In Kansas City, the graduation rate is below the national average. City Year is proud to partner with public schools in Kansas City to address the needs of students who are at-risk of falling behind their peers and potentially dropping out of school. Starting in August 2015, City Year is excited to work with principals and teachers in Kansas City to improve the city’s graduation pipeline by deploying highly-skilled City Year AmeriCorps members to work with struggling students.

Approach

Research indicates that students are four times more likely to drop out/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 Kansas City has partnered with Kansas City, MO schools to place our AmeriCorps, all between the ages of 17-24, in two 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 how 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 work closely with teachers to identify learning gaps and help differentiate instruction through one-on-one tutoring for students who need it most. 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.