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An alternative approach to education has long existed, but in the last decade, collaborations between non-profit student-support organizations and public schools have fostered a model called "Last-Chance Schools" with remarkable success among the population served: high-school students who dropped out, often for reasons related to economic disadvantages, unaddressed mental health challenges, violence and unstable home lives. As several Boston charter schools demonstrate with "last-chance" programs, though, use of social-emotional learning, conflict-mediation instead of zero-tolerance discipline, and flexible curricula based on "what you know," has helped over 65% of their students graduate -- with 70% going on to college -- and boasts one of the lowest suspension rates in Massachusetts.

The Hechinger Report

Natalie Gross

July 5, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The Holberton School, a San Francisco "start-up" university with a two-year curriculum, aims to provide an affordable and estimable computer science education while removing barriers to knowledge -- age, gender, ethnicity, past professional life -- typically confronted by minority and low-income students across the nation. By "teaching the population frozen out of the internet age" Holberton demonstrates how altered admissions processes and low-cost tuition plans imbue the tech sector's workforce with a more diverse array of qualified candidates.

The New York Times

Katie Benner

June 7, 2017

San Francisco, California, United States

Chehalis had such a low college admissions and graduation rate that the Washington county was not competitive in the midst of the technology jobs in the state. The Chehalis school district has teamed up with the Chehalis Foundation, a non-profit that fundraises for schools, and has helped the district to purchase new technology, offer free classes, and fund student counseling services. The district succeeded in changing the social norms that a college education wasn’t necessary, by forming partnerships with community colleges and advocating for higher education through social events.

The Seattle Times

Katherine Long

June 2, 2017

Chehalis , Washington, United States

Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood with the highest poverty levels, struggles to keep kids in school from engaging with gangs and crime to make money for themselves and their families. But College Bound Dorchester (CBD) is fast rewriting the solution to high drop out and recidivism rates, paying ex-offenders a weekly stipend to enroll in and complete a diploma program and proceed to (and through) college. With "core influencers" -- ex-gang members who have "left behind their troubled pasts" -- as role models in the community, CBD emulates similar programs in Chicago and Baltimore, and studies show the initiative is working.

CityLab

Andrew Zaleski

June 2, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Hopeworks 'N Camden prepares teens for jobs in Camden, NJ. through programs aimed to address any previous childhood trauma or socioeconomic stresses. It was characterized by set backs but the program is proving to set to provide the next generation with employable skills.

The Philadelphia Citizen

Sarah Jordan

May 25, 2017

Camden, New Jersey, United States

Milwaukee's voucher program serves some 28,000 students. While not all of them are at the level the need to be, they act as a net making sure the children don't fall through the cracks.

NPR

Claudio Sanchez

May 19, 2017

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Part 3 of 3 in Series "The Social Wall: Universal Lessons in Berlin's Attempt to Integrate Schools" - A progressive funding model has been a boon to schools in Berlin’s poorer neighborhoods, which receive a baseline of staff and resources. But schools in poorer neighborhoods face a myriad of struggles that additional resources haven’t been able to quell, due to the deep socioeconomic disparities between the home neighborhoods of wealthy and poor students. However, one elementary school seems to have succeeded in desegregating students by offering a choice of academic tracks that, in the long run, better diversify classrooms.

Keystone Crossroads

Kevin McCorry

May 6, 2017

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Part 2 of 3 in Series "The Social Wall: Universal Lessons in Berlin's Attempt to Integrate Schools" - A progressive funding model has been a boon to schools in Berlin’s poorer neighborhoods, which receive a baseline of staff and resources. But schools in poorer neighborhoods face a myriad of struggles that additional resources haven’t been able to quell, due to the deep socioeconomic disparities between the home neighborhoods of wealthy and poor students. This "social wall" lies exactly along the lines of the once physical Berlin wall and now divide the haves and have-nots.

Keystone Crossroads

Kevin McCorry

May 5, 2017

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Part 1 of 3 in Series "The Social Wall: Universal Lessons in Berlin's Attempt to Integrate Schools" - A progressive funding model has been a boon to schools in Berlin’s poorer neighborhoods, which receive a baseline of staff and resources that would make them the envy of many of their counterparts in Pennsylvania. But schools in poorer neighborhoods face a myriad of struggles that additional resources haven’t been able to quell, due to the deep socioeconomic disparities between the home neighborhoods of wealthy and poor students. This "social wall" lies exactly along the lines of the once physical Berlin wall and now divide the haves and have-nots.

Keystone Crossroads

Kevin McCorry

May 4, 2017

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

ACEs quantifies the adverse event in an individual's childhood, as a means to treat addiction. Understanding addiction as resulting from past events helps to treat these individuals through medication and developing a plan to help each patient live a sober life without medications while de-shaming and de-blaming them.

ACES Too High

Jane Ellen Stevens

May 2, 2017

United States

Mindfulness and programs, such as Math Guru, designed to address student's anxiety are being implemented in several areas as a way of combatting anxiety and helping students talk through their fears so that it doesn't impede their performance or develop into a more severe issue. Particularly, in places where anxiety and mental illness is high, these areas are looking into the benefits of student mindfulness training.

Bright

Terri Coles

April 21, 2017

Toronto, Canada

Despite comprising a third of the population, poor and minority students are drastically underrepresented in gifted education programs across the nation, even if their academic performance is on-par with their white peers. Federal Way Public Academy in Washington has re-examined its methods for finding academically talented kids and is changing the numbers.

The Seattle Times

Claudia Rowe

April 2, 2017

Federal Way, Washington, United States

In Latvia, a new software-Edurio- helps educators learn from insights that go beyond grades by surveying students, families and teachers. This allows for fast feedback and alterations to improve educational experience.

Spring Wise

Spring Wise

March 31, 2017

Riga, Latvia

Community College Students, an often overlooked demographic, often suffer from low completion rates. Colleges across the country are using a guided pathways model, emphasizing features like full time enrollment, block scheduling, and meta majors to address specific completion barriers this demographic faces.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

March 28, 2017

United States

High school drop out rates, especially for Black and Hispanic students, are alarmingly low, which led North High School in Minneapolis to rebuild the school model resulting in a dramatically increased graduation rate. Through daily advisory periods with teachers, a community of peer support, close contact between teachers and parents, and outside guidance the school has seen overwhelming improvement.

MinnPost

Erin Hinrichs

March 17, 2017

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

At Georgia State University in Atlanta, a couple of hundred dollars can often be the tipping point for if a student can graduate or not. To address this issue and to further help low income students, the college has implemented a retention grant system, providing these essential funds to get students over the finish line.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

March 17, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Violence in Chicago's South Side reached a peak in 2016, with rates at the highest since the 1990s. Community leaders are trying to de-escalate street violence through CHILL, a new program that provides scientific explanations as a means to inform and prevent conflict between teens in the area.

Washington Post

Lauren Dockett

March 15, 2017

Chicago, Illinois, United States

In Scandinavian countries where the sun doesn’t rise very high during the winter the residents are more prone to seasonal affective disorder. A town square In Norway, has mounted mirrors that create a high sun affect for two hours a day and schools are waking the students up during the wintertime with artificial lights in the classroom that mimic the light intensity cycle of a summer day.

The Atlantic

Linda Geddes

March 14, 2017

Rjukan, Norway

Flagstaff STEM City partners schools with professionals and creates kits that teachers can use to bring science into the classroom, teaching students and parents how to think critically and search out information through the application of real world skills like the culinary arts, mechanics, and childcare.

Arizona Daily Sun

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa

March 5, 2017

Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

In India gender inequality and stereotype perpetuation have been barriers to reaching equality, Gulika Reddy tried to implement changes and work with adults but these ideas were so firmly entrenched that they could not adjust to other ideology. Thus, she started 'Schools of Equality' where children receive lessons (in their regular schools) and creatively engage in analysis and discussion of gender equality issues in order to help shape more equal perspectives at an earlier age.

positive.news

Shaifali Agrawal

March 3, 2017

India

Adapting tactics that have helped persuade homeowners to use less electricity by comparing them to their neighbors, schools in Tacoma and other school districts across the nation are trying to boost student attendance with “nudge” letters. These nudges compare students’ attendance rates with school and district averages. Research has shown that the nudges reduces chronic absenteeism.

The Seattle Times

Neal Morton

March 2, 2017

Tacoma, Washington, United States

The Wildwood School District has implemented programs during and after school hours to help provide nutritious meals to students living with hunger and poverty, while also teaching the children invaluable skills such as sewing and gardening to help create better future opportunities.

The Press of Atlantic City

Diane D'Amico

February 27, 2017

Wildwood, New Jersey, United States

In low-income districts, the school nurse is often a family’s first health care provider, and the role at places like Wildwood High School and Glenwood Avenue School has expanded to provide everything from warm coats and food donations for children and their families living in hunger.

The Press of Atlantic City

Diane D'Amico

February 26, 2017

Wildwood, New Jersey, United States

In schools around the world, students are troubled by math problems, often due to existing gender and race gaps. Canadian John Mighton is working to overcome this obstacle in education through JUMP Math, or Junior Undiscovered Math Prodegies. The program is now being used by more than 150,000 in Canada and is now make math more accessible to students at all learning levels through "inquiry" and "discovery" based means.

Quartz

Jenny Anderson

February 15, 2017

Canada

Conflicts of interest have made school lunch meals the dumping ground for the cheap calories our modern agricultural system was designed to overproduce. Many programs are trying to improve school lunches, such as the Community Eligibility Provision which allows schools in high poverty areas to provide free meals to all students, allowing more money to be spent on cooks and food instead of who qualifies.

The Huffington Post

Jane Black

February 9, 2017

Huntington, West Virginia, United States

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