Faced with the problem of students failing courses such as math and English, the Lodi Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday met with Mark Dawson, principal of Ronald E. McNair High School, to discuss possible solutions.
“We have to offer intervention during the school year,” Dawson said.
Out of 60 students enrolled in ninth-grade math college placement at McNair this past school year, 26.67 percent received a grade of D or F in the fall semester, according to a report given during a May 7 school board meeting.
Ninth-grade general math at McNair math had 132 students that same year, and 39.39 percent of them received a D or F in the fall semester.
Out of 46 students in 10th-grade integrated math 1 CP, 36.96 received a D or F. Out of 51 students in 10th-grade math 2 CP, 15.69 percent received a D or F.
Out of 32 students in 10th-grade general math, 28.13 percent received a D or F and out of 71 students in 10th-grade general math A, 59.38 percent received a D or F.
McNair began a math intervention pathway during the 2016-17 school year with 118 students. Dawson said. Of those students, 90 percent met the minimum graduation requirements for math and 60 percent completed more than the minimum requirements.
Although Dawson did not have numbers from this year’s targeted intervention program, as final grades have not yet been entered, he said McNair has been using the same model for other subjects over the past two years and will launch a school-wide pilot during the 2019-20 school year.
Afterschool intervention has not proven as effective as intervention during the school day, Dawson said, as some students have jobs after school. Others take care of younger siblings.
“Some students don’t do well in a subject to begin with, and then asking them to come in after school and work on that subject is a tough ask,” he said.
Under the in-school intervention model — which Dawson calls “targeted intervention” as the programs are tailored to meet each student’s needs — students take interim assessments throughout the year to track their progress.
Students who do not meet the standards spend more time with their teachers working on areas where they need improvement, while students who meet the standards are provided with enrichment activities.
Trustee Ron Heberle praised the program, particularly for identifying areas in which students need help before they fail too many classes.
“We’ve got to get them before they go too far down that hole and you have a heck of a time getting them back to where they need to be,” he said.