Title

The New "GAP" Kids: Goal-oriented, Academically-engaged, and Productive!

First Presenter's Institution

John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center

Second Presenter's Institution

John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom D

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Our program outlines a model that we have used to successfully change the way we reach and teach the at-risk students who are traditionally found in the "education gap." Our program works to change how we perceive these students and how they perceive themselves. We have implemented simple, cost-effective polices and procedures that allow us to create individualized plans for each student to improve their academic success, social development, and overall behavior. It is our position, that once effective initiatives are instituted, and perceptions are changed, we are able to see the unlimited possibilities that lie beneath the academic failure, hurt, anger, disappointment, and hopelessness exhibited by our students. Our "GAP Kids" are Goal-oriented, Academically-engaged, and Productive!. We believe that once we change perceptions, we can change lives.

Brief Program Description

This dynamic session will present an innovative approach for transforming the perception of students traditionally found in the “Achievement Gap into the new GAP kids. Students who are motivated, dedicated, and committed to changing the circumstances of their lives. Change your perception and you can change lives. Perception is everything!

Summary

When we look at statistics, the students most commonly found in the educational gap are economically-deprived, minorities, males, and students with disabilities. Unfortunately, these students also make-up the majority of the population in our alternative education program. These students are perceived as disruptive, disengaged, and dangerous. As a result, they are taught with these perceptions at the forefront of every educational interaction. Often times, these behaviors are displayed because the students have been inundated with negative descriptions of their abilities, options, and worth. We have developed a program that strives to remove the stigma of the “kids in the gap” and change how they are perceived by others and how they perceive themselves.

Our presentation will outline our simple, but effective model of a school program that looks at each student individually and sees the underlying potential in each one. Our program changes the meaning of being a “gap” kid. We see our “GAP” kids as Goal-oriented, Academically-engaged, and Productive. Conference attendees will see a snapshot of our program and the initiatives we are using to change who we see and how we teach when they walk into our rooms. They will receive a step-by-step guide for designing and implementing a similar program within their schools, and learn how to create programs that allow students to take responsibility for their actions and behavior, create individualized graduation plans for students with minimal credits, provide social/emotional growth opportunities for students, and increase academic engagement through authentic learning experiences. Participants will also receive ideas and strategies for helping staff members understand this unique population and change their perceptions of these students.

Evidence

Research suggests that the key to improving the performance of at-risk kids is authentic teaching and learning opportunities that allow students to experience success and build confidence (Markert, 2009). Research also asserts that students traditionally found in the "education gap" can be successful with programs that support them emotionally, socially, and academically. Since the implementation of our "New GAP Kids" program, we have seen an increase in on-time graduation, a decrease in discipline referrals, and an increase in student attendance. Another benefit of the program has also been an improvement with student/teacher relationships and staff morale. The program has provided the opportunity for all stakeholders to build stronger relationships with each other; strengthening our overall program.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Biographical Sketch

Presenter 1: Terecia Gill, Ed. S. has over 27 years public school experience. She has been a teacher, assistant principal, program supervisor, and is currently the principal at a multifaceted alternative learning center located in Spotsylvania, Virginia. She has presented at several workshops and conferences geared towards educating at-risk students. Ms. Gill is an innovative, assertive, well structured leader able to motivate students, teachers, parents, and colleagues.

Presenter 2: Karen Washington has 25 years teaching experience in both middle and high school settings working with diverse populations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, an Educational Specialist Degree in Reading Education, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Washington currently serves as an English Teacher and Literacy Coordinator in the Alternative Education program in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Keyword Descriptors

At-Risk, Alternative education, Real-world, Behavior, Discipline, Gap

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 1:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 2:15 PM

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Mar 7th, 1:00 PM Mar 7th, 2:15 PM

The New "GAP" Kids: Goal-oriented, Academically-engaged, and Productive!

Ballroom D

This dynamic session will present an innovative approach for transforming the perception of students traditionally found in the “Achievement Gap into the new GAP kids. Students who are motivated, dedicated, and committed to changing the circumstances of their lives. Change your perception and you can change lives. Perception is everything!