What did they do?
- They expanded their focus, linking discussions about credits and diplomas to students’ futures, rather than viewing them as ends in themselves. Their project was called Your Future Now.
- They developed a one-sentence, future-oriented mission statement that is posted throughout the school and drives student and adult behaviors. When students and adults have the same mission, power struggles pretty much disappear.
- They dispensed with school-wide rules. Individual classrooms of students established “standards” to ensure that learning isn’t interrupted.
- They changed the school schedule to create time for “Steps to Success” activities. The students named it S2S.
- They involved the entire school. Non-teaching adults played major roles in the project’s success.
- The suspension rate was reduced by 91%.
- In 2013, the project’s first year, 37 students graduated (about average for the previous decade). In 2015, 61 graduated (an increase of 65%). And every one of those students had discussed their future with an adult from the school.
- Marjie Bowker, the lead author of Creating a Success Culture, now has a reduced teaching schedule, freeing her to spread the success culture to other schools in the district. How often does an alternative school for struggling students become a model for a district’s “regular” schools?
- A neighboring school district has committed funds to replicate the Scriber Lake experience in their alternative high school this year. They noticed a difference the first day.
- A high performing high school in another nearby district has committed this school year to creating a student success culture, and is using the Scriber Lake book to assist them.