Ned was referred to Denver Kids in second grade by a school administrator after a series of classroom disruptions linked to his unruly behavior. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Ned these past ten years, but his Educational Counselors have stuck with him and listened to him when he tried to advocate for himself.
Last year was one of Ned’s roughest years. He was struggling at his new school, ACE Academy, which is an intensive pathway school specifically for high-risk students in low-income households. He was unhappy with his situation and his attendance reflected his feelings. Ned was falling severely behind in course credits and graduation seemed a distant reality, but his Educational Counselor, Ismael, kept on top of him and placed an intense focus on getting Ned up to speed.
The first step was working with the Denver Public School system to find a school that would better fit Ned’s needs and personality. In January of 2014, Ismael transferred Ned over to Respect Academy. Still an intensive pathway school, Respect Academy was more equipped to give Ned the attention he needed while addressing his behavioral outbursts in a proactive way.
Ismael worked with Ned around the clock to set challenging goals, high expectations, and plans for following through. “We had intensive discussions about how he needed to get it together and how I was following through on my promises to him so he better follow through on his promises to me,” explains Ismael. According to his student status dashboard, Ned was in the red zone meaning that he was most at-risk of not graduating high school.
We had intensive discussions about how he needed to get it together and how I was following through on my promises to him so he better follow through on his promises to me.
During Ned’s sophomore year at ACE, he received only ten credits for the entire academic year. Through his new enrollment and his extensive work with Ismael, Ned earned 42.5 credits in his second semester of his junior year, alone. Four times what he earned the year before and in half the time. Even more, Ned’s grade point average for the year was 3.34 – his highest ever – despite his incredibly heavy course load. Ned meant business.
Ned now resides in the yellow zone as Ismael keeps a super close eye on his progress. “Ned held up to his end of the bargain and is slated to graduate on-time with his class in 2015. And he couldn’t be more pleased with himself!”, touts Ismael.
With graduation on the horizon, the intensive discussions have continued, but have shifted topic towards his plans after high school. College is now a viable option for Ned when just last year, not even he thought he’d earn a high school diploma.
One-by-one, through students like Ned and Educational Counselors like Ismael, Denver Kids is ending the dropout crisis.