High School Completion

Theme - Recognition, Intervention, and Adjustments

Best Practices

  • The approach to meeting the needs of individual students is flexible.
  • Response to Intervention (RTI) is well established.
  • Care is taken to celebrate a variety of kinds of success.
  • AIS services are closely tied to individuals' academic performance and need.

Higher-performing schools not only honor academic achievement, but also recognize effort and character. Their focus is on developing good citizens who show caring for others and their community in addition to high academic performance.

Strong personal relationships with students, particularly those at risk of failing to graduate, are credited with keeping so many students in school through graduation--personalization combined with the flexibility and determination to know and understand each student's circumstances well and find the right fit for the student to take and pass the required Regents exams and earn the credits needed to graduate. Sometime this involves adjusting a student schedule; sometimes it means faculty go above and beyond in being available for extra help, tutoring, or mentoring; sometimes it involves using Google translator to provide materials in both English and the student's native language Interventions such as RTI and AIS are focused on student needs in terms of underlying skills and requirements for specific courses and/or Regents exams. In general, educators and specialists make themselves aware of the needs of their students, are prepared to meet those needs, intervene early to make success more likely, and closely monitor progress well before junior or senior year. They look for and publically celebrate successes in the classroom, the school, the arts, and the athletic arean and reach out to parents as partners.

Some differences between higher- and average-performing schools

In the higher-performing high schools, teachers, administrators, and specialists such as guidance counselors and social workers make it a point to know every student well and ensure that each student feels a connection to an adult in the school. Someone is tracking each student to note lapses in behavior, attendance, or academics so that they can intervene early, generally starting with a meeting with the student and his or her parents. To the greatest extent possible, the school adjusts to meet the students' needs and provides targeted emotional, social, and/or academic support.

Educators in the average performers also express a high degree of caring for their students and their success but are more constrained in their willingness or ability to be flexible to meet specific needs. These constraints are sometimes financial but also can include a stance that students need to conform to the existing structure. Fiscal constraints sometimes prevent the ability to tightly connect Academic Intervention Services to particular courses. Response to Intervention practices are less well established in the average performers.

Selected Evidence

Downsville has developed a handout for parents explaining their Student Assistance Team (SAT) process.

Amityville's Instructional Support Plan includes goals, interventions, responsible parties, assessment of progress, and timelines.

In addition to after-school help, each Brookfield teacher offers a lunch club, which provides an opportunity for students to receive extra help, make up missed work, etc.

Amityville provides a Virtual Academy for students at risk of failing to earh the required credits, as well as transition services for students planning to enter the workforce.

Leadership opportunities for students are provided by Sewanhaka's (Elmont Memorial's) half-credit Leadership Physical Education Class open to juniors and seniors.