Student success refers to a classroom that has the resources to support a socially & culturally diverse population. @CISofHR Site Coordinator's goal is to expose their students to diverse ideas as means of enhancing learning! #studentsuccess
Jackie was a student who was extremely disruptive while at school. She was constantly being removed from class because of disruptions, outburst, and back and forth dialogues with her teachers and figures of authority. Even when a teacher would address other students she would interrupt and respond on behalf of the student.
While many people tried their best to avoid her at all cost and to avoid the controversy that they assumed would accompany her, I was intrigued and my interest was piqued. Something about this seemed to come from a place of pain, trauma, or a cry for attention.
At first, I had no rapport with her, so instead of just jumping right out with the question, I would try to have positive interactions with her and try to string together a couple positive interactions. When talking to her, I would let her do most of the talking. I took interest in her interest and asked about what shows she liked and what music she liked. This indirectly helped me learn more about her.
It took a few months, but once we had a strong enough rapport, I asked her about her passionate interactions with others. This sparked a conversation about how she had been bullied very harshly throughout her middle school years.
She said that she used to be a very nice and quiet young lady. She said she had adapted this personality and persona to protect herself. She said she refused to be a rug and refused to be silenced again. I decided to meet with her every two weeks, one on one, to talk about her experiences with bullying. Over the next few months, we talked about how bullying made her feel, how it impacted her demeanor and her mindset, and how it caused her to change over time. She even said that bullying made her a defender of people now, because she started standing up for anyone she perceived was being targeted, challenged, or verbally/physically attacked. It was amazing to realize that so many misperceived her standing up for herself, and others, as outright disobedience and defiance.
At some point, we arrived at a place where she could see how she was becoming the very thing that once tormented her. We also talked about not always having to be on the offensive and not having to always challenge everyone who may not agree with her opinion or her way of doing things. I told her she was very brave and had a lot of courage for battling through the saga of bullying she had once faced. I also complimented her ability to stand up for herself now. I told her those character traits were fine and honorable, but her delivery was giving people the wrong idea.
Since I met her three years ago, she has been working effortlessly to find a balance between not being a rug to bullies while not becoming a bully herself. I believe this year she finally got to a place where she found perfect balance. A fellow student was posting negative things about her and trying to get a response from her on social media. Another student brought this story to my attention, which prompted me to ask Jackie if she was okay and how she was handling everything. Her response to that question was she ignored the student's efforts and would continue to do so. I applauded her growth and told her that it looked fantastic on her. Though it took time, It was great to see her get to a place where she didn't have to entertain or acknowledge someone attempting to bully her. It was also amazing to see her determine when she needed to stand up for herself and when it was best to just ignore. I am extremely proud of her. She said she felt empowered and in control. She thinks that I played a great part in her development and growth, however, I felt that the person she had become already existed in her, I just helped her see it for herself.
Malcolm E. Jones
Booker T. Washington High School Site Coordinator
Student success is defined as the processes that are most likely to lead to positive student outcomes. @CISofHR 's wrap around approach delivers just that! #studentsuccess
Sunset joined the Communities In Schools of Hampton Roads program her sophomore year at Hampton High School. She was a chronic walker of the halls, lacked motivation and frequently skipped the majority of her classes. Before her introduction to CISofHR, Sunset lacked direction and purpose and had a 1.8 GPA. She was frequently in the dean's office or placed in in-school-suspension for skipping. When she was connected with her first CISofHR site coordinator, she began to realize that the world was not against her and she had a trusted adult in her corner. The CISofHR office became her safe haven, a place where she would go to get away when the stresses of school was too much. It was in the office that she began to share the stories of trauma that she had experienced in her adolescence such as domestic violence and suicidal ideations. The site coordinator paired her with a CISofHR board member as a mentor with a similar story. Her involvement with CISofHR also included mental health support, group support, and academic support. Sunset's classroom attendance increased, her negative behaviors decreased and she eventually made the honor roll. Sunset transformed from being in the dean's office for skipping to being on the Dean's List for good grades. Sunset graduated in 2020 with a 3.8 GPA and was awarded a full academic scholarship to a local college a few hours from Hampton. She now FaceTimes her CISofHR site coordinator and CISofHR board member mentor regularly with updates. Sunset's story makes me as a site coordinator realize that my role is crucially important for students to progress academically and emotionally through school. We as site coordinators do whatever it takes to ensure all kids have the relationships, support, and resources to thrive in and beyond the classroom.
Hampton High School Site Coordinator
Student success may be best defined as a holistic phenomenon that embraces the multiple dimensions of personal development @cisofhr is doing just that! #studentsuccess
When I first met Tyuan Terry, an 8th grader at Ruffner Academy, I noticed that he was one student that I would always see in the hallways. He was a student that had such a presence about him that many teachers and students would not bother him. He would spend time roaming the school when he was bored in class. When we first met, I asked him why he was in the halls and asked if I could help him. I was not sure he believed that I could be of assistance. However, we ended up talking in my office anyway. Over time he would come to my office and eventually would join my caseload. The year before I took his case, he had been suspended five times and had low grades in his classes, with a D in math. He also had a history of missing some days of school. The missing days were due to issues at home and a lack of a way to get to school. I knew that it would be a difficult time making a complete change, but I wanted to prove that anything would be possible for him if he put in the work. We sat down and had a heart to heart about all the issues that were preventing him from being successful, issues as teachers, medication, and family. Over that school year, I started seeing a change in his character after he attended social lunch groups with me. He was a leader and worked with other students to show them right from wrong. It was amazing to see him be a force for change and even encouraging others to respect other teachers and school rules. He decreased the amount of time he roamed the halls. We noticed his grades were improving. By the end of the year, Tyuan became one of the well-known student leaders at school. He improved and had only been suspended once in the whole school year. That's an improvement. He is one of my favorite success stories because there were so many obstacles that could have hindered his success, but he persevered. He was so happy when he graduated from middle school, and he thanked me for being there for him during the school year. I will never forget Tyuan Terry, nor will I forget the potential that he has.
Mr. Joseph Jones
Ruffner Academy Site Coordinator
Every story is unique. That’s why we work closely with our students to understand their particular interests, needs, and aspirations. Check out our new series #StudentSuccessStories for snapshots of real students who have achieved in life with the help of #CISofHR
Estrella (Star) Martinez joined the Communities In Schools program her senior year at Granby High School. She was a chronic hall walker, lacked motivation, skipped majority of her classes and had no respect for authority figures. Before her introduction to CISofHR, Star lacked direction and her GPA fell to a 0.7. She was constantly being placed in in-school-suspension for skipping or being disrespectful. When she was paired with her CISofHR site coordinator, she began to realize that the world was not against her and she has a trusted adult in her corner. The CISofHR office became her safe haven, a place where she could go to get away when the stresses of school was too much. It was in the office that she began to share the stories of her life and her traumatic experiences. The site coordinator became her mentor along with pairing her with a peer support group in the school. Her involvement with CISofHR also included mental health support, group support, and academic support. Star's behaviors improved and she became more motivated. During school closure, she became depressed because of the overwhelming workload that consisted of makeup work and current work. She had it made up in her mind that she was going to give up. Her site coordinator began to call her daily and stay up late to tutor her and help her complete all of her work. Star saw that there was someone who refused to give up on her, and that caused her not to give up on herself. She completed all of the makeup work and graduated in 2020 with a 1.0 GPA. Star now keeps in contact with her site coordinator daily with her positive progress. She is proud of herself for not giving up and she now has a full time job doing what she enjoys. It is student success stories like this that makes me as a site coordinator realize that my role is exceptionally important for students to progress academically and emotionally. We as site coordinators do whatever it takes to ensure all kids have the relationships, support, and resources to thrive in and beyond the classroom.
Breona Pritchett, MSW, QMHP-C
Granby High School Site Coordinator
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