Every quarter the school counselor creates data reports for students participating in remedial and advanced classes. The data is disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Data indicated a disproportionate number of students receiving free and reduced lunch take 8th Grade Math instead of Algebra 1, an advanced course. For example, in 2015-2016 54 percent of the 8th grade class received free and reduced lunch but only 31 percent of students in Algebra 1 received free and reduced lunch. In 2016-2017 43 percent of 8th grade students received free and reduced lunch and the Algebra 1 class only had 28 percent of students receiving free and reduced lunch. To address this achievement gap, many interventions were put in place to help motivate and support students to qualify for and choose to enroll in Algebra 1. Interventions were created based on previous outcome data from other interventions used at Greybull Middle School. For example, strong outcome data shows in the past students have benefitted from programs and classes such as Study Skills, Math RTI, and individual academic planning.
Classroom lessons and small groups were provided to help students identify the benefits of Algebra 1. Math response to intervention (RTI) classes were available for students scoring below the 50th percentile on the Measure of Annual Progress (MAP) assessment. Students had the opportunity to participate in on-going academic planning. Participating students developed strategies to help themselves reach academic goals related to Math. Learning lunches were required for students earning a D or an F in the same class for 2 consecutive weeks. Finally, students were offered Study Skills class to provide extra time for homework, peer tutoring, and reteaching during the school day.Sometimes students and their families choose not to enroll in Algebra 1 for a variety of reasons even if they achieved a 235 on the MAP. Therefore, to maintain stakeholder relationships, the majority of the interventions offered asked for voluntary participation.
Based on process, perception, and outcome data, three interventions will be offered next year to address this goal: Study Skills, academic planning, and Learning Lunches. To improve perception data, pretests and posttests will be conducted to identify students’ attitudes about math, their future goals, and their belief in their ability to succeed in Algebra 1. Once that data is analyzed, the counselor will select Mindsets and Behaviors to specifically target the needs of the 2017-2018 cohort.
Closing-the-gap activities were available during the entire year. However most of the activities were implemented during second semester. Students take the MAP test at the end of third quarter for placement the next year. Therefore students will receive more benefit from interventions being implemented quarter 2 and quarter 3 during the 2017-2018 school year.