Archive for the ‘Secondary’ Category

November 7th, 2016

Let Teens Sleep in the Morning to Improve Attendance

It’s a true story in many families: the elementary child who happily agrees to turn out the lights at 8:00 pm gets to bed at 11:00 pm or later by middle and high school. Why is that so many teenagers stay up late and have trouble getting to school on time? Start School Later, a national nonprofit, believes the key to ensuring students get enough sleep so they can attend school every day−and stay healthy and safe−is to focus on when the morning school bell rings.start-school-later-md-teens

Since the 1970s and 80s, middle and high schools shifted their start times to begin classes earlier than elementary schools. Today the average morning bell time for middle and high schools is 8:03 am, and many start as early as 7:00 am. This leaves many students, and especially those who have to travel an hour or more to reach campus, bleary eyed when they rise from bed at 6:30-7:00 am to get to school on time.

Beyond making it challenging to get to school every day, teens who don’t get enough sleep are set up to be at risk for a variety of health issues including obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety. And research shows that drowsy students who lack adequate sleep are more often chronically absent and tardy at school, and are in more automobile crashes.

Are teens just being willful, as some might believe? Studies also show that as children mature their sleep and wake patterns shift to later hours. With this in mind, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2014 issued a brief urging high schools and middle schools to aim for start times that allow students the chance to get an optimal 8.5–9.5 hours of sleep a night.

As a mother of three, Terra Ziporyn Snider says she “lived and breathed this issue on both a personal and professional front for years” as she worked to change the 7:17 a.m. high school start times in her school system. The local school board was not able to make the change. She and Maribel Cabrera Ibrahim realized that a multifaceted approach was the only one that was going to work. The two women teamed up and created Start School Later.

Moving school start times affects a community’s entire day, from start times for after school activities or student jobs, to when parents get to work in the morning. The biggest hurdle in most communities is related to school bus routes. Most districts have a limited number of buses, which are shared among the entire student population.

Yet a shift in school start times has been picking up steam. Already districts in 44 states have moved to later start times for middle and high school students. The results have been swift: When schools have delayed the start of the school day, communities have seen reduced tardiness, as well as improved attendance, graduation rates and standardized test scores, studies show.

The call for a later school start time for teens is supported by a number of health organizations. In addition to AAP, the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a host of other national and regional groups support later morning school start times for teens.

Find out more at the Start School Later website:

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August 8th, 2016

MENTOR’s New Toolkit Highlights Link with Attendance

Quality mentoring can have a significant impact on improving school attendance and student success. Recognizing this, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, has released a promotional toolkit with mentoring and attendance specific social media messages. Download the toolkit here.

MENTOR’s The Mentoring Effect report shows that mentoring has a significant impact on attendance and academic achievement. The report demonstrates that:

  • Quality mentoring is proven to increase attendance by reducing the likelihood of students skipping class.
  • Students who faced many challenges to graduation, including attendance, but who had a mentor were more likely to aspire to go to college, participate in sports and activities, and volunteer in their communities.
  • Mentors can help foster and encourage a positive academic future by stressing the importance of attendance.

“Chronic absenteeism offers that warning sign of disconnection and calls us to intervene with mentoring and consistent adults who can partner with school and home to provide the support, guidance, and encouragement proven to drive greater attendance and help get kids back on track. We are proud to be an Attendance Awareness Month Convening Partner and look forward to amplifying this critical message during Mentoring In Real Life Week this September,” says David Shapiro, MENTOR CEO and President.

Throughout the month, and especially during the Mentoring In Real Life Attendance Week September 19-25, MENTOR is inviting mentoring programs, youth serving organizations, schools and all campaign partners to help amplify this message on social media. Remember to include #schooleveryday and #MentorIRL in every post!

The toolkit provides sample messages such as:

  • Tweets
  • Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin posts
  • Digital images

And don’t forget to join us for the Mentoring In Real Life Attendance Week Twitter chat on Wednesday, September 21 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT!

Posted in Announcements, Featured Article, Secondary | Comments Off on MENTOR’s New Toolkit Highlights Link with Attendance

May 20th, 2016

How to Build A Grad Nation

This week America’s Promise Alliance released 10 Facts About Low Graduation Rate High Schools. The facts are published on the heels of the 2016 Building a Grad Nation report. Both examine the characteristics of low-graduation-rate high schools, or schools that graduate fewer than 67 percent of their students. The new Every Student Succeeds Act requires that states intervene in schools with 67 percent or lower graduation rates, and use evidence-based plans to make improvements.

Written by the Everyone Graduates Center, with Civic Enterprises and released by America’s Promise and Alliance for Excellent Education, the 2016 Building a Grad Nation report shows that significant graduation gaps remain between White students and their Black and Latino peers, as well as between low-income and non-low-income students, and students with and without disabilities. Research has shown that it’s these same groups of kids, most often underserved in schools, that face high levels of chronic absenteeism, especially in the early grades.

We know that poor attendance as early as kindergarten can tip off educators to academic trouble ahead. Students who miss 2 days a month or more, on average in preschool and kindergarten often continue to miss school in the early grades and aren’t able to read by the 3rd grade. These same students struggle academically as they progress through school making it difficult to achieve.

“As Attendance Works has made clear, poor attendance is among our first and best warning signs that a student is headed off track for high school graduation,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance, which leads the GradNation campaign. “We can and must improve attendance and, with it, achievement and graduation rates by paying attention to who is missing too much school for any reason and connecting those students with supports and activities that will motivate them to attend class every day.”

The 10 facts include:

  • There were 2,397 low-graduation-rate high schools in the U.S. in 2014, enrolling a total of 1.23 million students.
  • In 2014, 33 percent of all non-graduates nationwide were enrolled in high schools with a graduation rate of 67 percent or less.
  • More than half (54 percent) of all low-graduation-rate high schools are in cities, one-quarter (26 percent) are in suburbs, 8 percent are in towns, and 12 percent are in rural areas.

Find all 10 Facts in the post by America’s Promise Alliance here .


Posted in Announcements, Featured Article, Secondary | Comments Off on How to Build A Grad Nation

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