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What are the keys to improving student achievement in a high-needs school?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write979 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

I agree with herappleness's answer which includes almost everything needed.  The addition I would make is the teacher and the student's belief.  I had many of the most difficult students who came into my class defeated and defiant because they truly believed that they could not be successful.  The key to turning around schools is that teachers believe in ALL kids, and teaching every child that they can experience success if they start where they are and build on what they already know no matter how little that is.  Students were never allowed to not try, but the assignments may have been only three sentences.  When they or parents asked me why, I explained that I could tell if they understood the concept in three sentences and why practice something incorrectly?  Students learned that they received credit even if the work was incorrect, so long as they corrected it in their small group and made sure they understood.  When we looked at paragraphs, several were put on the overhead and students looked for what the writer had done CORRECTLY.  Then suggestions were made for improvement.  My students soon learned to always try, that they too could be successful as they had also done something correctly on the paragraph, and then I could turn them loose more often to look at each other's work.  They were overheard in the lunchroom talking about which answer or paragraph they liked best!

The difference was in their belief.  They believed that they could, they always tried no matter what, and success was measured by what they learned and how they improved.  I still believe that my students' high scores on state tests were because they believed in their own ability to improve and were determined to show that on state tests.  They didn't opt out for the year, even if they opted out once in a while like every student. This is why I am so sad that veteran teachers are leaving teaching in droves, because now who will mentor the young teachers in how to get students to be successful? 

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M.P. Ossa, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer, ESL/TEFL Instructor

bookM.A. from Chapman University

calendarEducator since 2008

write5,667 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

High-need schools, formerly called "high risk" schools are educational institutions whose salient trait is their lack of social support systems, government support, and financial resources. They are also schools that project a majority of students who also lack these main needs at home, often coming from dysfunctional families where crime, drugs, and overall neglect often take place.

The issues concerning high-need schools are often resolved with a combination of

  • concerned parents
  • community advocates
  • district resources
  • government agency resources
  • (The entire section contains 2 answers and 838 words.)

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arjun | Student

The students should be taught honestly and lightly. It is the best saying by a man of wisdom.'Let the devotees first talk." Institutions as well as teachers are for studentds. They should be talk smoothly without any danger. The teacher should make every thing more simple and more attractive.