Teacher/Student Mentoring

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Wilson High School, Wilson Area School District, is the only high school in the IU 20 region that made high growth for both math and reading. Here is Part II of their story:

In 2007-08 the district created a Teacher/Student Mentoring Program. Each staff member including the principal, assistant principal, central office personnel including the superintendent mentored a group of 10 to 15 students throughout the school year. The assistant principal scheduled 6-8 meetings throughout the school year. The assistant principal also planned the sessions, almost scripted them to support teachers in this new role.

Activities included meeting with each student individually to review their 4Sight scores and discussing the impact on students. For example a 10th grade student might have already completed Algebra, but 4Sight indicates some weaknesses. The mentor points out resources the student has available including PSSA Study Island, Math Labs, and Tutoring Labs. According to principal, John Martuscelli, it is the mentors job to motivate the student.

Seniors worked with their mentor to complete their graduation project, get support on college applications, and/or other school to work transition needs.

Benefits:

  • All teachers take ownership for student success, not just math and English teachers.
  • Every student in the high school has a relationship with an adult in the school.
  • Students are more motivated to succeed.
  • All students have information and remediation materials, if necessary, personalized to their circumstances.
  • Huge increase in student use of remediation opportunities e.g. Study Island
  • All students and teachers have a better understanding of data and using it to make decisions.

Future of the Program:

The high school experienced significant growth on their 11th grade PVAAS scores. They attribute this leap in student achievement to their new mentoring program. Their vision is to expand and enhance this program including:

  • Starting with the 2008-09 school year, mentors will be assigned a group of students and follow them through to graduation.
  • Infuse career to work activities such as career exploration and planning.
  • Other?????

John and his staff are still exploring ways to capitalize on their Mentoring Program and they would love to hear from you. What ideas and suggestions do you have for their mentoring program? What other activities could they incorporate to build relationships and support student growth at their high school?

Comments

kstarosta said…
This may already be a part of the mentoring process, but goal setting (even with self-graphing) may help structure the discussions and follow-up.
kemeigh said…
Sounds like Wilson took the phrase "no child left behind" seriously. It all comes down to relationships that show kids the adults do care. This is an excellent way to maintain a sense of community.... Care and community - creates an environment of student success. All parties win in this environment. Kudos to Wilson educators!

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