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Tapping into New York’s Potential

Approximately one third of New York City students did not graduate in four years in 2015. These off track students start showing signs as early as elementary school that they will have trouble graduating on time. Using an approach based on research developed by Johns Hopkins University, City Year focuses on students who have one or more of the following early warning indicators: poor attendance, disruptive behavior, and course failure in math and English.

Here’s 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.
  • Socio-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.

When a student shows just one of these indicators as early as sixth grade, they have only a 25% chance of graduating high school on time with their peers. If that student can reach the 10th grade on track and on time, he or she has a 75% chance of graduating. But there is a solution. City Year helps close the gap between what students need to succeed and what schools are designed to provide by placing near-peer mentors in New York’s most under-served schools to address specific areas that lead to students dropping out.