Title

Waking Up Bueller: 5 Areas of Student Activities to Improve School Climate

Presenters

ShaRon DukesFollow

Location

Percival

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Educators are tasked with identifying and resolving barriers to high school graduation for “At-Risk” students. The “At-risk” population at any school can change from semester to semester and can overlap with the “average” population of the school. This presentation will focus on social and emotional skills and academic achievement. Participants will learn how to encourage school-wide student activities that will spark student interest and re-connect students to academic rigor. It will also highlight how to blend healthy, social and emotional skills into a co-curricular programming plan which will directly enhance the school climate.

Brief Program Description

This session will give breath to exciting strategies to improve attendance and academic performance and build healthy emotional skills. Through an interactive presentation participations will learn how to utilize student affairs practices traditionally used on the collegiate level. It will give educators, especially those who work with at-risk high school students, five areas of focus: student leadership, student activities, freshmen transition, academic support and intervention.

Summary

In an effort to meet and exceed state assessments, emphasis has been placed on improved service for students within the classroom. Pressure has created an increased focus on test scores and school accountability in core subject areas. Unfortunately, schools have dimmed the light on the other vital areas needed for student development such as fine arts, student activities and co-curricular programming. Studies have shown that participation in student activities decreases the chances that a student will drop out (Mahoney 2000). Students who participate in student activities also show improvement in math and English (Broh 2002) and have a greater desire to apply to college and earn a higher degree (March & Kleitman 2003). A significant increase was also seen in students who were identified as “At-Risk” due to poor academic performance for various reasons including erratic or no attendance, low literacy or numeracy, or behavior issues. Unlike colleges and universities, secondary schools lack a curriculum on how to implement co-curricular programs or student activities that focus on improving retention rates and increasing academic performance. This presentation has been developed to give educators a paradigm of consistent and practical strategies designed to help students uncover the spark that will motivate them to connect to their school. As well, this presentation has been developed to create and maintain stability in a place lacking continuity, thoughtfulness or strategic planning. The presenter will provide participants with assessments designed to assist in the reconstruction of school organization with an effort to mirror the collegiate level which provides a strong student affairs program to support the academic goals of the school. Participants will also learn of resources and tools that will assist in gaining support from school administrators on the importance of school-based, student-driven activities. Participants will be able to implement a school-wide co-curricular programming plan that will focus on the following five areas: student leadership, student activities, freshmen transition, academic support and intervention.

Evidence

Student success is cultivated under the process of human thriving, a concept developed by Dr. Peter Benson (2008) and the Minneapolis-based Search Institute, that believes people perform at their highest potential “when they are engaged in something that brings them joy, energy and direction” (Shryock, 2013). Though 25% of high school students are partaking in the art of human thriving, 75% are not (Shryock, 2013). Students who participate in at least one student activity are less likely to drop out of school (Mahoney 2000). Students who participate in students activities also have less behavior issues (Massoni, 2011). Recent research reveals that student activities greatly benefit students when it is adult-supervised, student-driven and school based (Shryock, 2013). Schools cannot focus on the quantity of the program but rather the quality and the value it has with students.

Mahoney, J.L. (2000). School extracurricular activity participation as a moderator in the development of antisocial patterns. Child Development, 71 502-516.

Marsh, H. & Kleitman, S. (2003). School athletic participation: Mostly gain with little pain. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology of Education, 3, 217-243.

Massoni, Erin (2011) “Positive Effects of Extra Curricular Activities on Students,” ESSAI: Vol. 9, Article 27. Available at: http://dc.cod.edu/essai/vol9/issl27

Shryock, Kathleen Wilson (2013). "Defining the Variables in the Student Activities Equation" The Advocate 7.2 (2013). Available at: http://www.alliance4studentactivities.org/letxequalsa/docs/bibliography.pdf

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

As the daughter and daughter-in-law of educators, ShaRon Dukes has grown knowing she would find her place in the world of education. Initially, she believed her career would begin as an high school English teacher. However, she quickly realized that reciting the works of Shakespeare and Harper Lee was not as interesting as she thought. She was in search of a path that would bring her joy rather than coins. In undergrad, she thrived in campus activities such as student government, residence life and freshmen orientation. She saw that teaching can often happen outside of the classroom through student involvement with campus advisors. Dukes attended and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs with the intention of serving students outside of the classroom. From there she worked extensively, as an Admissions Counselor for Augusta State University (now Georgia Regents University) and served as the dance coach for the campus team.

Dukes was pleased with the collegiate level, but concerned about several of the high school students she met during recruitment season. So many students seemed unprepared to attend college and lacked direction or guidance. Several were not motivated to attend college or complete high school.

She sought the opportunity to work at the largest high school in Augusta, Georgia as a Graduation Coach. After three years of service to the school, the graduation rate increased 7%. Dukes was able to implement two school-based mentoring programs, a freshmen orientation team, and a school-wide student activities plan for all student organizations and advisory clubs. Her background in Student Affairs has given her the unique opportunity to marry the collegiate and secondary levels together to better serve students. Though considered a “young-buck” in her field, Dukes is steadfast in making strides to assist public school systems in making student activities and priority and not an afterthought. She plans to continue her education by earning a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and completing extensive research on students activities for high school students.

Keyword Descriptors

student activities, at-risk student, student involvement, school climate

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 2:45 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 8th, 2:45 PM Mar 8th, 4:00 PM

Waking Up Bueller: 5 Areas of Student Activities to Improve School Climate

Percival

This session will give breath to exciting strategies to improve attendance and academic performance and build healthy emotional skills. Through an interactive presentation participations will learn how to utilize student affairs practices traditionally used on the collegiate level. It will give educators, especially those who work with at-risk high school students, five areas of focus: student leadership, student activities, freshmen transition, academic support and intervention.