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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.