ERIC Number: ED429035
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Every Child a Promise: How One School Meets the Needs of a Challenging Population or What Can You Do While You Wait for Reform.
Okey, Ted N.
This paper explores the plight of at-risk youth in traditional schools and recommends strategies for addressing their unique needs, explaining the paths of conflict they experience in traditional schools. Three factors contribute to the increasing number of at-risk students: lack of protected childhoods, lack of a mature sense of the future, and lack of belief in education's value in improving one's life. Three paths of conflict lead to dropping out: conflict enters the home, conflict occurs between the child and the school, and at-risk youth are rejected by their positive peers. By middle school, the conflict is punishing, and dropping out reduces conflict. Teachers and schools must believe that all students can learn and deserve the best education. Small initiatives can help make change. The paper describes several programs at one middle school. "Positive Attitude Spells Success" is an after-school program for habitual disrupters that focuses on core classes and behavior control. "Zeroes Are Not Permitted" adds 2 hours to the school day for students who fall behind in their work. A Saturday program helps avoid suspending students for minor infractions, sending them instead to Saturday school that emphasizes behavior. "The Challenge Core" program provides small class size, team teaching, active learning, and outdoor experiences to students who do not cause major problems but fail multiple classes. Attachments include information on the programs and presentation overheads. (SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Middle School Association (25th, Denver, CO, November 1998).