20 Rural Schools Launch Student Success Systems

Updates from the GRAD Partnership for Student Success

November 25, 2022 |
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Rural Schools Collaborative is a proud partner of the new GRAD Partnership for Student Success, supported by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. This collaborative initiative brings together 9 national organizations to help all students reach post-secondary success.

AIR
BARR
Carnegie Foundation
Everyone Graduates Center
NCLD
Rural Schools Collaborative
Schott Foundation
Talent Development Secondary


As part of this effort, RSC’s Regional Hub Partners in Northern California (supported by Susan Schroth at North State Together), and in the Black Belt (supported by Annah Rogers at The University of West Alabama), are launching student success systems in 10 diverse rural schools in each region, for a total of 20 rural schools. This work is also supported by our Arizona Regional Hub (Melissa Sadorf of the Arizona Rural Schools Association), to explore current and future student success efforts in rural schools in the Southwest. This initial 20 school cohort officially launched in November of 2022, and each school will pilot and iterate on Student Success Systems through June of 2024:

Northern California Cohort:

  • Anderson High School - Shasta College TRIO
  • Burney Junior Senior High School
  • Dunsmuir High School
  • Fall River Junior Senior High School
  • Gateway to College at Shasta College
  • Red Bluff High School
  • Redding School of the Arts
  • Southern Trinity High School
  • Tulelake High School
  • West Valley Early College High School – Shasta College TRIO

Black Belt Cohort (Alabama & Mississippi)

  • Demopolis High School
  • Hale County High School
  • Greensboro High School
  • University Charter School
  • Pickens County High School
  • Southeast Lauderdale High School
  • Francis Marion School
  • Sumter Central High School
  • Kemper County High School
  • A.L. Johnson High School
Fall River High School 9th Graders, in Fall River Mills, Northern California. Fall River High School is one of 20 rural schools participating in the GRAD Partnership cohort.
Fall River High School 9th Graders, in Fall River Mills, Northern California. Fall River High School is one of 20 rural schools participating in the GRAD Partnership cohort.

Student Success Systems are not necessarily new concepts - they are a holistic framework pulling ideas from Early Warning Systems, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and other intervention models. This is an excellent framework to build upon what schools are already doing to address learning loss, mental health, behavior, attendance, or course performance. These interventions often focus on the transition years between 8th and 9th grade, but are applicable across all ages and learners. (Learn more about the definition and components of a Student Success System here).

So why this holistic, collaborative model? Research now shows that a critical component of this work is shared, student-centered mindsets, and student connectedness and belonging at school. This makes all the sense in the world – if students feel like they are accepted and enjoy school, they’ll want to be there, they’ll attend, they’ll do better in classes, and they’ll be more likely to graduate.

And, small and rural schools, especially those serving additional historically disadvantaged students, are often overshadowed by large school districts with more resources and staff. But even just a single caring adult can pilot a Student Success System - starting small and building on what works.

“Rural and small schools are incredibly innovative and nimble, and they especially shine when it comes to student relationships,” says Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, RSC Executive Director. “Talk to any rural educator, and they’ll know every single student, and likely the student’s family, on both a personal and academic level. This means small schools really have a leg up in building Student Success Systems”.

“Rural and small schools are incredibly innovative and nimble, and they especially shine when it comes to student relationships. This means small schools have a leg up in building Student Success Systems.”

In the coming months, Rural Schools Collaborative will be celebrating these stories, both successes and challenges, from this cohort of 20 rural high schools in the Black Belt and far Northern California regions, all intentionally working towards student success. We invite you to follow along with these stories, and share ideas on how the broader community can support schools and efforts to ensure our students graduate ready for success.

For more information on Student Success Systems, check out the GRAD Partnership resource page or join our monthly Community of Practice events. Know of a small or rural school utilizing Student Success Systems? We’d love to hear from you at: info@ruralschoolscollaborative.org

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