Monday, January 16, 2012

Grade Recovery Intervention Program

Creating a culture where failure is not allowed is certainly the first step.  Then programs must be put into place.  One size fits all approache rarely work.  In the Middle School portion of our 7-12 school, we use the Eagle Success Program when students don't do their homework.  This is held during lunch which is nice because such a large portion of our 7th and 8th graders are bus riders and many of our parents work out of town.  For our 9-12 grade students, we have the Grade Recovery Intervention Program (GRIP).  This program is designed for students who are struggling academically and are not completing homework. Individuals are assigned GRIP only if the student has a D or F.  They are also assigned a GRIP only when they are missing work.  Other programs are in place for students who have D's or F's but have completed all of their homework as these students are typically struggling more for an academic reason.  Not turning in work is a behavior and when that behavior creates a problem with grades, it is addressed.  GRIP is held after school from 3:35-4:15.  The teacher fills out a Google survey.  On that survey, it identifies the student, the assignment, the teacher assigning the GRIP, the students current grade, and any additional instructions that the GRIP coordinator needs to know.  This form takes less than one minute to fill out.  The simplicity of the form is important as teachers are very busy and as administrators, we want our teachers to use this program as needed.  The GRIP coordinator then looks at the Google spreadsheet at the end of the day.  Our GRIP coordinator is a para who comes to school 45 minutes late and stays 45 minutes after the school day.  The coordinator then assists the students in completing homework or supervises depending on the students needs.  At the conclusion of GRIP, the coordinator puts in comments to the google spreadsheet so that the teacher knows what gone finished during GRIP.  That spreadsheet is shared with the teacher so they can simply read the spreadsheet and see what got accomplished during GRIP.

GRIP is not one size fits all.  At times, we have made arrangements to serve GRIP to be in the morning.  This is only if the student doesn't need academic assistance as the coordinator will not be there to assist in at that time.  This is rare and only done for good reasons.  Additionally, as the semester comes to a conclusion, we assigned GRIP's to students who were struggling and had failed a test in which in appeared they had not studied.  The teacher and administrator worked together with the GRIP coordinator to make sure that the student studied during GRIP time and later did a re-take on the test.

It is important that the number one reason for putting a student in GRIP is a genuine concern for that student.  We want to see all students succeed.  At the same time, it is a consequence for the behavior of not turning in homework.  Therefore, this is a consequence for incomplete homework.  This consequence is greater for some students and more immediate than failing a class.  This year, we saw a significant decrease in the number of students failing courses.  At the conclusion of the first semester, we only had one student grades 9-12 fail one course.  This is down from an average of around 30 courses failed per semester.

To see examples of a GRIP form, you can look at the example in the Lunch ESP blog.  This form is very similar to that of the GRIP form.
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