Principal Mia Williams Named Seattle Public Schools’ Principal of the Year
Aki Kurose Middle School’s Principal Mia Williams has been named Seattle Public Schools’ Principal of the Year. Williams has had a phenomenal impact on the school in her time as principal, fostering a close-knit sense of community and working determinedly to implement new policies that encourage better attendance and a more positive learning environment for the students.
Spotlight on South High School in Columbus
South High, set in a community that is beset by high crime rates, has long suffered from a reputation of low achievement levels. But with the help of Diplomas Now, and Principal Colon Lewis’ leadership, more parents and community volunteers are excited to spend time at the school and with the students.
Only the school’s ninth-graders are participating in Diplomas Now this school year. The results so far have been overwhelmingly positive, said Lewis, who added that the ninth-graders have the highest attendance rates and the lowest amount of behavior issues.
Diplomas Now Joins Sandy Relief
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York, the Diplomas Now team at Sheepshead Bay High School worked with the school community to meet the needs of students affected by the storm. Communities In Schools site coordinator Liz Belton created a needs assessment tool as well as a resource guide for students based on New York City’s relief services. Talent Development Secondary’s School Transformation Facilitator Jessica Sasko coordinated an effort to conduct the school-wide needs assessment, collaborating with guidance counselors, teachers, Belton and City Year corps members, led by program manager Chris Pellegrino.
Report Card Mentoring Conferences Inspire Students to Stay on Track
At Detroit Collegiate Prep High School, students recently donned blue blazers, white shirts and ties to talk with 24 business professionals about first-quarter grades, analyze students’ course performance and set goals. The community leaders also gave students encouraging advice to advance their academic and career goals. This popular practice – quarterly report card conferences – is a Talent Development Secondary best practice, and across the country, community leaders are coming into Diplomas Now schools to meet with students one-on-one to review report cards with them.
Diplomas Now Earns Recognition as a Together for Tomorrow Challenge Winner
The U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service have recognized Diplomas Now in New York and the United Way of New York City as a Together for Tomorrow (TFT) Challenge winner for the 2012-2013 school year! Together for Tomorrow is a joint initiative of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships together with the DOE and CNCS. The TFT Challenge aims to better connect schools with exceptional community organizations to improve struggling schools. As an honoree, Diplomas Now has demonstrated the strength of its initiatives and will stand as a successful example to others committed to education reform. To read more, click here.
Boston’s Dever-McCormack Middle School Dancing to Perfect Attendance
Dever-McCormack’s teachers, administrators and the Diplomas Now team boosted students’ enthusiasm for being at school by sponsoring the AttenDANCE as an incentive for kids who attended school at least 95 percent of the time during the second term, which spanned about 45 school days. More than 200 sixth-graders attended the school’s first AttenDANCE event in January.
Diplomas Now School Wins National 2011 Get Schooled Fall Attendance Challenge
Diplomas Now congratulates partner Aki Kurose Middle School in Seattle, WA for winning the national title in the 2011 Get Schooled Fall Attendance Challenge. Aki Kurose led the pack of nearly 80,000 students at 73 schools in 17 states this fall and through the challenge, its students improved their attendance by a remarkable 3.7 percent.
Communities In Schools, City Year Lead Camping Trip for Diplomas Now Students
Nine students at Browne Junior High School in Washington, DC, enjoyed a special treat thanks to Diplomas Now partners Communities In Schools and City Year. Earlier this summer, CIS site coordinator Karen Peters and three City Year corps members took nine 7th grade girls on a camping trip to Pocahontas State Park, more than two hours away in Richmond, Va.
Walter L. Cohen High School
With a television camera and nearly 40 journalists watching, the Diplomas Now team at Walter L. Cohen High School commenced its weekly meeting to discuss at-risk ninth graders. The first student was struggling with all three indicators—attendance, behavior and course failure—and the principal, teachers and social worker discussed what would turn him around. Another student had been on his best behavior for a month, until an episode earlier in the week. A third had just received a “most improved” accolade but, at 17, still had few credits toward graduation.