Parent Resource Guide
During the 2019-2020 school year, there will be a plan dedicated to assisting “At Risk Students” entitled, Collaborating For Success! A committee has been formed, and we are working together in an effort of creating a team that focuses on effective strategies that will assist all diverse learners in the classroom here at Burns Middle School. The mission of this committee will be to ensure that administration, teachers, and parents are working side by side, creatively and effectively implementing strategies for success with all learners.
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Our philosophy is one of total commitment to educational excellence. Our committee is completely dedicated to assisting at-risk students with soaring beyond academic expectations. We are seeking classroom improvements based on reliable research, and student background information. It is the duty of this school to offer every student the opportunity for maximum growth, in a climate where they feel welcomed and respected.
So what is an At-Risk Student?
An at-risk student is a student who requires temporary, or ongoing intervention in order to succeed academically. Characteristics of at-risk students include the following:
- multiple office referrals
- family or community environments
- socioeconomic status
Each of these factors can cause students to struggle academically, however, we believe that with proper research based strategies and parent-teacher collaboration, at-risk students do not have to struggle based on these factors. Our committee believes that with parental support, and a positive school experience, that each student can receive a quality education that will prepare them for transitions and the future. With positive teacher-parent collaboration, we can face these factors head on and implement strategies for change that will assist these learners with academic improvement and success.
Challenges of At-Risk Students
While we remain optimistic of this committee’s dedication to improvement for at risk students in the classroom here at Burns, we also know that there are challenges that these learners will face. We want all parents to be aware that because all students learn differently, that differentiated strategies will be implemented in order to see students gaining strides. Some challenges faced may include:
- emotional or behavioral problems,
- low academic performance,
- showing a lack of interest for academics
- expressing a disconnection from the school environment (Sagor, 2004)
As stated earlier there are various challenges that these learners face, keep in mind that often times when students struggle with instruction, they often tend to act out with unacceptable behavior to mask struggles with academics. Our committee is dedicated to bridging this gap by detecting the signs as early as possible, and implementing effective strategies along with you, the parent, to assure your child’s success in the classroom.
So how will our teachers face these challenges in the inclusive classroom setting?
Through effective instructional planning and creative strategies, our committee believe in the following: All students are able to learn when given understanding, appropriate support, and instruction implemented to fit their learning needs. Other important factors for our inclusion teachers include, screening, process monitoring, diagnosis, and a final outcome evaluating effectiveness of instruction for meeting goals (Sagor, 2004). Our general education teachers will work closely with our inclusive teachers to build student self-esteem, and instructional practices that will lead to excellence for all at-risk students. Appropriate IEP’s and behavioral plans will be implemented accordingly based on students’ needs.
Here are some things that parents of at-risk students can do?
- Engage in available parent focused interventions
- Actively engage in both school and community activities
- Build a solid parent-teacher collaboration
- Learn new research based strategies
- Engage in parenting education classes
- Involve At-Risk child in extracurricular activities
- Implement positive communication and conflict resolution skills at home
Each of these factors will play a crucial role in assisting teachers and staff in the classroom with assuring the necessary steps for at-risk students achieving academic success. Other available resources include the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services which offers early intervention, children and vocational services, and rehabilitation technology services (http://www.rehab.alabama.gov/).
Other valuable online resources
- Center for parent and family-well being
This online resource assists parents with learning at home first. Parents serve as a child’s first teacher. Home is where children first began to learn and trust. This online service provides parental guidance and reassurance, as the first role model in a child’s life. This service helps parents in building children’s self-esteem. The vision of this online site is to assist parents and community organizations with valuable information, tools and other needed resources to ensure all children grow up in a stable, nurturing and safe home. For more information on this resource follow the link provided. https://childrenatrisk.org/parenting/
- AT Risk Youth Resources: Culture and Youth Services
This online resource provides parents with helpful tips and resources for at-risk students who may have behavioral issues. Award winning strategies with proven success has been helping families of at-risk children since 1986. Because of this sacrifice at-risk students now have a better chance of reaching their full potential and becoming law-abiding citizens, with a bright future, and sense of respect. For more information follow the link provided. http://cultureandyouth.org/at-risk-youth/resources-at-risk-youth/at-risk-youth-resources/
- The four keys to helping at risk kids
This online resource focuses on four key factors 1. Sustaining caring relationships, 2. Realistic pathways, 3. Engaging community and school settings, and 4. Reachable goals. This online resource also assists with information that is vital for social and emotional learning. These research based factors will definitely be beneficial student success academically. Others tips such as retesting, internet based learning, and assessments are available for parents and teachers of at risk students. For more information follow the link provided. https://www.edutopia.org/strategies-help-at-risk-students
- The Center for Parent Information and resources
This online resource and all its materials have been archived for Parent Centers around the country to help them provide support and services to the families of at-risk students. This online resource is a user-centered parent resource that was designed to create products and services that increase Parent Centers’ knowledge and capacity in specific areas for at-risk students. This is a great online resource for parents. For further information and tips follow the link provided. https://www.parentcenterhub.org/whatiscpir/
- Restore Troubled Teens
Troubled teens are “at risk children” whose life has gotten out of control; they may be using drugs and alcohol, acting out in defiance, running away, and have dropped out of school. This online service provides available information and tips for assisting those at-risk. There are literally thousands of factors that would create an “at-risk-youth”. If your child is struggling and you are seeking affordable treatment, call the Family Advocates. They can help. Contact 866-492-9215 for more information or follow the link provided. http://www.restoretroubledteens.com/At-Risk-Youth-Treatment-Programs/Mobile-Alabama-AL/.
Bridging It All Together
Our committee, serves as a voice for at-risk learners. All opportunities for learning will be implemented with academic success in mind. We believe that an individual’s unique skills and needs must be nurtured. Students will learn best, when instruction is both relevant and meaningful. Here at Burn’s Middle School, our Collaborating For Success committee will uphold the needs of these learners with integrity and respect. We also desire student outcomes that will be best achieved through supportive interaction in the home and community setting. Clearly defined expectations will be set in an effort of attaining achievable levels that foster student success. Together we will create a school setting for learning and promoting productive citizens for the future.
- Donnelly, Margarita (1987). At-Risk Students (ERIC Identifier: ED292172).ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management Eugene OR. Retrieved July 26, 2019, from http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-928/risk.htm
- Sagor,R. (2004). At-Risk Students: Reaching and Teaching Them. Eye on Education, Inc.
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