During the 2014–2015 service year, 206 AmeriCorps members served just over 3,000 focus list students in 21 Chicago Public Schools, to support them in improving their attendance, behavior and performances in their English/Language Arts and Math coursework.
The goals set that City Year Chicago held our corps accountable to were aspirational and not easy to meet, much less exceed. Many of the students that City Year Chicago work with have potential to succeed, they just need the supports that a near peer role model can provide.
See how AmeriCorps members measured up agains the goals that were set!
Attendance Goal One: 25% of students with an Average Daily Attendance (ADA) of 98% or lower improve their ADA by 2 or more percentage points from start to end of year.
Attendance Goal Two: 25% of students move from below 90% Average Daily Attendance (ADA) to at or above 90% ADA from start to end of year.
While 40% of the students that City Year Chicago served improved their Average Daily Attendance, 34% of the students moved from off-track (below 90% ADA) to on-track (above 90% ADA). Not only do corps members inspire studemts to come to school early with various incentives, from sports activities, to clubs, and energetic morning greetings, they call home to see if they can get absent students to come to school and help them to get caught up on missed assignments.
Behavior Goal: 50% of students will improve in social-emotional skills from start to end of year.
City Year measures improvements in behavior by leveraging a survey that is completed by teachers at certain points during the course of the academic year. The DESSA, or Devereux Student Strengths Assessment Comprehensive System, rates the social-emotional competence, resilience, and academic success of students.
While 40% is marked improvement from mid-year results, City Year Chicago is already planning strategies to help corps members improve and meet this goal in the upcoming service year. AmeriCorps members will keep a behavior calendar to track key-benchmarks in student behavior so partner teachers will have a more comprehensive tool to track student behavior over the course of a quarter.
Also, since behavior and academic performance are often connected, City Year AmeriCorps members will see more crossover between their behavior and course performance focus lists.
Course Performance Goal One: 30% of students who begin the year with a grade of B or lower will improve by one or more letter grades by the end of the year.
Course Performance Goal Two: 40% of students who begin the year with offtrack grades of D or F will improve to grades of C or higher by the end of the year.
City Year AmeriCorps members really hit their course performance goals out of the park this academic year, getting more than 50% of their academic focus list students back on-track by the end of the year. Strong teacher partnerships and leveraging student performance data are critical in improving student performance. Weekly check-ins allow for corps member to review student performance with the teacher so that AmeriCorps members can make action plans to really help their students improve academically.
Comparing end of year data to the goals that have been set help City Year Chicago better evaluate how we improve our work in helping all students learn and succeed! Stay tuned to the City Year Chicago Blog and subscribe to City Year Chicago's eNews to get updates on City Year's performance in the schools we serve!