Best Practice Links
High School Themes
Theme - Recognition, Intervention, and Adjustments
- Flexibility in developing and revising the schedule and allocating resources in time and faculty to where data show the most need.
- Interventions focused on keeping students on track before AIS is needed.
- Connecting with families to intervene early when social, emotional, or academic problems present themselves.
In the higher-performing schools, flexibility is key to developing and revising the schedule and allocating resources in both time and faculty to where they will have the greatest impact on raising student achievement.
Interventions go beyond traditional AIS and are focused on keeping students on track before AIS is needed -- through the use of reinforcements for minimizing truancy (teacher, peer mentor, and community outreach personnel calling home and connecting with families), labs, "manned study halls" (i.e., with content specialist help), and last-period or after-school tutoring, which can be mandated for students who are at risk of failure in any course (defined by many as a grade of 70 at any time during the term).
Inclusion of special education students in regular education classrooms is the norm. Overall, higher-performing schools have moved toward a culture in which all students are being held to high expectations for performance and being offered wider varieties of options to support their success.
Some differences between higher- and average-performing schools
In both higher- and average-performing schools, students are recognized in traditional ways for strong academic performance -- honor rolls, Honor Society, awards ceremonies, and student-of-the-month awards recognizing achievement beyond the academic, e.g., in music or art.
Many of the higher performers include participation in cross-school competitions (e.g., county or state art shows) as a way to promote excellence.
White Plains has set up a mentoring program for English as a Second Language (ESOL) students. Through peer tutors, workshops, and guest speakers students from ethnically and linguistically diverse backgrounds are given the emotional, social, and academic support necessary to help foster their involvement and success in school.
In Yonkers, Saunders HS celebrates students’ acceptances into college as well as their financial support through public displays.
The "Inel List" in Warrensburg is used to closely monitor students’ progress and diminish the possibility for failure. Sent every two weeks for students who are either failing or have missed assignments, it is one of the ways teachers and guidance counselors encourage student accountability and keep parents informed.
Huntington’s drug, alcohol, and tobacco education and treatment program is an example of how the school tackles potentially negative influences on students head on.