Carol Swain Rebecca Pintuff Jared Brush NCLIFELINES: Mentoringthrough Social Networking This proposal is for a technology grant to be used to implement a mentoring program at Crawdad High School in Alamance County, NC
Executive Summary The Crawdad High School Library MediaCenter, located in Alamance County, NC,proposes to purchase four hundred tablets,Google Nexus 7, to provide the student bodywith access to programs for online mentoring toprovide support for enhancing studentperformance on end-of-course assessments,exploring career and vocational skills,developing social skills for transitioning intohigher education or the workplace.
Project Description• Crawdad High School is in danger of being identified as low performing.• We are submitting a proposal to create a mentoring program using social networking that will focus on assisting students with creating career goals and obtaining job skills.• The proposed program, LIFELINE Mentoring, will use the existing Student Services Team to identify at-risk students and match them with two mentors, one in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and an online mentor through the Future for Kids.org program.• Students will be issued a laptop for use in classes and as a means for communicating with these online mentors while completing the career exploration activities of the F4K.org’s Career Cruising services.• The LIFELINE program will be an innovative use of technology to promote learning and mentoring by using social media to introduce students to successful adults who can serve as role models.• The successful implementation of this program will need the participation of all students and staff, as well as support from community and business leaders.
Rationale• Crawdad High School is a small rural school with a student body of 400 students and a staff of 36 teachers, one media coordinator, school psychologist, guidance counselor and two administrators, as well as a representative from the district juvenile court system.• The student body has a 3% minority population, a 60% pass rate for end-of-course standardized state tests, a high drop- out rate (37% compared to a state average of 77.9%) and a high teen pregnancy rate.• Although the school has not been designated as low- performing, it has all the earmarks of a school in decline.• Other factors that impact the overall low educational performance of students at the school are high rates of generational poverty, a majority of parents who have not earned a high school diploma and even fewer who have any college experience.• Community support for education is minimal.
Partners• There are partnerships in place in response to the need for improvement.• Communities in Schools has started a Big Brother/Big Sister program to mentor students on the importance of completing their high school education and perhaps continuing to post- secondary education.• The school has established a Student Services Team to identify at-risk students and enroll them in the program.• In addition to the mentoring program, the school is also utilizing its Workforce Development program to provide students with job-training skills which can be used to help them find employment after graduation.• The LIFELINE Mentoring program will use the curriculum of the Career Technical Education program as outlined in the Standard Course of Study and Common Core Essential Standards.
EvidenceFunds from the Awards for Excellence Grant and other matching funds will be used to:• implement the school-wide program by purchasing tablets for students and staff.• provide teachers with professional development on the incorporation of technology in instructional delivery.• maintain the hardware and software of the system.Since the primary software for the program is free to all schools in North Carolina who maintain a vocational education curriculum, the cost of sustaining the program after the grant has ended will be covered by local funds and other grant programs.
Anticipated Difficulties• Training needed for students and staff• The development of community partnerships• Adjusting the curriculum to provide more vocational and technical education courses• Addressing issues related to the cultural changes needed to effectively implement the program Resolving the Issues• Provide professional staff development on (1) understanding effects of poverty, (2) incorporating Career & Tech Readiness skills in the regular curriculum, (3) role of mentoring/educating the whole child--Comer Model from Yale would be excellent for this, (4) incorporating technology in everyday instruction.• Establish policies regarding the use and care of the technology and share the information with the staff and students.• Build strong community partnerships with local churches, civic and business organizations--approach community leaders such as town council members, Better Business Bureau, Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.
OutcomesA successful implementation of the LIFELINE Mentoring program will be measured by:• a decrease in the drop-out rate by 2% by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.• an increase in end-of-course test performance from 60% to 65%.• an overall increase in the daily attendance rate by 10%.• an increase in the use of technology by classroom teachers for instruction as documented by lesson plans.
Evaluation of Results• To monitor the outcomes of the program, the Student Services Team will develop a plan of routine evaluation and data collection.• The team will collect data on daily student attendance; they will also collect benchmark test data from mid-term administrations and from the end of the year administration.• Particular emphasis will be placed on growth in the VoCATS testing for Career and Technical Education.• Also results from student credential programs will be collected and monitored.• A school climate survey will be given at the beginning of the year to students, parents, community leaders and staff members and again at the mid-year and end of the year. Results will be analyzed for growth in perceptions of effective teaching, and overall use of technology for learning.
Results Dissemination• Results from the data collection process will be shared with the School Improvement Team before a presentation to the full staff during staff meetings throughout the year.• A summary of the results will then be shared with community leaders and the general public.• Local news media• School publications such as newsletters• Direct mailings• Presentations at Parent, Teacher, Student organization meetings• Electronic bulletin/display marques on the school campus and at the central office of the school district• School website• Public Education Government Access channel.
Budget• The total proposed budget for the implementation of the LIFELINE Mentoring Program is $165,660.• This total includes the 150,000 from the AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE.• Additional grants will come from the Intel Community Giving Grants and the Foundation for Rural Education Grants.• Funds from local businesses.• Additional funds from the LEA budget for 2012-2013 school year will be used for incidental expenditures.