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Monday, June 18, 2007

Troubled Teens Find Help to Graduate

This is an important story by Jessica Blanchard of the PI in today's issue. Not many people know about Interagency or how it works. The point of schools like John Marshall and Interagency is that they are second (or third) chance places for kids in impossible situations (not just troublemaking teens). It takes a special kind of teacher to be at these schools. Their success rates, their WASL scores are not the point. The point is that they are making the effort to help kids make slow, steady progress that help them see they can be successful.

Sometimes life is measured in small everyday victories.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa --

Thank you for posting about this article. As one of the teachers mentioned in it, I am very excited about the accomplishments of many of our students this year.

Many people do not know much about Interagency. To find out more, visit our website at Interagency Academy

The last line of your post is more true than you can imagine: "Sometimes life is measuredin small everyday victories."

Kevin

Maggie Metcalfe said...

True Kevin, and you are one of the heros of Seattle Public Schools, unsung as you are. I have seen youth empowered by the work you do and others in similar roles. Melissa is right, it takes a special kind of teacher.

I am awestruck by the extra efforts teachers put in at Interagency, Marshall and South Lake. Success is measured in ways other than the WASL scores or the graduation dates.

As a foster parent of therapeutic level teens, I know how many challenges there can be for kids who have been neglected and abused. Success is measured by survival rates first, graduation rates second. For each small advance a better life is built. If mother dropped out and the youth gets a GED, if mother was pregnant at 14 and the daughter waits till she's 18 or 20, that is success. We hope for more but we should celebrate the successes we get. The more sense of respect and self worth, the more possible it is to achieve academic success.

I hope we will be able to strengthen our Non Traditional programs as individual programs, each with a different theme, strength and focus rather than the consolidation that seems likely in the current climate.

Unknown said...

And unbelievable as it may be - the District is looking to strip away this safty net!

Benjamin said...

Wow, that is great. A school for troubled teens dedicated to help them survive in this world. It is an honor to be one of those who found out in this success. I know many other schools are like you and they want to do the best that you are doing.