Supporting School Districts
"This is exactly what we've been looking for. We really value a professional learning community, and now our whole team is speaking the same language."
- Highline Public Schools Secondary Success Manager and 2018 Freshman Success Institute attendee in Chicago
As part of our comprehensive approach to change, we ensure that the policies we fight for reach classrooms and directly support students. In 2018, we launched the Washington Freshman Success Network (FSN). The objective of the FSN is to provide school districts with the knowledge, tools, and guidance they need to more effectively implement their own Freshman Success strategies.
In 2019, we expanded our work statewide and launched the Washington Center for High School Success (CHSS) to serve more districts, more schools, and more students.
We currently partner with 5 school districts in Washington—Lake Chelan, Evergreen, Federal Way, Highline, and Pride Prep. The various forms of technical assistance and support we have provided to educators include a Freshman Success institute for six high schools in Evergreen School District, and cost-free trips for educatorsfrom each partner district during the 2018-19 school year to observe and learn from successful freshman success programs and practices in Chicago.
CHSS Freshman Success Coaches provide job-embedded coaching to a team of teachers and support staffon using data to identify, design, and effectively implement supports for students showing early off-track indicators.
Rethinking Graduation Rate Support
High school students who are on-track to graduate after 9th grade – meaning they complete a quarter of the credits needed to graduate and receive no more than one F – are four times more likely to graduate than their off-track peers. By re-focusing graduation efforts on success in 9th grade, Chicago Public Schools raised their graduation rate from 61% to 74% in the decade following their shift in focus to Freshman On-Track as a leading indicator for on-time graduation.
In 2019, the Washington State Legislature approved a $250,000 pilot program to implement Freshman On-Track strategies in five districts. At Stand for Children Washington, our team is on the ground partnering with school districts across the state to implement Freshman On-Track in high schools. Research has identified ninth grade success as the most important predictor of high school graduation, so our goal is to help educators better support students during the critical freshman year transition.