In round two of our data review for the PROPEL Lab at LHS, we looked at all of the quantitative and qualitative data we have gathered this year and dialogued about what it meant for students, for staff and for LHS as a system. Our focus was on the 83 targeted freshman students who had been identified during middle school as being at-risk of failing and/or who were identified early in their freshman year for the same risk at LHS. Our dialogue led us to break these 83 students, each with their own very personal story, into three groups.
Who did PROPEL Lab work for pretty quickly? Who needed time to build relationships and now we are starting to see positive change happening? Who is the PROPEL Lab not working for?
Given our data sets, we were able to determine that about 50-55% of the students who were targeted, benefited fairly quickly from the Lab with minimal assistance. For student X, this meant that he had no failing grades at the end of first semester at LHS, in comparison with 5 failing grades at the end of first semester of eighth grade. His attendance is solid and he isn’t having any discipline difficulties. Student X is an example of someone who is benefitting from the structure of an assigned block of time where he can get academic and social/emotional support in a small, safe learning environment.
There is another identified group of students who needed time to build relationships with Ms. Munoz, the other staff in PROPEL, the student tutors, and the other students in the Lab. About 40-45% of the targeted students fall into this category. Again, each of these students has a very personal story of who they are as a person and who they are as a learner. They typically don’t have established habits for studying, time management, use of resources, etc. They are distrustful of the system and need to build on one success after the other to really believe in themselves and the system that is supporting them. Student Y is an example of this group of targeted freshman at LHS. At the end of first quarter, he was still failing several classes and was in danger of failing others. He was coming to the Lab regularly, but wasn’t necessarily using all of his time wisely. As the year has gone on, he has established his place in the Lab, has increased his confidence in himself as a student and his current grades are all passing. His obvious pride in this accomplishment is shown each day. This is a new feeling for this student…and he likes it!
And finally, as with all supports offered to students, there is no one perfect plan for everyone. About 5% of the students targeted for the PROPEL Lab have not been successful academically and/or social/emotionally at LHS. For these students an alternative supportive intervention is being identified.
PROPEL Lab in its first year at LHS has touched the lives of hundreds of students, teachers and parents. As with any system, adjustments are made, data is used to drive both the instruction in the lab and the process for how it runs, and believers are born. Other schools and districts are asking questions about the Lab and scheduling visits to see how it operates. LHS….you should be proud of this work!