middle School in Cobb County Georgia has successfully transformed the school-wide climate and culture into a college going culture. Students are taking ownership of their attitude toward learning, course enrollment, extracurricular activity participation, and parent engagement is the highest in school history. Lake City High School in Lake City, South Carolina has engaged high school seniors and parents in a 2015 College Planning Cohort that is identifying students who are highly qualified for applying to the Gates Millennium Scholars program, have taken ownership of their course taking, are pursuing summer internship and leadership opportunities, have created compressive resumes, are developing high qualify college essays, and expanding their role in performing community service in their local community. The cultural impact on the school-wide climate and culture of both schools is measurable, remarkable, and far reaching. Research studies indicate how the "college knowledge gap" results in students failing to make the connection between k-12 learning opportunities and postsecondary preparation. This knowledge gap leads to predictable research-based results: lack of rigorous course enrollment; disproportionately low SAT/ACT scores; lack of leadership development; lack of community service; failure to apply to the right colleges; failure to identify the necessary financial resources that students are entitled to based on their academic achievement and socioeconomic backgrounds; failure to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); failure to engaged in available leadership programs and community service opportunities; and “Summer Melt,” reflecting the failure of accepted students to actual enroll in college. This systemic failure results in the research-based "academic under match" for high performing students and unrealistic expectations and failed postsecondary pathways for low performing students. Research further indicates that students who successfully navigate postsecondary pathways identify such people, conversations, and support programs as critical to their success.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

CEO of the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity; Ministry Leader for the Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry where students who participate in each year’s college planning cohort are accepted into a broad range of highly selective colleges and universities and earn millions of dollars in scholarships annually; member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling; 30 years of k-12 teaching experience in k-12 and juvenile court schools; consultant and parent; author of 27 books on school improvement, student achievement, parenting, college planning, scholarships and financial aid, Black male achievement, and classroom instructional strategies.

Keyword Descriptors

college planning, graduation rates, college enrollment, inspiration, motivation, summer melt

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Lake City High School: A Transformational Experience

Harborside Center East and West

The Florence School District 3 High School Graduation Initiative engaged Lake City High School students and parents (Lake City, South Carolina) in “authentic conversations” by grade-level cohorts, i.e., 10th, 11th, and 12th grade). Beginning school-wide presentations, the impact on school climate and culture and has been immediate and systemic.