This year at Loveland High School, a new instructional support lab is taking off. Edy Munoz learned late last spring that she would be heading up an intervention lab to support students who need assistance in academics, particulary those students who were incoming freshman. Edy visited schools in Thompson as well as several other schools in Colorado and researched heavily to determine what components of the lab would be necessary for it to be successful.
This fall, the LHS PROPEL lab blasted off. PROPEL is an acronym that Edy came up with and it stands for: Providing Resources and Options to Prepare Every Learner. As of this writing, the lab has had over 2,000 visitors since opening and the word is out that it is a safe place to get academic assistance from Edy, community volunteers, other LHS staff and student tutors. Students can make up tests in the lab, get specific tutoring, check their grades and get help with homework, complete credit recovery courses, etc.
In addition to tracking the number of students visiting the lab, data was collected for a group of ninth graders who had been identified as needing lab support prior to starting the school year. The first sample of data compared 53 students from their first quarter of 8th grade to their first quarter of 9th grade and looked at attendance, discipline and numbers of D’s and F’s. Obviously the goal is to see less behavior, better attendance and a decrease in failing grades. We were unable to make any connections between 8th grade and 9th grade discipline data due to the differences in reporting between the two schools. Attendance overall stayed about the same, although for some students there was a significant improvement. As for grades….20 students had significant improvement in the number of F’s they earned this year. Many other students improved somewhat or stayed the same. In a quick analysis of the data, it was noted that many of the students with the best positive change in grades were those who had attended the lab on multiple occasions for support.
Data will continue to be collected, the LHS team continues to look at ways to make the lab even more successful, and currently some students are video recording their thoughts on how PROPEL has helped them feel more successful as learners. A big kudos goes out to Edy and the administrative team and staff at LHS who are shooting for the stars and aiming high for all of their students.