Multi-Prong Attack Used to Get At-Risk Seniors Up on Graduation Stage

The Bristol Warren Regional School Committee is briefed on the 'interventions' being used to help Mt. Hope High School seniors with low scores on the state-mandated assessment test graduate.

Bristol Warren Regional School Committee chair Paul Silva and members Karen Lynch and Lynn Wainwright. Credit: W.Rupp
Bristol Warren Regional School Committee chair Paul Silva and members Karen Lynch and Lynn Wainwright. Credit: W.Rupp

Dozens of Mt. Hope High School seniors are still considered at risk for not graduating under Rhode Island’s NECAP-based graduation standards for 2014 -- even though the education department continues to come up with alternatives if the seniors still can’t earn partial proficiency on that assessment test.

Guidance administrators at the high school have been coming up with their own interventions for seniors who scored a 1 – or less than partial proficiency – on the NECAP test, according to Jennifer Copeland, assistant principal for guidance.

Copeland explained those interventions to the Bristol Warren Regional School Committee at its meeting Monday night, Jan. 13. She said a three-prong program has been designed for those seniors “to get them up on stage in June.”

“We took a very proactive approach,” she said. 

In short, Copeland said, the at-risk seniors have been given after-school intervention, summer-school intervention, and additional mathematics support, including a “math lab.” 

The parents of those students also were invited to an information night to explain exactly what is being done. Students also had an opportunity to take another alternative assessment test, the Armed Services Vocation Aptitude Battery or ASVAB last Tuesday, Jan. 7. It’s one of a variety of other assessment tests approved by RIDE in place of NECAP.

Mt. Hope’s “waiver policy” has been mailed to parents already, she said. And another informational update is going out to parents on Tuesday, Jan. 14, “to set up personalized guidance appointments and assessments.”

Guidance counselors then will meet with students and families on Jan. 29-31 to review the most recent NECAP test results to be released by the RI education department on Jan. 27 and the possible next steps to graduation.

RIDE itself will be administering another NECAP test at Mt. Hope in March, she said.

“Are students feeling overwhelmed with all this?” asked School Committee Member Lynn Wainwright. 

“No, I don’t think students are ready to throw in the towel,” Copeland said. “I think it weighs more on parents than the students.”

Superintendent Melinda Thies agreed that the guidance department has done a great job explaining first to the at-risk seniors and then to the parents what they need to do to graduate. 

“The staff has been hyper-vigilant about contacting everyone,” Copeland said.

“There should be no one in June who does not know where they stand,” she said in response to a question from School Committee Member Diana Campbell.


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