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Engaging Students Who Are At Risk Through Instruction To Address Gaps in Academic Skills and Accelerate Learning


Title: Engaging Students Who Are At Risk Through Instruction To Address Gaps in Academic Skills and Accelerate Learning Author: Woods, Alexandra – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Engaging Students Who Are At Risk Through Instruction To Address Gaps in Academic Skills and Accelerate Learning

Engaging Students Who Are At Risk Through
Instruction To Address Gaps in Academic Skills
and Accelerate Learning
Collaboration To ServeYouth in Detention
Probation Department
Mission Statement To join our justice partners
in service and support of our communities,
courts, and victims
  • The Contra Costa County Probation Department is
    committed to the support of public safety by
    providing evidence-based prevention,
    investigation, and supervision services, and a
    safe environment for our staff and those placed
    in our custodial care.

John A. Davis Juvenile Hall
Mt. McKinley School
  • Hallway with student art

Mission The mission of the court and the
community school is to ensure academic
improvement and successful transition while
promoting pro social skills.
Competing Philosophies?
  • Probation
  • Safety and Security
  • Education and Successful Transition
  • Not really
  • CCC Probation Leadership
  • supports education and other partners
  • to help youth in detention

Barriers To Overcome
  • Safety and Security are Paramount
  • Some limitations regarding instructional
  • Difficulty providing appropriate educational
    access to students on special program
  • Strategies To Overcome Barriers
  • Strict check-out and check-in procedures for
  • Floating teacher provides instruction to
    individual students on special program
  • Note For years, Probation would not allow
    Internet access. Now students have limited, and
    staff full, access to the Internet.

Mt. McKinley School Demographics
  • About 1,300 students served annually
  • 7th 12th graders
  • (a few younger and some graduates)
  • 81 male /19 female
  • Ethnicity 40 Hispanic
  • Race 41 African-American, 23 White,
  • 30 unspecified, 6 other
  • 23 special education/27 English learners

Other School Challenges
  • Short-term, itinerant population
  • History of school failure, thus disconnected from
  • Other issues that impact learning, such as
    substance abuse, mental illness, trauma
  • Poor social skills and disruptive/negative
  • Some of these risks/needs can be addressed by
    school programs whereas others are better
    addressed by different departments. Risks/needs
    can all be impacted through staff sensitivity and

Strategies To Address Gaps and Accelerate
  • Access Accurate Student Data Quickly
  • Assessment Center
  • Administer pretests in Reading and Math
  • Assess English-language ability
  • Write an essay
  • Contact District
  • Most recent transcript (for high school students)
  • IEPs or 504 plans from Special Education
    department (schedule interim placement IEP
    meeting ASAP)
  • Inform Teacher
  • Create student profile in DataWise
  • Incorporate State- mandated test data
  • Create an Individual Learning Plan (with student

Strategies To Address Gaps and Accelerate
  • Adequate Instructional Time
  • Small Class Size
  • Maximum of 15 - 20 students
  • One teacher and another adult (i.e., an
    instructional assistant or special education
    teacher or assistant)
  • Block Scheduling
  • 45 90 minute blocks of
    instructional time
  • Minimize transitions

Sample Student Profile From DataWise
Strategies To Address Gaps and Accelerate
  • Appropriate Instructional Strategies
  • Direct instruction with appropriate supports
  • Tiered academic interventions (ILP, IEP, small
    group, individual assistance)
  • Computer-based independent work (Catch Up Math
    to help close gaps and Odysseyware for credit
  • Collaborative learning

Strategies To Address Gaps and Accelerate
  • Relevant Instructional Materials
  • Texts and support materials aligned with State
  • Content similar to districts
  • Frequent Monitoring and Reporting
  • Post tests (every 90 days)
  • Quarterly report cards
  • Update progress on IEP and ILP
  • Student certificates

  • Recognizing Student Achievement

Juveniles Committed to County Facilities
  • CA Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)
  • (formerly know at CA Youth Authority)
  • In 2007, legislation (SB 81 and AB 191) required
    most youthful offenders to be committed to county
    facilities, reserving those convicted of the most
    serious offenses and having the most severe
    treatment needs for DJJ. Previously adopted
    financial incentives for counties and the
    legislative changes reduced DJJ's population from
    a peak of approximately 10,000 a decade earlier
    to approximately 1,700.

Youthful Offender Treatment Program (YOTP)
  • Participants Adjudicated males with both
    nonviolent and violent charges
  • Mission To protect society by restructuring
    unacceptable behaviors of youth and young adults
    by instilling the life skills necessary to
    transition into the community
  • Length of commitment Determined by successful
    completion of four phases, three in custody and
    one post release each phase is typically 18
  • Program staff Probation counselors, teachers,
    mental health specialists, and an assigned Deputy
    Probation Officer

  • In addition to school, youth participate in other
    programs offered by Probation
  • Thinking for a Change (evidence-based cognitive
    behavior training curriculum
  • Aggression Replacement Training (anger control,
    moral reasoning, and life skills)
  • Victim Empathy Class
  • Job Tech (a job readiness program)

School in YOTP
  • Challenges
  • Opportunities
  • Enhanced learning opportunities for credit
    recovery and accelerated learning
  • Program focus on individualized needs
  • More time and emphasis on transition planning
  • Greater collaboration with Probation staff
  • Longer stay - required expanded curriculum
  • Some students with high school diplomas -
    required post-secondary curriculum options
  • Higher percentage of special education students

Strategies To Engage Students in Their Learning
  • Personalized Environment
  • Develop a relationship with students
  • Ongoing individual meetings with students
  • Collaboration with Probation case managers
  • Frequent interaction with a variety of caring
  • Positive behavior expectations

Other caring involved adults
JH Auxiliary
Strategies To Engage Students
  • Opportunities To Demonstrate Success
  • Point system to evaluate individual

    effort and achievement
  • Student of the Week weekly raffle
  • Certificates of Achievement/Celebrate Success
  • School effort and success affect program

Keyboarding, computer literacy,
computer-based projects Odysseyware, Career Zone
Hands-On Learning
Strategies To Engage
  • Student Input Into Their Learning
  • Personal Learning Inventories
  • Access to programs of interest and those geared
    toward their individual needs
  • Frequent Quickwrites to get input
  • Individualized class schedule (one block per
  • Customized formative assessments (for class and
    for the individual students)

  • Background
  • In program for 1½ months
  • Gets to choose which credits to work on during
    independent work time
  • Expects to get his high school diploma before he
  • Thoughts on academic activities
  • Thinks class is fun and interesting
  • Enjoys writing about his feelings
  • Loves working on the computer
  • Appreciates how his teacher breaks things down
    for him
  • Learned from the bubble talk when you have
    something on your mind, think first, but better
    to get it out
  • Quote
  • You could go as far as you want what matters is
    how far you allow yourself to go.

  • Background
  • In program for 11 months
  • Working on credits he needs
  • Learning to type and write essays on the computer
  • Thoughts on academic activities
  • Enjoys this school because he is more focused and
    is learning more
  • Appreciates the class time and the opportunity to
    work independently
  • Thinking for a Change helped him control his
  • Knows that people care when they speak to him
    one-on-one when he has a problem
  • Quote
  • The school program is wonderful because they
    help us get our high school diploma or GED,
    make-up credits while still going through a
    regular school schedule.

Outcomes for Long-Term Students
Mt. McKinley School Outcomes

  • We take great pride in our graduates!
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