Title

Creating an Equal Opportunity High School

First Presenter's Institution

Sewanhaka Central High School District

Second Presenter's Institution

Sewanhaka Central High School District

Third Presenter's Institution

Sewanhaka Central High School District

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Sewanhaka Central High School District

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Verlest

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

In order to effectively educate all students, make significant progress in closing the achievement gap and address the disproportionate suspension rates, building positive relationships and increasing academic engagement and opportunities, must be addressed. Participants will learn about effective programs created and implemented that foster relationships between students, teachers, and the school community. These programs strengthen relationships, increase academic rigor and decrease the suspension rate for at risk students.

Brief Program Description

: Target audience to include any administrators, teachers, guidance counselors who work directly with at risk/minority students. The objective will be to demonstrate tools, strategies and programs that build positive relationships, reduce suspension rates, and assist students in meeting challenging academic goals to become college and career ready

Summary

Are students fighting within their community after school hours our problem? Students come to school burdened with environmental distractions. The at-risk student requires a unique set of programs and school interventions in order to be successful in a traditional school environment. One powerful way to address these distractions and help at-risk students is through positive relationship building with peers and staff. Additional barriers to student success can, at times, be found in policies and procedures currently in place. To that end, this presentation will highlight the successful simple data analysis and program development that focused on increasing academic rigor, decreasing suspension rates, building healthy positive relationships and training of peer mentors and mediators.

We will discuss how our analysis of disproportionate suspension rates led to the creation of two leadership programs for our minority students, as well as, adjusting building policies with regards to enrollment in challenging academic courses, changed the path of students. Students and faculty were trained in the areas of conflict resolution, decision making skills and leadership qualities. Various activities, speakers, life experience based field trips and individual mentoring and academic counseling promoted leadership roles and celebrated diversity within the school community. Collegial discussions with staff increased awareness and understanding of the importance of this shift.

Evidence

: Interventions including, but not limited to, positive behavior supports and building leadership capacity among students and staff have a wealth of support in research and current literature. These interventions have changed the outcomes of students over the last three years in our high school. Over the past three years, suspension rates have decreased with our minority students, a reduction of the number of behavior referrals for students occurred and a substantial increase in enrollment in Advanced Placement courses with our minority students, as well as, an increase in the number of students and staff trained in mediation was evident. Our population is changing, therefore a shift in our environment, culture and programs had to occur to address the needs of our at-risk population. An unanticipated outcome was the amount of increased teacher ownership toward their changing school community. Creating and reinforcing relationships using proven data analysis and making faculty more aware of student needs to support the necessary changes increased self-awareness and reflection.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Ms. Jennifer Alaimo- Began her career in education fifteen years ago as a Special Education teacher. She spent seven years teaching English. While pursuing her Administration Certification, she tirelessly advocated for her at-risk students through various forums. Ms. Alaimo became the Special Education Chairperson at Floral Park Memorial High School, which afforded her the opportunity to continue her work in the administration field and teacher development. Currently, she serves as one of the Assistant Principals within Floral Park Memorial High School.

Dr. Kathleen Sottile has served as Principal of Floral Park Memorial High School for the past twelve years. Prior to coming to Floral Park, Dr. Sottile was Assistant Principal of Scranton High School and Delaware Valley High School, both in Pennsylvania. Dr. Sottile previously taught band, general music and chorus on the elementary and secondary level. Her doctorate is in Educational Leadership and centered around accomplished teaching through National Board Certification for teachers and leaders in NYS.

John Kenny began his career as a Guidance Counselor advocating for his students daily. While working as a counselor his pursued his Administration certification and subsequently became the Student Support Services Chairperson. After years of working in the field of guidance, he became as Assistant Principal. Serving two communities with the Sewanhaka Central High School District for the past eleven years.

Cheryl St. John Broomes has been educating students in the field of business and technology for over fifteen years. She worked tirelessly to obtain her doctorate in Educational Leadership two years ago. Dr. St-John Broomes mentors students and played an integral role in the development of the leadership programs within Floral Park Memorial High School.

Keyword Descriptors

Academic achievement and access, Suspension rates, Relationships, Mentoring, Programs, College and career readiness

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-8-2017 11:15 AM

End Date

3-8-2017 12:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 11:15 AM Mar 8th, 12:30 PM

Creating an Equal Opportunity High School

Verlest

: Target audience to include any administrators, teachers, guidance counselors who work directly with at risk/minority students. The objective will be to demonstrate tools, strategies and programs that build positive relationships, reduce suspension rates, and assist students in meeting challenging academic goals to become college and career ready