Our featured “Extreme School” is one of the nation’s largest Title 1 elementary schools in the country. At one time, it had 2,000 students. Today, the district helped reduce the student load to “only” 1,000 students. Many of the students come from a community of poor and immigrant families. Almost none speak English when they arrive.
How does this school perform?
THE CHALLENGES TO SUCCESS:
The two biggest challenges for academic success are: 1) poverty and 2) non- English speaking students. This school has BOTH issues. Most of the school’s nearly 1,000 students come from immigrant Central American and Korean families. The data shows over 90 percent of the students were living below the poverty level, and ALL were from immigrant families, with a language other than English as a first language. You think your school has ELL issues? This school would rank right up near the top in ALL challenges.
If this were your school, how would you react? Would you find another school to work at, one less challenging? Or, could you honestly say you would do everything possible to make miracles happen at this school? After all, teaching is easy. Teaching well is hard.
HOW DID THEY MAKE MIRACLES HAPPEN?
The story is about one amazing Title 1 teacher who made a difference in the entire school. He changed the culture and changed the lives of thousands along the way.
Today, the school staff is not perfect, but pretty amazing. First, the staff knows there are no excuses for underperforming students. The staff KNOWS that every kid can achieve.
How do they know that? Read more