Promising Practices for Students Transitioning to Independent Schools

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Information about Promising Practices for Students Transitioning to Independent Schools
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Published on April 17, 2014

Author: NPEAConference

Source: slideshare.net

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Presented by The Steppingstone Foundation and Milton Academy at the NPEA 2014 conference in Minneapolis, MN on April 24-25, 2014.

S Promising Practices for Students Transitioning to Independent Schools NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB NPEA Annual Conference: April 24-25, 2014

PRESENTERS: Wonjen Bagley Yully Cha Pamela Pleasants NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB This Workshop Will Explore §  Common characteristics of culturally responsive institutions •  Survey results and anecdotal feedback from students in independent schools •  Roadblocks and bridges to success for underrepresented students •  Next steps in supporting underrepresented students

Let the journey begin She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there--like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone.” ― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Barriers to success for underrepresented students often resemble barriers to success for all struggling students, however “…mounting anecdotal evidence indicates that a persistent achievement gap exist between white and Asian-American students and their Latino and African- American counterparts.” Independent School Magazine, Winter 2014 NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Is Ben a student your program can support? Benjamin is a 14 year old African American male. He is a repeat 8th grader admitted to a 7th-12th school with low SSAT test scores but glowing recommendations from teachers all who also noted his reserved demeanor. He has a 3.5 GPA from his previous independent middle school. He plays 2 sports, is active in his church and is on the debate team. The academic access program that placed him in his previous middle school has tutoring on Saturdays for placed students, but Saturday games has limited his participation. He had some success on his mid-term first semester grades. He received a “B” in advance Algebra 1 class, but a “C” in Spanish and a “B-” in English. According to the teacher this is partly due to his below grade writing skills. His English teacher’s comments also note that it doesn’t appear that Ben is making an effort. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Academics Social Financial Information Resources NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

S Academic •  Study skills •  Teachers as champions •  Curricular Diversity Financial •  Adequate Financial Aid •  Leadership Commitment •  Dedicated Resources (personnel and finances) Social •  Student engagement •  Peer influence •  Diversity Programming; affinity group, etc. •  Student insight and preparedness •  Parent Engagement •  Community’s Commitment to Inclusivity NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Student focus group feedback: u  ((Half) 50% feel extremely prepared or very prepared to meet the academic challenges faced at independent schools. u  Of those students who did not feel academically prepared, the number one reasons noted for not feeling academically prepared was deficient study skills. u  (Nearly half) 42.32% felt extremely prepared or very prepared to meet the social challenges they faced at independent schools. u  Although meeting extremely high academic standards had a slight edge as the reason why students did not feel socially prepared to meet challenges at independent schools, there was a fairly even percentages for all given possibilities including lack of awareness among students and faculty about diversity issues, dealing with competitive peers, and adjusting to culture shock. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Survey feedback from educators: u Educators rated students affiliated with academic enrichment program as only moderately prepared or slightly prepared to meet the academic challenges they face at independent schools. u Poor study skills ranked as they greatest factor that led to students being unprepared for independent school, followed by poor writing skills. u Educators rates students affiliated with academic enrichment programs as only slightly prepared to meet the social challenges they face at independent schools. u The top two reasons given by educators as stumbling blocks for students being challenged socially at independent schools were difficulty meeting extremely high academic standards and balancing academics, extra curricular and social and family life. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Teachers Students and educators rate teachers as the most helpful in supporting students in facing challenges. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Students advise schools to: S  Commit more effort in making people aware without making it boring. S  Having electives or classes that focuses on social justice would be cool. S  More programs to connect older underrepresented students to younger ones. S  Have support groups early on. S  Have the teachers be more understanding. S  Provide funding for club trips like to internationals for Debate or the Model UN trip. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Students advise schools (continued) S  More meetings as a whole just to connect socially… we don't always have to talk about diversity issues. S  Have a guidance counselor who is a different race, and doesn't teach classes. S  Be more involved and sensitive to issues. S  Be more involved and sensitive to issues. S  Working closely with students who come from a more "average" middle school experience. S  Have teachers be conscious of what they say/do in race-sensitive situations. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Students advise other students to: S  Find a supportive group of friends that understand what you are going through and do not be afraid to ask them questions. S  Be open to meeting people S  Try new things. S  Make relationships with the teachers. They are there to help you. S  Take advantage of the opportunities and faculty resources given to you. S  Be confident in your uniqueness and remember that you don't have to be like every other kid in the school. NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Once students are placed in independent schools, what programs are in place to support their academic and social success? NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

For Students NAIS, Student Diversity Leadership Conference- Multiracial gathering of upper school students For Parents National Association of Independent Schools The National Seed Project- Resources and Workshops For Educators NAIS, People of Color Conference-Support for people of color and allies in independent schools EdChange- Resources for teachers Diversity Directions- Professional Development The National Seed Project- Resources and workshops Teaching Tolerance- News and Resources for Educators For Schools National Association of Independent Schools- voice and advocate for independent education Diversity Directions- Diversity consulting The National Seed Project- Resources and Workshops Resources What’s Available? NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

ü  Partnerships with academic access programs focused on closing gaps, understanding needs and supporting students. ü  Mentorship program (including peer to peer) aimed at aiding in the transition of new students. ü  Formalized study skills programming that supports good study habits and reinforces excellence. ü  Summer bridge programs that eases transition and is focused on early introduction to the school community and/or continued discipline-based support. ü  Ongoing professional learning focused on culturally responsive education. ü  Inclusion of class issues as part of the conversation on diversity. Innovative Approaches Include NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

What more can we do to support students in achieving success? SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION 1.  What initiatives have you seen that you find valuable? What keeps you from doing what you want to do? 2.  What do you think is missing from the field? 3.  How can NPEA help organizations and schools find each other? NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Outsourcing: Start-up team to launch summer bridge program Train the trainer options External contractors: Diversity coach for your program director, administrator, etc Project manager to implement diversity assessment Tool-kits with support: How to launch a summer bridge program How to set up a peer mentoring program How to secure funding Boosting current roles and activities: Affinity groups for professionals Regional meetings focused on professional development Cost Targeted School-wide Feedback on ideas to pilot initiatives to build on this body of work NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Parting Wisdom… “People don't know about you or your background until you teach them.” NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

" High Schools Race, and America's Future: What Students Can Teach Us About Morality, Diversity and Community." Lawrence Blum Succeeding in the City: A Report from the New York City Black and Latino Male High School Achievement Study http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/succeeding-city-report-new-york- city-black-and-latino-male-high-school-achievement-study Crossing the Finish Line Completing College at America's Public Universities -William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, and Michael S. McPherson- Crossing the Finish Line offers the most detailed exploration to date of college completion rates at America’s public universities and provides answers to the fundamental questions of why graduation rates are not higher and why they differ so markedly by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Separate and Unequal: How Higher Education Reinforces the Intergenerational Reproduction of White Racial Privilege http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/ hpi/cew/pdfs/Separate&Unequal.FR.pdf Articles and books provide additional resources NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

Teaching Tolerance- A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools EdChange- a team of passionate, experienced, established, educators dedicated to equity, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice. With this shared vision, we have joined to collaborate in order to develop resources, workshops, and projects that contribute to progressive change in ourselves, our schools, and our society. Diversity Directions- consults with independent schools to develop a common language and strategic methods to examine and address the personal, interpersonal, and institutional factors that can advance or impede a school’s inclusion initiative, and suggests approaches and methods for designing systems, enhancing climate, and ensuring lasting progress. The National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum engages teachers, college faculty, parents, and community leaders from all subjects, grades, and geographic locations to create gender fair, multiculturally equitable, socioeconomically aware, and globally informed education. NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute The Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) is an intensive residential program that provides you with tools to lead and manage the shifting intercultural changes in your own school. Led by seasoned faculty, you’ll explore best practices, share challenges and triumphs, and form lasting bonds with other participants. The Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) is a comprehensive assessment tool that engages your school community in evaluating inclusivity and multiculturalism. It delivers tangible results your school can use to strategically plan for building and sustaining inclusive independent school communities. Formal Supports NPEA Conference, 2014- YC, PP, WB

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