Tagged “Graduation Requirements”

Working Together to Close Achievement Gap

Abington School District, Pa.

The Abington School District in Pennsylvania is one that truly understands the importance of closing the achievement gap with minority, low-income, and special education students through significant parent involvement and unique initiatives and practices.

The Abington Community Taskforce has helped create programs like the Abington Community Celebration, which raised more than $100,000 to fund youth-oriented activities and has helped the district excel in academic programs. All elementary schools have exceeded their adequate yearly progress goals, and over 90 percent of Abington's graduating classes pursue higher education, earning over $5 million in scholarships.

Abington School District is a four-time recipient of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

All Sectors Play A Role in Youth Development

Missoula, Mont.

From the academic sector to the financial and environmental sectors, every part of Missoula, Mont., is dedicated to serving its youth population. Programs like Child Care Resources, the Forest Service, and Graduation Matters Missoula speak to the community's dedication.

  • Child Care Resources provides scholarships for low-income youth to participate in fee-based programs.
  • The Forest Service allows students to learn about the wilderness and take advantage of its proximity to the community.
  • Graduation Matters Missoula is a recent partnership whose focus is to ensure that the whole community plays a role in keeping students in school. Its goal is to achieve a 100 percent graduation rate through promoting academic reentry or completing General Education Development requirements.

Accessibility to all of these programs is a strong priority, and Missoula is continuing to address the needs of its youth through community collaboration. In recognition of its commitment to youth, Missoula is a winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Promoting Community Engagement through Youth Involvment

Honolulu, Hawaii

Ranked as one of the best places to live, Honolulu, Hawaii, is fully committed to serving its youth population. The city hosts programs such as YouthBuild Honolulu, a project aimed at motivating young and expectant parents to become self-sufficient, and 21st Century Ahupua'a Ambassadors Program, an initiative that encourages students to learn and be proactive about creating a sustainable environment.

The city provides local government support for the Keiki (Child) Caucus, a partnership focused on identifying and recommending legislation about issues that affect youth and their families. These programs are specific examples of inspiring practices Honolulu is using to spread the importance of community engagement among a wide range of individuals and speaks to why the city is a three-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

High School Overcomes Poverty and Unemployment Issues in Stride

Columbus Unified High School, Columbus, Kans.

"We're here and committed to our school" is the rallying cry at Columbus Unified High School in Columbus, Kans. Because the poverty (45 percent) and unemployment (25 percent) rates are obstacles in the community, Principal Steven Jameson understands how important it is for his students to graduate high school with strong skills in reading, writing, and math.

Because the school is determined to give students a home away from home that provides endless motivation, support, and guidance, seminar teachers become personal adult advocates for each student to ensure that they reach their goals before and after graduation. The MetLife Foundation and whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals recognized Columbus Unified High School as a 2011 Breakthrough School.

Oakland Transforms into a Full-Service Community School District

Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, Calif.

Committed to fulfilling the vision of having all students graduate from high school, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has started a four-phase effort to transition into a full-service community school district that supports the unique needs of each child.

Determined to see that each student is in a safe, healthy, and supportive school with high-quality and effective instruction and prepared for success in college and future employment, California's OUSD believes that it is 100 percent necessary to have a high-quality instructional core, as well as student and family support services accessible to all students. The growing community-wide culture of a shared purpose and relational accountability has also helped promote the creation of a five-year strategic plan to reach these goals.

Named the most improved urban school district in California, OUSD will continue to make incredible strides in its mission to transform the district into one that truly serves the whole child.

Underserved Students Realize Dreams of College

Bronx Preparatory Charter School, Bronx, N.Y.

Bronx Preparatory Charter School in New York prepares underserved middle and high school students for higher education, civic involvement, and lifelong success by holding high expectations and providing a caring, structured environment.

The school's 700 students in grades 5–12 spend 50 percent more time in school than their peers in traditional public schools, and school heavily emphasizes math and literacy. Middle school students attend up to two hours each in math and English daily and are introduced to high school-level content in 8th grade. During the 11th and 12th grades, students can take college-level courses.

College is integrated into every aspect at Bronx Prep, with rooms named after colleges and universities and teachers constantly referring to students' future higher education. Consistent science, social studies, physical education, and artistic block scheduling provide a well-rounded education. Middle and high school students spend one hour a day, four days a week participating in classes such as piano, violin, dance, and drama. One hundred percent of the school's first three high school graduating classes were admitted to four-year colleges.

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