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Knowing All Students Well

For the last four years, teachers at Juan Morel Campos used tracking spreadsheets, I-Ready as well as Mastery Connect to monitor student growth and development. Using the information provided by these documents, I developed spreadsheets that were user-friendly, only requiring the teacher to input student scores, mentors and action steps. After entering the score, a colored dot on the spreadsheet appears, based on the cut scores we agreed to use. The color of the dot quickly identifies the student that needs immediate attention. Further, the spreadsheet provided levels of anticipated proficiency, based on I-ready data. Teachers, coaches, and administration used the spreadsheets weekly to monitor student learning results curricula and other common assessments, as decided by each grade level. The attached artifacts illustrate a classroom level spreadsheet. During the 2021-2022 school year, JMCSS earned significant learning gains in both the regular reporting category (61% in reading and 69% in math) and the bottom 25% reporting category (72% in reading and 65% in math). I attribute some of the learning gains to the frequent reference to our spreadsheets, which enabled teachers, coaches, and administrators to adjust instruction accordingly.

Grade and Department Teams

Grade teams and department teams meet weekly to discuss student learning. They examine current data on common assessments and begin discussing specific needs of students and teachers. During these meetings, we exercise our norms, which include a focus on the learner, not the teacher, which makes discussions easier for teachers who experience greater challenges. Through these meetings, grade level members, along with coaches, identify specific intervention strategies and materials to help support struggling students. We also identify specific enrichment activities to extend the learning for students who mastered the content. The plans are fluid and include a post-assessment to measure student growth. As the fourth quarter begins, grade levels begin the process of vertical planning by creating a list of concerns that the grade level prior can address during the last quarter of the year. These concerns serve as the foundation for developing vertical curriculum guides that provide students with increased opportunities for success.


Tracking and Mentoring

At Juan Morel Campos mentoring is particularly critical because it helps your students overcome the barriers and risk factors in achieving successful academic outcomes . If a student misses just two days of school a month, s/he misses 10 percent of the school year. A mentor’s support can keep youth engaged in school and lead them to perform better by addressing these barriers in three critical ways: facilitating continued academic achievement, developing non-cognitive skills, and providing access to external supports that is provided by our CBO Grand Street Settlement.

"I believe so strongly in the power of mentoring because I know the transformative effect one caring adult can have on a child’s life. That caring adult is a gateway to all the other resources that a young person needs to fulfill their potential."

Alma J. Powell, Chair, America’s Promise Alliance 

Our mentors keep our students engaged in their academic path in two ways. First, our mentors serve as an intervention at the onset of early warning signs for not completing high school or middle school. Researchers note that “attendance, behavior, and course performance in reading and math (the “ABCs”) are highly predictive of students’ likelihood to graduate from high school and to go on to succeed in college”. The average grade of chronically absent youth is “D,” and students with this GPA are more likely to not complete school. Mentors have been shown to improve mentees’ school attendance, boost their academic performance and increase their chances of completing high school. Secondly, mentors can guide mentees in continuing their education past high school and improve their potential lifetime earnings. A 2014 survey on the effects of mentoring showed that young adults who had been at risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were more likely to see positive academic outcomes than their peers without mentors.

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