Title

Increase Your Graduation Rate: Implement a Data Driven Case-Management Team for At-Risk Students

Location

Scarbrough 2

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

“HEAD”: ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT & LEADERSHIP. Our proposal relates to the “Head”: Academic Achievement & Leadership strand. This student centered case-management model is completely driven by both historical and current student data. Students who are at-risk of dropping out of school are identified as they enter the 9th grade based on historical performance and attendance data from 6th-8th grades. Once identified, the team monitors their attendance and academic progress on a daily basis by tracking attendance, grades, discipline and other external factors. The students continue to be case-managed for the duration of their high-school career. These students often require individualized education plans which include minimum credit diploma, specialized scheduling, modified school days, seminar classes, credit recovery programs, summer school priority and regular meetings with school counselor, school social worker and nurse just to name a few. Although we are one of the highest poverty areas of North Carolina we have increased our Graduation Rate 10%-15% in the last five years and will be recognized this year for being the 6th highest graduation rate in North Carolina. “HEART”: SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL SKILLS. Our proposal also relates to the “Heart”: Social and Emotional Skills strand. This program is successful based on the “Culture Eats Strategy.” Creating buy-in from all levels of school staff beginning with administration has cultivated a positive shift in school climate. This program has resulted in a sense of community among staff and at-risk students. There has been an obvious change from a climate rich in silos to one of unity. As a result, there is more tolerance, understanding, nurturance and acceptance of the student as an individual. Student support staff, administration, teachers, bus drivers and even cafeteria workers are considered an integral part of each targeted student’s academic success plan. Most importantly, students are encouraged and empowered to be instrumental in their own success by being part of the decision making process. Students communicate weekly with the team and are made to feel valued as they set and readjust their academic goal as needed.

Brief Program Description

EMPOWER students to become invested, taking ownership of their EDUCATION and FUTURE. A high performing-high poverty school system will discuss how they moved the needle on increasing graduation rates to 91% or better. Focused on a data driven model of a case-management team approach they will share strategies for principals, counselors, social workers, data managers and other support staff to achieve extraordinary results.

Summary

This case-management team identifies students at-risk of failure and includes them in a solution-focused decision making process to achieve academic success. Students are encouraged and empowered to become invested in their own education and participate in developing an “academic success plan.” Students are identified as incoming freshmen based on historical academic/attendance data in addition to other extraordinary or external factors that makes them at-risk. Students may also be identified by the team at other times during their high school career, as circumstances may lend them vulnerable to failure. These students are listed on “at-risk boards” and ranked every two weeks based on their attendance and current grades. The boards are informational as they reflect total days absent, total credits earned, any special services received and who is most at risk weekly. Daily attendance is taken on the students and contact is made by one of the team members if the student is absent. Immediate and consistent communication with the student and/or family is a key component of this program. This communication drives building relationships and mutual respect. The team meets weekly to review the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior boards. Team members consist of key support staff including but not limited to; administrator, data manager, counselors, school social worker, school nurse, drop-out prevention specialist, SRO, exceptional children’s representative, classroom teacher, student and family. During the meeting current obstacles or crisis issues for students are discussed. Grades and attendance are reviewed as well as any classroom, discipline or external issues that need to be addressed. Students are encouraged to always come to the team with issues or obstacles that prevent them from being successful. Intervention strategies to assist students include hand scheduling based on situational needs. Others include modification of school day, offering minimum credit diplomas for extenuating circumstances, seminar-classes to allow students extra time with teachers to receive direct individualized assistance to get caught up. Home visits, parent/ student phone calls and communication with each student’s teachers are also imperative to helping the targeted student remain academically successful and focused on their goals.

Evidence

Our proposal and program is based on current research supporting competency-based learning or personalized learning for students. The primary focus is transitioning away from the idea of seat time in favor of mastery of academic content. This structure creates flexibility which allows the student to progress regardless of place, time or pace of learning. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this type of learning leads to better student engagement because the content is relevant to each student and tailored to their unique needs. Our program provides strategies that offer multiple pathways to graduation, makes better use of technology, takes advantage of learning opportunities outside of traditional school settings, and helps identify opportunities to target interventions to meet individual learning needs of students. In ten years, our graduation rate has gone from 62.4% to consistently above 90% in the last three years. In 2014, we are being recognized as the 6th highest traditional rural school in North Carolina. In addition, our drop-out numbers have improved from 104 students to 13 in the last ten years. Program effectiveness is also evidenced by credit recovery results. Our students recovered 295 credits during the last year and 122 during summer school. Our data also shows that identified freshmen have decreased class failures during their high school career as compared to the amount of F’s they entered with, resulting in lower retention rates.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Mike Peake, Ed S.; Principal of South Caldwell High School, NC for ten years. His professional experience includes 17 years in high school administration. He has a total of 22 years in education.

David Colwell, Masters in Education Administration. He is the Principal of Hibriten High School, NC. His professional experience includes 17 years in high school administration. He has over 30 years in education.

Beth Hinshaw, MSW, School Certified Social Worker. Her professional experience includes 18 years of school social work.

Pam Barber, BSN, National Certified School Nurse. Her professional experience includes 17 years of school nursing.

Tamara Dillard, Data Manager and Power School Coordinator. Her professional experience includes 14 years as Data Manager and two years as county wide trainer for power school data base.

Keyword Descriptors

Dropout Prevention, Student Data, Research Based, Early Intervention, Student Empowerment

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 11:15 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 12:30 PM

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Mar 4th, 11:15 AM Mar 4th, 12:30 PM

Increase Your Graduation Rate: Implement a Data Driven Case-Management Team for At-Risk Students

Scarbrough 2

EMPOWER students to become invested, taking ownership of their EDUCATION and FUTURE. A high performing-high poverty school system will discuss how they moved the needle on increasing graduation rates to 91% or better. Focused on a data driven model of a case-management team approach they will share strategies for principals, counselors, social workers, data managers and other support staff to achieve extraordinary results.