In Dallas, fewer than 1 in 5 students graduate college and career ready. The Dallas public schools do not have the resources to address the needs of students who are at-risk of falling behind their peers. The Dallas Independent School District has only one counselor for every 412 students.
City Year Dallas can dramatically improve the city’s graduation pipeline by deploying highly skilled City Year AmeriCorps members to serve as mentors in five Dallas public schools.
Research indicates that students are four times more likely to not graduate if they arrive at 10th grade with one of the four dropout risk indicators: poor attendance, negative behavior, failure in English, or failure in math. To improve the pipeline to graduation, City Year Dallas has partnered with the Dallas Independent School District to place our corps members, all between the ages of 17-24, in five schools to commit one-year of service providing students with one-on-one support to overcome challenges they face both in and out of school.
Through City Year's evidence-informed Whole School Whole Child (WSWC) service model, here is what we do to help students stay on track to graduate:
Attendance monitoring and engagement: Roadblocks, like lack of transportation and family challenges, make it hard for some students to get to school. That’s why we keep an eye on attendance. This involves everything from talking with students about their challenges to simple gestures such as greeting them on their way into school. And when they aren’t there on time, we’ll make phone calls home.
Social-Emotional support: We act as role models both through example and positive coaching. If students are having a hard time, we pull them aside and address their concerns, transforming their experience into a positive one.
Support in math and English: We also work closely with teachers to identify learning gaps and help differentiate instruction for students who need it most through one-on-one tutoring. We also create after school programs that help students succeed in math and English to stay on track and graduate with their peers.
We also provide support to help transform the whole school – including leading school-wide events and activities, after school programming, and in class support for teachers.