Some students do not respond to traditional ways of teaching. Nonetheless, school boards and communities hold teachers and schools accountable for making sure students learn. As a result, many schools develop ways to help under-performing students succeed in school. The most common are credit recovery, small-group instruction, community involvement and mentoring.
Credit recovery courses allow students to receive credit for classes that they previously failed. Summer school, probably the most traditional approach, is an example of credit recovery. In addition, both elementary and secondary schools, may implement Saturday school, after-school programs, intercessions and online classes for credit recovery. Since students have already spent the required hours of seat time to earn credit for a course, credit recovery allows students to focus on learning the standards.
Community and School Collaborations
Many students do not do well in school because their basic needs are not met. Some schools strive to serve all of a child's needs. These schools partner with families and collaborate with health and social service providers to boost student achievement, support families and strengthen communities. By providing food banks, family resource centers, dental services and health services, schools attempt to meet the mental, physical and emotional needs of under-performing students.
Some schools require teachers or teaching paraprofessionals to use small-group and one-on-one instruction to assist under-performing students. For students who show signs of failing, these strategies provide extra practice and more focused skill building. Educators may choose to pull out students during class, or offer tutoring after school. During small-group instruction, individual students have more opportunities to respond and process the information, and teachers can give immediate feedback to struggling learners.
Some schools offer mentoring programs to support under-performing students. Mentors may be peers, older students or local seniors, and commit themselves to helping students with their school work and spending quality time with them. Since a mentoring relationship is one that is established on trust and respect, it often produces positive results in students who have lost interest in school, or feel unconnected with it. By teaching appropriate social and academic skills, mentors provide guidance and support to children who do not reach their academic potential.
- Coalition for Community Schools:What is a Community School?
- Edutopia; Ten Tips for Engaging Underperforming Students
- Big Sister Association of Greater Boston; Making a Difference in Schools The Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring Impact Study
- North American Council for Online Learning; Using Online Learning for At Risk Students and Credit Recovery
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images