Vernon Malone College & Career Academy (2018)

Raleigh, NC

Closing the Gap


As a school, we entered the 2016-2017 school year with an updated collaborative Intervention plan which would allow us to work more efficiently as a school. The Intervention Plan provided a tiered outline for how our school staff should work together to support our students. This process is based on the MTSS tiered intervention model, in which 80% of students should succeed without additional support. Of the 20% of students with which the counselors works, 5% of these students should require the highest level of intervention. This level of intervention was especially important for our school as most students were transitioning to the PBL model, in addition to Honors classes and high school level-expectations.

To support this process, teachers were provided a form to notify counselors about which students they had concerns, a Tier II Referral form. This referral process is the foundation of our gap, where we recognize that all students may not respond to the general support systems in place at the classroom level. If a teacher did not see a change in students’ success after a two week period, then these students were referred to Student Services. The students included in our CTG curriculum were identified by referral from classroom teachers, or counselor interaction with students and/or parents.

Once a student was referred to the Tier II process, their assigned counselor would seek information from appropriate stakeholders to understand the barriers to student success. With an understanding on specific student circumstances, the counselors created a plan of appropriate interventions to use with that student. Students and counselors set goals/expectations after a referral and the counselor would implement weekly check-ins, at a minimum. Almost 50% of students referred through Tier II were able to improve with minimal intervention from counselors. The remaining half of referrals remained in the intensive level of intervention throughout the semester. If a student did not seem to benefit from Tier II activities and interventions, the counselor referred the student for additional support, a Tier III referral, with the MTSS team for additional investigation. Those students met with the full intervention team to decide whether additional testing or other means of intervention were necessary.

Interventions used within the CTG curriculum were student-driven, and based on the needs assessment conducted after a referral. The following activities and services are examples of interventions and activities provided throughout the Tier II process:

- Individual Student Planning: Once a student has been referred, the assigned counselor meets with the student to learn more about the barrier to learning.

- Grade Monitoring: Counselors receive student grade reports weekly and meet with students to reflect on any changes, as needed. This may also include conversation with teachers about opportunities for students to supplement learning.

- Teacher Remediation: Some students were provided alternate methods of displaying subject mastery directly with the teacher. Some students were provided the opportunity to return to past material as part of an online learning environment.

- Counselor/Parent/Teacher Conferences: All teachers (if necessary), parents/guardians, students and counselors at minimum were invited to sit down for a dialogue about the student’s difficulties in school. The conference ends with a goal-setting process.

- Study Skills/Organization Small-Group: Some of the students referred in this process during the fall semester participated in this small-group. All students were provided strategies for these skills during individual planning after the small-group was discontinued.

Overall, we are very pleased with the results of the Closing the Gap curriculum and results data. The anticipated percentages of students were referred through the process as outlined. Most students who were referred were able to pass their classes, and all students except for one were promoted to the next grade at the conclusion of summer school. We will push to implement this process earlier in the semester in 2017-2018, in order to reach more students before the end of the first quarter when their grades are still tentative. The perception data indicated that 25% of students did not believe that they performed their best, which let us know that students recognized that their abilities were greater than their performances. This perception data was gathered by a form that was created through the Advisory Council. We will revisit this form in order to gather more specific perception data.

Goal: By the end of each semester, the percentage of students passing classes will be 80% or higher.

Target Group: All students identified through Tier II referral process

Data Used to Identify Students: Teacher Tier II Referral form, gradebook, Intervention Coordinator referrals

School Counselor(s): DeCecco, Fulton, Kingsberry

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): M.5, B-LS.3, B-SMS.6

Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?: Student Meetings, Study Skills/Organization, Grade monitoring, Teacher remediation, Counselor-Parent-Teacher Tier II Conferences

Process Data (Number of students affected): 95 referrals made for 66 students (~18%) through Tier 2 Teacher Referral form in the Spring 2017 semester. 49 referrals for 34 students (~10%) moved to Tier II Intervention. 7 (~2%) students escalated to Tier III Intervention

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): 26% of students disagreed with the statement, “I did my best to succeed this year.” All students felt some level of support from the counselors with organization. 20% of students did not feel that they learned to manage their time. 2 students (~6%) disagreed that this process helped them to overcome obstacles to learning.

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): 18 students (51%) who were placed at Tier II passed the courses for which they were referred. 5% of the total student population were assigned to summer school for academic remediation through GradPoint. 3 students were retained.

Implications: Students identified through the Tier II process had a 50% chance of passing the identified course. Most students earned a passing grade through summer school. We are appropriately responding to referrals, and hitting target numbers of students moving through our Intervention plan. However, we are not intervening early enough for all students. Action Steps: -Proactive intervention for students who failed a course or were on Tier III the previous year. -Implement Tier 2 process prior to completion of the 1st quarter of a given semester.