Middle school is an exciting time for young students to test out their strengths, explore new things and imagine their future. But it’s also a time when too many students begin to disengage with school and take the first steps on the path towards dropping out of high school, putting their futures at risk.
This threat hits close to home. In Greenville County’s White Horse Road community, many students are at risk of not graduating from high school on time, or not at all. These children enter the classroom already burdened with outside needs – poverty, challenges within the family and hunger, to name a few. And while Greenville County schools work hard to provide an excellent education for these students, they can’t do it alone. They need community partners to come alongside them and help identify and eliminate the barriers that block children on the path to high school graduation and an actualization of their incredible potential.
That’s where OnTrack Greenville comes in. Fueled by the Social Innovation Fund and led by the United Way of Greenville County, OnTrack Greenville is a community-wide partnership between high-need public middle schools and multiple service-providing community organizations to help middle school students stay on the path to high school graduation and build a thriving future.
Knowing that the biggest lever in student achievement is quality instruction, Public Education Partners focuses on ensuring that teachers have the support they need to be highly effective. As one of five subgrantees in OnTrack Greenville, Public Education Partners places literary coaches in four Greenville County Middle Schools – Berea, Tanglewood, Greenville Early College and Lakeview – through a collaborative partnership with South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science at Clemson University. PEP’s literacy coaches provide training and coaching to teachers to integrate high-impact literacy strategies into their instruction, an effort that results in improved course performance.
PEP’s literacy coaches are meeting a critical need in these schools. Because middle grades teachers aren’t trained to teach reading, it’s difficult for them to meet the comprehensive educational needs of students who are reading below grade level. PEP’s research-based methods – mentoring, coaching, brainstorming, planning, modeling and co-teaching – support teachers in individualizing instruction for struggling students and give them the confidence to succeed. Together, our literacy coaches and teachers are changing classroom practice and accelerating the learning potential of every student.
OnTrack Greenville Literacy Coaches