Southern Alamance High School (2018)

Graham, NC

Closing the Gap


“How was the gap identified through data?”

We first located initial data from the ABSS Data Warehouse “On-track” report, to know who should be graduating this year. This determined the number of Tweeners in our focus group. Next, we double checked our initial list by doing a transcript audit of the entire school to see which students should be in their fourth year of high school. We then felt confident we had located each student who should be graduating with the Class of 2017.

“Why the activities or interventions were chosen?”

We chose to work with Tweeners utilizing individual and group methods, attending College Fair, and the ABSS Career Fair based on best practices. We have had positive experiences from previous Tweener groups in the past and have also taken best practices from other high schools in our county.

We chose to do individual and group activities with the Tweeners to make sure they knew their resources and to also show them they were not alone. We wanted them to realize that other students were in the same credit situation they were and we were all here to support each other through this process. In talking with the students, we found that they did not always understand what graduation requirements they still needed to complete in order to graduate. Therefore, we felt it imperative for Tweeners to know what specifically they needed to pass for them to walk across the stage in June. Counselors met with each student individually to help them understand their options to achieve graduation. Minimum Credit Diploma and/or Math Substitution options were discussed in special circumstances.

We also felt it was necessary to make sure they attended the Senior College Fair to see what options existed for their future. Based on their pre-survey results, we realized the importance of helping them to locate supportive adults. We did not realize how many students were lacking a positive role model. Therefore, we focused our efforts on helping Tweeners find supportive adults on campus. We believe that the more supportive adults that students have in their lives, the more successful they might be. Some students expressed that they do not have supportive families and will need other adults to help them navigate the road to graduation. We were also hopeful that helping students find a supportive adult would increase their sense of belonging on our campus. If we can help them can find a connection to a person, a club, or activity then their attendance might improve because they have a desire to be on campus and a willingness to participate in the school atmosphere.

We felt it was vital to make sure these students take part in the ABSS Career Fair. As part of this event, we coordinated with our Career Development Coordinator to assist with resume building, interview skills, and professional manners. Students were eager to meet with businesses who were actively hiring in the area. This gave them a boost of encouragement to reach their goal of graduation in June. For many students this is the nudge they needed to keep their grades up and to give them the push to finish strong. Tweeners could also meet with the Career Development Coordinator to discuss potential careers.

“Explains how the data results will help: deliver interventions/activities more effectively; collect data more accurately; target ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors; make decisions about which interventions/activities to continue, add or discontinue.”

The results from our Ticket to Graduation survey with Tweeners let us know that we need to work with staff to build more relationships with those students who need more supportive adults in their lives. This will help build better relationships for the students in the classrooms as well and hopefully help them achieve academically. We also felt we should include the teachers of Tweeners in the classes they were having academic difficulty in more often in order to build a better foundation of support. We felt positively about the activities we did with our Tweeners and will continue working with this group each year in order to help improve our school’s graduation rate. We want to keep finding ways to help our students overcome their barriers to success. Helping them learn self-confidence, motivation, and effective communication skills will allow them to be successful not only in high school but also in the 21st century world.

Goal: By February 2017, 75% of Tweeners will be promoted to the 12th grade and will graduate with the class of 2017 in June.

Target Group: Tweeners - those students who are in the 11th grade who lack enough credits to be considered a 12th grader at the start of their final year in high school.

Data Used to Identify Students: Transcripts, Data Warehouse On-Track Report (33 students retained in Grade 11)

School Counselor(s): Kristy Carter, Kim Davis, Cheryl Williams

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): M2. B-SS 8. B-LS 3 B-LS 4. B-SMS 1 B-SMS 7 B-SMS 5

Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?: Review Graduation Requirements, Individual Conferences, Group Meetings, Parent Meetings, Attend Elon College Fair, Attend ABSS Career Fair

Process Data (Number of students affected): 33 Tweeners (in grade 11 at the start of 2016-2017)

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): 100% of students knew their counselor’s name compared to 60% before the activities. The percentage of students who felt they had at least one other support person on campus increased from 15.2% to 34.4%. The percentage of students who thought graduation was attainable after activities increased from 12.1% to 43.8%.

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): 72% of the 33 original students met graduation requirements by June 2017. 8 students are planning to return in the fall to graduate after one additional semester. 1 Student dropped out of school.

Implications: We will continue to locate more support persons for Tweeners based on the need for them to have someone other than their school counselor to help them on their way to graduation. We will also work more closely with the teachers of Tweeners in an effort to provide a more comprehensive system of support for students. We have also realized the need to provide a staff development on how to read our Minimum Graduation Requirements spreadsheet that is shared with the staff via a google doc each fall. It is important that staff members know how to read the spreadsheet in order to better support students.