Coaching in the Classroom - students at risk?

If you have a student in an Iowa public school, you'll be interested in following what we do with Coaching in the Classroom (CIC). If you don't live in Iowa, CIC concepts work anywhere! We have begun our third year working with 7th - 12th-graders in the Coon Rapids-Bayard School District. We'll use this CIC blog to give a weekly update of our activities, giving you conversation starters to consider implementing in your own homes with your own families and we bet you learn something about each other in the process!

Let's start with some basic info.

When a child begins kindergarten in Iowa, full of life, energy, ideas, and attitude, the school district, under direction from the Iowa Department of Education, begins to track their behaviors. Behaviors that we use from the DE are these: if students are tardy to school and/or class, have low scores on standardized tests like Iowa Test of Basic Skills, are failing any classes, and are not participating in extracurricular activities. If a student meets any two of these four criteria, the local school district and the DE consider them "at-risk" of not graduating on time with their class.

In the CR-B district, to uphold their mission to educate all students, high school students with at least two criteria become students of Coaching in the Classroom, where they have the opportunity to learn a host of concepts not regularly found in general classroom settings. We know that many students with whom we work are more "creative" in school, and tend to have a more difficult time being a successful student. They likely will be the students who either attend a two-year trade or community college program, or enter the workforce upon graduating from high school. These students will likely run our towns in rural areas someday. To encourage and engage them, CIC teaches workplace and social skills, leadership behaviors, character development, positive communication, and citizenship, expecting that they will be future mayors, sit on school boards, church committees, city councils and boards of supervisors.

Two critical things to keep in mind:

  • the local school district is not punishing the student by keeping track of them and their behaviors. In fact, watching students is an excellent way to encourage them to take school more seriously and encourage them to try new things.
  • whether or not a student is considered "at-risk" is completely within their own power to change. All that needs to be done is get to school and class on time. Take tests seriously and do their best. Study hard so they pass all their classes. Sign up for an activity to learn some teamwork or new skills. School officials look at behaviors each semester and if a student has changed their own behavior so that DE criteria no longer pertains to them, they are off the "at-risk" list.

Check with your school's office to see how your child measures up. Then take the opportunity to shape some successful behaviors with your student. If you need some help, let us know!

Have a Be WUCA!(c) week!