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2019-02-11

This year, all City Year Milwaukee high school teams are focusing on the same goal:  the promotion promise. The promotion promise states that 100% of the students we support through academic interventions will obtain 5 or more credits, which is the amount needed for a student to promote to the 10th grade. Studies have shown that students who do not pass the 9th grade have a higher chance of not graduating- more than any other grade in high school. This is the reason why City Year supports 9th grade students; it is a pivotal year for students in the high school space.  

The success of 9th grade students not only sets the tone for the students themselves, but it also influences the whole school. Previous data has shown that students enrolled in academic focus lists are more likely to pass the class in which they are supported by a City Year Student Success Coach. Last year, 90% of students who received small group, tutoring support at Vincent High School passed math, compared to roughly 60% of non-focus list students passing math last year. It was the extra, academic intervention times plus the strength of the student relationships created and maintained by our corps members, that helped more students pass math. This data demonstrates the power of a City Year Student Success Coach, and it encourages us to think about how we can leverage these relationships to help students succeed in all their classes. 

As the Senior Impact Manager at Harold S. Vincent High School, I have been able to witness the success of the promotion promise firsthand. Our Student Success Coaches started the school year by holding book clubs and a math foundations group that many of their focus list students participated in. Many of our students also attended Saturday school, which some of the Student Success Coaches volunteered at, in order to provide extra academic support for their students. Lastly, the Vincent team held data conferences with all students. This gave students the opportunity to sit down with someone from City Year to discuss grades, attendance, and set academic goals. These efforts, in addition to the dynamic relationships the City Year Student Success Coaches developed, lead to 93% of our focus list students passing 5 or more of their first semester classes. This puts them on track to promote to the 10th grade at the end of this semester! 

I am incredibly proud of all the work my team has done to support the 9th grade students. They all embody our team’s City Year value "Belief in the Power of Young People” through their dedication to their students and the hard work they put in every single day. 

Article written by Jessica Mirkes, Senior Impact Manager at Vincent High School

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