Sunday, October 15, 2017

Teaching High Risk Students

High risk students in Massachusetts are students who share traits that point to a likelihood of less upcoming academic success than their peers. I looked deeply at the data/experience stories of high risk students this weekend to think more deeply about how we might help those students succeed more. I came up with the following ideas.
  • From the start of school make sure that every child who is high risk has a good tech device and WIFI at home.
  • If children have a long bus ride, allow students to use the device on the bus to read or practice math with fun games.
  • Work with families. Go beyond the typical number and types of parent meetings, and reach out to work more closely together to effect greater academic growth.
  • Work with related agencies that can also provide support to those students.
  • Look deeply at the programming being used and determine if that programming is working, and if it's not working, change it.
  • Make sure that those students are working with the most qualified teachers at all times.
  • Make sure that these students' basic needs are met. Are they eating healthy food, getting enough rest, have the clothes they need for comfort and play, and receive necessary health care.
It's not beyond our collective intelligence or ability to serve high risk students better. Most importantly we have to put their needs center stage in teaching/learning conversations, problem solving, and service in ways that matter. If you're not having this conversation at school with colleagues, then you haven't even taken the first step.