“There’s a way to do it better—-find it.”
Thomas A. Edison
The strategy used at Lambert High School is called Student Success Teams. Our principal has set us up with a focus or emphasis on establishing relationships with students which is always a great idea. Positive relationships are the key to success when dealing with people! We divide our students (almost 3,000 of them) into five equal groups alphabetically according to their last names. An assistant principal and counselor are assigned or are the leaders of each Student Success Team. We involve teachers, parents, our graduation coach or others as needed to help our students as needed. If and when a student struggles, the Student Success Team intervenes providing the needed help or support. Together we are stronger and able to find resolutions to fix problems.
As an assistant principal, I manage and/or monitor discipline, attendance, grades and any other area ensuring my students have a successful year. Yes I said each year! One reason this design is successful is having these students assigned to the same assistant principal and counselor all four years of high school. We really get to know the kids which helps us work together successfully throughout their high school career.
At the end of each grading period, we run reports from our student information system as a process to monitor our students. If we determine a student needs assistance, the counselor and I have a meeting with the student to determine next steps. This design is a win..win for our students! Of course teachers recommend students to the Student Success Team as needed throughout the year so running the reports is a preventative measure preventing students from “falling through the cracks.”
Some large high schools divide students by grades, boys/girls and other similar ways. How are you designed for success at your school? It would be great to hear from other large high school folks! We are always looking to improve because continuous improvement rules the day for all.
“Learning organizations are fast, focused, flexible, friendly and fun. To promote these characteristics they are far more likely to be organized into teams than in old-fashioned hierarchies.”
–Moss Kanter, “Mastering Changes” in Learning Organization: Developing Cultures for Tomorrow’s Workplace (1995)
“People who collaborate learn from each other and create synergy. That is why learning organizations are made up of teams that share a common purpose. Organizations need togetherness to get things done and to encourage the exploration essential to improvement.”
–Handy, “Managing the Dream” in Learning Organizations: Developing Cultures for Tomorrow’s Workplace (1995)